“Messi, Neymar, Suárez… Who are ya!?”, asked the Arsenal fan, “you’re coming to our patch.” Presumably he lives under a rock, but came they did, saw they did, conquered they did to help Barça advance to the last eight of the Champions’ League.
There’s no defense in the world that can stop Leo Messi on his day, let alone when the back four have Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr. to contend with as well.
I mean, we could all see this coming, couldn’t we? Even the most deluded of Arsenal fans couldn’t see wet-look-gelled French center back Laurent Koscielny containing Suárez, or left back Nacho Monreal dealing with Messi anymore capably. Literally a plate of nachos stood a better chance, a tasty treat may have even distracted Leo where Monreal was simply a cone to dribble around.
With Barça holding a two-goal lead (away goals, mind you) it required a monumental effort on the north London team’s behalf, and things only got worse when Suárez played a perfectly timed ball through to Neymar who made no mistake with the finish, sliding it past Colombian number one David Ospina.
The task now, surely, was insurmountable for the Gunners at the Camp Nou. It had to score four goals to advance (and not concede anymore in the process.) Former Barcelona right back Héctor Bellerín managed to sweep a cross in, but Chilean talisman Alexis Sánchez headed wide when the chance really deserved a better finish.
Heading out of the tunnel for the second half, the game was still at 1-0 (3-0 on aggregate), and the Barça defense marshaled expertly by Argentine destroyer Javier Mascherano had never really looked as threatened as Koscienly did at the other end.
There was a glimmer, just a glimmer, of hope when Sánchez pulled a ball back from the byline and midfielder Mohamed Elneny curled it into the top corner from the edge of the area, but soon that hope was to disappear.
But to follow was a Messi-Suárez, which may sound like something you’d regret trying with a significant other, but it was just the following score sheet.
14 minutes later, in the 65th minute, Luis Suárez did the most Luis Suárez of things. No, not horribly biting an opponent, but producing a superb, unorthodox, athletic finish as it seems only he can.
The ball came in from the right hand side of the box from Brazilian defender, yes that’s actually his job title, Dani Alves and with Arsenal’s defense static, El Pistolero was left unmarked. Instead of heading the ball goalwards (who would do that?) Suárez leapt into the air and connected in such a way that it really didn’t look as if it should head directly into the top right corner. But this is Suárez. So it did.
A foregone conclusion from that moment on. To top it all off, with two minutes remaining, Leo Messi was found by Neymar and humiliated Ospina with a superb finish, chipping the ball sumptuously into the net. And that was that. Combined Messi, Suárez and Neymar now have 106 goals this season alone, and Messi is now just two goals off 500 in his career. Defies belief.