Autopilot Leads

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arsenal v Barcelona

What a great game of precision passing. Barcelona were masters of the quick pass, Arsenal were no slouchers either. David Villa made Arsenal pay for trying to play the offside trap, getting the first goal down the center of the defense who failed to spring the offside trap. Wenger was furious with his defenders. In the first half Barcelona had twice as many passes as Arsenal, but after 45min had only one goal to show for it.It's just not been Lionel Messi's night at the Emirates. After barely missing a goal in the first half while one on one with Wojciech Scezney before seeing a header find the net at almost the same time that the linesman's flag went up, it seemed like only a matter of time before he managed to score. It didn't happened, though, despite two (relatively) easy chances falling his way within a minute. First, centre back Laurent Koscielny bravely blocked the striker's goalbound shot before Barcelona picked up the ricochet, and David Villa managed to feed Messi once more. One on one against Scezney  once more and from an acute angle, Messi's shot could only ripple the side nettingA one nil lead is always precarious as it turned out for Barcelona. They should have had a penalty early in the second half but the assistant ref failed to spot it. Barcelona as other foreign teams seem to do when they are ahead took the foot off the pedal, their passing became less crisp and when Arsenal got a free kick they were slow to react and let Van Persie in to score Arsenal's first goal. The Barcelona keeper made a rookie mistake in failing to cover his near post.
Wenger replaced Walcot with Arshavin who hasn't scored since 2010, who went on to score the winning goal and set the scene for a great return game in 3 weeks time. I can see Barcelona getting revenge at home, although Arsenal will not go down without a fight. Can't wait.
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