Barca stars line up to rubbish Arsenal
Barcelona superstar Xavi last night stuck the boot in on Arsenal following their Champions League showdown.
The Barca squad were left upset as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claimed his players were unlucky and blamed their European exit on Swiss referee Massimo Busacca for sending off Robin van Persie.
Spain midfielder Xavi said:
* Arsenal only came to the Nou Camp to defend,
* Were outclassed in both legs of the tie,
* Van Persie deserved to be sent off even before he got his marching orders.
"If you look at the two games, the only thing that let us down was our ability to take our chances. Everything else was spectacular," said Xavi. "We dominated the first leg and the second leg. Arsenal hardly had a shot on goal in the second leg.
"Van Persie could have been sent off before, for the incident [a foul on Dani Alves that saw the Arsenal man booked] in the first half.
"The referee decided that it was Barcelona's ball; he kicks it out and the rule says that is a card. That helped us dominate the game even more, but we were practically the same when it was 11 against 11.
"We stayed on the attack throughout. The truth is we dominated Arsenal - a team that normally want to have the ball and want to attack, but Barcelona did not let them. We were superior as much in the second leg as in the first game.
"It surprised us a bit that they did not play with more joy, more attacking flair. They had a one-goal advantage and they set themselves up to protect that but, it did not work out for them. We dominated and we could have finished the game sooner.
"The result is not really a real reflection of the tie over two legs - we dominated the first game as much as the second."
Barcelona's former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano joined in.
"It would have been unjust if they went through without having a single shot on goal," he said. "We won 3-1, but it could have been four or five.
"It seems Barca never win because of its football, its passes, its possession; no, it's always because of the referee."
Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, who scored an own-goal after moving from midfield to play in central defence because injury and suspension ruled out Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, also criticised Arsenal's approach.
"If anything should disappoint them, it is not the ref but how little ambition they showed at the Nou Camp," he said.
"That is the question they should be asking themselves - why did they come here only to defend when they're a team that likes to have the ball and play and attack?"