Alonso: We fear no-one in Champions League draw

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso insists Liverpool fear no-one ahead of the Champions League quarter-final draw in Athens tomorrow.

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso insists Liverpool fear no-one ahead of the Champions League quarter-final draw in Athens tomorrow.

And while captain Steven Gerrard insists he would prefer to avoid the other two English clubs - Manchester United and Chelsea - in the last eight, there is an air of confidence surrounding the five-time winners of the European Cup.

Liverpool's odds of making it a sixth triumph have been slashed after they knocked out current holders Barcelona this week.

"We have to be realistic and go step by step and not look too far ahead," said Alonso. "We have respect for other teams but we are not scared of anyone.

"It was tough against Barcelona, but we are very happy and confident. I am looking forward to the draw now."

But the optimism has been dampened by Gerrard, who says if they fail to go all the way to the final in Athens on May 23 the effort put in to beat Barcelona will be wasted.

"I don't care too much who we play next but I would rather not have to face either of the other two English teams," he said.

"The main thing is to keep this going. Winning against Barcelona was fantastic, but to put it up there with the greatest European nights, we have to go all the way.

"If we go out in the next round, it won't mean as much."

Five of the other seven clubs in the draw Liverpool have achieved significant European victories against.

Roma were beaten in the 1984 European Cup final, in the group stages in 2001-02 and the UEFA Cup fourth round in 2000-01.

AC Milan were the victims of that marvellous Liverpool comeback in the Istanbul Champions League final of 2005, while Chelsea were beaten in the semi-finals the same season.

Bayern Munich were Liverpool victims in the 1970-71 Fairs Cup quarter-finals, the European Cup semi-finals of 1980-81 and the 2001-02 Super Cup final in Monaco, while PSV Eindhoven were beaten in the group stages this season.

Liverpool have never met Manchester United in Europe but have bitter memories of two group stage defeats by Valencia in the 2002-03 Champions League when Rafael Benitez coached the Spanish club.

But the fact they are in the draw, having knocked out the defending champions, has given everyone at Anfield a boost.

"A lot of people did not expect us to beat Barcelona, but we are in the quarter-finals now and can look forward to the draw," said Alonso.

"There are a lot of tough teams left but we don't fear anyone. We respect the clubs left but we're not scared of them."

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