The two sides played out an intriguing and thrilling clash at the Emirates Stadium, and while the Gunners went toe to toe with the reigning European champions, they ultimately fell short when Lionel Messi scored twice inside the final twenty minutes.
Indeed, for much of the bout, it appeared as though the north Londoners would take something from the tie, and they even had chances of their own—managing eight shots throughout the match.
Ultimately, Messi’s quality told, and the Argentine superstar bagged a brace to give the Catalan giants a stranglehold on the double-header.
Luis Suarez could have made it worse for the Gunners, only for his effort to hit the woodwork, although the Catalan giants are now overwhelming favourites to advance to the quarter-finals.
Speaking after the match, Mascherano insisted that he and his teammates were confident Arsenal would fail to maintain their intensity of the first half.
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“The key was patience,” the Argentine international began, speaking to journalists in quotes relayed by Ole. “We knew that at some point they would start leaving spaces.
“It would cost them to maintain the intensity of the first half.”