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Champions League, quarter final, first leg

Arsenal 2 - Barcelona 2

A good result for Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final, although they will have come away from the tie feeling they should have done even better after throwing away a two goal lead at Arsenal. The statistics said it all in the first half, shots at goal, Arsenal:2, Barcelona 15. But local keeper Almunia put in the performance of his life, making a string of saves from Busquets, Messi, Ibrahimovic and Xavi with only a quarter of an hour on the clock, and at the break the scores were unmoved. Just twenty seconds after the restart though Ibrahimovic ran on to Piqué's long pass to lob the ball over the head of the keeper. And a quarter of an hour later Xavi found the Swedish striker again with another lofted pass for him to fire a shot in to the near top corner of the net. Ten minutes after that however substitute Walcott ran on to Bendtner's through ball to pull one back, and with five minutes to go Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Puyol was sent off for pushing over Cesc Fábregas, and the Catalan midfielder drilled home the resulting spot kick. Cesc, Puyol and Piqué will all be suspended for next week's second leg, but it still promises to be another entertaining night, with all still to play for. (31.03.10)