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Arsenal's Beth Mead: Barcelona schooled us but we have learned

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Arsenal forward Beth Mead has said her side were "schooled" when they met Barcelona in the Champions League in October but they have learned from the experience as they prepare to face Danish side HB Koge on Wednesday.

Arsenal are undefeated across all competitions this season so far apart from the 4-1 thrashing by 2020-21 UWCL champions Barcelona.

"Against Barca, they were a different kettle of fish in terms of footballing talent, but you want to play against the best and you need to beat the best to be the best," Mead told ESPN.

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"It was as if the Barcelona players were programmed, you thought you were there with them and they would just flick the ball around you. They were ridiculous and credit to them, they have built that over a few years and that's where we are now. What a team to play against, you have to enjoy those moments.

"We were schooled that day against Barca, they are at an insane level and a level that we want to be at. We want to be in the Champions League consistently. A few of the Chelsea girls 'told us so' after they had also been beaten by them in the Champions League final."

Having not conceded a goal since Oct. 5 and netting 14 in between, Arsenal have reacted well to the defeat in Europe. She is also close to breaking Karen Carney's record for most assists in the Women's Super League.

Mead has been in particularly good form, scoring 10 goals and providing 15 assists in 17 games for club and country since she was dropped from Hege Riise's Great Britain Olympic squad.

"I've had tough times and worked hard before this so it is nice now to get those little rewards of playing well and being in form," she said.

"For me, how I have been from preseason until now, I want to be consistent. A lot of coaches say consistency is key and it is so true. If I can keep my level of performance now consistent.

"I'm a player that likes to create goal scoring opportunities, I did that well last season but missed out on goals.

"I think goals are a big part of what I need to be doing, getting in those positions to score, which so far I think I have been doing but I need to keep that consistency for the season now."

Mead's increase in form has coincided with that of a number of her teammates and has seen Arsenal hold firm to the top of the WSL since the start of the season.

The London side are second in their UWCL group after the defeat to Barca and will be hopeful of a win against last place HB Koge. This is the Danish side's first time in the Champions League after winning their first-ever top flight title last season in the Elitedivisionen.

"The depth of the squad now has helped push me to me to a new level," Mead said.

"As a footballer you will always be competitive and training I am competitive and push myself to be better than the players in my position, they do the same and it improves us all and makes the team better. It's nice to have the depth that if during a game I feel like there's nothing left in the tank that Nikita [Parris], Tobin [Heath], Katie [McCabe], Mana [Iwabuchi] or whoever can come on and make a difference and vice versa.

"I think that could be the difference this season in how we do compared to recent seasons."