Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
Great game, Arsenal went behind in the first half via a goal from World Cup winner David Villa. Barca threatened all the first half as Arsenal looked to play a very high defensive line in order to take the game to Barca. They did that and made themselves chances yet kept being left open when any one of Barca's midfield played a delightful through ball for either Messi or Villa.
Barca ended the first half with over 300 passes completed, more than an average premier league team makes in a whole game. They completely dominated, playing triangle football effortlessly.
Second half Arsenal came out playing exactly the same, giving the ball away cheaply and having to work much harder to get it back. England midfielder Jack Wilshere shone throughout the game, looking comfortable on the ball. To think he isn't even 20 and was playing up against the two best Centre Midfield players in the world.
Half way through the second half Barca took off Villa and replaced him with the more defensive Keita. This substition looked to help Arsenal out with Clichy putting Robin Van Persie to the byline. RVP had the choice to pull it back to an oncoming Arsenal forward but instead chose to shoot to the near post where a stunned Valdes totally misjudged his decision. RVP than ran straight over to his manager, Wenger, and the whole stadium erupted. A year on from a crushing Barca display, Arsenal had got back in the game!
The final ten minutes, Wilshere played a ball forward to Fabregas, who then played in Nasri. Nasri ran down on goal, but just when he got into the box, turned round and assesed his options... Played a delicate ball straight through the middle of the area, passed two Barca defenders and fell kindly for Arshavin, who finished neatly passed Valdes.
Arsenal had clinched the 2-1 victory, setting up the return leg nicely on March 8th in Barcelona.