Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Barcelona after seeing his side crash out of the Champions League on Wednesday night with Luis Suarez scoring the pick of the goals.
The La Liga giants clinched a 3-1 win at the Nou Camp to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition 5-1 on aggregate, with Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi all scoring to ensure that Mohamed Elneny’s effort was in vain.
While Wenger bemoaned his side’s inability to make the most of their chances, the French tactician couldn’t help but reveal how impressed he was with the opposition.
“We created plenty of dangerous situations where we couldn’t take the chances we created, but I must say Barcelona’s accuracy in the final third and the quality of the creativity, especially Messi, is absolutely exceptional,” he told reporters, as noted by Sky Sports.
“At some stage in our sport you have to admire art and they have two or three players who transform normal life into art. I respect that.
“Of course, for me it’s suffering but for a guy who just loves football, it’s exceptional.”
While Bayern Munich toiled in the other game of the night on Wednesday before launching a stunning comeback against Juventus, Barcelona proved that they are still in a league of their own and remain the favourites to win the Champions League again this season.
That is nothing new for the most part considering their dominance in recent years, with an attacking trident consisting of the dangerous ‘MSN’, it is no wonder that Wenger was left in awe with the trio capable of producing moments of magic and individual brilliance to make the difference.
For Arsenal, the focus now switches back to the Premier League as it is now their only hope of silverware this season. However, with an 11-point gap between themselves and leaders Leicester City, Wenger may well be facing further criticism in the coming weeks and could have a bit more time to watch Barca more often next season.
Wenger’s concession about Barcelona will likely do little to ease the discontent he is facing from certain sections of Arsenal’s supporters. However, his honesty should be commended as Luis Enrique’s side look on course for another treble this season.