Ferguson the winner in CL draw
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry captured the Champions League mood perfectly with the words: "It's that time of the year again."
It is the time of the year when England's big four dominate the draw for the later stages of Europe's elite tournament - and the time of the year when that draw pairs Liverpool and Chelsea.
The giants of Anfield and Stamford Bridge will meet again in the last eight - after three meetings in the semi-finals since 2005, plus an encounter in the group phase.
If the draw brought looks of resignation from the Liverpool and Chelsea camps in Nyon, as well as offering up a hazardous encounter with Villarreal for Arsenal, an air of satisfaction may just have descended on Old Trafford after a troubled week.
As Sir Alex Ferguson digests that 4-1 beating at home to Liverpool, he may reflect that a meeting with their 2004 conquerors FC Porto was about as good as it was going to get for the current holders.
And while a semi-final meeting with Arsenal, if they dispose of the dangerous Villarreal, is a potential blockbuster, Ferguson will be happy that any meeting down the line with either Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona or Bayern Munich will be in the final.
Let's start with the meeting of Liverpool and Chelsea. All manner of psychological and footballing forces will be at play between now and the first leg at Anfield.
And while Liverpool did a Premier League double over a Chelsea side struggling under the leadership of Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Londoners have been revitalised by the arrival of the shrewdest of coaches, Guus Hiddink.
Chelsea will feel their time has come to over-turn Liverpool's recent supremacy, but is there a more confident side on this particular stage than the men from Anfield?
Liverpool's emphatic victories against Real Madrid and Manchester United has led to confidence coursing through the veins of every player at Anfield - backed up by positive messages from inside the camp.
In Fernando Torres they have arguably the world's finest striker, plus a midfield man in Steven Gerrard who is worthy of a similar accolade.
They will fear no-one, but one twist of the draw that is inevitably in Chelsea's favour is that the second leg is at Stamford Bridge as opposed to Anfield.
It was a formula that worked for Chelsea in last season's semi-final, while every club in the competition knows the perils of a second leg trip to Anfield.
The meeting of minds between Benitez and Hiddink will add an extra strand of intrigue to the tie, as two of the European game's renowned strategists attempt to navigate their way into the last four.
And once this tie is settled, there is no kind draw awaiting the winner. Barcelona or Bayern Munich will provide a formidable barrier to the final.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has always exuded confidence in the ability of his side, and he will feel it is well within their compass to beat Villarreal.
Jens Lehmann's late penalty save from Juan Roman Riquelme stamped Arsenal's passport into the 2006 final, but Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini has always felt they were unlucky not to beat the Gunners.
Make no mistake Villarreal will pose a threat, with former Arsenal star Robert Pires an obvious danger and superb playmakers in Santi Cazorla and Ariel Ibagaza, but they can lack a cutting edge.
Arsenal have Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Eduardo ready to bolster their ranks. They will be a powerful addition to Wenger's armoury as he insists his side can beat anyone left in the tournament.
This, in my opinion, makes Arsenal favourites to reach the last four - where the smart money will be on them meeting Manchester United in an all-Premier League game.
United's meeting with Porto will inevitably revive memories of 2004, when Francisco Costinha's late equaliser sent Ferguson's men out and Jose Mourinho dancing down the Old Trafford touchline.
This time it will surely be different, even though Porto beat a gifted Atletico Madrid side in the last 16 and have a potent striker in Lisandro Lopez.
Uefa president Michel Platini may not like it, but there is now the very real prospect of three English sides in the last four again this season.
Manchester United, Arsenal - plus a tie between Chelsea and Liverpool that is too close to call with any measure of confidence.