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Suspected match-fixer exits Singapore jail


Wenger undaunted by Barca prospect

Arsene Wenger has claimed he hopes Arsenal will be drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League on Friday despite hailing their Clasico performance as "some of the best football I've ever seen".

Arsenal will face Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Schalke in the first knockout round of the competition after failing to top a group containing Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga and Partizan Belgrade.

The Gunners were dumped out of the Champions League last season after losing 6-3 to Barca at the quarter-final stage, but Wenger has suggested he would welcome the chance to gain revenge.

"I know who we will get," he said. "If I say we want Barcelona, you won't believe me. I don't even think about it. I hope we get who I feel we will get."

On current form, a fixture against Barcelona looks a daunting prospect. Pep Guardiola's side are currently two points clear at the top of La Liga and their 5-0 victory over Real Madrid last month stands as one of the most impressive performances in recent memory.

"It was some of the best football I've ever seen," Wenger said. "They played outstandingly well for 90 minutes.

"What was surprising was that they had no weak moment in that game. Their determination and focus for 90 minutes was spot-on and the quality was unbelievable. When you see a performance like that, you are encouraged to get to that level.

"It is good that teams show you how well you can play football. It was the best performance of the season in European football.

"On a night, anything can happen. You can have a weak game when you are not completely at your best, and Barcelona turn up. It happened to us last season in the first 30 minutes [of last season's quarter-final first leg]."


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