By Chris Harris

Nicklas Bendtner spotted a chink in Barcelona's armour on Wednesday night - while he was warming up.

The Danish striker came off the bench in the 77th minute of a compelling first leg at Emirates Stadium with Arsenal trailing to David Villa's strike. Within six minutes Robin van Persie had equalised and Andrey Arshavin had completed a stunning turnaround.

Like last season, Barcelona faded after a flying start in north London. And Bendtner saw signs of what was to come as he limbered up on the touchline during the second half.

"As I was warming up, I felt that they got a little bit tired," he reflected. "I felt from the first half to the second half they got a little bit tired and I think we could see there was a really good chance to get at them in the last minute.

"That was what turned the game around, we just kept going on the counter-attack as soon as we got the ball and attacked with four or five men all the time.

"It is a great feeling and everyone is just so happy. It’s a big, big result against probably the best team in the world. It’s a fantastic night."

Barcelona have been imperious in Spain this season. Indeed, Wednesday's reverse was their first defeat in a 'meaningful' game since September when Hercules stunned the Nou Camp. According to Bendtner, Arsenal's never-say-die spirit was the key to ending that long unbeaten run.

"We could have given up, but if you look at the team right through the season, one thing we have never done is give up," he said. "We have always kept going to the last second.

"Even in the FA Cup we had some difficult times against Leeds, I think that’s the way the team is now, we never give up and we seem to get the results.

"It was a great result, and the way we earned the results was through patience, belief and also being calm. You always against big teams need a little bit of luck and I think we had that with some of the chances they had in the first half.

"But we did smashing in the second half to get ourselves back into the game and put on a real good performance."

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17 Feb 2011