Thursday, April 1, 2010

Zlatan Ibrahimovic double, Cesc Fabregas late penalty securing Arsenal defeat from Barcelona.

ARSENAL 2
- Walcott 69,
- Fabregas (pen) 85

BARCELONA 2
- Ibrahimovic 46,
- Ibrahimovic 59

**Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal fought their way back from the dead against Barcelona tonight to earn a 2-2 draw at the Emirates after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given the visitors a seemingly comfortable two goal lead.

Cesc Fabregas’ late penalty earned Arsenal a dramatic 2-2 against 10-man Barcelona on Wednesay in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.

The first half was dreadful for Arsenal as both William Gallas and Andrei Arshavin were forced off injured, but Bar├ža’s many attempts on goal were thwarted by the defense and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, including from Lionel Messi’s free kick late in the half.

Parity lasted less than 30 seconds in the second half, however, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired the visitors in front with a deft chip of Almunia.

The Swede doubled the advantage just short of the hour mark, taking a pass from Xavi before slamming home.

But Arsenal would find their salvation with six minutes left. Bendtner cleverly chested the ball down to Fabregas six yards out. Puyol clattered in to him as he was set to pull the trigger. It was a crystal clear penalty and the Barcelona captain duly received a red card.

Puyol was sent off and misses next week's second leg, as will Fabregas after he picked up a yellow card in the first half.



Team Line-ups:


Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Bacary Sagna (Theo Walcott, 67), Thomas Vermaelen, William Gallas (Pereira Neves Denilson, 45), Gael Clichy, Vassiriki Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Alexandre Song, Andrey Arshavin (Emmanuel Eboue, 27), Nicklas Bendtner

Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Daniel Alves, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Cabelino Andrade Maxwell, Xavier Hernandez Xavi, Seydou Keita, Sergio Busquets, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Thierry Henry, 77), Lionel Messi (Gabriel Alejandro Milito, 87), Pedro Rodriguez Pedrito.

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