Despite a valiant effort, Arsenal just didn’t have enough to keep Barcelona out.
An impressive display put together by Red Action kicked the game off and made sure the atmosphere was at a high.
We had an early chance from Giroud, cleared by Barcelona before the Catalans ran up the other end and Ramsey gave away a free-lick, which landed a bit too close for comfort.
Within minutes (6) Nacho Monreal received a yellow card for slipping over. This was the first of many bizarre refereeing decisions, which Arsenal were on the wrong end of in the first half.
Ramsey then had the best shot of the game so far. He made a great run but scuffed his shot and it got blocked.
Still, despite having 70% possession, Barcelona had offered very little to the game and although they were controlling the ball well, they were really static when we had it.
One of the biggest talking points from the first half was when the Ox had a chance right in front of what was practically an open goal but shot directly at the keeper on the ground. This move essentially summed up Alex’s performance; naive and frustrating. He went on to leap to the ground later on after failing to make an early cross on the break.
Barca did warm into the game at the end of the first half, forcing Monreal to make a huge clearance from a Suarez shot at end of first half.
In the second half, the La Liga club turned up the heat and Cech was forced into his first big save of the game from Neymar.
Arsenal then made an early substitution (early by our standards anyway) in the 50th minute after what appeared to be an injury to Oxlade-Chamberlain. Theo Walcott promptly came on in his place.
Barca continued to turn the screw but the likes of Monreal, Mertesacker and Bellerin were all on hand to get in the way and clear the danger. Per really showed why he’s such a good centre-back; what he lacks in pace he makes up for in decision-making.
Unfortunately, the earlier chances we scuppered came back to haunt us after a dangerous counter-attack from Barcelona resulted in a Lionel Messi goal.
Despite some valiant defending from us, Flamini was subbed on with five minutes to go. The Frenchman quickly got involved by giving away a penalty, which Messi slotted neatly home.