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Elneny goal not enough to overcome Barcelona in CL

Posted on March 17, 2016
Elneny goal scores

Photo: David Price, Arsenal Football Club photographer

Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny scored in Arsenal‘s 3-1 defeat to in the second leg of the Round of 16 as Arsenal is eliminated with an aggregate score of 5-1.

Elneny’s Champions League debut with Arsenal was eventful as he became the third Egyptian to score in the Champions League, the third Arsenal player and the fifth African to score in the Camp Nou.

The first half’s quick tempo produced a fantastic 45 minutes with both sides having several attempts, with the earliest being in the ninth minute, but Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil couldn’t control his shot that went wide. Six minutes later, Elneny attempted a shot, but it also went wide.

One minute later, Ospina denied Messi the opener after a wonderful pass from Neymar. However, in the 19th minute, Neymar opened the scoring for the hosts after outrunning the Arsenal defense and receiving a pass from Suarez. The Brazilian striker controlled the ball in the box before placing it into the left of the keeper.

Chances on both ends of the field continued, but none were successful. In the 39th minute, Alexis Sanchez passed the ball to Elneny inside the opposition’s box, but the latter’s shot was blocked by teammate Mathieu Flamini. Just before half time, Francis Coquelin replaced an injured Flamini.

The second half was similar to the first half, but saw more goals. In the 51st minute, Sanchez played the ball from the right flank to Elneny, whose one-touch shot found the top right corner, giving the Gunners some hope.

Arsenal almost took the lead in the 58th minute through Danny Welbeck, but Javier Mascherano made a crucial slide tackle inside the box to stop the chance. In the 64th minute, Luis Suarez ended Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying as he latched onto Dani Alves’ cross with an acrobatic volley to make the score 2-1. Minutes later, Welbeck almost scored the second equalizer of the night, but his shot hit the bar and went over.

In the 73rd minute, Arsene Wenger made a double change that saw Walcott and Giroud come on for Welbeck and Nigeria’s Iwobi. In the 80th minute, Barcelona’s keeper made a double save to deny Sanchez from a free-kick and Giroud from the rebound. In the 88th minute, Messi finally beat Ospina was a magnificent chip to make the aggregate score 5-1.

A bittersweet night for Elneny as he was the player who covered most ground, took his tally to three goals in European competitions from six games, but was eliminated from the Champions League.

This is Arsenal’s second elimination from a tournament within one week after their loss to Watford in the FA Cup last weekend.


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