UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

European Soccer

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

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The most anticipated match-up of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will take place today, with FC Barcelona taking on Arsenal (2:45pm, FSC/FSE).

Inter Milan is facing CSKA Moscow as well (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Plus), but most eyes will be trained on the Emirates Stadium, where the defending champions from Barcelona will take on the Gunners.

I will be providing commentary on today's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL– Arsenal 2, Barcelona 2. Arsenal fight back with everything they had to keep this series alive despite being thoroughly dominated for much of the match.

That's all for me. Please feel free to share your thoughts on today's match in the comments section below.

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93rd minute– Barcelona is knocking it around, looking content to hold on now.

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90th minute– What a game, everything we were hoping it would be.

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89th minute– Arsenal looked dead and buried, but Theo Walcott came on and gave Arsenal a sorely-needed boost. Barcelona will regret all the missed chances it had throughout this game.

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88th minute– Fabregas can barely jog, but he's not coming out. No more subs for Arsenal.

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87th minute– Fabregas is on the field but he's limping. If this were a video game he'd have a litle red cross under him.

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86th minute– Fabregas hurt himself on the penalty kick.

We are tied and we'll be heading to the second leg in Barcelona with both team missing key players. Arsenal will be without Fabregas, and Barcelona will be without Puyol and Pique. Wow.

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85th minute– GOAL ARSENAL!!! Fabregas converts the penalty. Arsenal 2, Barcelona 2.

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84th minute– WOW, Puyol is red carded and gives up a penalty to Cesc Fabregas. WOW.

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80th minute– Diaby gets the yellow for a foul on Keita.

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77th minute– Thierry Henry comes on for Ibrahimovic and gets a great cheer from the Arsenal fans. Always love seeing those moments of appreciation.

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76th minute– SAVE ALMUNIA. Messi races in on goal but can't get it past Almunia.

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73rd minute– Fabregas hits it over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

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72nd minute– Free kick to Arsenal and Pique gets a yellow that rules him out of the second leg. Who will take the free kick for Arsenal?

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71st minute– Arsenal has been re-energized since Walcott came in for Sagna.

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70th minute– GOAL ARSENAL, and it's Theo Walcott, who speeds into the area and beats Valdes.

Barcelona 2, Arsenal 1.

Did I just jinx Barcelona?

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64th minute– Yes, that's assuming Arsenal doesn't score two tonight, but who sees that happening?

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60th minute– Arsenal is done. Even if they score tonight, they'll need two goals in Barcelona, and without Cesc Fabregas to boot.

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59th minute- GOAL BARCELONA!!!!!! ibrahimovic with the blast and it's 2-0 Barcelona in London. This game is over and this series looks to be over.

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54th minute– SAVE VALDES!!! Saves a Bendtner header. Wow.

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53rd minute– Barcelona with a dangerous free kick from 25 yards out.

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46th minute– And just like that, Almunia comes out and get caught off his line. Ibrahimovic, who had a terrible first half, hits a beautiful chip to beat Almunia and give Barcelona a vital away goal and 1-0 lead.

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46th Minute- GOAL BARCELONA!!!! Ibrahimovic scores it, chipping it over Almunia!! Barcelona 1, Arsenal 0. Just 22 seconds into the second half. 

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HALFTIME– Will Arsenal be able to hold off Barcelona in the second half? The Gunners created some chances in the final 15-20 minutes, but continue to be dominated in possession. 

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HALFTIME- Arsenal 0, Barcelona 0. Complete control from Barcelona, but Almunia has had a career night while Ibrahimovic has been awful.

Andrei Arshavin left the match with an injury while Fabregas picked up a yellow that will force him to mess the second leg of this series. 

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45th minute– Ibrahimovic shanks the free kick about 50 yards over the bar. He's been awful today.

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44th minute– Yellow card to Cesc Fabregas, which rules him out for the return leg in Barcelona next week.

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43rd minute– Arsenal withstand some pressure despite being a man down.

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41st minute– Sol Campbell is warming up. You think Messi is drooling at that prospect?

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41st minute– William Gallas is hurt and may have to come out.

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39th minute– Arsenal free kick from distance and Valdes catches it easily.

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38th minute– Bendtner had an open look and had it saved, but he was offside anyway. He actually missed twice while the flag was up.

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37th minute– SAVE ALMUNIA, stops a Messi long-range chance.

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36th minute– Why is Bendtner on the wing instead of up top?

Barcelona with a free kick drawn by Xavi.

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35th minute– Still scoreless and Arsenal will love going in at halftime without having given up an away goal. Still 10 minutes to go though.

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33rd minute– Replays show Arshavin was injured. That would explain the early sub. That's a big blow to Arsenal's attack.

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31st minute– Arsenal is starting to find more of the ball now, but the chances aren't coming yet.

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29th minute– Not sure if there was an injury to Arshavin. He ran right to the locker room.

Barcelona keeps on pressing in the final third.

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27th minute– Wow, Emmanuel Eboue has come in for Andrei Arshavin. Talk about an early sub. Arsene Wenger had seen enough. He knows his lineup needs more defensive bite.

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23rd minute– Still scoreless if you can believe it, but here comes Arsenal.

NASRI JUST WIDE. Wow, that was close. Arsenal is starting to settle down.

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20th minute– Arsenal with a dangerous cross in, but Puyol heads it away.

Arshavin gets a yellow for a late challenge on Busquets.

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18th minute– Pique sends a header right to Almunia.

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17th minute– Bacary Sagna heads away another shot, this one from Pedro. Barcelona corner.

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16th minute– Barcelona has out-shot Arsenal 9-0 so far. Domination at the Emirates.

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15th minute– It's been target practice for Barcelona, but Almunia has been up to the task. His teammates might want to start playing though.

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14th minute– SAVE ALMUNIA!! Stops Ibrahimovic with a kick save after a beautiful sequence.

SAVE ALMUNIA!! He does it again. WOW, this guy is ON FIRE.

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13th minute– Interesting note that Arsenal has zero English players in its lineup, whereas Barcelona has Valdes, Puyol, Xavi and Pedro, along with academy product Lionel Messi.

Messi skies one from 20. Good chance there.

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11th minute– Fabregas has yet to see much of the ball. Arsenal is struggling to gain much possession early.

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9th minute– Barcelona is cutting through Arsenal at will. It's looking like, at least early on, that Arsenal can't handle Barcelona's speed and movement.

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7th minute– WOW, Ibrahimovic with a clear look that he skies over the bar. Barcelona is running rampant early on.

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6th minute– SAVE ALMUNIA!! Stops a Messi blast. Barcelona is on the attack but Almunia has stepped up today.

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3rd minute– This match is looking like it will be the wide-open affair we were all expecting.

if you're following along here please let me know in the comments section.

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2nd minute– SAVE ALMUNIA, stops a Busquets shot. Nice save.

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1st Minute– We're underway and Barcelona is already on the attack.

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PRE-GAME– Thierry Henry is on the bench today. It will be interesting to see him come on today against his former club.

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PRE-GAME

BARCELONA

Pedro———-Ibrahimovic————Messi

————-Xavi———-Keita————–

—————-Busquets———————-

Maxwell—Puyol——Pique———–Alves

——————Valdes———————–

ARSENAL

—————Bendtner———————–

———————–Arshavin—————

Diaby—–Fabregas—–Nasri———-Song

Clichy—-Vermaelen—-Gallas——–Sagna

—————–Almunia———————-

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PRE-GAME– Cesc Fabregas will start today for Arsenal. The rest of the lineups are on the way.

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