Lionel Messi is by common consensus the best player in the world and he underlined just why with four goals in the Champions League Quarter-Final on Tuesday night.

But was Messi's Nou Camp masterpiece the best-ever performance against Arsenal? reporter Chris Harris trawled the archives to dig out five of the finest individual displays the Gunners have had to face down the years.

Have we missed anyone? Send in your suggestions and comments at

Don Rogers - Arsenal 1-3 Swindon Town (aet)
League Cup Final, Wembley, March 15, 1969

Anyone who was at Wembley in March 1969 remembers a pudding of a pitch which had been wrecked by the Horse Of The Year Show. But Don Rogers mastered the conditions to inspire lower-league Swindon to a stunning League Cup triumph. Rogers' marauding run out of defence led to the mix-up between Bob Wilson and Ian Ure which allowed Roger Smart to score the opener. And, although Bobby Gould equalised, Rogers struck from close range in extra time and then stormed through to round Wilson and slot home the clincher. 'That is that!' shouted commentator Brian Moore.

Don Rogers scores for Swindon Town in 1969

Don Rogers

Lee Sharpe - Arsenal 2-6 Manchester United
League Cup, Highbury, November 28, 1990
Champions Arsenal only conceded 10 goals in 19 League games in 1990/91 - but Sharpe managed three in a single, crazy night at Highbury in what was then known as the Rumbelows Cup. Clayton Blackmore and Mark Hughes had already silenced the home crowd when Sharpe curled an exquisite effort past David Seaman from 20 yards. Michael Thomas and Alan Smith dragged Arsenal back into the tie but Sharpe headed home and then completed his hat-trick. Even Danny Wallace scored for United as they cavorted in front of the travelling fans in an unsightly white and blue kit.

Lee Sharpe scores in the 6-2 defeat in 1990

Lee Sharpe

Isaías Marques Soares - Arsenal 1-3 Benfica (aet)
European Cup, Highbury, November 6, 1991
Colin Pates' strike gave Arsenal a 2-1 aggregate lead early in the second leg at Highbury - then Isaías took over. The Brazilian conjured up a fabulous finish to beat David Seaman from the edge of the box and then set up a goal for Kulkov as the tie entered extra time. George Graham's side had no answer to Isaías's technical ability, deftness of touch and clever movement and he capped an outstanding performance with a fine solo effort. At the end of that season Graham dispensed with David Rocastle and bought John Jensen to stiffen up his midfield - a move which made Arsenal less easy on the eye but more effective against the likes of Isaías in Europe.

Benfica's Isias


Didier Drogba - Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Premier League, Stamford Bridge, March 23, 2008
Didier Drogba first scored against Arsenal in the 2005 Community Shield - and he's been their nemesis ever since. The sight of his name on the Chelsea team-sheet emits a groan from plenty of Arsenal fans and, just perhaps, a few players too. But Drogba has probably never been as damaging to Arsenal as he was in March 2008. Arsène Wenger's side were chasing the Premier League title and had silenced Stamford Bridge when Bacary Sagna headed his only goal for the Club on the hour mark. But back came Chelsea and Drogba - who else? - struck twice in the final 17 minutes to snatch victory.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

Lionel Messi - Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal
Champions League, Nou Camp, April 6, 2010
Messi had already been tagged 'the best player in the world' ahead of this match and he underlined his pre-eminence with a stunning individual display. Arsenal led briefly at the Nou Camp but the little master snuffed out any notion of a shock away win with a fizzing finish from the edge of the box and then skipped past a challenge to stroke Barca ahead. An impudent chip over the onrushing Manuel Almunia completed a 21-minute hat-trick and Messi applied the coup de grace two minutes from time with a bewitching run and a shot under the Arsenal keeper at the second attempt.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

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7 Apr 2010