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Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic confident of progress despite Arsenal's Champions League comeback

01 Apr 2010 12:44:59

Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic confident of progress despite Arsenal's Champions League comeback

Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels his side's 2-2 Champions League draw with Arsenal is still a good result despite the reigning European champions failing to hold on to a two-goal lead in a thrilling encounter at Emirates Stadium.  Barca looked set to make next week's quarter-final second leg at the Nou Camp a mere formality as they created chance after chance against shellshocked Arsenal before a brace from Ibrahimovic at the start of the second half deservedly put Pep Guardiola's side in the ascendancy.   However, the Catalan outfit would end up having to settle for a draw after Arsenal hit back through goals from Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas to leave the tie in the balance.   In charge: Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates one of his two strikes that gave Barcelona the edge in their Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal That was a blow for a Barca side who had enough opportunities to kill Arsenal off in the opening half-hour alone, but looking at the bigger picture, Ibrahimovic believes they cannot be too upset with the final scoreline.   'They scored two goals late on, even so it's a good result,' said the in-form Swede, who took his tally to five in Barca's last four games. 'I'm happy for the two goals, but more for the team. A 2-2 draw is a good result and we still have the return leg at home. 'We gave everything to win, but they've managed to score. This is the Champions League and you must play from start to finish, until the referee blows the whistle. We have to be positive ahead of the second game.' Midfielder Xavi added: 'We had a great game and we feel we were much superior to Arsenal. We had the chance to seal the tie.   Double trouble: Ibrahimovic scores his second goal at the Emirates 'In the return leg we have to play with the same intensity. It was maybe our best game of the season and it's a shame not to have won it.' Barca full-back Dani Alves admits he was left with mixed feelings following the draw, which also saw first-choice centre-backs Carles Puyol (red) and Gerard Pique (yellow) picking up cards that will see them banned for the second leg.   'We are going away with a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. We deserved to win. We had a great game against a great opponent,' said the Brazil international on his club's website.   'We played very well in the first half, in the second we didn't have so many chances to score. Our opponents came out strong in the second half, they pressurised us a lot, but the team were up to it.   Not over yet: Theo Walcott celebrates his game-changing goal 'Although they were at home, we played well and we deserved more than we got. But despite everything, the result is good.' Goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who continued his fine form this season with another accomplished performance, admits it is a blow to lose Puyol and Pique but is confident they have the strength in depth to cope.   'The absences of Puyol and Pique are important, but the players in the squad have a lot of quality and they will be able to cover for them.'  Arsenal sweat on Cesc Fabregas injury verdict as Andrey Arshavin is ruled out of key clashesLet's get physical! Vermaelen issues rallying call ahead of Barcelona returnSpanish press: Barcelona dazzled but Walcott changed the game for ArsenalHenry thanks Arsenal fans for warm welcome at the Emirates Stadium


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