By Richard Clarke
Nicklas Bendtner admitted Barcelona were simply the better team at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.
The Danish striker gave Arsenal a surprise lead in the 18th minute of their Champions League Quarter-Final second leg but, after that, Lionel Messi took over.
The Argentinean had hit a hat-trick by half-time and added a sublime fourth just before the end.
It was deep disappointment to Arsenal and Bendtner but, afterwards, the 22-year-old was prepared to take comfort from the quality of opposition they had faced.
"We made a great start and it was very important in the five minutes after we scored that we were tight," he said. "But in the end, if you look at the whole game they were a better team and deserved to win."
"Messi scored four fantastic goals and is a phenomenal player in a great team.
"At the moment, I would say he is the best player in the world.
"It is easy to make up excuses but, on the day, with what happened they were a better team than us. I would rather get beaten by a better team, to be able to say we did what we could, rather than be robbed in the last minute."Copyright 2013 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 7 Apr 2010