Javier Mascherano says that Barcelona knew that Arsenal would not be able to “maintain their intensity” in their game on Tuesday.
Arsenal held their own against the Spanish and European champions in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners eventually succumbed to two second-half goals from Lionel Messi.
Discussing the game with the Daily Mirror, Mascherano says that he and his Barcelona team-mates realised that Arsenal would finally crack under pressure.
“We knew that Arsenal couldn’t maintain the intensity of the first few minutes,” Mascherano said. “We knew that sooner or later we would find them disorganised at the back.
“And in the end that’s how it was. We seized the moment and we’ve taken a great victory that allows us to face the future with greater optimism.”
The Argentinean international added: “Clearly we’ve done a good job but I still don’t think it’s definite.
“Arsenal are a team with a lot of quality that can make life difficult for anyone.”