Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona

Cesc delighted at morale boosting win

February 16, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie claimed Arsenal had beaten "the best side in football's history'' following a 2-1 triumph over Barcelona at the Emirates in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

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David Villa put Barca in front after 26 minutes as they dominated the first half, but it was a tale of two halves as two goals in five minutes from Van Persie (78) and Andrei Arshavin (83) swung the game.

Asked what the Gunners' game-plan was, goalscorer Van Persie said: "Just to play our own game. In my opinion, and in our opinion, if you drop back too much they are so good they will in the end beat you by far.

"We had to beat them in their own style. We got a bit lucky but it was a fantastic win.''

Fabregas was not reading too much into Arsenal's win, though. He told ITV: "They don't lose many games. They are the best side in football's history in my opinion.

"This is 180 minutes. It's a nice victory. It will give confidence to the team but that's all.''

Asked what the difference was between this year and last, when they were outplayed by Barca, he said: "First of all we don't have five or six injured players. Second, we are all one year older. We are mature enough to play big games. We showed it here but if we don't show it (in the second leg in Barcelona) it's nothing.''