Arsenal vs. Barcelona: Last 5 Meetings

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2009/10 Champions League Quarter Final, 1st Leg, Emirates Stadium

Cesc Fabregas bundles home the equaliser from the penalty spot
Cesc Fabregas bundles home the equaliser from the penalty spot

 

Clashing for the first time since that fateful Champions League Final in 2006, this match also turned out to be an epic of sorts. The match also marked Thierry Henry’s first match back at Arsenal since he left for Barcelona. The match kicked off and it was Barcelona who dominated. Ibrahimovic was at fault initially for squandering a number of oppurtunities, with Almunia  making some crucial saves and Arsene Wenger must have been relieved to go into the break on level terms.

But the second half started in disastrous fashion for the team from London. Ibrahimovic found himself in behind the Arsenal back four and Manuel Almunia rushed out to close him down, but the Swede showed spectacular calm as he chipped the Spaniard to give Barca the advantage. Bendtner had a chance to equalise for Arsenal but it was Ibrahimovic again who struck for Barcelona on the hour mark. Collecting a pass from Xavi, he struck a high effort into the Arsenal net and had effectively killed the tie, or so Pep Guardiola must have thought. Theo Walcott was introduced and his pace immediately started causing problems. The English winger picked up the ball from Nicklas Bendtner and scored with an angled finish to give Arsenal a ray of hope. The comeback was completed with five minutes remaining as Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol brought down Cesc Fabregas in the box and gave away a penalty and saw his marching orders as well. Fabregas made no mistake from the spot and completed the remarkable fight back, although he injured himself in the process, ruling him out for the second leg at the Camp Nou.

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