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Without playing particularly well, (by their own standards anyway), Barcelona were able to win this game as though they had played particularly well.

Arsenal had chances and should have certainly scored at least one goal. They didn’t and, against a side as good as Barcelona, that will always be a problem. As Aaron Ramsey pointed out the Spanish side average a goal per game so somebody WAS going to score for them.

When the goals came they came from Lionel Messi. No surprise there you may think but, before tonight, he had NEVER scored against Petr Cech.

His first was laid on a plate for him by Neymar, who unselfishly squared the ball back for him to take a touch, which beat Cech all ends up, then place the ball in the net.

His second came from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Mathieu Flamini, who was making his first tackle having just come on as a substitute for Coquelin.

Against Bayern Munich in the group stage Arsenal fell apart in the second game in Germany having won the first game at the Emirates with a fine display.

Now they have to hold it together in the second leg and, hopefully, score the first goal to apply some pressure on Barcelona. This ploy may work but the last time they achieved it, Lionel Messi went on to score four against them!

So, in reality, it seems that Arsenal will be exiting the Champion’s League at the first knockout stage as they have managed to do in the previous five years. It would appear that their name is never on this trophy.

They can cite being unlucky with the draw but, unfortunately, this was their own fault for losing their first three games and finishing second, thereby putting themselves in the position where this tie was a possibility.

Interestingly, had they topped the group they would have faced Juventus, who are also doing very well in Serie A, so that would not have been a foregone conclusion either. To be honest though, I would have given them more chance of progressing against Juventus than Barcelona.

After the match Arsene Wenger was frustrated because Arsenal had managed to hold Barcelona for most of the game but they switched off for seconds and this was what cost them the result.

Arsenal return to Premier League business against Manchester United on Sunday. United are fantastic, according to their manager Louis van Gaal, after they beat a team fighting against relegation sixty places below them. He is easily pleased!

Arsenal should take at least a point from Old Trafford, irrespective of how fantastic United are because, quite frankly, their manager is anything but fantastic and nobody knows which United will turn up.

Providing they can stay in the top four Arsenal are on course to continue their Champion’s League qualification heroics for another season. It’s just a pity that, after all this time, they haven’t really worked out how to play in the competition.

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