FC Barcelona vs Arsenal FC : Picture gallery and best moments
Lionel Messi essentially condemned Arsenal to a sixth successive exit at the last-16 phase of the Champions League with two handsome goals at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal battled rather gallantly to give themselves an opportunity going into the second leg of the Barcelona vs Arsenal clash at the Nou Camp in just three weeks’ time – but suffered at the ruthless hands of Barcelona’s superstar trio Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud had reached close to giving Arsenal the expected lead, Messi scored his first goal finally against keeper Petr Cech at his seventh attempt when he crowned a fabulous counter-attack involving Suarez and Neymar to bring home a finish after 71 minutes mark of the Barcelona vs Arsenal encounter.
And even further damage was inflicted just seven minutes from time when Arsenal substitute Mathieu Flamini floored Messi with an utterly mistimed challenge and he got up to trick Cech moving at the wrong way from the spot. It was now his eighth goal of the Barcelona vs Arsenal clash in the Champions League.
Strange as it will perhaps seem, this was not Messi, Neymar and Suarez at their usual best but they still cast an immense shadow over Arsenal and created massacre.
Suarez had two missed chances at the end of the first half, Cech produced two magnificent saves from Neymar and Messi brilliantly contributed to the two decisive goals. This on a typical night when even the three themselves will confess that they have played much better.
All three carry a subtle touch of genius while offering rather contrasting qualities. Neymar’s change of pace was surprising, Suarez is like a hungry shark as he made his way around defences spreading chaos while Messi remains rather peerless.