first_imgChelsea have never previously faced Napoli, but they will know not to take Walter Mazzarri’s side lightly after they qualified for the last 16 at the expense of Manchester City.The 2008 beaten finalists have also only ever won once in Italy in seven attempts.“I think that at this stage we can come up with the cliches about it being difficult, and it will be difficult because we’ve seen that Napoli were in the same group as Manchester City, so that reflects on the quality of Napoli,” Chelsea secretary David Barnard said.For Arsenal, meanwhile, the clash with Milan is a repeat of their meeting at the same stage in 2007-08.On that occasion the Gunners won 2-0 on aggregate, with Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor scoring late goals in the second-leg at the San Siro after a goalless first-leg.“It’s going to be a fantastic two games,” Arsenal club secretary David Miles told Sky Sports after the draw, before admitting: “If I’m being honest there are probably some other teams we may have preferred.”Nevertheless, Milan have also been eliminated by English clubs in the round of 16 in each of the last two campaigns, losing to Tottenham last season, and to Manchester United in 2010.Barcelona will go to Germany first to face the 2002 runners-up Leverkusen, who qualified from Group E behind Chelsea.There is history between the clubs, as Leverkusen beat Barca in the 1987-88 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, on their way to winning their only European trophy to date.However, the Catalans will fancy their chances of gaining revenge this time as they aim to become the first club to win the Champions League in successive seasons.“We have got Bayer Leverkusen! That’s not a bad draw! I have always enjoyed playing in Germany. The atmosphere is always great there,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said on Twitter from Japan, where Pep Guardiola’s side are currently preparing for Sunday’s Club World Cup final against Santos.Real Madrid, who romped through the group stage winning all six games in Group D, will be heavy favourites to beat CSKA Moscow, although their Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueno told Eurosport that the Spaniards will not be taking the tie lightly.“In football you never know. CSKA won at Inter in the group stages and will not be an easy team to play against,” he said.“They will be really up for it. It will be very very cold there in February and it will be a difficult surface (CSKA play on artificial turf).“We are a great team, of course. The level of performance so far this season has been very good but it is tough to win this competition so we just need to make sure we produce the best performance we can possibly muster.”Meanwhile Bayern Munich, who are hoping to reach the final at their own Allianz Arena, will meet Manchester United’s conquerors Basel.“The team will be motivated because the objective is to reach the final in Munich,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.“Of course, we will be favourites. If the team plays to its best then we have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals.”Marseille will take on 2010 winners Inter Milan in a tie that sees Claudio Ranieri once again come up against Didier Deschamps.Ranieri was in charge of Chelsea when they lost to Deschamps’ Monaco in the semi-finals of the competition in 2004.Benfica meet Zenit St Petersburg, while Lyon will face the tournament outsiders APOEL Nicosia of Cyprus.“They are probably the weakest team left in the competition, but that doesn’t mean we will not have to do really well if we are to go through,” said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.“APOEL have done brilliantly, especially away from home, although this is one of the kindest draws we have had in recent years.”Shares(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) SharesPARIS, France December 16 – England’s two surviving representatives in the Champions League, Chelsea and Arsenal, were handed tough ties against Italian opposition in Friday’s draw for the last 16, while holders Barcelona will come up against Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen.Chelsea will take on Napoli, while Arsenal will meet reigning Serie A champions AC Milan, with both Premier League clubs travelling to Italy first.last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesBut then there are all those people who have legitimate complaints and legitimate concerns and don’t have the big bucks to buy private access to their public servants the way lobbyists, developers, billionaires and others with influence do. The injustice escalated dramatically Tuesday when Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg arrived. An elderly woman was frantically making her plea to the council when Council President Eric Garcetti abruptly cut her off and turned the podium over to Goldberg, with the 60-second rule suspended. Seen by many as a key figure in ruining the schools and the city during her public service as a school board member and a former councilwoman, Goldberg had absolutely nothing to say about city business. She was there to deliver a diatribe about the need to weaken the state’s “three strikes, you’re out” law so career criminals don’t have to spend their lives in prison. Offering odious proof that the public is nothing but an obstruction at City Hall, Garcetti justified giving Goldberg the time of five citizens by saying it’s just a courtesy to “a fellow elected official.” In other words, elected officials merit courtesy and a soapbox to say whatever they want; ordinary people get discourtesy and can’t even say what they believe about city issues. Nor was it the last indignity served up during that meeting. More than 75 people came to protest the trash fee increase proposed to pay for hiring new cops although few, if any, cops are actually being hired. TUESDAY was a typical day for the Los Angeles City Council. The first meeting of the week was, as usual, jammed with important issues that needed discussion and action: A proposed trash fee increase to raise LAPD funding, a $1 billion low-income housing bond, a hearing on the power blackouts across the city. Tuesday was a typical day for the council in another respect, too. It was another day that the group of elected officials showed its contempt for the public by making it just about impossible for citizens to be heard. The disrespect started early in the meeting, during the public hearing. Under the council’s new rules, ordinary people – taxpayers, residents, workers, business people – get only one minute apiece to exercise their right to free speech. That’s only 60 seconds – the length of a TV ad. The council did this because, as the nation’s highest paid city officials, its members are too important to waste their time listening to the incessant chatter of the masses. It’s true that some of the regular speakers are confused, and perhaps mentally impaired; others are irritating and weird gadflies. Many of these people waited 31/2 hours to be heard, and when it came time to claim their minute to speak, Council President pro tem Wendy Greuel, a do-gooder like Garcetti, granted them a collective 15 minutes – or 12 seconds each – to make their case. Showing some sense of shame, she later added five more minutes, having made the point: We don’t have time for you little people. How can the council pretend to be running a democracy when it doesn’t even pretend to listen to the people? This is precisely why the body exists, not for attending schmooze events or glad-handing big contributors. Council members were elected to hold public meetings to discuss and debate municipal policy and to – and this is the big one – represent the people. It’s hard to do that effectively when you’re too busy trying to keep them quiet.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more