FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola said Lionel Messi was "on fire" after the 22-year-old scored all his side's goals in their 4-1 win against Arsenal FC while Arsène Wenger simply called him "the best in the world".
Josep Guardiola heaped praise on his FC Barcelona side after a 4-1 win against Arsenal FC secured the holders' passage into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. However, he reserved a special mention for Lionel Messi – who scored all the home team's goals at the Camp Nou – saying that the Argentinian international was "on fire". Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger conceded the hosts were the better team and also found time to pay tribute to Messi, but was also frustrated the visitors let an opportunity slip after Nicklas Bendtner had given them an early lead.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We lost to a team who are better than us and against the best player in the world, but we had opportunities. The regret we have on the night is that at 1-0 we had great opportunities to score a second goal and over the two games we gave cheap goals away. At 1-0 we had a good counterattack but made the wrong choice but defensively we basically gave them the goals.
When there's players like Messi then you can pay for any mistake. He's the best player in the world by a distance. The difficulty with him is that he's not always in the game but when he's in it he's really dangerous. Once he's on the ball he's unstoppable; he's the only player who can change direction at such a pace. We battled and came back. We started well and at 3-1 we had chances to come back to 3-2, especially when Nicklas hit the post. We missed a few opportunities when we could have been more dangerous, but congratulations to Barcelona. They were better than us.
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