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Barcelona Beat Arsenal Because They Have Lionel Messi

Okay, so it wasn’t just because Barcelona had Lionel Messi and Arsenal didn’t that the reigning Champions League title holders beat Arsenal today, even if the Argentine did account for both goals in the likely tie-deciding 2-0 scoreline. Unlike some of his most transcendent performances—like, say, hisone-man demolition of Manchester City at this stage a year ago—tonight’s game was not one where Messi methodically unraveled an opposing defense single-handedly with his inimitable array of dribbles and passes and shots.
No, this was a team performance—and it needed to be, seeing how complete and competitive a match the Gunners put together at home in hopes of overcoming their demons in this Midas-touched season
 of theirs. And yet the deciding moments in the game, the ones that turned what very easily could’ve been an Arsenal win into a commanding Barcelona advantage, came down in Barça’s favor because they had legitimate, super-elite forward talent like Messi to decide those moments and Arsenal didn’t.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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