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The scoreless draw in the Manchester City and Barcelona finally ended in the second half. Lionel Messi was breaking into the box when he got tackled from behind by City defender Martín Demichelis. He slid in and tried to reach around to get the ball but didn’t and was shown a red card.
That awarded Barcelona a penalty kick from the spot though there was some debate about whether it should’ve been from outside the box and not the spot. I think the second angle of the penalty shows it was in the box.
Here is the penalty:
And another angle:
And here is Messi’s penalty kick and goal:
And another angle:
The defender admits the Gunners gave the German side too much respect when they met last season but hopes his team-mates have learned from that experience Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal “need two perfect games” in order to knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League. Arsene Wenger’s side host the reining European champions, who have lost just two games in all competitions this season, at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. Arsenal were knocked out at the round-of-16 stage last term by Bayern and Mertesacker hopes his team-mates have learned from the manner of their exit from the competition. “We have to go for two perfect games against them. We know we can beat them now, so maybe mentally we are in a better condition that last year,” Mertesacker told reporters. “We respected them too much in the first leg then, so it was too easy for them. “Maybe we have learned something from those lessons and will do better this time. “Now we have another chance – and an opportunity to beat the champions. We want to achieve something exceptional this season, so we have to beat the best. “That is not only Manchester City and Chelsea. That is Bayern Munich in the Champions League.”
Wanted to make Fabregas his first marquee signing as United boss, but the Red Devils failed following two bids and the former captain remained at the Nou Camp. Fabregas has to the front found a calculation lease of energy out cold Barca boss and it appears the 26-year-pass does not have any regrets roughly deciding to stay in Spain. “It’s always in agreement subsequent to a club gone talks totally capably approximately you and you can see they hardship you,” the Spaniard told the BBC’s Football Focus. “But I’m going through an incredible moment [at ] now. “I’m playing the whole week and I atmosphere totally important to the team. I’m totally glad right now. “This season I have felt more later myself, considering more pardon and more safe later the mannerism I taking into account to feint. It’s not easy upfront you know you have to convince many fans how enjoyable you are and how all-powerful you can be for the team. “The supervisor has trusted me and hermetically sealed me what I needed. I’m probably going through my best spell here.” Moyes was looking to sign a central midfielder option times again again in January, but he on the other hand landed playmaker for a club photograph album 37.1million. Fabregas did not expect Chelsea to let Mata add a team who are historically regarded as title rivals. “I was shocked to see Juan impinge on there because I think he has been Chelsea’s best artiste subsequent to more the last two years,” subsidiary Fabregas. “He’s produced some incredible performances as they won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup and he scored in the great of the European Championship as soon as Spain.” After eight years at , Fabregas moved pro to – where he began his career – in 2011. The Spain international yet watches the Barclays Premier League harshly a regular basis, even even if, and he has been impressed by the English players vis–vis display. England are regarded as all-powerful outsiders for the World Cup, but Fabregas sees large sum of reasons for optimism. “I have seen youth subsequently Jack Wilshere, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck play a role and they have got proficiency,” he said. “That’s the event England have been missing considering more the years – adroitness. “They have got a gigantic work of boys behind amazing finishing and they have to shout insults that.”
The winger has undergone surgery and will be absent for several weeks, meaning he will miss the last-16 clash with the Gunners
Bayern Munich have confirmed that Franck Ribery will miss the first-leg of the club’s last 16 Champions League clash with Arsenal after having surgery to his buttocks.
The France winger, 30, was absent from the Bavarians’ 2-0 win over Nurnberg on Saturday with the injury and went under the knife on Thursday in a bid to completely eradicate the problem.
A statement on Bayern’s website said: “An examination on Monday revealed that the bruise, which had pressed on a nerve, was completely removed at surgery last Thursday.
“After healing, the 30-year-old will begin exercise therapy later this week and a week later he will enter back into running training.
“This will mean he will miss the club’s next few games, including the first leg of the Champions League clash with Arsenal.”
The Champions League holders travel to the Emirates on February 19 before the return leg on March 12.
Napoli Coach Rafa Benitez has spoken of his desire to win silverware with the club ahead of their Coppa Italia semi-final second leg with Roma.
The Spaniard added that he was pleased to have the continued backing of club President Aurelio De Laurentiis despite some indifferent recent performances.
“To hear the President say those things was very positive,” Benitez told his pre-match Press conference today.
“I have a good relationship with him, the sporting director and everyone else.
“I’m happy and I want to win, that’s always my approach.
“This is a chance to do that and to get to the final would be prefect. Roma are a tough obstacle though.”
Benitez commented on what it would take for his side to get through.
“Score one more goal they do,” he joked.
“We will play a very intense game. We have already lost twice to them this season despite playing very well, but this time we’re at home.
“I would be happy winning 1-0 but I want to do it playing attacking football.
“The fans were perfect for us against Milan. We need them too if we want to go far.
“I want to win for all the fans who do so much, for the people here who are developing the club, for the players who are giving everything every week.
“Higuain is a quality player and experience, we all expect so much of him, but the others have done well too.
“I have faith in my team, I don’t think about Roma.
“They have quality players too and are doing well, but I only think about my players and giving them confidence.”
The former Inter boss also discussed his midfield options and his rotation policy.
“Jorginho has quality and great vision and we are more balanced because of him,” he said.
“At the moment we have five midfield options playing for two places and it is important to rotate them.
“We have lots of games, we need to make decisions but we have had four days of rest and everyone will be in perfect condition.”
Benitez was then asked about Napoli as a long term project.
“[Walter] Mazzarri did a great job here in his four years,” he said.
“Napoli has grown over the last 10 years, it has won things with Maradona but in more recent times it fell away.
“Now we are on a great journey. This year we had the Champions League, now we have the Coppa Italia.
“There have been a lot of changes and we are where we needed to be.
“We could have done more recently but Roma and Juve are both doing very well.”
The Argentine hit his first goals in open play in the Primera Division since late September as Barca returned to the top of the table, level on points with Madrid and Atletico It’s close at the top. Three teams sit level at the summit of La Liga, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico all on 57 points after 23 rounds of matches. Atletico had led the competition following the 22nd round of action, but Diego Simeone’s side surprisingly lost at Almeria at the weekend. Earlier on Saturday, Madrid had beaten Villarreal 4-2 and Carlo Ancelotti’s were top until Barca came from behind to win 4-1 at Sevilla on Sunday. Elsewhere, there were wins for Espanyol, Valencia, Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna. Here, Goal looks at the standout performers from the 23rd round of Primera Division games. Levante’s Keylor Navas has been in fantastic form this season and the Costa Rican shot-stopper was superb once again as he helped his side earn a point at Real Sociedad. At the back, Hector Moreno scored and was solid as Espanyol beat Granada 1-0, while Anaitz Arbilla was also on target as Rayo Vallecano thrashed Malaga 4-1. For Almeria, meanwhile, Marco Torsiglieri was brilliant as the Andalusians shut out then league leaders Atletico. Valencia’s Antonio Barragan makes up the back line following a fine display in his team’s 5-0 win over Betis. In midfield, Cesc Fabregas shone in a brief cameo for Barcelona as he netted a fine fourth goal for Tata Martino’s side. Iago Falque scored twice for Rayo against Malaga and is also included, along with Almeria’s Verza, who struck both goals in his side’s 2-0 win on Saturday. Leading from the front is Lionel Messi. The Argentine netted his first league goals in open play in La Liga since September with a superb double at Sevilla and showed he hasn’t lost his passion for the game. Meanwhile, Paco Alcacer hit two in Valencia’s 5-0 success and Humberto Osorio was on target twice as Valladolid drew 2-2 at home to Elche.
The Netherlands international feels it inevitable that the Bavarians will lose to a domestic rival before the conclusion of their 2013-14 campaign Arjen Robben says that Bayern Munich are unlikely to hold on to their unbeaten record in the Bundesliga for the entire season. The reigning German champions have so far won 18 out of 20 top-flight fixtures, drawing the remaining two, and Franck Ribery recently stated that the Bavarians aim to remain go the entire campaign without suffering a single defeat. However, Robben thinks they might struggle to keep up their current form right until the end of the 2013-14 season. “We’ll suffer defeat again at some point. With every passing victory, the risk of losing increases. It won’t be a huge travesty for us though and definitely won’t throw us off our stride,” the Dutchman told the official Bundesliga website. “Records are of no interest to us; all we want to do is win our matches. We don’t think about how many games we’ve won in a row or how long it’s been since our last defeat. “Nothing is handed to us on a silver platter and it’s up to us to continue working hard for our success.” Bayern take on Hamburg in the DFB Pokal on Wednesday before resuming their Bundesliga campaign against Freiburg at the weekend.
The Italy international felt the reigning champions were back to their usual best and was pleased with his goal
Giorgio Chiellini feels Juventus showed what they are made of in Sunday’s 3-1 Serie A win over Inter after their disappointing performance against Lazio last week.
“We wanted to get back on track following our draw against Lazio and immediately handled the game in the right manner. It was a true Juve performance,” Chiellini told reporters.
The Italy international was pleased with his goal as he made it 2-0 shortly after the break, yet stressed that Juventus should not have allowed Inter back in the game late in the second half.
“My goal gave us a bit of breathing space and it’s always pleasing to score against Inter in such an important match.
“Inter’s goal needs to serve as a lesson. It’s not the first time we’ve run the risk of allowing opponents a way back into games we’ve already all but won and that can’t happen again in the future.”
Juventus hold a nine-point lead over Roma in Serie A, but the Giallorossi have a game in hand.