FC Barcelona are looking for a tenth straight UEFA Champions League home win when they host round of 16 rivals Arsenal FC.
Arsenal will hope to avoid suffering a hat-trick of defeats against Barcelona who beat them previously in two-legged ties in the UEFA Champions League in 2010 and 2011.
The Gunners, however, have a mountain to climb after Lionel Messi’s late double in the first leg gave Barcelona a 2-0 victory in north London – the fourth year in a row Arsenal have lost at home in the round of 16 first leg.
• When the teams met in the 2010/11 round of 16, Arsenal came from behind to win the first leg 2-1, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin overturning David Villa’s first-half goal.
• Barcelona recovered with a 3-1 second-leg success in which Messi scored twice. Sergio Busquets had briefly given Arsenal hope with a 53rd-minute own goal that made it 1-1 three minutes before Van Persie’s dismissal.
• The previous season Messi had hit all four Barcelona goals in a 4-1 second-leg quarter-final triumph over Arsenal. Arsène Wenger’s men had given themselves hope in the first leg by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 through Theo Walcott and Cesc Fàbregas (penalty).
• Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final at Stade de France with Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti scoring late on to overturn Sol Campbell’s strike for an Arsenal side who lost Jens Lehmann to a first-half red card.
• Luis Enrique scored in both matches when the clubs met in the 1999/2000 first group stage. The Barcelona coach found the net in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou and again in a 4-2 win at Wembley.
Winners of Group E, Barcelona were one of only two teams to go through the group stage unbeaten and are now looking to reach the quarter-finals for the ninth consecutive season.
The defending champions are on a run of nine straight home wins in the UEFA Champions League, including a 6-1 rout of AS Roma on matchday five.
Their last home reverse in the competition was the 3-0 loss to FC Bayern München in May 2013 – their only defeat in their last 36 UEFA Champions League home matches, of which 29 have been victories.
Barcelona overcame Manchester City FC in the round of 16 in each of the previous two campaigns – each time after winning the first leg in England.
Barcelona’s overall home record against English clubs is W17 D11 L2.
In two-legged ties against English opposition in UEFA competition, their record is W13 L10.
• As well as overcoming Arsenal in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final, Barcelona also beat Manchester United FC in the 2009 (2-0) and 2011 (3-1) finals. They lost to United in the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final (1-2).
• Barcelona have progressed 35 out of the 37 times they won the away first leg in UEFA competition, most recently against Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s quarter-finals. Those two failures came against 1. FC Köln in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup first round (1-0 away, 0-4 home), and FC Metz in the 1984/85 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round (4-2 away, 1-4 home).
The Gunners are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.
They reached the knockout stage for the 16th season running thanks to a 3-0 win at Olympiacos FC on 9 December. They had lost three of their first four group games but finished as group runners-up thanks to a superior head-to-head record against Olympiacos.