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Published: 21:57 | 23/2/16

Wenger expresses regret after loss

Gunner boss: We gave the game away

Arsene Wenger was left with "regret" after watching his side lose 2-0 to Barcelona in their Champions League last 16 first leg at the Emirates.

The Gunners stand on the brink of exiting the competition at this stage for the sixth season on-the-bounce after Lionel Messi's brace saw them lose 2-0 at the Emirates.

The little Argentine broke the deadlock on 71 minutes when finishing off an electric counter-attack involving his two celebrated forward colleagues, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

The match and almost certainly the tie was put beyond doubt when Per Mertesacker's foolish lay-off allowed Messi to nip in ahead of the lunging Mathieu Flamini and the world player of the year fired the resulting penalty past Petr Cech, leaving Wenger with regrets.

"Barcelona is a great team," he told BT Sport. "We put a lot of energy in the game and technically we were very average.

"The regret I had was once we looked like we dominate the game, we give the goal away. Similar to Monaco last season, naive, and that is frustrating. When we looked like we could win the game, we just gave it away.

"Realistically it is very,very difficult, if not impossible. We have to go there and fight. We had the chances, we didn't score."

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