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With Puyol and Mascherano definitely out of Wednesday’s quarter final second leg game against PSG and with Messi, Pedro and Adriano all doubtful, Barça are in many ways on familiar territory – having overcome similar injury crises on a number of occasions in recent years – most notably the 2008/09 semi-final at Stamford Bridge, when Henry, Milito, Márquez, and Puyol were all ruled out.
2008/09: Iniesta’s wonder goal and four men missing
After the goalless draw in the first leg at the Camp Nou, Barça travelled to London to fight for a place in the Champions League Final without four key players - Henry, Milito and Márquez were all injured and Puyol was suspended. To add to their troubles, Éric Abidal was shown a red card with more than 20 minutes to go, as Chelsea sniffed the chance of a win. As all Barça fans surely remember, it was Iniesta though, who was the hero at the death, with his wonderful winner. In the final in Rome, Barça was again without Milito and Marquez, whilst Abidal and Alves were both suspended.
2009/10: Piqué and Puyol miss out against Arsenal
In the 2009/10 season quarter finals, Barça went into the second leg against The Gunners after a 2-2 draw in London, with both their first choice central defenders missing. Pique and Puyol were both suspended and Ibrahimovic was also out injured. As so often, Messi showed up for the big occasion with all four goals, as Barça brushed aside Arsene Wenger's side 4-1. In the semi-finals that year, the team came agonisingly close to the Madrid final, going down to Inter Milan in a second leg game at the Camp Nou for which Puyol was suspended and Abidal and Iniesta injured.
2010/11: Once again Piqué and Puyol out against Arsenal
Just a year after their meeting in the quarter finals, Barça and Arsenal were again drawn to play, but this time in the Last 16 and once again Puyol – injured- and Piqué – suspended- both missed out. Coming back from their 2-1 defeat in England, Messi was again decisive, bagging two in the 3-1 win at the Camp Nou, with Xavi getting the other at the start of a knock out stage that saw them go all the way to victory at Wembley.
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