The tie isn’t over!
That’s what players such as Héctor Bellerín and Luis Suárez have said after Barcelona’s 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening. Without being negative, they’re about as wrong as you can be with an opinion.
FC Barcelona are now unbeaten in 33 competitive matches, but their staggeringly good home record is even more impressive. Arsenal need to win 2-0 at Camp Nou to force extra-time, or with a scoreline of at least 3-1 to win the tie in the remaining 90 minutes.
The problem is, Barça are really good. In 20 home matches this season, they have scored in every game, won 19 times and drawn just once, being held to a 2-2 result by Deportivo La Coruna.
Those 20 matches make up under a quarter of the mammoth 86 games Barcelona have gone without losing a home match by two goals. Bear in mind they play Real Madrid every year, as well as featuring in the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals constantly.
The last time a team won by two goals at Camp Nou, Mesut Özil was playing for them and assisted. Obviously. Up against their rivals in a Copa Del Rey semi-final, Real Madrid (managed by José Mourinho) won 3-1 in Barcelona thanks to two Cristiano Ronaldo goals and a Raphael Varane header.
Real Madrid XI: López; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Özil, Ronaldo; Higuaín.
86 games later, nobody has replicated the feat and Barcelona have managed to sign Neymar and Luis Suárez. I don’t think it’s unfair to say this tie is over.