Arsenal vs Barcelona- What was different?

By on February 20, 2011

When Arsenal were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League knockout stage ….you knew you couldn’t make it up. As per usual, I was nervous but excited before the game. It was by far our game of the current season.

Arsenal started the match looking strong and alert. They passed well and had chances. They worked hard and Barcelona did not look a 100% and my belief that we could do this grew stronger.

In the 26th minute David Villa scored and I thought here we go again; we’re going to get hammered. The next 10 minutes or so Arsenal chased the ball and Barcelona started enjoying themselves. They showed us what they could do with the ball and to be honest it was beautiful football. Their passing is out of this world, but then again Arsenal are amazing on their day too but Barcelona are the best team in the world.

I was glad when the whistle went for half time, you could see our players getting tired from chasing so much and think it was a good time for them to take 5 minutes out and regroup. The team that came out in the second half demonstrated their strength and determination. We passed well, showed belief and that is what resulted to our victory.

Twelve months ago, we had many players injured, we did not have the courage we have this season. The team was young but a year later that has changed we still have a young team but it has more experience.

The one thing that stood out on Wednesday night was the fight that the players had. They did not give up, they knew what they wanted and they went and got it. I could not believe when Van Persie scored and then when Arshavin scored the winner I was on cloud nine. The last 10 minutes of the game were the longest of my life.

Do not get me wrong, I know that in the second leg Barcelona will be a whole lot stronger at Nou Camp. If Arsenal want to win they are going to have to be a better team than they were at the Emirates, also they cannot make the mistakes they made on Wednesday.

If Arsenal knocks Barcelona out….will they go on to win the Champions League?

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7 Comments

  1. GunnerPete

    February 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

    The difference ? Simple……The spine = Chezney, Djourou, Jack & VP. Put them against any team in the world and we stand a chance. Last year we had Almunia, Gallas, Denilson & Bentner…..says it all.

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  3. dan

    February 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    everyone seems to think arsenal got or looked tired from chasing the ball so much. i dont think so. if you watch a replay you will find out the he took villa off because he was chasing or defenders(he was panting chasing down eboue). arsenal only pressed close when messi went for the kill. barca were passing for fun, and arsenal were not killing themselves trying to get the ball back off them. at half time arsenal did not look tired. maybe frustrated.

    i believe there is a floor in barca’s play. arsenal exposed it with good effect. there whole game plan was pass it all over the place keep possession, that way arsenal will become dazed and lose the ball instantly for most of the game. check this. how tiring is it to pass the ball around for a while with the opposition not pressing too hard, to then lose the ball and have a 100 metre sprinter flying down the over way with 4 vs 3. i think this plan could not be sustained because everytime they lost the ball arsenal had a chance or a break a attacking their goal. as i said before villa came off because he was knackered and guadiola could see he needed a defender because they were losing the ball more often in the second half (we broke free almost everytime). the great floor is, against man u chelsea who lose the ball often this bully the possession style works. arsenal pride their game on keeping possession. the opposition is not meant to intercept the ball keep possession and attack back. just look at barca games vs manu and chelsea (very funny)
    the question is, can barca stop arsenal breaking. nasri should be match fit, theo will have more determination, cesc can prove he is better than xavi and iniesta. wilshere will just play his A game as usual. the back 4 will do the thing. last season we had silvestre, denilson, bentnar starting etc. with traore as an extra attacking option off the bench. today we have arshavin chamack etc. they won 4-1 last time.
    we will them wrong.

    com on u gunners

  4. Felix machuki

    February 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I thnk the plan was to let Barca tire themselves with a lot of passing and we catch them on the counter!well,it wrked didn’t it?

  5. sifundo

    February 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    At Nou camp let’s not give too much respect too Messi. if man-marked he can be as useless as David Villa, Iniesta and Xavi. Fabregas destroy them before joining them because you will not get a jersey when you become part of them next season. VP, Jack, Song and Theo you are the best in the world

  6. abel

    February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Dan u said it all

    My question is can Barca stop Arsenal from scoring?

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