Arsenal – March 2011
Concentration in vital moments is a key element to success in football. Teams that lose focus can often find themselves on the losing end of a match. Lionel Messi made Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger pay for this type of mistake in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 during the 2010-11 campaign.
The Gunners had played well in the first leg at the Emirates, bringing a 2-1 aggregate lead with them to Catalonia. A solid first 45 minutes saw half-time approaching with Arsenal in a great position to advance to the quarter-final round.
But stoppage-time brought a lapse in effort and the start of a downward spiral for the visitors.
After failing to clear the ball out of a dangerous area, Messi ran in behind the back-line, juggled the ball past the goalkeeper and fired a home a blast to ignite both his Barcelona team-mates and the Camp Nou supporters.
The Blaugrana would score two more in the second half to triumph 4-3 on aggregate, eventually going on to lift the Champions League trophy weeks later.
Victory over Barcelona requires constant effort and focus, with Lionel Messi’s unbelievable and world-class quality able to turn around their fortunes in a matter of seconds.