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Champions League: City beats Barca 3-1 as Arsenal fight back to win 3-2

By Newsd
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On a night that had otherwise pretty straight forward results, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City pulled off an upset by beating Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium. In Bulgaria, Arsenal sealed its place in the knockout stage of the Champions League after coming back from two goals down to grab a late 3-2 victory at Ludogorets on Tuesday.

City had not beaten Barca in five previous attempts in Europe and Guardiola said after the Group C game on Tuesday, “It is a good step to say that once in our lives we played against the best team in the world and we beat them.”

“We competed with Barcelona, but for now we did it in a different way. We played more long balls because we are still not ready to keep the ball and play like they do.”

“They have been playing that way for 25 years. For us, it is three or four months that we have been trying to play in a different style,” the former midfielder said.

Lionel Messi ensured Barca were 1-0 up, in the first 20 minutes. It looked set for a repeat of the last time these two teams met in the first leg of this year’s Champions League, when Luis Enrique’s men beat the blue side of Manchester 4-0.

The City midfielders though had a different plan in mind. City staged a thrilling comeback, courtesy of two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and one from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick, which leaves City second in the group behind Barca, needing one more win from their two remaining games to progress to the last 16.

On the other side, Arsene Wenger’s team fired six past Ludogorets without reply in London just two weeks ago and yet found themselves two goals down within a quarter of an hour on a bitterly cold night in the Bulgarian capital.

Without his first-choice full backs, Wenger watched the sort of defensive chaos descend which he must have dared to think had been eradicated by some solid summer signings.

Arsenal found some stability and equalized with goals from Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud before the interval. The second half remained closely contested but Mesut Ozil scored the winner with some incredible dribbling just two minutes from time at the Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski.

The other matches included Besiktas and Napoli playing out a 1-1 draw, Paris SG beat FC Basel 2-1, Benfica midfielder Eduardo Salvio scored the only goal of the match against Dynamo Kyiv and Atletico scored 2 against FC Rostov’s 1.

German champs Bayern Munich also won against PSV in a score line similar to Atletico – Rostov and 10-men Borussia Mönchengladbach were held 1-1 by Celtic.