10 man Arsenal leading 1-0
Although sacrificing much of the possession, Arsenal were still a real danger on the break with both Hleb and Ljungberg threatening the Barcelona goal.
Arsenal’s best chance to score again came on 69 minutes when Thierry Henry raced clear of the defence. He got into the box but his shot was tame and predictable and Victor Valdes got down to his right to save.
Last throw of the dice
Both coaches made substitutions to try and turn the game in their favour with Wenger sending Flamini on for the tiring Fabregas and Riijkaard putting on Larsson and Belletti in place of Van Bommel and Oleguer.
Larsson makes the difference
Then with just 15 minutes left to play Barcelona finally found a way through the Arsenal defence.
Larsson played a clever pass to release Eto’o in the box. He approached the goal from the left and beat Almunia at his near post with a well placed shot.
It was heartbreak for Arsenal after leading for so long and defending so heroically.
It got even worse soon after though as again Larsson proved the man to unlock the defence.
On the right wing he cut back onto his left foot and played the ball into the path of the onrushing Belletti. The Brazilian took the ball in his stride and struck the ball low at goal from the angle.
Almunia may be disappointed he let the shot squirm past him and into the goal but it was struck fiercely and he had no time to react.
The Barcelona fans went wild and Arsenal’s efforts had been in vain. The Barcelona goals had knocked the stuffing out of them and they never looked likely to get back into the match.