Barca’s terrific trio down Arsenal to romp into UEFA Champions League Q-finals; Bayern Munich kill off Juventus in extra time

By Daily Sports on March 17, 2016

Views: 2,295

Barcelona’s dynamic attacking trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were too strong for Arsenal as all three scored in a 3-1 victory in Barcelona on Wednesday that sent the Spanish side into the Champions League quarterfinals 5-1 on aggregate.

Brazil’s Neymar opened the scoring in the first half as the home side dominated the early play, but Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny curled in an excellent finish to spark life into the visitors after the break.

Suarez, however, launched himself into the air to meet a Dani Alves cross and send a superb volley into the top corner to suppress a second-half revival by the English side, who have now been knocked out of the tournament in the last 16 for six successive seasons.

The mercurial Messi rounded off the scoring with a trademark chipped finish two minutes from time as the hosts extended their record-breaking unbeaten run to 38 matches in all competitions.

The defeat will increase the pressure on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side are 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester City in the Premier League and exited the FA Cup last weekend.

“We had our chances, but we couldn’t take them,” Wenger said. “But we have to say well done to Barcelona. They have two or three players who transfer normal life into art.”

Barcelona served notice of their intent when Arsenal keeper David Ospina was forced into a superb save to deny Messi, but the reprieve was short-lived as the hosts took the lead through Neymar’s side-footed finish after 18 minutes.

Arsenal had lost possession playing out from the back, before Suarez angled a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Neymar to slide the ball past Ospina.

Former Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez fluffed the visitors’ best chance when he headed wide, but Arsenal continued to press and levelled six minutes into the second half when Elneny bent a sweet finish into the top corner from 20 metres.

Just when it looked like Arsenal might spring a surprise, however, Suarez’s acrobatics finished the tie before Messi burst into the box and lifted the ball calmly into the net to cap another superb individual display.

In the other match of the night, Bayern Munich launched a stunning four-goal fightback to beat Juventus to reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the fifth season in a row.

Substitutes Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman scored extra-time goals as Bayern roared back to beat Juve 4-2 in their last-16, second-leg tie and seal a 6-4 aggregate victory.

A stunned Bayern found themselves 2-0 down after 28 minutes at the Allianz Arena as Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado struck for the Italians before the Bavarian side floored the Italians with four unanswered goals.

But the hosts left it late as Robert Lewandowski netted on 73 minutes before Thomas Mueller’s dramatic equaliser in the 91st minute forced extra time.

Just as Juventus had fought back in Turin to draw the first leg 2-2, so Bayern came back in Munich.

Thiago put Bayern ahead for the first time on 108 minutes before fellow replacement Coman – on loan from Juventus – curled in a superb strike on 110 minutes to cap the fairytale finish. (Reuters/AFP)

•Photo shows Suarez in celebration mode.

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 17, 2016

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