By Lloyd Webb

Olivier Giroud says Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s save to keep out his header was a turning point in Arsenal’s defeat to Barcelona.

The Germany goalkeeper produced a fine stop to prevent the Frenchman from opening the scoring, prompting a swift counter-attack from the visitors which led to Lionel Messi’s first goal.

Messi struck again 20 minutes later to give Arsenal a mountain to climb in the second leg, but Giroud admitted it could have been a different story if his header had found the back of the net.

We couldn’t finish our hard work and it’s disappointing because at the end of the day we’re 2-0 down and our chances of qualifying are very small

Olivier Giroud

“It’s possibly the turning point,” the France striker told Arsenal Player. “I had a duel with the defender and I think that I headed the ball well but the keeper did very well.

“We were not cautious enough of their counter-attack [afterwards], which is a model counter-attack, and then they finished it well. We couldn’t score in the first half after we played well on the counter-attack and were dangerous.

“We couldn’t finish our hard work and it’s disappointing because at the end of the day we’re 2-0 down and our chances of qualifying are very small. There’s a lot of disappointment.

“I said before the game that we needed to be cautious if we could not win the game and not concede goals to keep our chances high for the second leg. In Barcelona it is very, very difficult to win, so we can have regrets after [the first leg] because we didn’t finish our counter-attacks.”

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud

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23 Feb 2016