Prophecy Fulfilled: Messi destroys Arsenal; Juventus, Bayern Munich share spoils in UEFA Champions League

By Adeyinka Akintunde, Lagos on February 24, 2016

Views: 3,247

Like the fulfillment of a prophecy, world’s best footballer Lionel Messi last night did what he knows how to do best against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, London. The nimble-footed soccer wizard was on song for FC Barcelona as the defending champions beat hosts Arsenal 2-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 to brighten their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals. The Gunners began the game immediately going for goal against the Catalans right from kickoff, but on five minutes Barcelona balanced the game.

Arsenal had more opportunities, but couldn’t use them. The second half began with Barcelona establishing their dominance. Neymar even missed a one-on-one, and Arsenal were mostly defensive for the first ten minutes of the half.

The breakthrough finally came in the 71st minute. There was a cross from the defence that fell to Luis Suarez, who immediately found Neymar. He pushed to the 18-yard and connected an unmarked Messi, who finished perfectly, scoring his first goal against Petr Cech in seven meetings.

Things got worse for the hosts as Flamini brought down Messi in the vital area in the 83rd minute and the referee promptly pointed to the penalty spot. Messi got up, sent Cech the wrong way and slotted into an empty net.

Elsewhere in Turin, Italy, the game between Juventus and visiting Bayern Munich saw the German side dominate the first half, and going ahead in 43 minutes when Thomas Mueller scored, after receiving a cross from Arjen Robben. The game, however, ended 2-2, with Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro equalising for Juventus after Robben had made it 2-0.

•Photo shows mercurial Messi celebrating a goal.

Source News Express

Posted February 24, 2016


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