By Nik Brumsack at Meadow Park

Arsenal Ladies cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable win over Spanish champions Barcelona.

A second-half hat-trick from Jennifer Beattie and a further strike by Kim Little secured victory on the day, though Arsenal had already taken a big step to qualifying with last week’s 3-0 win in the first leg.

There were four changes to the team that secured the Women’s Super League title on Sunday, as Steph Houghton, Yvonne Tracy and Rachel Yankey all came into the side.

They were joined by Kelly Smith, who returned to the starting line-up after scoring in the victory against Doncaster.

She spearheaded an attack that was supported by Yankey and Gemma Davison.

The match itself started quietly, with Arsenal’s neat build-up play a feature, though encouraging attacking forays were extinguished by an inability to find the final pass.

It took until 16 minutes before either goalkeeper was tested, with Little’s shot being easily gathered by Laura Rafols.

Then, just before the half-hour mark, the Barcelona goalkeeper had to be on hand to superbly save Nobbs’ powerful low shot, after Little had created the chance with an inch-perfect through-ball.

Davison then had an appeal for a penalty turned down, before Houghton’s 25-yard free kick landed just over.

Despite the visitors needing goals at the start of the second half, it was Arsenal who started brightly, and were rewarded with the opening goal after 53 minutes.

Yankey swung in a deep free kick that was met by the head of half-time substitute Beattie, whose effort was too powerful for Rafols to keep out.

The lead was doubled just four minutes later, with Yankey again the architect.

After escaping down the left flank, the winger’s cross was met at the back post by the onrushing Little, who volleyed home.

Beattie could have extended the lead yet further, heading over from seven yards after fellow substitute Ellen White had found her with a peach of a cross.

Arsenal were rampant now, and after Little and Houghton had efforts well saved by Rafols, the home side added a third after 78 minutes.

In scenes reminiscent of the first goal, Yankey delivered a deep cross that was headed in by Beattie.

And the striker completed her hat-trick in stoppage time, tucking home a penalty after Ellen White had been brought down by Rafols in the area.

Arsenal will face 2010 winners FFC Turbine Potsdam in the last 16.

Arsenal Ladies

1
Byrne
2
Scott
3
Houghton
4
Tracy Yellow Card
5
Grant
6
Little 75 Goal!
7
Chapman (C) Yellow Card
8
Davison 64
9
Nobbs
10
Yankey Yellow Card
11
Smith 46

Substitutes

12
Harris
13
Flaherty
14
Fahey
15
Ludlow
16
Carter 75
17
Beattie 46 Goal! Goal! Goal!
18
White 64

FC Barcelona

1
Laura Rafols Yellow Card
2
Melisa Nicolau
3
Laura Gomez 64
4
Kenti Robles
5
Ani Escribano (C)
6
Marta Corredera
7
Gema Gili 53
8
Alexia Putellas 55
9
Vicky Losada
10
Olga Garcia
11
Virginia Torrecilla

Substitutes

12
Esther Sullastres
13
Melanie Serrano
14
Marta Unzue
15
Miriam Dieguez 64
16
Carol Ferez
17
Laura Gutierrez 53
18
Sonia Bermudez 55
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Oct 2012