Thursday, 17 February 2011

Arsenal v Barcelona - Beating Barca at their own game

(Picture courtesy Ronnie)

It's a good day to be an Arsenal blogger today. It's a good day to be an Arsenal fan today.

Apparently there was some kind of football match or something yesterday evening. I think I must have fallen asleep at half-time when we were 1-0 down. I had this weird dream that we came back to win 2-1, beating Barca at their own game.

I said yesterday that we needed a win at home because it would be difficult to get one in the away leg and that's exactly what we got. Most of the match reports I've read say that Barcelona mullered us in the first half (even's match report is fairly negative), but I thought that up until Barca scored it was a fairly even match. After that of course Barca took over, but through a combination of good luck, good defending and poor finishing by the self-styled 'best team in the world', it remained 1-0 at the interval.

In the second half Arsenal were much better and you could see as the match went on that Barca were getting tired, both physically and mentally. Arsene Wenger took a risk by bringing on the attack-minded Arshavin in place of Song, but with Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Bendtner and van Persie all running at them Barcelona's tired legs couldn't cope, and it was substitute Arshavin who scored the winner.

Now we can go to the Nou Camp only needing a draw. If we go there playing for a draw, we'll get beaten, but I can't really see that happening.

Before we play Barca again on Tuesday 8 March it's Leyton Orient away in the FA Cup on Sunday, followed by Stoke at home in the league on Wednesday 23 February, the League Cup final against Birmingham on Sunday 27 February and Sunderland at home in the league on Sat 5 March.

I wonder if Orient's scouts learnt anything from watching last night's match?

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