Barcelona cruise, Bayern rally at the death
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Barcelona's big three of Lionel Messi, Luis Su·rez and Neymar all scored to beat Arsenal 3-1 yesterday, sending the defending champions into the Champions League quarter-finals for a ninth consecutive season with a 5-1 victory on aggregate.
Leading the tie after Messi scored both goals in a 2-0 first-leg win, Su·rez passed for Neymar to open the scoring in the 18th minute at Camp Nou.
Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny struck in the 51st and the English side threatened to add another, before Su·rez answered with an acrobatic goal in the 65th.
Messi chipped in Barcelona's third with two minutes to play, following a pair of timely stops by goalkeeper Marc-AndrÈ ter Stegen to protect the lead.
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, whose side was eliminated from the round of 16 for a sixth straight year, said Barcelona's strike trio took the game to the level of "art".
"We played against the team with the best strikers I have seen," Wenger said. "The three together are exceptional. Messi is incredible. They are two or three players who transform normal life into art."
BAYERN MUNICH ADVANCE
Also yesterday, Bayern Munich fought back to beat Juventus 4-2 in extra time to advance.
Thomas Mueller equalised in the first minute of injury time, and Bayern Munich scored two more goals in extra time.
Thiago Alcantara scored in the 108th minute to put Bayern ahead for good in the second-leg match of the last 16 and Kingsley Coman, on loan from Juventus, added the hosts' fourth goal just two minutes later to seal a 6-4 victory on aggregate.
Bayern trailed 2-0 at half-time after goals from Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado put Juventus firmly in charge. The home side looked to be on the way out until Robert Lewandowski scored in the 73rd and Mueller's late header changed everything.
"To score four goals against an Italian side, wow, compliments to my team," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said.