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Big name scorers missing in Champions League

Big name scorers missing in Champions League

Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas will all miss the return legs of the Champions League quarterfinals with injuries that could prove costly.
All three scored goals in the first leg but it looks like United and Arsenal will miss Rooney and Fabregas a lot more than Barcelona will rue the absence of Ibrahimovic _ even though the Swede scored twice in last week's 2-2 draw at Arsenal.
Ibrahimovic injured his right calf muscle while warming up for Saturday's 4-1 Spanish league victory over Athletic Bilbao. His replacement, Bojan Krkic, then scored twice.
"We're the defending champions in this competition and we need to fight with our all for this trophy," said Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, who returned to the lineup after a two-month injury layoff to set up two goals on Saturday. "It's the most important game of the season and at home so, above all, we cannot fail."
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is looking ahead to a very important week with his team traveling to face Spanish league rival Real Madrid after Tuesday's game against Arsenal.
"We arrive at the end of the season and every game is important. It's an authentic final," Guardiola said. "We should reach the Bernabeu as a semifinalist in the Champions League."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recognized his team was outplayed for long spells at home by Barcelona. But it fought back to capture a draw. Fabregas, later diagnosed with a broken leg, made it 2-2 with a late penalty.
"We have to raise above the impression Barcelona left on us in the first part of the match, to have a game plan and stick to it," Wenger said. "I believe we have to be audacious and not hide. I do not deny in the first part of the game that Barcelona were over-dominant, if you look at the chances we created, we had some good ones."
In Tuesday's other game, Italian champion and Inter Milan goes to CSKA Moscow to defend a 1-0 advantage. Inter is coming off a 3-0 Serie A victory over Bologna.
"The whole team played a nice game today," said Inter midfielder Thiago Motta, who scored two goals. "The three points were important for two reasons: for the table and to face CSKA in the Champions League on Tuesday with tranquillity."
While Barcelona and Arsenal and Inter won domestic games over the weekend, Manchester United has lost two big games in a row. It slid to a 2-1 loss at home to Chelsea on Saturday after tumbling 2-1 to Bayern Munich in last week's Champions League quarterfinals.
Saturday's loss also meant losing first place in the Premier League to Chelsea, but Ryan Giggs said the team had to hit back by beating Bayern at Old Trafford and reach the semifinals for the fourth straight season.
"I am confident that we can raise our game at home. We have done it many times before and we'll have to do it again," said Giggs, who only played the last eight minutes of the first leg in Munich. "Usually you would take an early goal, but it can work against you. We would usually try and catch the opposition on the counter attack but we didn't keep the ball anywhere near as well as we are capable of.
"We didn't play well and gave the ball away far too cheaply, but you have to give credit to Bayern who made it very difficult for us."
Bayern winger Arjen Robben, who missed the first leg against Manchester United with a calf injury, will be in the squad for Old Trafford.
"I hope he will be able to play but we have to wait," Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said.
In an all French quarterfinal, Lyon goes to Bordeaux leading 3-1. But one of its first leg scorers, Lisandro, is missing through suspension. So is Sidney Govou. Bordeaux midfielder and captain Alou Diarra is back from a ban.
Bordeaux had won seven straight Champions League games before last week's loss in Lyon and, resting several players, tumbled 2-1 to Nancy on Saturday to lose the lead in the French league.
"It's the first time (this season) that we suffer three straight losses," Diarra said. "The team is morally affected. Right now, we're not playing like defending (French) champions."


Updated : 2021-06-14 05:54 GMT+08:00