The Stat Line Of The Night — 3/8/11 — Lionel Messi
Barcelona entered the second leg of their Champions League match-up with Arsenal in need of a big performance at Camp Nou if they hoped to continue their run towards the title for best in Europe. Having lost the first leg in England by a score of 2-1, the Catalan Giants were in need of three goals after Arsenal recorded one away goal of their own yesterday. They would get two from the foot of Lionel Messi.
His first came three minutes into injury time in the first half, as he took a feed from Andrés Iniesta following a Cesc Fàbregas giveaway, and lifted the ball over Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia for the 1-0 lead. The Gunners would respond in the second half, receiving an own goal off the head of Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets to tie the game at 1-1, but Barcelona would score two more within two minutes, including a penalty shot from Messi, to put the game away.
With the win, Barcelona advances to the quarterfinals of the tournament, as they look to capture their second Champions League title in three years. Messi continues to be a big part of their success, as his two goals during yesterday’s match not only helped his team earn the important victory, but it also put him on top of the UCL scoring race with eight goals. As a result, he earns our “Stat Line of the Night” for Tuesday, March 8, 2011.