By Giuseppe Muro
Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Barcelona thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin.
So are the Spanish champions still confident of progressing to the Quarter-Finals?
Ahead of the return fixture at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, we spoke to Juan Castro of Marca to get a Spanish perspective on the Champions League clash.
IMPRESSIONS OF ARSENAL
I think we [the Spanish media] were quite surprised because nobody expected such a result [at Emirates Stadium]. Nobody expected such a good game from Arsenal. We consider Barcelona as the best XI in the last 30 years of Spanish football so it was quite surprising. Both the result and the game surprised the Spanish press and the people in general.
THE MAN IN CHARGE
[But] Pep Guardiola and the Barcelona side were not surprised. Guardiola expected this style from Arsenal and I think they knew how Arsenal were going to play. Arsène Wenger has a very concrete style so they didn’t expect anything else.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
They [Barcelona] will still be confident of going through. They are really confident at the Nou Camp and with their fans [behind them]. Considering the absence of Arsenal’s key players like Theo Walcott I think Barcelona are the favourites.
Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are both out and they are important players for Barcelona. But they have a lot of important players. They will play with Eric Abidal and Sergio Busquets [instead of Puyol and Pique]. Abidal is in good shape. It’s a new position for Busquets but I think they are good enough. Not as good as Puyol and Pique but they are good enough. The most offensive people are OK and they have Lionel Messi so they are OK!
MAN OF THE MOMENT
Lionel Messi played incredibly [against Arsenal last season] but he can play even better than that game. He can do whatever you want to imagine.