Barcelona are 95% through

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal look set to go out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage for a sixth season in a row

Barcelona are “95% through” to the Champions League quarter-finals, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after his side lost 2-0 to the La Liga champions.

The Gunners boss blamed his side’s finishing and naivety for the defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud missed chances for the Gunners before Barca scored the opener.

“The way we finished our chances is a problem. I felt in the final third we missed something,” said Wenger.

“Barcelona are through 95% but we want to go there and play. We will not go there and have absolutely no chance,” he added.

Listen to highlights of the match on BBC Radio 5 live

Listen to Wenger’s reaction to the game

‘Not technically precise enough’

France striker Giroud struggled to make an impact in attack along with Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez as the Gunners failed to capitalise.

“We were impatient in the build-up, we lost balls that we don’t usually lose. Not because Barcelona forced us but just because we were not technically precise enough in our passing,” added Wenger.

“When you lose 2-0 at home in the Champions League it is not a happy dressing room.

“I felt there was room to beat them. That is the biggest regret I have.”

A lot has been made of Arsenal lacking a world-class striker

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty addressed the issue of Arsenal’s strikers in a video Q A after the game, saying “Giroud is a very good Premier League striker but I’m not sure whether he is world class”.


Olivier Giroud had a good chance against Barcelona with a header which was saved

‘They were better than us’

Arsenal will be eliminated at the last-16 stage for the sixth time in a row if they fail to progress.

Wenger likened his side’s defeat by Barcelona to their 3-1 defeat by Monaco at the same stage last season when – similarly to Barcelona’s opener – they conceded from a counter-attack.

Neymar and Luis Suarez combined to set up Lionel Messi to score Barcelona’s first before the Argentine scored a penalty after he was fouled by Mathieu Flamini.

“The regret I had was once we looked like we dominated the game, we give the goal away. Similar to Monaco last season, naive, and that is frustrating,” Wenger told BT Sport.

“When we looked like we could win the game, we just gave it away.”

He added: “We were disciplined defensively but we knew that if we had to keep a 0-0 we keep a 0-0.

“I feel that we were extremely guilty and have no excuses for that first goal.

“They are better than us and I believe everyone knows that but we could have won the game if we had kept the discipline until the end.”

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