Arsenal peg back Barcelona in thriller at the Emirates; Inter Milan edge out CSKA 1-0

Arsenal 2 – Barcelona 2 (Champions League quarter-final first leg, March 31, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Barcelona were at their dominant best in the first half (highlights here) at Arsenal as Arsene Wenger’s side chased shadows for much of the opening period. Despite a host of chances it wasn’t until within 30 seconds of the second half that the Catalan side took the lead when Zlatan Ibrahimovic delicately lobbed Manuel Almunia. Just before the hour mark Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke clear of the Arsenal backline again and fired past Almunia for Barca’s second. Substitute Theo Walcott pulled one back for the Gunners when he used his express pace to get to a Bendtner through ball. Thierry Henry received a standing ovation when he came on as a substitution for Zlatan. What looked like an unlikely comeback was completed when Cesc Fabregas won and then converted a penalty with Carles Puyol seeing red for the foul on the Arsenal captain.

Arsene Wenger’s post match interview can be seen here, Theo Walcott’s here.

Inter Milan 1 – CSKA Moscow 0 (Champions League quarter-final first leg, March 31, 2010) Diego Milito fired Inter Milan into the lead in the 65th minute of their home tie against CSKA Moscow.

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Feyenoord 2 – Vitesse 1 (Eredivisie, March 31, 2010) Feyenoord went ahead early on as Ron Vlaar put them ahead on 13 minutes. Lowly Vitesse Arnhem managed to level though, as Wiljan Pluim scored on the stroke of halftime. The winner came ten minutes into the second period when veteran Roy Makaay struck.

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Djurgarden 0 – Brommapojkarna 0 (Allsvenskan, March 31, 2010)

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Beroe 1 – CSKA Sofia 0 (Bulgarian National Cup, March 31, 2010) Iskren Pisarov swept home the only goal of the game on 75 minutes.

Chernomorets Pomorie 2 – 0 Minior Pernik (Bulgarian National Cup, March 31, 2010)

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Melbourne Victory 1 – Kawasaki Frontale 0 (AFC Champions League, March 31, 2010) The match turned on a controversial 60th minute decision by Iranian referee Saeid Mozaffari Zadeh to award a dubious penalty to Melbourne after striker Robbie Kruse appeared to take a tumble outside the box, captain Kevin Muscat taking full advantage when he stepped up and put away the penalty. Mitch Langerak, the Melbourne keeper, had a stunning match, making some incredible saves to ensure the Aussies held out against a slick Kawasaki side.

Beijing Guoan 0 – Seongnam Ilhwa 1 (AFC Champions League, March 31, 2010) The critical moment of the match arrived in the 73rd minute when home defender Zhang saw red for cutting out a through-ball with a handball on the slide, and from the resultant free-kick Mauricio Molina saw his effort go straight through the brittle wall and into the net.

Al-Jazira 0 – Al Ahly 2 (AFC Champions League, March 31, 2010) Brazilian striker Victor Simoes headed twice to give Al-Ahli a 2-0 victory over 10-man Al-Jazira.

Al Gharafa 1 – Esteghlal 1 (AFC Champions League, March 31, 2010) Esteghlal’s Seyed Mehdi levelled after Al Gharafa were given the lead by Younus Mahmood in injury time of the first half.

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Cruzeiro 3 – Velez Sarsfield 0 (Copa Libertadores, March 31, 2010) Cruzeiro took the lead in the 32nd minute, when Ribeiro evaded three defenders to finish well. Kleber doubled the lead three minutes after the restart when he met Ribeiro’s cross from the right and rounded off a convincing win in the 55th minute.

Morelia 1 – Banfield 1 (Copa Libertadores, March 31, 2010) A 77th minute header by Jared Borgetti put Morelia ahead, but Maximiliano Laso scored after being set up by Walter Erviti in injury time. Both teams ended the game with 10 men, Banfield midfielder Roberto Battion seeing red in the 66th minute and Morelia’s Jorge Kalu Gastelum picking up a second yellow card eight minute later.

Internacional 2 – Cerro 0 (Copa Libertadores, March 31, 2010) Walter Ibanez’s own goal 13 minutes after the restart put Internacional in front and Alecsandro added a second in the 71st minute.

Monterrey 0 – Sao Paulo 0 (Copa Libertadores, March 31, 2010) Monterrey played out a goalless draw with Brazilian giants Sao Paulo.

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Pumas 1 – Cruz Azul 0 (CONCACAF Champions League, March 31, 2010) Paulo Barrera scored in the 23rd minute to give Pumas its first home win over Cruz Azul after eight straight losses.