Mascherano: Barca were patient

Javier Mascherano insists Barcelona were never worried during their 2-0 Champions League win over Arsenal, whom they knew would eventually crack.

The Gunners fought hard against Barca in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium, but they couldn’t maintain their intensity as Lionel Messi scored twice in the final 20 minutes.

“We knew that Arsenal couldn’t maintain the intensity of the first few minutes,” Mascherano was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

“We knew that sooner or later we would find them disorganised at the back. And in the end, that’s how it was.

“We seized the moment and we’ve taken a great victory that allows us to face the future with greater optimism.”

Commenting on the second leg at Camp Nou on March 16, Mascherano added: “Clearly we’ve done a good job but I still don’t think it’s definite.

“Arsenal are a team with a lot of quality that can make life difficult for anyone.”