Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal

17 Mar

Arsenal exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage once more, but not without a decent fight against Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

Match Reports: Barcelona 3-1 ArsenalMatch Reports: Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal

The Gunners will be cursing their lack of composure in front of goal at some key stages, as they really could have made the European champions sweat.

As it was, Neymar scored before half time to put Barcelona three clear on aggregate and further goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi late on consigned Arsene Wenger’s side to an all-too familiar fate.

Mohamed Elneny scored a sublime goal shortly after half time to give Arsenal hope, but they could not avoid last-16 failure for the sixth season in a row.

Mesut Ozil had Arsenal’s first half chance of the night, the German running at the heart of the Barcelona defence before shooting left-footed from 20-yards but his effort sliced wide of the target.

At the other end, sublime control from Messi saw him one on one with David Ospina, but the Arsenal shot-stopper was equal to the task. That came on 17 minutes and within a minute Neymar ran on to a pass from Suarez to shoot low into the Arsenal net.

Neymar tested Ospina again before the half hour, while Alex Iwobi had penalty appeals waved away for Arsenal.

The Gunners passed up a glaring chance to score before the break, Sanchez and then Elneny dithering inside the box when the chance to shoot was presented.

Elneny more than made up for his error on 51 minutes, running onto a pass from Sanchez and bending a terrific shot past Marc Andre ter Stegen into the top corner. That left Arsenal needing just two goals to progress and Danny Welbeck had the best chance to put them in front on the night.

He capitalised on some indecision at the back to scarper away from Mascherano, but the Barca defender recovered to block his shot from 18-yards.

On 65 minutes, Suarez made the tie safe for the hosts. Dani Alves crossed from the right and the Uruguayan angled a superb volley into the top corner of the Arsenal net.

Welbeck crashed a shot off the top of the crossbar shortly after while Sanchez saw his free kick palmed away by ter Stegen, as Arsenal rallied bravely.

With the clock ticking down though, Messi found space in the box and delightfully lofted the ball over Ospina from close range to seal another success for Barcelona and their inspirational front trio.


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