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Sports

Messi magic ensures comfortable win for Barcelona against Arsenal

Arsenal will struggle to overturn their Champions League round of 16 tie following two away goals from Lionel Messi at the Emirates Stadium. The Barcelona star was on fire as he puts his side in a commanding spot.

Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona
(Messi 71, 83 pen.)

Lionel Messi was at his very best on Tuesday night when Barcelona made the trip to London to face Premier League side Arsenal and walked away with a convincing 2-0 win.

The Argentinian forward proved critical to his team's hopes of progression to the next round of the Champions League with two goals on the night.

The five-time world player of the year was afforded an easy goal in the 71st minute, following an exquisite counter attack from goalscoring partners Luis Suarez and then Neymar, who played Messi through to finish a simple one-on-one with Petr Cech.

Despite an admirable defensive effort from Arsenal to keep the current European champions at bay, Barcelona doubled their lead just 12 minutes later when a late tackle from Mathieu Flamini caught an on-running Messi in the Arsenal box.

With less than 10 minutes remaining the Barcelona star stepped up to the spot and cooly dispatched of the penalty, doubling his team's lead and undoubtedly resigning Arsenal to another early knock out in the top European competition.

"I liked everything about us today from the very beginning," Barca coach, Luis Enrique said after the match.

"I liked the way we scored and we had plenty of possession. Our opponent defended with every player in their own half but we still managed to hamper them."

Arsene Wenger added: "Barcelona is a great team. The regret I had was we looked like we could dominate the game, then we give the goal away.

"Realistically it is very, very difficult, if not impossible (to make the quarter-finals)."

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