Arsenal head to Camp Nou on Wednesday night knowing they have to overturn a two-goal deficit to progress in the Champions League.
Nobody expects Arsenal to be capable of winning on the night, let alone by enough goals to go through, but midfielder Mesut Özil insists the team can do it if only they believe in themselves and finish their chances.
The midfielder lacks no confidence in his own abilities and has been crucial for the Gunners all season but even he can’t beat Barcelona on his own.
“We have to go there and believe in ourselves,” the German playmaker said to Arsenal Player. “We saw against Barcelona, if we play our game, as we did in the first 20 minutes where we had a lot of chances against them, and score in the first half, we can do it.”
Arsenal were unlucky to lose at the Emirates Stadium, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fluffed a big first half chance to put the side ahead.
The second half wasn’t too dissimilar and the team grew in confidence only to be caught out by an incisive break. Unfortunately, the best players in the world will punish you.
“I’ve played there before. It will be very loud, the fans will support the team. Our goal has to be to make our game. The most important thing for us is to believe in ourselves.
“If we believe in ourselves and take our chances – last time we had chances but didn’t score – [we can do it]. We have to be ice-cold in front of goal. If we have a chance, we have to score against such a big team.”
It’s six years since Arsenal played a Champions League quarter-final. Fortunate draws have seen the likes of VfL Wolfsburg and Benfica head into the last eight this year, and Arsène Wenger and his players are desperate to join them. Trouble is, Barcelona stand i our way.
“Every player knows that against the biggest clubs, we have to show our quality,” Özil added. “Every player wants to play against the best team, so we have to have the opportunity to come to the next round.
“In football, anything can happen. Our goal has to be to win the game.”