The Gunners conceded two Lionel Messi goals in the last 20 minutes as all their hard work in the opening 70 minutes was undone in the blink of an eye.
Lionel Messi left Arsenal needing a Champions League miracle.
The world’s best player hit a 71st minute opener and an 83rd minute penalty to leave Arsene Wenger desolate.
The Gunners boss admitted: “Technically we were very average. We were naive and that’s what was frustrating.
“It makes it very sticky, if not impossible. We have to go there and fight. They were better than us. There’s no shame to say that.
“It will be very difficult but we have to try and do our best. It’s 95 percent for them and five per cent for us. But you never know.”
Messi’s goals were his seventh and eighth against Arsenal but only his first two against Petr Cech – including his time at Chelsea – in ten hours and 11 minutes.
The spot-kick was conceded by Mathieu Flamini just 47 seconds after coming on a late substitute.
The two teams meet again in the return leg at the Nou Camp (three weeks) but Arsenal now look certain to exit the competition at this stage for the fifth successive season.
Aaron Ramsey admitted: “You have to give them credit they average a goal a game. But chances like the one we had, you need to take them.”
Defender Per Mertesacker added: “We did not deserve anything from the game. We had enough chances to score one.
“We have to concentrate on the Premier League now as it is nearly a month before the second leg. But we will go there with the same courage. We will not give up.”
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs ruined their chances of moving top of the log after drawing with Polokwane City, last night at FNB Stadium.
City lead the pack in the first half but AmaKhosi equalized in the second half, reports Mdu Mphahlele.
The almost empty stadium and despondent fans indicated that Chiefs, were out of sorts as their defence was caught in sixes and sevens by the probing City forwards lead by (Hlongwane) and (Jacobs).
On the hand, AmaKhosi also has to blame just like Arsenal, for not converting their chances with Man of the Match and City’s keeper thwarting their chances.
The game ended 1 all draw.
This further opens the league wider with Downs at the top facing Aces in tonight’s PSL clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Game kicks off at 19:30.
Free Stars play Ajax CT at Goble Park from 18:00 and last weekend winners Maritzburg face top of the log hot contenders Wits at Harry Gwala from 19:30.