BARCELONA. – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as capable of turning football into art as all three struck to eliminate his side from the Champions League.
The Gunners bowed out at the last 16 stage for a sixth consecutive season 5-1 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, but gave the European champions a scare with a spirited display.
However, the difference in quality in front of goal was the deciding factor in the tie as Barca’s South American trio all netted to take their combined tally for the season to 106.
“We have to admire art and they have two or three players that transform normal life into art,” said Wenger.
“I have to say we played against a team with the best strikers I’ve seen. The three are exceptional and from nothing they can create a chance.”
By contrast, Arsenal’s whole squad have managed just 72 goals this season and their downfall was once again a lack of cutting edge up front.
Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck missed great chances to level after Neymar’s early opener.
Mohamed Elneny’s first goal for the club early in the second-half gave the visitors hope, but a sensational volley from Suarez put Barca back in control before Messi’s cool dinked finish rounded off the scoring.
“We didn’t take the chances we created and the quality of Barca’s creativity in the final third, especially Messi is exceptional. He didn’t miss one first touch in 90 minutes,” he said. – AFP.