Champions League - 2nd Leg

Champions League: Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg 5-1)

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez's volley was his 17th in his last 14 games

Holders Barcelona eased into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 3-1 second-leg victory over Arsenal at the Nou Camp.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, Lionel Messi forced David Ospina into a stunning save from close range, before Neymar slotted home a low finish.

Mohamed Elneny lashed in for Arsenal in the second half but Luis Suarez struck a brilliant volley for Barcelona.

Danny Welbeck hit the woodwork before Messi chipped in a sublime third.

Relive Barcelona's victory here

Bayern Munich fight back from two goals down to beat Juventus

Mid-March and season over for Arsenal?

Arsenal's season was looking good a couple of months ago. They were top of the Premier League on 4 January but two wins in nine league games since has seen them fall 11 points behind leaders Leicester, although they do have a game in hand on the Foxes.

They have also gone out of the FA Cup - losing against Watford last weekend - and suffered their sixth straight last-16 exit from the Champions League too, leaving their season in disarray.

Arsene Wenger's team selection for the match in Spain perhaps suggested he might have had one eye on Saturday's Premier League match at Everton.

The Frenchman, for example, gave 19-year-old forward Alex Iwobi his first Champions League start and left out Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. Experienced defender Per Mertesacker was left on the bench, with Laurent Koscielny starting alongside Gabriel in the centre of defence.

Arsenal punished as M-S-N all strike again

Arsenal shots v Barcelona
Arsenal had plenty of shots against Barcelona but only three (left) hit the target. Nine were off target (middle) and eight were blocked (right)

Arsenal put in a creditable display away from home but Elneny's stunning goal on 51 minutes - a precise strike from 18 yards and his first for the club - was their only reward for a display that saw them create numerous promising attacking positions.

Iwobi blazed over the crossbar when in a good position and Alexis Sanchez should have found the back of the net with a header from eight yards.

The Chile international also had a free-kick saved as the Gunners fired in 20 shots, albeit with just three on target.

The difference over the two legs was the finishing and it was a cool, low shot by Neymar that opened the scoring for the hosts.

Luis Suarez goal
Not only was Luis Suarez's strike a stunning one, it finished off a mesmerising Barcelona move

Former Liverpool man Suarez, who Arsenal attempted to sign in 2013, scored the pick of Barca's goals, the Uruguayan leaping acrobatically to convert Dani Alves's cross into the top corner for his 46th goal of an incredible season.

Suarez's hot run of form has seen him net 17 goals in his last 14 games and taken his tally to 40 for the season at the Nou Camp - how Arsenal could do with him in their side.

There was still time for Messi to get in on the act, delightfully dinking the ball over Ospina late on.

Unbeatable Barca?

The win means Barcelona are into the last eight of the competition for a record ninth straight season. It also stretched Barcelona's unbeaten run to 38 games in all competitions as they aim to become the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era.

No side has won back-to-back European Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.

The Catalans remain on course for consecutive trebles of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey.

Luis Enrique's side sit eight points clear at the top of the Spanish league with nine matches remaining and meet Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final in May.

Man of the match - Neymar

Opened the scoring and graced the Nou Camp pitch with some glorious touches. A joy to watch

Analysis - Former England defender Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live

"Arsenal are only two players away from being a top side. A magnificent centre-forward who can get 25+ goals and a world-class centre-back.

"They have enough midfield players. They have £150m-£200m in the bank but only need to bring in two more players.

"Going forward, Arsenal have looked good but defensively they have looked fragile, that has been the case for years. Sol Campbell, Martin Keown and Ashley Cole have never been replaced."

What next?

Barcelona face Villarreal in the league on Sunday (kick-off 15:00 GMT), while Arsenal will look to salvage their season with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday (12:45 GMT).

Before then Barca will discover who they will play in the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they draw takes place on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 6Alves da Silva
  • 14Mascherano
  • 24Mathieu
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forTuranat 77'minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 5Busquets
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 72'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11Neymar


  • 7Turan
  • 13Bravo
  • 15Bartra
  • 17El Haddadi
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 22Vidal Parreu
  • 23Vermaelen


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Ospina
  • 24Bellerín
  • 5GabrielBooked at 35mins
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 35Elneny
  • 20FlaminiBooked at 32minsSubstituted forCoquelinat 45'minutes
  • 17SánchezBooked at 50mins
  • 11Özil
  • 45IwobiSubstituted forGiroudat 72'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forWalcottat 73'minutes


  • 3Gibbs
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 12Giroud
  • 14Walcott
  • 28Campbell
  • 34Coquelin
  • 49Macey
Sergey Karasev

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 3, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Arsenal 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Barcelona 3, Arsenal 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

  6. Booking

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Jordi Alba (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Neymar with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Gabriel Paulista.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Dani Alves.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  16. Booking

    Arda Turan (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Arda Turan (Barcelona).

  18. Post update

    Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Arda Turan replaces Ivan Rakitic.

  20. Post update

    Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood


1Real Madrid65101931616
3Shakhtar Donetsk6105714-73
4Malmö FF6105121-203


2PSV Eindhoven631287110
3Man Utd62227708
4CSKA Moscow611459-44


1Atl Madrid6411113813
4FC Astana6042511-64


1Man City6402128412
4B Mgladbach6123812-45


3B Leverkusen6132131216
4BATE Borisov6123512-75


1Bayern Munich65011931615
4Dinamo Zagreb6105314-113


2Dynamo Kyiv632184411
3FC Porto631298110
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv6006116-150


1Zenit St Petersburg6501136715
2KAA Gent631287110
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