Champions League

Messi: Now we must finish it at Camp Nou

2016-02-24 15:45
Lionel Messi (AFP)

Cape Town - Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was delighted after his goals saw Arsenal beaten 2-0 in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League clash.

The Gunners played a good game against the reigning European champions, but Barca made the breakthrough in the 71st minute when Neymar picked out Messi for the opener, before Mathieu Flamini chopped him down to concede a penalty, which the Argentine put away in the 83rd minute.

"It was a very good result against a great team, who have some really good players," Messi said. "I'm delighted with the result.

"We've played Arsenal several times and we know what they are capable of doing. The tie is not over but we've got two away goals, and that's not easy to do.

"Arsenal did very well in the first half, with some help, but we knew they wouldn't be able to keep that pace up all the way. In the second half, we had more space and that's how we got the first goal. At the Camp Nou, we‘ll go out to win, as we do at every ground."

Barca manager Luis Enrique took a similar view, saying that he "saw some things that were so good that I didn't dare make any changes in case they spoiled it".

"[Arsenal] defended with everyone behind the ball in their own half, but we wore them down and were almost always able to cope with their pressure. That's what allowed us to tip the balance in our favour.

"People who understand football know that you need a first half like that to get a second half like that as well. Arsenal also tried to create pressure and danger, but we dealt with it well.

"It is important to know how to play against a team that plays it so tight at the back because they're also very good on the counter attack, as you could see tonight."

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