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Wenger salutes genius Messi after Barcelona downs Arsenal 4-1

Posted By: Staff

London, Apr 7 (ANI): Arsene Wenger saluted the genius of Lionel Messi after his Champions League master class, resulted in Arsenal's knock out from the quarterfinal.

Messi lit up the Nou Camp with a stunning four-goal haul to beat Arsenal and maintain Barcelona's bid for back-to-back Champions League titles.

The Arsenal boss left his anger and frustration at his side's elimination to one side and hailed the best player on the planet.

Wenger said: "The fourth goal he scored, I don't know many players in the world who can score that goal. He makes the impossible look possible. He has several great years ahead of him and, touch wood, if nothing happens, he can reach unbelievable levels."

"He's PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake you make. I actually believe we played quite well," The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.

Arsenal's dream at the Nou Camp lasted just 120 seconds. That is how long it took for Messi to cancel out Nicklas Bendtner's 19th-minute opener with a devastating goal into Almunia's top corner.

Bendtner gave the injury-ravaged underdogs brief hope of producing one of the biggest upsets in football history against the European champions.

Yet before the Arsenal celebrations had died down, before the shell-shocked home fans had regained consciousness, Messi scored and the Gunners were left gasping for air.

Wenger rued Abou Diaby's misplaced pass to Bendtner just after Arsenal's opening goal.

He said: "Before they equalised we had a great chance to score the second goal and made a very bad decision with the final ball. Had we scored then the doubts would have been serious.

"They came straight back after that to 1-1 and, after that, we were a bit unlucky with our errors at the back. But they can take advantage of your mistakes. The defeat is difficult to handle because, when you go out of the Champions League, the next day you are in front of a very empty future," Wenger added. (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 12:20 [IST]
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