FC Barcelona’s Messi, Suarez and Neymar knock Arsenal out of Champions League

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona’s big three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all scored to beat Arsenal 3-1 on Wednesday, sending the defending champions into the Champions League quarterfinals for a ninth consecutive season with a 5-1 victory on aggregate.

Leading the tie after Messi scored both goals in a 2-0 first leg win, Suarez passed for Neymar to open the scoring in the 18th minute at Camp Nou.

Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny struck in the 51st, and the English side threatened to add another before Suarez answered with an acrobatic goal in the 65th.

Messi chipped in Barcelona’s third with two minutes to play following a pair of timely stops by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to protect the lead.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, whose side was eliminated from the round of 16 for a sixth straight year, said Barcelona’s strike trio took the game to the level of “art.”

“We played against the team with the best strikers I have seen,” Wenger said. “The three together are exceptional. Messi is incredible. They are two or three players who transform normal life into art.”

Also on Wednesday, Bayern Munich fought back to beat Juventus 4-2 in extra time to advance.

Barcelona increased its Spanish record streak to 38 unbeaten games, and stayed on course to repeat the treble of European Cup, Spanish league and Copa del Rey titles.

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