By Richard Clarke

Cesc Fabregas believes Theo Walcott brought Arsenal back from the dead against Barcelona on Wednesday night.

The Spaniard stroked home the equalising penalty just before the end but it was introduction of the Englishman in the 66th minute that sparked the revival. He scored three minutes later and helped his side finally put Barcelona on the back foot.

"Theo made such a difference," said Fabregas. "He went behind them. He created a lot of problems and I think he was the best player.

"We were dead at 2-0. You could never imagine we could come back. In the first half we never saw the ball. You thought you were going to get the ball then  they changed sides. In the second half they scored two great goals but we had great spirit and comeback. Not everyone does that against a side like them.

"Overall it was an amazing experience and an amazing game. I will remember it for the rest of my life. My injury makes it bad but I think I would have done it anyway without being injured before."

The result leaves next Tuesday's return game on a knife-edge. Barcelona will be clear favourites but if Arsenal can start the second game like they ended the first then they are capable of pulling it off. Suspensions to key players just add to the drama.

"The team can definitely do it without me," said Fabregas, whose booking means he misses the return. "Barcelona have lost big players like Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique so I don't think it is the same without them."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
1 Apr 2010