Messi leads Barcelona past Arsenal


Magical Lionel Messi left Arsenal needing a Champions League miracle.

The world’s best player hit a 71st-minute opener and an 83rd-minute penalty to leave Arsene Wenger desolate.

The Gunners boss admitted: “Technically we were very average. We were naive and that’s what was frustrating.

“It makes it very sticky, if not impossible. We have to go there and fight. They were better than us. There’s no shame to say that.

“It will be very difficult but we have to try and do our best. It’s 95 percent for them and five per cent for us. But you never know.”

Messi’s goals were his seventh and eighth against Arsenal but only his first two against Petr Cech – including his time at Chelsea – in ten hours and 11 minutes.

The spot-kick was conceded by Mathieu Flamini just 47 SECONDS after coming on a late substitute.

The two teams meet again in the return leg at the Nou Camp but Arsenal now look certain to exit the competition at this stage for the fifth successive season.