Lionel Messi-Neymar Connection Leads Barcelona Past Arsenal

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Feb 24, 2016 07:00 AM EST
Lionel Messi
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi celebrates a goal against Arsenal in Champions League play."

Barcelona proved to be unstoppable once again as the team extended their win streak with a win over Arsenal in the Round of 16 in Champions League play. While Barcelona has not had to rely on Lionel Messi every game like in years past, it was the striker who got the team two goals in the victory. However, he made it clear that no one is satisfied after the victory.

Barcelona might not have played their best in the win over Arsenal, but they held possession long enough and got the breaks they needed. It could have been worse for the London club as both Neymar and Luis Suarez missed scoring opportunities. Messi noted that he was happy with the win, but the team can improve before the two clubs face off in the second leg at Camp Nou.

"We played a great game, got a good result, against a really good team with really good players," Messi said, via Catalan TV3. "I am very happy for how we did our work in each moment. Arsenal are capable of everything. We played a great game, but we know the tie is not over yet. Two goals away from home is very important, but it is not over yet. We will go out to win the return."

Luis Enrique echoed his happiness over the Barcelona win. He praised the connection between Suarez, Neymar and Messi which eventually led to the goal in the 71 minute. Messi got the second goal in a penalty kick. Barcelona certainly had to work for the win which means Arsenal has no plans on simply laying down when they play on the road in March, but Enrique noted that getting the two goals on the road will help.

"What I most liked was everything, the whole game we played," Enrique said, via "From the start, our finishing, how we tired them out by using the ball in the first half. Everyone who knows anything about football knows that you need a first half like this, so that in the second half you can do that."

The game went pretty much who manager Arsene Wenger thought it would go. He told the media earlier in the week that Barcelona was almost "too perfect" and Arsenal would be one notice. Following the loss, he called his team "naive" and said that they just struggled to contain the attack. Barcelona held possession for long stretches of time which ended almost any chance the Gunners had to get scoring opportunities. He is hopeful for different results in the second match.

"Naive. And that's what's frustrating. Because when it looked like we could win this game, we just gave it away," Wenger said, via

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