Video: Roma Thumped And Arsenal Dumped

The hurt may be greater than it was in the 4-1 trouncing in Camp Nou last season, because this was a tie that might have taken a different course. Arsene Wenger's side, with the score at 1-1, held a 3-2 aggregate lead when Robin van Persie was sent off in the 56th minute for a second booking.

Arsenal, a man down, still sought a late goal that would then have redeemed them. They were on the verge of it when Jack Wilshere's excellent low ball from the right picked out the substitute Nicklas Bendtner but the Dane's poor touch allowed Javier Mascherano to intervene.

For all their gusto, Barcelona were, by their own measure, judicious. Pep Guardiola, left with more regard for Wenger's squad after the 2-1 defeat in London, had rested some of his men in the weekend victory over Real Zaragoza. Energy was particularly significant against Arsenal, who had decided to hold a high line at the Camp Nou rather than back off and leave the opposition with simple possession.

This campaign has hurt Arsenal on other occasion as well and Wenger will have not have forgotten defeats in the group phase that made this daunting occasion possible. Even so, the rise of the team is not to be scorned. There are still outlandish days, as when a 4-0 lead after 26 minutes was relinquished in the draw at Newcastle United. The side persevere and ought to have faith in their Premier League prospects.



Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time when they beat Roma 3-0 to complete a crushing 6-2 aggregate win.

Roma had gone into the match in buoyant mood after a run of improved results under their new manager, Vincenzo Montella, but the game was virtually over for them when they were reduced to 10 men late in the second half with Philippe Mexes sent off for a second yellow card. The Italians were already ruing a missed chance after the striker Marco Borriello fluffed a 28th-minute penalty.

The win made Shakhtar the first Ukrainian side to reach the last eight of the Champions League since Dynamo Kyiv in 1999, when they lost to Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

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