Match Highlights: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) vs Arsenal

“I hope I can keep this up. I think this team is making history like we did last year. It’s all in our hands.” – Lionel Messi.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever faced and he’s the best player in the world. It’s very difficult to stop someone who has so many skills like that, who can do whatever they want with the ball.” – Manuel Almunia.

“Messi is the best player in the world by a large distance. It is difficult because he’s not always in the game, but when he gets on the ball he’s really dangerous and unstoppable. When he changes direction at such pace no-one can stay with him.” – Arsene Wenger.

What a performance and what a night. Leo Messi sent out a warning sign to Arsenal in the early stages of their contest when he fizzed a long-range shot just wide before curling in Barca’s equaliser – a beautiful 20-yard left footer. The Argentine wizard scored his side’s second with a cushioned first touch before lifting the ball over a diving Almunia.

Before the break Messi closed out his hat-trick when he dashed on to a Kieta through-ball before audaciously chipping Almunia for his third. While his fourth goal, a nutmeg on Almunia in the dying minutes of the match, capped one of the best and most magical performances from any footballer this season.

Highlights of Leo Messi’s incredible shift against Arsenal can be seen here.

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As a bonus, highlights of Xavi’s brilliant performance in the centre of he park can be seen here.