The first leg matches of two more UEFA Champions League 2011 Round of 16 matches took place on the evening of Wednesday 16th February 2011, with an entertaining pair of fixtures in England and Italy.
Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
Arsenal had never beaten Barcelona prior to this match and, after an opening 45 minutes in which David Villa scored on 26 minutes, and Lionel Messi had a goal disallowed as well as missing by a whisker from a one-on-one opportunity, for Barcelona, they looked unlike changing that statistic. However, a goal from Robin van Persie from the narrowest of angles on 78 minutes was followed by a fine finish to a good bit of attacking passing from the Gunners by Arshavin on 83 minutes. Szczesny in the Arsenal goal had to be smart to save a couple of solid Barca chances in either half to aid Arsenal’s remarkable come-back.
A goal from Arsenal at Camp Nou would mean Barcelona must score three at home to progress. Arsenal carry a slender 2-1 lead to the historic stadium: everything is still to play for in leg two.
Roma 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar Donetsk proved their Champions League Group victory was no flash in the pan by overturning their illustrious hosts’ early lead and winning 3-2 – their first ever victory on Italian soil in a competitive European match.
Roma opened the scoring on 28 minutes through Perrotta but Shakhtar were quickly level, scoring just one minute later courtesy of Jadson. Seven minutes later, the visitors were celebrating taking the lead through a 36th minute Douglas Costa goal, a lead which was soon doubled by a Luiz Adriano goal on 41 minutes, giving Shakhtar a 3-1 half-time lead.
Menez got a goal back for the hosts, but Donetsk, on this evidence, will be hard to overturn at home with three away goals: Roma must score at least twice to progress in the second leg. Fans await an entertaining and open rematch.
The second leg of both fixtures – Barcelona v Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma shall take place on Tuesday 8th March 2011.
UEFA Champions League 2011 – Round of 16 1st Leg Results, Wednesday 16th February 2011
- Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
- Roma 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk