Lionel Messi produces brilliant over-the-shoulder first touch against Arsenal

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In frankly unsurprising fashion, Lionel Messi produced a beautiful over-the-shoulder first touch against Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday Night.

A searching ball over the Gunners' defence by Neymar saw his Argentine teammate control the ball to perfection despite it raining and having Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal putting him under pressure.

From eight yards out, though, when a goal seemed imminent and deserved, Messi fired straight at David Ospina who, to his credit, pulled off a magnificent save (see below).


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Such was the brilliance of Messi's touch and Ospina's reactions, the pair duly recognised each other's efforts as they walked past each other.

The game was 0-0 at this point, emphasising the importance of not just the Barcelona striker's miss, but the brilliant block made by Arsenal's second-choice 'keeper.


Barca would later go on to win 3-1 (5-1 on aggregate) to secure their place in the quarter-finals and end Arsenal's unlikely European dream.

Neymar opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Luis Suarez's ball down the left found the Brazilian in space and through on goal, duly slotting past the onrushing Ospina.

The hosts crafted their fair share of chances throughout the first half but through a lack of composure in front of goal failed to equalise.

Six minutes into the second half, however, and the Gunners had a lifeline. Alexis Sanchez's cut back to Mohamed Elneny just outside the 18-yard box saw the Egyptian fire emphatically past Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his first goal in an Arsenal shirt.

The comeback was short-lived, though, with Suarez extending Barcelona's lead 14 minutes later with a fine volley - which appeared to come off his shin - from a Dani Alves cross.

Messi rounded off a convincing victory with a delicate chip over Ospina in the dying moments.

Victory for Barcelona kept their hopes of yet another treble alive, whilst defeat came as fresh setback for an Arsenal side in desperate need of form amidst their fading Premier League title bid.

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UEFA Champions League
Premier League
La Liga
Thierry Henry
Lionel Messi

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