Joey Barton believes Alexis Sanchez is not the final “piece in the jigsaw” for Arsenal, and that he “failed” against Barcelona.
Sanchez played the full 90 minutes as Arsenal slipped to a demoralising 2-0 defeat to the Spanish and European champions on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi scored both goals at the Emirates Stadium, meaning that Arsenal must beat Barca by at least two goals at the Nou Camp in the return leg in three weeks.
Sanchez had two shots on Tuesday – both blocked – and completed just 68.8 per cent of his passes, and Barton believes that his performance showed that he is not the final “piece of the jigsaw” for Arsenal’s title challenge.
“Alexis Sanchez, when he signed for Arsenal, I said a bit about him being slightly inconsistent,” Barton told talkSPORT.
“Whilst everyone was getting carried away with him, I didn’t think he would be the piece in the jigsaw that took Arsenal on to be league champions – ironically this season they have a good chance of doing that.
“We saw that last night, that was a prime opportunity on the elite-level stage – go and be a match-winner, show everybody that you are an elite-level match-winner and I think he failed to do that.
“On the other side of the coin, Messi is a proven elite-level match-winner and he didn’t have his most flamboyant, his most exciting game but he did what the best in the world do.”