FC Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal – Recap and Video Highlights


“Barcelona hosted the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals against Arsenal with the score 2-2. The winner would advance to the semifinals to face Inter Milan. Arsenal came into the match without several key players (Gallas, Arshavin, and Fabregas) while Barcelona were without two defenders (Puyol and Pique). Arsenal would not be the favorites and have a tough task to get a win at the Camp Nou.” (The 90th Minute)

Barcelona 4 Arsenal 1; agg 6-3: match report
“They don’t need to hold an election to find the right man for No 10 here. Lionel Messi, who wears the Barcelona No 10 shirt with such distinction, scored four goals in a performance of such majesty that comparisons with the great Diego Maradona grow in substance with each stylish showing.” (Telegraph – Henry Winter)

Match Of The Midweek: Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal
“How, then, do Arsenal solve a problem like Lionel Messi? If he isn’t unquestionably the best player in the world at the moment then he is in the top two or three, and if this evening’s Champions League quarter-final proves anything, it proves that one player, in irresistable form, can win a match. Lionel Messi has been in sensational form all season but this evening, with an individual performance so sublime that it feels at times as if he is the only player on the pitch, there is simply no stopping him. Arsenal supporters may wonder aloud what difference the injured Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas and Robin Van Persie might have made to their team, but it is difficult to imagine that anything barring a full, career-threatening assort upon Messi would have made any difference to what happens this evening.” (twohundredpercent)

Messi – the devastating decoy
“Reading Phil McNulty’s blog after the Arsenal-Barcelona game, I was struck by the number of people who went out of their way to criticise the performance of Lionel Messi. It is indicative of the enormous pressure the young Argentine will be under in the World Cup – the same pressure that broke his friend and former Barca team-mate Ronaldinho four years ago. People are expecting circus tricks and something special in every game. It is the dilemma of the big name star in today’s football.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Messi Lifts Barcelona With 4 Goals
“Lionel Messi pretty much put Barcelona in the European Champions League semifinals by himself. The reigning world player of the year scored four goals, getting a hat trick in a 22-minute span of the first half, to lift the defending champions over Arsenal 4-1 Tuesday night and advance Barcelona to the semifinals for the third straight year. ‘A player like this only comes along every 25-30 years,’ Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez said.” (NYT)

Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal: Messi produces a stunning performance, but Arsenal gave him the room to do so
“If there was any remaining doubt that Lionel Messi is the greatest football player of his generation, they were erased tonight, as Barcelona got the better of Arsenal in the much-hyped battle of the teams playing football ‘the right way’. Arsenal didn’t lose this match tactically, but they didn’t help themselves.” (Zonal Marking)

Barcelona – Arsenal: A Champion League Live Blog
“We all wish no one had to win. Of course we do. In a just world, these two teams would combine to form a pure white dove made of energy, which would fly across the land, fields greening in its wake. But they can’t (probably, depending on Xavi’s passing). Someone has to win this, and it won’t be Cesc Fabregas’s femur. Savagery is afoot, and if you’re using the word “dilly-dallying,” you’re dilly-dallying already.” (Run of Play)

Barcelona’s celestial No 10 has Nou Camp in raptures
“It is getting increasingly difficult not to resort to hyperbole when describing the feats of Lionel Andrés Messi. Judgement should be withheld until the World Cup, when the 22-year-old will carry the hopes of an Argentina team handicapped by having Diego Maradona as coach. If Messi can still perform then as he does for Barcelona he truly will rank alongside Pele, Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff and Maradona himself.” (Independent)

Masterclass from Lionel Messi ends Arsenal’s European dream
“Arsenal were outclassed by a Barcelona side simply to good for them and a masterclass from Lionel Messi in which he scored a breathtaking hat-trick in twenty-one minutes. You could have tried blindfolding him. Handcuffing him even. To a railing. Quick-dried slabs of cement around his feet. Rolled a giant boulder off a cliff like a Wile E. Coyote contraption. In fact, no matter what you tried, nothing was going to stop him. Lionel Messi was that good and comparisons with the best ever are wholly justified.” (Arsenal Column)

‘Mythical, universal, the Lord’s anointed one’ – Spain hails Leo Messi
“Leo Messi did something impossible last night. He got even better. He had scored in the Champions League final, the Copa del Rey final and the World Club Cup final, emulated that goal from Diego Maradona, hit three in the clasico against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, two at the Santiago Bernabéu, and scored two hat-tricks in a row. But he’d never scored four before. Until last night. Last night, even Marca and AS, the myopic leaders of the Madrid media dropped to their knees; last night, so did the English. They could ignore him no more. Last night, as El PaÌs, put it, “Messi ate Arsenal’.” (Guardian)

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