Barcelona’s prolific forward Lionel Messi has saluted the quality of the Arsenal squad despite losing 2-0 defeat on Tuesday night to his team in their round of 16 UCL first leg clash at the Emirates stadium.
Messi ended the Arsenal’s defensive action inside the final 19 minutes before adding a spot kick to put Barcelona firmly in the driving seat ahead of the second leg tie at Camp Nou next month.
Reacting to his side’s victory on the night, Messi whose double striker brought Barcelona’s goals figure to 10,000 goals in official competition during their long and distinguished history in some 4,375 matches said;
“It was a very good result against a great team, who have some really good players. 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.” Messi said as quoted on the Barcelona official website.
That impressive tally of goals has helped Barcelona claim 126 official trophies, the first being the Copa Macaya back in 1902 and the most recent the FIFA Club World Cup conquered last December against River Plate.