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REPORT: UEFA Champions League Last-16 (Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016)

By Prince Dulzy

In the first leg of the Champions League last-16, the Gunners were humiliated by Barcelona at the Emirates stadium.

Arsenal proved stubborn for the world champions, as both teams were unable to score in the first half of the game.

The home team were the better side in the first 45 minutes, however very wasteful as they were unable to score from any of those chances created.

Aaron Ramsey had an early shot blocked by Javier Mascherano, the Arsenal midfielder collecting a return pass from Mesut Ozil following a wonderful backheel.

Full-back Hector Bellerin found himself in the opposition box in the 22nd minute when his deflected attempt fell invitingly for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the England international could not beat goalkeeper Ter Stegen.

The Catalans gradually found their footing and methodically tightened their grip on possession, which led to Lionel Messi’s late double to secure a seemingly decisive first-leg advantage for Barcelona as the defending champions beat Arsenal 2-0 in an absorbing Champions League last-16 clash.

Messi beat former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech for the first time in seven matches after 71 minutes.

Suarez then struck the post before Messi won and converted an 83rd-minute penalty to leave Arsenal with the steepest of uphill tasks in the Camp Nou return.

Elsewhere, a comeback from Juventus saw them recover from a 2-0 deficit to secure a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in a see-saw first leg of their last-16 tie.

Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro both scored their maiden Champions League goals for Juventus to cancel Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben’s strike.

The visitors looked to be coasting to a fourth straight win over their Italian opponents when they went two goals up, yet Juventus produced a dramatic recovery in the final half-hour, starting with Dybala halving the deficit with a cool finish following a defensive mistake by the German side.

The second leg takes place in Munich on March 16.

Tuesday 23/02/2016

Full-time scores:

Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona

Juventus 2-2 Bayern Munich

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