In today's UEFA Champions League draw, in which the fortunes of the 16 remaining top Euro teams rested in the hands of men in suits grabbing ping pong balls, Arsenal drew Monaco for its Round of 16 Champions League matches.
Arsenal will look to advance to the elite eight for the first time since 2010 against a team that got to this stage by winning Group C against Bayer Leverkusen, Zenit, and Benfica (aka the Group of Delicious Cupcake Frosting). The final -- should Arsenal get that far -- will be in Berlin on Saturday, June 6. The road to Berlin could have placed formidable teams like Bayern Munich and Real Madrid directly into Arsenal's path, but in Monaco, Arsenal drew the opponent deemed by many to be the weakest of the eight group winners.
Arsenal and Monaco, of course, last faced off August 3 in the Emirates Cup, where Falcao (now plying his trade for Manchester United) scored the game's lone goal.
Two other EPL teams learned their fortunes as well -- Group G winners Chelsea will face Paris St. Germain, and Group E runner-ups Manchester City will face Barcelona.
The rest of the Round of 16 Ball Grab went this way:
Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid
Juventus vs. Borussia Dortmund
Schalke vs. Real Madrid
Shaktar Donetsk vs. Bayern Munich
Basel vs. Porto
Here's what Mesut thought:
It's AS Monaco - Mon. Wenger will be happy about the draw #UCLdraw #AFCvMON #COYG— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 15, 2014
And here are the dates to circle on the calendar:
Dates confirmed for @Arsenal v @AS_Monaco: home leg February 25, away leg March 17 http://t.co/SLTJE5Py09 pic.twitter.com/jMC8vb6iJX— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 15, 2014