A stunning strike from Mohamed Elneny just after the break wiped out Neymar’s early goal and raised hopes of a remarkable comeback from the first-leg deficit.
But in the end, goals from the other two members of Barcelona’s stellar strikeforce left Wenger, below, with nothing but admiration for his opponents.
“I felt at 1-1 they were wobbling and a bit insecure,” he said.
“But we could not take the chance to score the second goal. When they scored at 2-1 we lost a bit of edge and belief.”
In the end, the 5-1 aggregate defeat is the biggest for the club since Arsenal lost 8-4 to Spartak Moscow in 1982 and the sixth time in a row Arsenal have been shown the exit in the first knockout round of the competition, but Wenger railed against that last statistic.