Well, he is the best player in the world. Every opponent of Barcelona faces a stiff challenge to stop Lionel Messi. The Gunners failed miserably at home on Tuesday.
Messi is flamboyant, Messi has class, and Messi is quixotic. The Gunners kept the Catalans at bay till midway through the second half. That’s something positive Arsene Wenger and his men can take from the game; but Messi made his presence felt in the last 20 minutes to make all the difference.
The two away goals the Argentine had netted almost knocked out the North Londoners from the championship. Arsenal now face a daunting task of beating the reigning champions at Nou Camp by at least 2-0 margin to stay afloat in the championship.
Arsene Wenger’s men almost matched Barca in terms of possession, 49% in comparison to Spanish giants’ 51 %, but failed to make the most of it.
Wenger accused his men for being “naive” in the later stages of the game, according to The Telegraph. That’s when Messi took over. The Argentine skipper took the advantage of a defensive error of Per Mertesacker to net the first goal.
“Barcelona is a great team,” said Wenger about his team’s loss. “We put a lot of energy in the game and technically we were very average.
“The regret I had was once we looked like we dominate the game, we give the goal away. Similar to Monaco last season, naive, and that is frustrating. When we looked like we could win the game, we just gave it away.”
Arsenal were knocked out in the round of 16 for the past five seasons in the competition. They fought valiantly at home but submitted to Barca’s brilliance, reports Yahoo. Can they break the round of 16 jinx?
Well, Wenger himself thinks chances are five percent.