The third time was a charm for Barça at Arsenal Stadium. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

  • The win was Barça's first ever at Arsenal Stadium after two previous tries. The first was a 2–2 draw in 2009/10 followed by a 2–1 loss in 2010/2011. Curiously, Barça did beat Arsenal on the road in 1999/2000, but that game was played at Wembley.

  • Messi's two goals on Tuesday night were his first ever against goalkeeper Petr Cech, who, in six previous encounters while playing for Chelsea, had been something of an enigma to the Barça striker.

* Click on the image for the best photos of the match.

  • Barça full-back Dani Alves intervened on a game-high 126 plays, while Messi did so on 112, including six shots.
  • Arsenal are now officially Leo Messi's favourite European victim (tied with AC Milan). Messi has now burned the Gunners for 8 goals, the same as the Italians.
  • Since Luis Enrique joined Barça, the Catalans have won every Champions League first leg match they've played. Last year Barça won 2–1 at Manchester City in the last 16; 3–1 at Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals; and 3–0 at Camp Nou versus Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

  • Luis Enrique went with the same starting XI as he did in last season's Champions League Final in Berlin — Ter Stegen, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Sergio, Rakitic, Iniesta, Neymar Jr, Suárez and Messi.

  • It was the first time since the 1998/99 season that Barça did not make any substitutions in a Champions League game. Then head coach Louis van Gaal didn't replace anyone in group stage matches versus Manchester United and Bayern Munich at Camp Nou. Interestingly, those two teams ended up playing in that year's UCL Final at, you guessed it, Camp Nou, where the Reds emerged victorious.

  • Sergio Busquets was once again the unsung hero, taking a shot to the ribs early, but staying on the field for all 90 minutes, while completing 81 of 85 passes (95%) and snatching 10 ball recoveries, only two less than Gerard Piqué's game-high 12.

Back to top