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Sylvinho: Gunners have Nou Camp chance
Published : 06 Apr 2010 06:37:00
Sylvinho has hailed Barcelona as the best in the world - but still believes Arsenal have a chance of reaching the Champions League semi-finals. The second leg of the quarter-final between the pair on Wednesday promises to be another classic after the 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last week. Barca dominated the first half and looked to have the tie wrapped up when Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted twice but Arsenal fought back to draw thanks to Theo Walcott's goal and a penalty from Cesc Fabregas. With Pep Guardiola's side boasting two away goals and home advantage, few pundits believe the Gunners can cause an upset. But Manchester City defender Sylvinho, who played for Arsenal for two years from 1999 and joined Barcelona in 2004, has not written off Arsene Wenger's side. "I love the way Arsenal play football, and Barcelona as well," he told Press Association Sport. "It was an amazing game. I think everyone around the world was talking about this game. "Arsenal have got a chance. It won't be easy because they're playing at the Nou Camp. It's not 50/50 but it's going to be interesting." Last season's Champions League final, when Barca beat Manchester United to complete the treble of Primera Division, Copa Del Rey and European titles, was Sylvinho's final game for the Catalans. It brought to an end a five-year spell in Barcelona, and Sylvinho has nothing but praise for his old club. "They're definitely the best in the world," he said. "The way they are playing is unbelievable. If you want to be champions, you have to be a great team with great players, but they've also got a great mentality." The 35-year-old, meanwhile, insists it will be a major achievement if City hold onto fourth place in the Premier League and qualify for next season's Champions League. The Eastlands club have been the biggest spenders in the top flight for the last couple of seasons following the Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover in 2008. Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Kolo Toure, Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge, Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz have all arrived in big-money moves, with expectations duly rocketing. Manager Mark Hughes was dismissed in December and replaced by Roberto Mancini, despite City having lost only twice in the league all season at the time. With six games to go, Mancini's side lie fourth, a point ahead of Tottenham and four clear of Liverpool with a game in hand. Sylvinho said: "When you talk about the top four in the Premier League, people are used to seeing four teams, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool. "It doesn't matter if you spend a lot of money, it's difficult to get in the top four. We are nearly there and the next six games we're going to see how it goes. "We've got a good chance. We're working very hard and the next result is really important."