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A glimmer of hope

Arsenal somehow managed to scrape a miraculous draw from their dramatic Champions League quarter final with European Champions Barcelona last night, finishing the game 2-2 despite being completely outplayed for large portions of the match. However, Cesc Fabregas’ last ditch penalty (and Puyol’s sending off) now means that the Gunners go to Camp Nou with a slither of a chance of going through to the semi-finals.

However, if Barca play like they did for the first hour then it will be an uphill task, as the Catalan giants dominated possession to an almost embarrassing degree, creating chance after chance. Arsenal were in luck that for the first 45 minutes nearly every chance fell to a misfiring Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and that their goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was on stunning form.

After the break was a different story though, with the Swede giving Barca the lead within 23 seconds of the restart, lobbing Almunia from a tight angle 20 yards out. He doubled the visitor’s lead 20 minutes later from much the same angle, this time though crashing the ball into the top corner and seemingly ending the tie. However Arsenal fought back, and after a dubious penalty decision and harsh sending off for Puyol they might, just might go through.

‘I have to say we played against a great team who were dominant in the early part of the game and that's where we were lucky because they had a lot of early chances,’ admitted Wenger. ‘The way we gave the ball away today is beyond understanding. But the regret I have is, and I don't deny we played against a great side, that we conceded two cheap goals.’

Also last night, Inter beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 at the San Siro thanks to a beautiful second half strike from their Argentine centre-forward Diego Milito, who is rapidly becoming one of the most feared strikers in Europe. However José Mourinho’s men could have easily put the tie to bed, missing a hatload of chances to make the return leg in Moscow safer.

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