Messi goals & Arsenal upset highlight UCL Wednesday

Posted by Paul Carr, ESPN Stats & Information

Two more teams advanced to the UEFA Champions League knockout round on Wednesday, meaning a quarter of the 16-team field has been decided. Here are five notes on the day's action, including Arsenal's surprise win in Germany...

• Barcelona defeated AC Milan 3-1 to reach the knockout round for the 10th straight season, tying Arsenal for the second-longest active streak behind Real Madrid’s run of 16 seasons entering this campaign. Only Real Madrid (17) and Bayern Munich (16) have reached more UCL knockout stages than Barcelona (15).

• Lionel Messi scored twice to reach 65 Champions League goals, six shy of Raul’s competition record. Messi has eight UCL goals against AC Milan, the most by any player against a single team in Champions League history. Four of those goals, including one Wednesday, have been penalties; he has a total of three UCL penalties against all other teams.

• Atlético Madrid joined Barcelona in the knockout round on Wednesday with a 4-0 home win against Austria Vienna, reaching its third knockout round and advancing for the first time in five years. Atlético and Bayern Munich are the only teams to win all four Champions League games this season, and Atlético has won four straight UCL games for the first time in club history.

• Arsenal scored on its first shot of the game, a 62nd-minute strike from Aaron Ramsey, to win 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal remains unbeaten in 15 straight road games in all competitions, and the Gunners handed Dortmund its first home defeat against an English club.

• With the road win, Arsenal improved its Soccer Power Index odds to advance from 55.7 percent to 90.6 percent. Napoli held serve with a home win over Marseille and bumped its SPI odds to 70.4 percent. Dortmund dropped three points behind both teams and saw its SPI odds more than halved to 39.0 percent. Dortmund does still control its own destiny, as a win at Marseille and a home win over Napoli by the right margin would guarantee last year's runner-up a knockout-round berth.


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