Barcelona may have the five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, the mercurial Neymar and the ferocious Luis Suarez leading their attack and a two-goal lead to boot heading into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Arsenal – but that hasn't stopped one of their former adversaries offering them a two-point plan to get the better of Arsene Wenger's side once again.
Swansea City defender Jordi Amat played the full 90 minutes as the south Wales club beat the Gunners 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium through goals from Wayne Routledge and Ashley Williams, and he is now playing the role of adviser to the Catalan giants. The Swans have completed a league double over the North London side, winning at the Liberty Stadium in November by the same scoreline.
Amat therefore has a unique insight into how to beat Arsenal and though Barcelona have a healthy advantage going into the game at the Nou Camp, the 23-year-old has handed his former foes some guidance ahead of the tie. The centre-back had spells at Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano before his move to the Premier League, and says isolating Francis Coquelin and set-pieces are key to victory.
"A lot of times, [Arsenal] send four or five players forward when they attack, and that's when our moment comes," he told Mundo Deportivo. "They only have Coquelin in midfield, and if we get the ball back, that's when our opportunity starts. Our first goal was like that. The front four didn't drop back, I got the ball back from Ozil, my teammate [Jack] Cork took it, passed it into space, and we scored.
"Defensively, the only thing we watched over and over on video is the way Arsenal defend free-kicks and corners: they wait until the last moment to drop back. When the set-piece taker kicks the ball, that's when they drop back. To surprise them a bit, because you're usually tussling with the defence, we stood back a little to be at full speed when we reached them. That's how we scored the second."
Luis Enrique's team were frustrated for long periods of the first leg before eventually prevailing. Messi netted twice, the first after a flowing counter-attack as Arsenal pushed forward and the second from the penalty spot after Mathieu Flamini fouled Barcelona's all-time leading scorer.