Barcelona Preview: Time To Give The Team Your Backing

Barcelona visit The Emirates this evening, European football’s current most successful club come to the home of the club which they aspire to be. Many commentators believe that the quality of the Premier League has fallen; the same can be said of the Champions League. A quick glance at the remaining sixteen teams suggest it is not too fanciful to believe that the winners of this tie will probably go on to win the tournament itself.

Much has been written in awe of tonight’s opponents and there is no getting away from the fact that Barcelona are the exceptional team of their time. Like Milan, Madrid and Liverpool before them, they must be aware of the cyclical nature of that time though. It will not last forever nor may not last as long as they thought.

Much is made of the ‘homegrown’ nature of their side and the numbers who have emerged from their youth system is a testimony to the hard work that they have put in. Frequently held up as the way football should go, Barcelona encompass that which is good and bad in football. The excesses of their leaders is highlighted in the fact that Alves and Villa combined were more expensive to buy than the expected Arsenal starting line-up, almost double that if Nasri is on the bench.

And Barcelona are not invincible either. Respect for their efforts on the pitch is due and to win, Arsenal will have to be at their best. It is no more or less than should be expected in this competition. We know already that a disinterested Arsenal is capable of losing in Donetsk and Braga. The same squad is equally capable of destroying teams at home.

There has been much talk of revenge for last season but this more fuelled by the sense of injustice over Paris, a match Arsenal were the better side in despite being reduced to ten men. Yet revenge in the context of this tie is irrelevant. Tonight is all about being more aggressive in keeping the ball and retrieving it when possession is lost; more clinical in front of goal; more solid in defence; more than Barcelona in every department.

And a full strength Arsenal side is more than capable of being that. Martin Keown gives a quick tactical guide here but there are more ways than this to skin the Catalan cat. All of Arsenal’s game is built on speed but not just physical, mental as well. Anticipating the moves of their opponent to stifle danger and turn defence into attack.

The media like to portray the back four of Arsenal as the weakness, particularly in the centre. This is to ignore the solidity of Szczesny and Djourou / Koscielny together. Recent Premier League form identifies the fallacy of the supposed weakness; just three goals conceded since Old Trafford with the trio in situ.

The defence is weakened over the two ties though. Bacary Sagna’s suspension means Emmanuel Eboué will play at right back. No disrespect to Eboué but Sagna is the better defender; the Ivorian will need to play to his highest level to compensate for the Frenchman’s absence. In 2006 his buccaneering style was a highlight and judicious use of the same attacking flair will push Barcelona onto the back foot without leaving gaps at the back to be exploited.

Whilst the headline grabbers in midfield and attack are those in Barcelona colours, their weaknesses are more than capable of being exploited by Arsenal’s sextet. Man-mark Fàbregas all that you want,  Wilshere, Song, Nasri and Walcott are more than capable of creating chances for van Persie whilst chipping in with their share of goals.

The pace of Walcott has pre-occupied tonight’s opposition which is to Arsenal’s advantage on the pitch. Either the Catalans have to utilise more resources to stop him or their full backs cannot push on as much as they would like to. Both scenarios are favourable for the hosts.

The line-up I expect Arsène to go with this evening is:

Szczesny; Eboué, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Fàbregas, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, van Persie, Nasri

The only change to that would be Arshavin starting instead of Nasri which might be a more sensible approach given the recent hamstring problems of the latter.

There is one more element for tonight; us. Big European nights have seen Arsenal two down before anyone has known what was happening. Tonight is for us to get behind the team from before the kick-off, to create a vibrant atmosphere for the players to respond to.

One aspect is letting the Catalans know exactly what their poverty is denying them, supporting the campaign from the gentlemen of Le Grove and their ‘Hands Off Cesc’ idea. Each one of us there tonight needs to get The Emirates rocking and rolling; encourage, persuade, cajole and bully those who won’t because they might spill their prawn sandwiches.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 16, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 633 Comments.

  1. KAMAAAN

  2. I haven’t been this excited about a CL game since the final in Paris. I truly believe we have all the tools to beat them. It will be no easy challenge but it is good to have an almost full strength team at our disposal.

    Is Sagna out for both legs?

  3. Eboue hat trick! My spidey-sense is going mad!

  4. Drew – No – just first leg

  5. drew10

    I believe that he is.

    YW

  6. Tell a fib – it is just the 1st Leg. Today’s already getting better!!

  7. That is good, I think we can cope with Eboue at home but we will need Bac in the Camp Nou!

  8. We live for games like these when we are pitted against the best. COYG. We’re right behind you.

  9. YW, I don’t see the Arsenal fans getting behind the team is a problem, especially on these big European nights. If you remember the atmosphere before the Man Utd match a couple of seasons ago it was electric only for the team to concede a couple of early goals which deflated the crowd.

    Why the sense of injustice in Paris? Lehmann got sent off, I don’t think there’s much doubt about the validity of that and after we went ahead Henry had two chances against the goalkeeper to finish the match before the Barcelona comeback. As far as I can see it was no-one’s fault but our own. If this team can take that epxerience, although only a couple of tonights protagonists played that night, and use it to inspire them to greater heights then all well and good.

    I’m hoping for a great game tonight, we can beat Barca certainly, but only if we show due respect to one of the best teams in the world at the moment and are diligent in our defensive work and clinical in attack.

  10. We should not respect them, sod it lets go out and play. Last time we showed them too much respect!! Let’s go show the world that The Arsenal way is the only way!

  11. We will win tonight. I have no doubt about that, despite Barca being a top class class team.

  12. Nice post and a good scene-setter.

    It’s funny but usually these matches that are built up and billed as the biggest games of the season often turn out to disappoint. And whilst I think this actually will be a great game tonight, Spanish caution over Walcott and an unhealthy fixation with Cesc could lead to the game being a one-nil-er, decided on a break.

    I think the crowd will be a great one and we have a tremendous chance all told. In my view, looking back, any goalie other than Lehmann would have been booked and rarely, as per last season, has a club been weighed down with an injury list as per this time last year. I don’t expect Barca to get that lucky again – indeed, it feels right to say “3rd time lucky” for our magnificent club; they certainly deserve to be.

    Can’t wait to get to the stadium – see you there!

    COYGs!!!

  13. Also I have changed my mind with the AA/Nasri decision. Yesterday I was all for having Nasri on the bench; he is just back from injury and AA is getting back to form. I would now rather Nasri start. He will be fresh after an enforced break, but more importantly he retains the ball much better than AA. Whoever wins in that department tonight will will the game IMO.

  14. Block4, etos goal was offside, not too sure if the seocnd was not offside or else was a foul not given to us…. something about their goals that was not right

  15. Gooners all around smell a victory hidden deep under the media’s bullsht.
    COYG!!!

  16. Funnily enough, I think our major advantage against Barca is the very one that all the media morons are claiming is our weakness, namely our defence.

    I think our defence is markedly better than theirs, and as long as we make full use of Walcott and whoever is on the other flank to keep them penned back and guessing (this is possibly where Eboue’s inclusion might turn out to be a blessing in disguise – he’s one of the players in the squad who can run at and beat opposition in tight spaces), I think this is the critical area that can tip the balance in our favor.

    We will need to take our chances when they come (and they will), so RvP must have his shooting boots on. We can’t afford profligacy in this game.

    I’m not sure how we will start the game, whether we will need to contain them as they try and stamp their authority on us (they surprised us at the start in the last game at THOF), or will we try and boss them from the off?

    Either way, we will need to be at full focus from the very first second, no gentle warm-up as the game gets into gear.

    I think the strike forces are both superb, but they do have Messi, and many people seem to be ignoring Villa as a result.

    Villa is extremely dangerous if he gets anywhere near our box. In truth I’m more worried about him in this tie than Messi, who I think we will contain.

    Likewise, the midfield battle will be tough, though I rate Song and Wilshere as key above Bisquets and/or Mascherano.

    It will be interesting to see if Barca try to change shape and field 2 DMs instead of just 1, especially considering that they will have a selection problem at LB and CD.

    Our midfield is going to need a lot of help from the front trio as well to press early and force loose balls if Barca get possession. Ambling across the front line by a lone striker is not going to cut it in this fixture imo.

    The front 3 will also need to track back into midfield and help out as well.

    This is way more winnable than many are making out, but we will need to be at our best, and we must not be overawed by the situation like we were last season.

    As I said before, a clean sheet is first prize, but we can still do it if not.

    The spurs game last night was really odd.

    Milan looked absolutely clueless.

    When they decided to have a go (which was very, very rare, they looked like they could shred spurs to bits, but they seemed to vanish up their own posteriors on a regular basis, and hardly ever took the game to spurs for some weird reason.

    Unbelievably poor performance from Milan.

    Jordan must have said something to Gattusso. I can’t imagine him going for him just for the fun of it.

    What really made me reach for the sick bucket was the bias of the commentators.

    Flamini’s tackle was a “definite red”, which yes, it was, but I’ll bet you anything the same would never be said if it was an Arsenal player on the receiving end of that.

    Likewise several other incidents during the game. Arsenal never get the kind of backing or support from the commentators, no matter who the opposition, in fact Arsenal are regularly treated in pretty much the same way Milan were last night by commentators.

    Anything a spurs player did was “magnificent”, despite there being a general dearth of “magnificence” any where on the pitch for a large part of the game, and if they’d crept any further up “Harry’s” “magnificent” arse they would have needed name-tags with long strings attached for identification.

    I was also baffled as to why Gattusso should be admonished for not “showing respect” to Jordan!

    There were many things I would have chosen to admonish Gattusso for last night, but why the flying fuck would he need to show “respect” to Jordan?

  17. Great write-up Yogi!!
    I have the same gut feeling than before Chelsea and whereas last year I was not convinced we could do it this year I hold no fear because the team is ready.
    Seeing an in-form RVP, albeit according to him he is not yet 100% which is a scary thought when the guy is already walking on water, leading the line feels me with confidence. Nasri, Walcott, Song, Djourou have all took their game to another level and are showing why Wenger has so much faith in them. Wilshere could be the big difference, he has brought solidity and balance to the midfield while enabling Song to become one of the best midfielder in the world. If the team continues on the same form, I don’t see any weak link and I expect a strong statement of intend with a good win!

    COYG!!!

  18. Guys….those at the emirates, show them hell……i want to hear u on my tv…….we shall prevail….up the arsenal…….

  19. I won’t be surprised if we score from a RvP corner with Kos or Djourou heading one in. Walcott will be sure to win some corners from the right for us.

  20. @team spirit, I don’t recall anything wrong with Eto’o’s goal particularly and I can’t see anything on a couple of match reports I just checked. Anyway, we had the chances to kill the game off way before then.

  21. Tonight we do battle with our newest sworn enemies. they are now our 3rd worst enemy behind the mancs n spuds. stole our cl, and always stealing our players. i’ll shit em.

  22. Gunners! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!

  23. this game’s gunna be fast and technical! its gona come down to which defender will draw red first so wenger better be clear with kozzer’s game plan! and walcott’s gota frustrate maxwell into fouling him…this is how we’ll win! this victory will be decisive our decade! COYG death or glory!

  24. OMG!!am so excited, this day is dragging itself!!Cant wait for 10.45 my local time.
    Hi kiutch, let’s hope there are no blackouts tonight.

    My line-up for the game would be
    ………………..Zscesny(sic)………………
    ..Ebuoe…..Djourou…..Koscielny…..Clichy
    …Song…….Fabrigas…..Wilshire……
    Nasri……..Van P……. Arshavin…

    I think if Nasri is fit he should start then we can unleash Walcott when their players have tired up. The player i have a feeling will be most instrumental to our win tonight is Fabrigas but obviously the other (10) will have a say too. Let’s show them how Arsenal Does it, can’t wait.

  25. 2-2 draw in a feast of football

  26. Last night, Spurs showed AC Milan what the EPL is all about. Tonight
    it’s Arsenal’s turn. The team has more experience and confidence now than it has had for years, never more obvious by the expectation of its fans. I foresee a comfortable win to take to the second leg.

  27. something about barletti or eto for one of the goals… YW, please clarify

    since when do match reports, especially from england see anything positive from an arsenal point of view. anyway? LOL

  28. There is generally a positive vibe around Arsenal fans this time contrary to the last tie with Barca… a feeling of overcoming the Catalans despite the media and pundits’ saying otherwise.. and rightly so. The team is more mature and in-form, the players are confident, & not much injuries to hinder us this time.

    This game is gonna be complicated. They have Messi, we have Walcott. They have Xavi, we have Cesc. They have Iniesta, we have Nasri. They have Villa, we have van Persie. Like for like, shoulder to shoulder.. it’s not going to be easy to counter any team’s attack. A truly thrilling affair awaits…
    Of course we have Wilshere and Song as well when we need them to contribute going forward. A win for us. This time. Definitely.

    Come On Arsenal !!!

  29. Block4 :

    Spot on with the Paris injustice stuff. I have heard many arguing that the goal by Guily should have been allowed to stand and Lehman should have only been cautioned. Point taken. But the problem was that the referee blew the whistle the moment the foul happened. At that point it is a sent off.
    You were reduced to ten but also you didn’t go a goal down. And as he said, Henry had two golden chance to finish the match but I thought he underestimated Valdes’ performance in one on one situations.

    Going through the comments I am very much surprised to see you guys don’t even rate as Iniesta as a threat. He has been our best midfielder this season, way better than Xavi. I am sure he is going to have a great impact in this match.

  30. flamini’s challenge deserved a red but bartons challenge on diaby warrants no card.just shows the double standards of the english media/punditry.buzzing with excitement for tonight,the guys are gona do us proud!!would i jinx the team if i made a prediction??come on arsenal..

  31. You have hit the nail on the head Yogi with ur anslysis. This is The glamour tie that no one needs any extra motivation to succeed in. To quote a biblical analogy pitted against goaliath David triumphed. Twinkle toes Eboue is a worthy replacment obviously robbed of starting opportunities and form will be a challenge however it must not be forgotten that he formed part of a formidable and unheralded back four that lead us to Paris and won us that free kick from which Campbell scored. Before Barca were household names they had to prove themselves. After the two games the world will know a thing or two about this Arsenal team. Of course as fans we already know this but the world needs to know and no better place to start than today.Though we are no minnows ourselves as every man and his dog would like us to believe like Bayer Leverkuessen, Porto, Monaco before we are going to give them a fright tonite and topple them from their pearch. I would love it, absolutely love it.And when we win we will drape Messi in the Arsenal strip with the words Arsenal DNA emblazoned on it. COYG. We believe.

  32. GREAT POST YW! Just what we need. I can’t see me getting much work done today. We are everything Barca want to be.

    Now to read Keown’s tactical post.

  33. I’m so buzzing for this game, its like I’m going to be on the pitch also…Come on you f***ing GUNNERS. Ps. Those of you in the staduim tonight, GIVE THEM HELL

  34. @team spirit, I was at the game, so I didn’t see however many TV replays. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, I did a quick check as I said and couldn’t find anything about it, nor remember feeling particularly hard done by at the time.

  35. block 4, the second barca goal in paris was an own goal, his shot (cross) from the right was going across the goal and it hit almunia on the inside of his right ankle and deflected in the goal

  36. bibin – Nice comments. I would say good luck for tonight, but I wouldn’t mean it 😉

  37. We were not really hard done by in Paris (I was in Paris as well), we just could not hold on long enough. Having only ten men against Barca is not a good idea in general anyway.

  38. Welcome back, Bibin. Sure Iniesta is a great player and part of a strong midfield. We’ll see how Wilshere, Song and Cesc do. Remember Song has five big goals.

    Do you think your club will be able to play as well against us this time. To be honest, I just don’t think we will be in awe the first half this time. Walcott is better, Nasri is better. Djourou and Koscielny have been more solid than Vermaelen and Gallas despite their inexperience. Rvp is in form and playing this time. We’ll miss Sagna. Our GK enjoys the pressure of big games, so hopefully he’ll keep out some of the good shots Villa, Messi, Pedro, and Iniesta ate expected to take. So you’ll pardon us for not quaking in our boots. All respect but you are favoured, even expected, to win the whole competition, just like last season. But you didn’t lift it last year and you’ll have to admit you haven’t played as good a team as Arsenal, with a possible exception of a disjointed Real Madrid side, this season.

  39. Good thoughts from Keown. He seems switched on and obviously has a good eye for dissecting play. I wouldn’t mind if Keown took over from Rice one day. I can’t think about managerial / staff changes. Makes me sad.

    Anyway only thing about Keowns analysis that looked off to me was the fact it was sooo negative. Still he’s a defender he would look at the play that way. Reading the majority of his post it’s as if he’s expecting us to sit back and soak up the pressure from the back foot. That’s not us is it though. We’ll be at them from the whistle. Fight fire with fire. We’ll out gun them.

    COME ON!

  40. Els – Maybe he is thinking that we will have little choice in the matter. I would like to think that we can stop Barca imposing their game on us, but that may just be the way it pans out. If it does, we need to be compact and breaking fast on them.

    I hope we start the game at 100mph. If we try to keep things tight for the first 20min or so, it may let Barca get into their strite. Plus it is not really our game. Play fast, and play with confidence. That is when we are at our best, and that is what we will need to be tonight.

  41. Limestonegunner :
    I don’t think Barca will take Arsenal any lightly. Especially after the draw at Sporting. If we had won that game as usual there was a high chance of complacency creeping in. But I think that draw should keep our boys focussed. Arsenal has improved a fucking lot this season. I really was thrilled by the way you played against Wolves. So did our boys. they are also playing much better than last year.

    This time around this match is going to be one hell of a classic.

  42. Read this Johan on Messi….

    “You don’t get scared, if I was scared I wouldn’t be playing.

    Messi is just a knob head, he has shown that across the world, but I am excited. We know about Messi but it’s not only about him. There is Xavi and Andres Iniesta as well both knob heads.

    “Every game is a big game, I don’t see it as bigger because it is Barcelona.

    “They are one of the biggest bunch of toss pieces in the world but for me and the team it is a normal game. We want to be focused and go through.

    “We all know what the wankers can do, we’ve watched their games. They make us all laugh but we have to be focused for 90 minutes, but don’t forget we have great players going forwards as well.”

  43. GoonerAndy even if we are 1 up with 5 minutes to go, we’ll still be after more. We attack attack attack. We defend by attacking.

  44. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. Can’t concentrate.
    ……..strange, vinegary feeling in my legs and behind my ears. Can’t think straight. Hope this doesn’t last all day………..
    …Arsenal…

  45. Men,

    I feel my stomach and there are no butterflies, no anxiety, no sign of weakness, just peace. I am serene, and it is the Calmness.

    Tonight, we go up against a enemy none would like to face. None except us. For we wanted this battle and we are more than happy to face them. They are said to be the best in the world, and it’s hard to argue against their claim to such a title. They have won many great things. They do battle in a mesmerising fashion, and they have players of the likes that few can boast of.

    But when you look upon them, it’s almost as though you’ve cast your gaze upon some perverse mirror; make no mistake, they are an ugly bunch of bastards. And yet in all the world, there is no-other enemy like them. This will be a battle between the best the planet has to offer.

    Everyone with an arsehole, has given their opinion of how this war will play out, and too many have given us no chance. Some say to stand a chance well need to weather Barcelona’s attacks. Blah, blah, blah.

    All these naysayer, they fail to realise just who you are. You are men who’ll fight with honour, you are men who’ll fight with desire, you are men who act with the quickness of thought and of limb. You are more than just the men of Arsenal.

    You ARE the storm that Barcelona face.

    Move as one, attack from everywhere, defend from all-sides, fight for one another, and etch your names upon History’s welcoming buxom.

    I believe in you.

    Victoria.

    Concordia.

    Crescit.

    For you, For us, For Arsene, For Arsenal!!!!

  46. els – I agree with that. I suppose what I meant is that if Barca are able to impose themselves on is (which is more than possible), we won’t have the ball for long periods.

  47. Arrrggghhh it is only 11am hurry the fuck up time. I can’t concentrate on anything I need to do today!

  48. Gadget, y’know that video Pep made for those Barça folk last year? I’m pretty sure you should do something similar for the Arsenal. Your speeches always fire me up, and lift me up. Awesome stuff.

  49. I suppose you have to plan for everything Andy. Both teams like possession and push forward. Somebody isn’t going to be doing there thing. I think we’ll have too much steel for them this year.

  50. boomer, so? I’ve just watched a few replays and it may or may not have been going in anyway.

    I don’t really get why people can’t just be excited by a game between probably the two best football teams on the continent, both near full-strength, without having to invent some injustice or revenge rubbish.

  51. Thanks, Gadget. Vinegary sensation in my legs has subsided. Chest-beating and jaw-clenching from here on in…. Arsenal…

  52. els – “Somebody isn’t going to be doing there thing”.

    That is key tonight I think. Both are used to dominating possesion, with the other team chasing shadows. Neither team are really used to doing too much of the chasing bit, so one of the teams is going to be out of their comfort zone.

    The Arsenal team tonight though, is 100 miles away from the team which faced Barca last year. I genuinelly believe that we will win this.

  53. I can talk about how excited I am about this game ALL day long, but it just ain’t gunna happen any quicker. And I’ve already concluded that I’m not going to get any work done today.

  54. Have we got a game tonight?

  55. Reasons why we will win over the two ties compared to last year!

    1. Sylvester wont be playing
    2. RVP, Song, Fab4 and Arsharvin are all fit unlike the two legs last time.
    3. We wont be wearing that stupid white kit.

    When you consider we lost Gallas and Arsharvin in the first half at the Emirates last year and still managed a draw and we had to play the 2nd leg without the players listed above there is absolutely no reason to doubt that we can do this!

  56. Kiuch The Gunner

    Cant wait to see the captains as they lead the teams onto the pitch, cant wait to hear the deafening oles as the Arsenal team is announced and I can definitely feel the goosebumps as the champions league theme song is played, 10:45 (my local time) cant get here sooner.

    Hi Firstlady, am hoping that we wont have blackouts tonight. Where you at?

    Arsenal Iko Juu!!!!!

  57. Gadget that was awesome, lets win tonight and make it legendary. Time is really dragging itself today.

  58. Tactically this is an interesting tie. I don’t don’t the Barca ‘machine’ will seek to dominate, and will do so for certain periods and in some areas; that Messi is a factor as an intinctive dribbler and shot taker; that Iniesta is an extraordinary player on the ball, almost impossible to take the ball off and he creates chances; that Villa is an awkward striker to neutralise.

    However, Arsenal has speed and directness (an outcome of playing in the EPL, and an improvement on the Barca model) and if they use it correctly it will scare the bejeezuz out them. Cesc’s dinks over the top into the box! Or the old 3 passes and Walcott is around his marker, or Arshavin, or Clichy, or Wilshere scything through the middle before you can ‘contain’ him.

    If Arsenal play to form, and start with those accurate unhesitant pin-point passes, and dominate the middle, this will be a great classic. Barca will harrass, intimidate (you don’t need physicality), snap at heels, hunt in packs and try to prevent Arsenal passing, and so the scene will be set quite quickly whether that works this time around. It worked last time, both home and away, and it was Almunia’s heroics in the home leg with a late second half comeback of epic proportions that kept us in it.

    This match is all about attitude. I sense Barca are a little more hesitant and respectful. I sense Arsenal are a little more quietly self-confident. I think we will beat them over two legs, mainly because they haven’t played a team quite like this one before, although they think they have.

    Ultimately it may well be Cesc who is the difference, not because of some superior skill, but because he needs this. RvP you can count on.

  59. Niko Nai @ kiuch.

    Indian gooner tonight is one match i will bear the commentators infuriating voices as i don’t want to miss the crowd at the grove.I’m so envious of all those gunners who will be at the grove, in the meantime if only I can concentrate and get some work done.

  60. Im praying for pure magic tonight. Tonight is the night we fly high. im very nervous.

  61. I’m not a big fan of British journalists fawning over Barcelona’s Youth System as though rows of little Iniestas and Messis come sprouting off the astroturf there like fucking cress off a damp tissue overnight. Messi is from Santa Fe, Argentina and Iniesta is from Albacete… just south of Madrid.

    Spanish football’s romantic ideal of ‘la cantera’, fielding from your own ‘quarry’ – has long since been soiled and sullied by FCB – who go about like bandits, ram-raiding every other fucker’s quarry and nicking all the best rocks – just like every other big club in world football. So all the arse-kissing that goes on about that leaves me very cold. I imagine it leaves fans of proper cantera sticklers like Atheltic Bilbao even colder.

    Pedro’s from Tenerife for chrissakes. David Villa’s from oop norf in Asturia. Jeffren is from Venezuela (but the national team is seeing to all that I think). What the Barca academy has produced locally of late, i’ll grant you, is a solild spine to build on. Ranging from the ordinary: Valdes, Puyol, Pique… to the ridiculous Biscuits. Two extraordinary players have come out of Catalunya itself in the last decade or so; one plays for us (and it shows – he’s quicker, harder and has the heart of leader) – and the other is a hateful, cheating little cnut.

    Considering that Catalunya and London have roughly the same population figures… and further considering the gaping abyss in quality between top and bottom of La Liga – asking a Catalunyan schoolboy who he’d rather play for; Barcelona or Espanyol – is a bit like asking a Londoner of the same age; who would you rather play for, Arsenal or Brentford? It’s easy to stand your ground at the top of the pile when you’re the only one up there.

    If you look at numbers in the national teams; those born in London and those born Barcelona, there’s probably not a lot of difference.

    So that’s why I don’t like all the bloody drooling… Ooo Barca, you’re so pure. Bollocks.

    Rant over.

    …Come on Arsenal…

  62. These are the days. Way back in the summer when we gathered round our computers to watch the training matches in Austria, wondering which reserves or youth players might make it through this year and filled with anticipation for the season ahead, these days are the ones we were looking forward to, hoping for.
    For me, the lesser North London team put a squeak more pressure on after their result and desultory match last night. The two teams tonight need to show how the game should be played and we have an extra incentive to get a good result. As if we need one!
    Cannot wait; excited rather than nervous, looking forward to the boys passing the supreme test.

  63. Great article and some great, rousing comments.

    I am so excited about tonight! My knee has been jiggling all morning, and will continue to do so until about 9pm tonight.

    Tonight is our chance to finally shut up some critics, namely with a good performance in defence. The attacking ability is there for all to see (albeit begrudgingly acknowledged), and I am confident that we’ll see an Asrenal team that will be fired up and determined to prove their worth. We have the weapons in attack to beat them, that is certain. Defensively we haven’t had to play a team with such flowing movement and mesmerising off the ball runs, but with the calmness of Djourou and the all out dynamics of Kos, I am feeling confident that they can prove many wrong with a sturdy performance. I thin Eboue will have a good game tonight, he often steps up in the big games. Chezney will have to be at his best and clichy will need to be snapping into the challenges.

    We will win tonight. We will show the world what the Arsenal is all about. Let’s beat them at their own game.

  64. So Diaby did get injured after all.

    We have an Italian ref, that has to be a good thing as I think he will not put up with Barca’s diving ways.

  65. Kiuch The Gunner

    @ Firstlady, am in the cold of Limuru but am sure tonight will be hot, debating whether to break the alco rules and watch the game at the local or watch it in the house. Enjoy the game wherever you’ll be, I know I will.

  66. Hearing and reading all pundits, they have not given us any hope at all, I find it rather disrespectful to Arsenal. I can understand that kind of thinking as they refer to the last year’s 2 games. Yes we were beaten convincinly specially in the second leg but things look different this time around. We had Sylvestre as a centre back, a 3rd choice left back playing in the centre taking on messi. It was a disaster. We had no Cesc, Song ,Arshavin, RVP. That is the core of the team. It is no different than Barcelona not having Messi,Xavi, Iniesta those 3 players are Barcelona without them I can’t think of barcelona doing anything. So my hope is up this year. Having Djorou is a great boost. If we had Sagna it would be our perfect 1st team on show.

  67. 1lc – Sagna is the big loss. But he’ll be raring to go in the 2nd leg… Here’s to Eboue dominating Pedro tonight! He’s got the physical attributes, let’s hope he can concentrate all match.

  68. fuck barca
    no messin about…
    lets fucking smash em

  69. That’s the spirit JonJon!

  70. OK, for those of you at the match, as YW says, no matter what, be the 12th man will you, please. Grab the guy or gal next to you and enthuse them, handshakes and hugs all round, we are the Arsenal, shout and scream, sing and dance, bully and cajole, humiliate yourself if you must by being a public spectacle, but get the crowd going, going, going, going, going, going.

    This is not a test for the team; they are up for this one, they are practicing, thinking, anticipating. It’s our test, collectively, Arsenal supporters.

    Will you do this for ZimPaul and a million Arsenal fans this side of the equator in Africa. For all the French and Russians, Pakistanis and Indians, Mongolians and Aussies, Poles and Danes, Algerians and Palestinians, Spaniards and Nederlanders, Chileans and Italians, Swedes and Americans, Irish, Brazilians and Catalans and Swiss WHO SUPPORT THE ARSENAL.

    You are there we are not. I would do the same for you, I promise. We want you, need you, and expect you to roar and not stop – NO MATTER WHAT!

  71. Lovely stuff Zimpaul! That’s exactly what needs to happen. Come on you Gooners!

  72. What a star you are ZimPaul.

  73. “cress off a damp tissue” ~ that was one hell of a rant, Limpar

  74. Kiuch The Gunner

    Cant agree with you more ZimPaul, those at the game should make lotsa noise for all the Arsenal fans in the GOONIVERSE. Go Gunners Go!

  75. Geo- I can’t remember if Sagna’s red card was as a result of 2 yellows or a straight red. if it was a straight red then he will miss the second leg too. i’m not sure. But in Eboue we have a good replacement.

  76. I think it was 2 yellows, meaning his return at the scout camp… when he’s on it, Eboue is awesome and hugely underrated. Hopefully underrated by the Barca team too!

  77. Great rant limpar. Good stuff. They are not gods or trail blazers. They just have every other bastard out there blowing smoke up their jacksies.

    We’ll shit em tonight.

    Walcott 2 goals, and that’s just for starters. We’ll get more in the second half.

  78. Straight red for stopping a goal scoring opportunity, one match ban.

  79. Is that right Chaos? I thought it was 2 matches for a straight red..?

  80. its considered a professional foul therefore 1 match ban.

    Uefa CL rules
    Article 21
    Yellow and red cards
    21.01 As a rule, a player who is sent off the field of play is suspended for the next
    match in a UEFA club competition. The Control and Disciplinary Body is
    entitled to augment this punishment. For serious offences the punishment
    can be extended to all UEFA competition categories.

  81. Cool, thanks Chaos. I knew he was back for the 2nd leg, so assumed 2 yellows… Learn something new every day!

  82. Pedro generally plays from the Barcelona right meaning Clichy wil be up against him, as well as Alves raiding all game, he’ll need help from Arshavin or Nasri in front of him. Villa will generally play from their left meaning that’s who Eboue will be in direct opposition to. Messi plays more centrally these days. Try to keep up people.

  83. I try to keep up block 4 but whenever I watch barca I feel myself slipping into a boredom coma. Unless it’s when we play them obviously.

  84. Kiutch Mututho gonna getchu!!I am watching this in the comfort of my house though i have a feeling my neighbours may call the landlord on me coz they’ll think they have a madwoman around by all the noise I’ll be making especially when what i think will happen happens. Can’t wait for the European Classico.

    Kenyan and other predictors please tonight dont make any predictions, alot is at stake and we dont want stuff jinxing us.

    WIN WE WILL TONIGHT!!

    Go gunners!!!

  85. Totally agree with els. Positive attacking is our best bet. Like we did against Chelsea and finally got a result. In previous matches we had feared Chelsea and were a bit hesitant to get up the pitch.

    Tonight it’s time for Barca to fear us.

    Atack! Attack! Attack! Hit them hard, fast and put them out for the count.

  86. I haven’t watched them very much since I realised they were cunts. Either way, Eboue will have to step up to contain all of them as they will surely rotate.

  87. Our full backs will be so important to us keeping a clean sheet tonight. Lots of the movment from Barac players come in between the gap of CB and FB. There will be lots of times tonight when both Kos and Djourou will be stood there with nobody to mark.

  88. Happy birthday to Denilson “Eats-Messis-for-Breakfast” Neves!

  89. Agree with Markus and Els. Attack without fear should be the way we roll tonight. Anything else will be suicide imo. We need to come out all guns blazing, running at them, taking accurate shots at goal, testing their keeper etc.

    My only exception to the all out attack philosophy is that Eboue should try harder to control his forward runs. He hasn’t had a lot of game time recently and might be a bit rusty with regards to positioning/timing his runs so he should perhaps be more cautious and take the safety first approach. Besides the combination of Theo, RvP, Cesc, Arsh/Nasri should be more than enough for must of our attacks.

    BUT, we must also keep our heads. They will dive and play-act as much as the ref will let them get away with. We can’t get pissed off at them and lose concentration for ANY reason. We must be focused, yet phlegmatic and rise above their tricks.

  90. *Besides, the combination of Theo, RvP, Cesc, Arsh/Nasri should be more than enough for most of our attacks

  91. True GA,

    We should play as narrow as possible. Drive them wide, as often as possible. We’ll find it easier to deal with their crosses than balls between FBs and CBs.

    Must watch out for Messi/Xavis chipped pass behind the defense, for Predro/Villa to run on to. They are devastatingly effective, especially against defences like ours that don’t sit deep.

  92. The real question is;
    Is the ref
    a) a Farca fan
    or
    b) a Farca seaeson ticket holder.
    If it’s ‘a’ then we could well win, but the Refs in these games usually have double standards with Farca. It could be Song sent off for a fair tackle while Abigdal breaks someones leg but doesn’t even get a card…..

  93. ZP @ 12.30

    Incredible post!

  94. “In previous matches we had feared Chelsea and were a bit hesitant to get up the pitch.”

    I know it’s a minor point, but I disagree with that. I think we’ve just been blunt against Chelsea since Ancelotti took over, and that’s often been down to having a depleted team going up against an organised defence. We’ve never been scared to attack them, to my mind.

    At home against Barcelona last season we were simply shell-shocked – I mean, nobody appeared to be showing for the ball in that first half. I’d even say that game put the brakes on Diaby’s season, as he’d been flying up to that point but suddenly looked lost, and didn’t really recover his form. Arshavin also looked utterly bewildered before he got injured.

    Only Denilson turned the tide, and we’ll be needing JW to do what he did so well in that second half – find space, work his way free from the press (also known as group-hacking) and move the ball on quickly.

  95. Yeah Henristic, with Sagna out I’m worried they might insist on through passes to Villa:

  96. Great post Yogi. Our team is so much stronger then last year especially at the back. Djourou/Kos and Chezzer have been clean sheet machines. Having a full strength RVP makes us a completely different team upfrontcompared with last year. Barca deserve their reputation as the best team in Europe. Last time I checked they have scored more goals then any team in a major European league and they have conceded only 12. They are on pace to score well over 100 and concede about 18 this season. They are clearly not a weak defensive team as some have said in the comments above. That said, I do not think there is another team in Europe that has a better chance to beat them then we do. No matter how its done we have to hold them tonight. A clean sheet is best but we certainly can not concede more then 1 away goal. I suspect they will have more of the possession but we have to stay organized at the back and then hit them fast on the counter. Our goals from open play last year both came on fast counter attacks. I do not see us stringing together 30 passes and walking the ball into the goal against their defense, but I do see us scoring more then 1 if we can attack quickly when they are out of position chasing the ball.

    However it turns out I see this as one of the best 2 legged ties in many years. Come on guys lets win one for the ages.

  97. JW was immaculate against Wolves. Has this been posted?

  98. Kiuch The Gunner

    Good point Firstlady, I aint got 30k 2 pay th fines, so my neighbours will have to put up with me, but shud the elec’ act up I ‘ll b at the local so fast.
    5hrs40mins to go.

  99. Le classico de europa. The two most entertaining teams north of the sahara. Can’t wait.

  100. clickclickclick

  101. Mentalist, I think that’s what we’re going to be looking to do to them also, it comes as an occupational hazard when both Barcelona and Arsenal (as well as Real Madrid) push the full-backs on as much as we do. I hope Walcott and Nasri/Arshavin get more joy getting behind their full-backs than Pedro and Villa do behind ours!

  102. tickticktick

  103. Against ManU we played more defensively than we are used to and it cost us dearly. None of that shenanigans tonight. Arsenal attack in full force is the answer at home and it’s one answer Barca is not going to like. RVP to score a brace and prove, why he is the best striker in the whole Prem.

  104. London, Here we come

  105. I’m surprised no one has quoted Phil Collins yet…

    Duh-dum dah-dum dah-dum duh-dum dum dum dah-dum…
    I can feel it coming in the air tonight…

    Arsenal!!!

  106. axis – That is because he is a huge turd.

  107. I’m so excited!! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!!

    Sorry, could not help myself. Great post YW. The Girlfriend is in work and I am off sick (cough cough!) Having taken a quick look at the Book of Medicinal Remedies passed down from father to son for generations in my family, it would appear that what is called for is something called a “Hot Toddy”. In fact as many as may be needed. Apparently the necessary ingredients can be conveniently found at my local. I have, as any good friend would, passed on this information to several friends who coincidentally are also out sick today. Unfortunately, it being laundry day I will be forced to dress casual, you know maybe sweat pants and a well worn but dearly loved Bergkamp jersey 🙂 The Book also said something about resting and taking it easy, avoiding anything that may excite or add stress to the patient……this part is obviously wrong.

    Firstlady – As per your request I shall offer no prediction but will say that when the game is over I shall be feeling much, much better. Cured some might even say.

    COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!

    Cough!

  108. Kitchn Sink – Dave Chapelle is one of the funniest guys in the last 20 years, absolute genius of the highest order!!!

  109. Lets get ready to rumble. On the white and red side the best run club in the world. And on the other side the most entertaining but heavily indebted side. 90 minutes of sheer ectasy expected!

  110. This has been the longest day!!!! On my way home now to sit in front of the TV and watch the greatest team in the world and its not Barca!! COYG!!!!!!!!!!!

  111. 02.45 here.
    Arsenal.

  112. not long now. AAAAAAAARGH!

  113. _ARSENAL_

  114. 2.5 hrs more to go…

    really excited for the game… I just hope the ref doesn’t get fooled by the Farca play-acting..

  115. Bibin, the flaw with the otherwise quite funny cartoon is that Arsenal will not be parking anything in front of goal.

  116. Have we got a game tonight then?

  117. Limpar, you do yourself a humble injustice. That was no mere rant but a finely argued destruction of an exaggerated myth. Brilliant!

    ZP, what a call to arms–I hope lucky Gunners channel the energy of all of us who cannot be in the stadium!

  118. Has time ever been this slow?2 hrs to go.Tsk!!

  119. That is not even Szczesny’s car.

  120. My life ethos is simply: “If you want to be a winner; you have to think like a winner.”

    Arsenal can win and we MUST believe that. No team is unbeatable and neither is Barcelona. Today as it is, is no finer a day to prove this premise. C’mon you Gunners, prepare to raise the roof and sing your battle hardened hearts out throughout the game – NO MATTER what. Your team needs. And together we can defeat the might of Barcelona, because we are The Arsenal. We are as good as it gets.

    Play your part in history today!

  121. Just been to the bbc website, i tell you it’s like a funeral there, ppl are certain 100% that barca are gonna kill us, cook us and then rip us into tiny little shreds before eating the remains with a bit of sauce. Seriously the whole world thinks we’ve lost, why do we even bother playing? At least this site has given me a bit of respite, i no longer feel like i want to quit my day job and curl up some where watching replays of the invincibles. I hope we can do it tonight, van persie will be key , he is better than villa in my opinion and it is only my opinion.

  122. Hands up who has concentrated on anything else for more that ten minutes today? No? Thought not.

  123. Time is ticking so slowly. 1:45 left till we make them regret coming to the TNHOF. I still stand by my prediction, a brace for RVP and I think we might just end up winning 3:0. This team has been so good this season, I just find it hard to see any other result. Djourou is going to become Villas nightmare and Pique is not going to win any meaningful offensive header when Farca have a corner. Furthermore, Kos will intercept the few passes Xavi will be allowed to play after our intense pressing therefore rendering Messi a spectator. Offensively, Jack will waltz through their midfield and pop up right in front of their box with the ball, able to spray it in a meaningful way for Arsh/Nasri, RVP and Theo, while Cesc will be content with sitting a bit back and directing the game from midfield, though he might pop up to score one. THis is the night. Come on you Gunners! Revenge for 2006 and 2010 is imminent .

  124. Bought myself some new music, steww. Just to take my mind off it. Didn’t hear a fucking note. Did a lot of pacing though.

    Right, I’m off to get the beers in. Enjoy one hell of a game ACLFers!

    Come on the Arsenal..

  125. For those watching on ITV tonight, I believe our very own PV4 is on there.

  126. Excellent news dups – that’ll be interesting.

  127. Can’t fucking wait anymore. I’ve done some really ridiculous things to pass time today, but can’t deal with it anymore!!

    Agree with frank. CLICK CLICK CLICK!!!

  128. We have nothing to fear. If any player does not relish the opportunity to play with the best then they should not be on the pitch. For me Arshavin to start. Nasri Sub if required. A night for heros ACLFers. Who will it be?RVP to leave Barca back four in the dust.Over to you Arsenal. 3-1 to the Arsenal. If Barca monopolise the ball then long ball counter attack to theo and arsh and cross to rvp in the middle bang…easy. COYG.

  129. 21:15 hrs in Nairobi. Where Mongolian gooner, still sleeping?

  130. I am going to watch a film I think. Oooh or maybe my invincibles dvd …

  131. hope thats true dups..

    last night I had to endure “tottenham were not good, they were fabulous” during the halftime break..

  132. Tried to watch the King’s Speech to pass time but I couldnt as my mind kept wondering on the epic show about to start in 1.5hrs.I know am breaking a record here (complaining about the snail pace of time) but am so fired up!!!

  133. YW,

    Well put.

    Can’t make the match tonight so the news that PV4 will be commentating on ITV falls like manna from heaven.

    Slept for less than four hours last night and have spent a fruitless and preoccupied day waiting. That wait is nearly over and something very special will be the end result.

    If the ref doesn’t have too large an impact on proceedings, tonight will bring us what we have waited for my kindred spirits. Bring it on

    COYG

  134. One more hour to go troopers. Can’t wait…

  135. Invincibles steww?

    You do realise that when we beat barca, the spuds crash and burn and Rooney fails to deliver the title to manu and we win the Premiership, the media will give us a new name.

    The ‘Undeservables’.

    You heard it here first.

  136. One hour to the red-white mosaic!

  137. LINE UP ANYONE??

  138. Fuck fuck fuck ! This is taking sooooo damn long,,,, I have never felt this good about playing Barca. It just feels like today the Phoenix will rise from the ashes and take its rightful place at the pinnacle of modern football. This day s the day Arsenal announce their resurgence as the best football club in the universe.

    Fuck yea!

  139. told ya nasri would start 😉
    COME ON..

  140. Szczesny, Eboué, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Fàbregas; Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie

  141. Valdes, Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Maxwell, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa

  142. Super Samir Nasri starts!!!!aCOYG!!!

  143. thanx bobbito

    KAMAAAN YOU GUNNERS

  144. You are very welcome KS.

    Tonight is going to be a great occasion for all of us here. I feel it in my bones.

    I wonder what ZP’s goat has to say.

  145. CB – I could do with some of your strongest cider right now.

  146. nah cbob
    this is the year they call us the quadruples..

  147. Subs: Almunia, Gibbs, Squillaci, Denilson, Rosicky, Arshavin, Bendtner.

  148. We should have rested Nasri for the Orient game.

  149. 10mins you say Steww it’s been more like 5 seconds.40mins to go

  150. Fuck!!!Some local Shit just said pundit just said Cesc is not good enough for Barca. Fucking twat.That’s it I’m changing the channels until the game starts.

  151. @oneofus im sure it would almost be impossible for AW to stop him play. He was probably way to eager. Like Cesc last year.

  152. Fuck!!!Some local Shit just pundit just said Cesc is not good enough for Barca. Fucking twat.That’s it I’m changing the channels until the game starts.

  153. Fuck!!!Some local Shit pundit just said Cesc is not good enough for Barca. Fucking twat.That’s it I’m changing the channels until the game starts.

  154. That wouldn’t change their opinion steww. It’s all for us. We ‘ve taken the strain, we’ll take the gain.

    Cider dups? Well, I must confess it’s been hard keeping away from the barrel.

    Time goes by..so slowly…

  155. Irish – your gf is round my house again and she said she will do my ironing, when she gets off the phone.

  156. How’s the pasty making MD?

  157. Oops!!Sorry for the multiple posts.

  158. Sorry JonJon – it’s the cider!

  159. Firstlady,
    I have stopped watching the ‘Soccer chat’ show on Suspersport here in SA because they only say negative things about Arsenal. I also usually watch the game on mute but will will keep it on high today to hear the rocking ‘Grove..

  160. I can just imagine the buildup atmosphere to the game at Emirates.

  161. yeah
    come on you reds..
    im off to get some beers..all this talk of cider has got me thirsty..

  162. especially now nasris starting ..those singing sections will be going like mad..
    lets hope the stewards take a back seat and the rest of the crowd join in the song..
    sing your hearts out for the lads…….

  163. Cbob, your pasty recipe is fabulous. I have marketed them here in DC and should be going country-wide later this year.

  164. You did remember to sign the franchise deal MD?

    Oherwise my lawyers will be in touch in the morning.

  165. The time for talk is almost over. Let the action begin. Paul N and Irishgray I’ve got your backs!

  166. sadly i have to watch the match during a Math lecture. so when we go 1 nil up i will yell and have 250 kids turn and look at me holding my hands triumpantly in the air!

  167. 15mins to go…. The excitement growing with each passing minute….

  168. Thanks KenGun.

    Hey, not sure if it was Bibins blog, but while I was on it I got a virus on my computer to backside!!!

  169. @Bill
    I know that, having to watch a match during university classes. But honestly, with an important match like that, I couldn’t care less if 10000 people were watching me.

  170. Franchise deal? Lawyers? That’s not the way we do things in MD (or Essex). We just shook hands (virtually).

  171. Adrian Chiles is such a bell end.

  172. Too right first lady. If it wasnt.for Cesc Spain will not have won the world cup. Thats the value of the man.Cesc will show them what they are missing. Right up their Barca.

  173. OK, OK, just tell me how much my cut works out as.

  174. Barcelona behave like a virus though dont they? Invading the talent that we have worked hard on and when they are worldclass these suckers come wanting to pillage the Arsenal.

    Move you blow wow!

  175. thank god for vieira

  176. @evil. I think i might just skip that shit so i can hear how the emirates is rockin. hmm GPA or the Arsenal…

  177. Pundits so annoying. Makes my blood boil but our victory will only be so much sweeter when they have to eat their humble pie.

  178. Wait a minute. Essex, Essex did you say?!

    I’ve been ripped off!

  179. OK guys this is it, let this be a grat game with Arsenal as a winner!

  180. grat=great btw

  181. We are the champions – in waiting!

  182. COYRRGs…. Lets make this a night to remember..

  183. COYG…!!!!!

  184. The waving red and white flags along with the signing is making it a one hell of an atmosphere…

  185. The Emirates is rocking flags spotlights everything. COYG.!

  186. Ladies and gentlemen – I’m leaving you to it. Can’t type and watch this one … good luck everyone.

  187. Chamakh must be miffed to have been left out the entire squad.

  188. forget behind the sofa, im off to the panic room for the next 90mins.

  189. can tell already our players are watching very closely who barca are planning to pass to next. hope this doesn’t sap our attention too much

  190. F**cking yellow already?

  191. we are up for this – no hand brakes tonight

  192. Barcs already signalling that they are ready to throw themselves to the floor

  193. i hope Chesney dont do anymore long balls. cos we keep loosing em 😦

  194. Song gave the ball away that put us in danger. That yellow against him is not going to help us either

  195. yeh but Chesney gave a crap longball that endedn with Messies chance on goal just now.

  196. long ball and lost ball :S

  197. We’re not keeping our shape while defending.. especially in the middle…

  198. Come on!!!!

  199. Gr8 counterattacking move…

  200. This ref has it in for Song I’m telling you!!
    Beautiful move by us

  201. The diving is on from Barcelona!

  202. Farca score… Clichy played him onside..

  203. Come on Arsenal!!!

  204. Farca play-acting as usual..

  205. Dirty cheating fucking bastards re. Nasri’s card

  206. I dont understand how he could score when there was bunch of defenders around him!

  207. Offside not working..

    RvP has a gr8 chance to equalise but shoots wide..

  208. this high defense line is killing me!!! still we look pretty good on the counter.

  209. I’m worried about Song.

  210. and we are getting ripped down the left flank. far too easily.

  211. We may need to give up on the high line.

  212. Song should stop tackling so frequently… and Nasri should wide left… Their main attacking threat is from that side..

  213. the goal has really settled barca.
    song needs to keep his emotions in check.
    my worry is that we are simply not used to defending like this but still we have a great chance on the counter.
    mentality will win this tie – keep strong you reds!

  214. I dont think Nasri is quite ready either

  215. Pass the ball Eboue!!!

  216. the ref aint allowing nothing is he? its like the total anti PL refereeing ref.

  217. Yo Cesc’ passing is a bit off!!!

  218. I think Fabregas is nervouse, so is RvP its like they miss that ,little 1% that takes them from great to worldclass so far anyway.

  219. barca WILL fade, the EPL requires far more consistancy and deadication over 90mins… we just need to keep cool and keep plugging away

  220. We will win it in the second, I think.

  221. Obviously you haven’t seen many Barça games this last 3 years. Won’t fade, cause isn’t playing at 100%.

    And why Messi’s goal isn’t valid?

  222. Decent performance.. Feels like the players have last year’s results in their mind..

  223. Because he was offside.

  224. bla bla bla Alex ive seen Barcelona, in fact last weekend. what happend then? do you remember alex? dpo you ?

  225. Only one nil. Game still ours to win!

  226. alex, you make no sense, you faded in the first leg last season and you dont have to play at speed like this is the Spanish League.

    offside, wasnt he.

  227. Completely ruined for me as I had to watch in silence, the commentary among the worst I’ve ever heard.
    I know everyone will blame Gael for playing whichever cunt of theirs scored onside but we are behind because we’ve missed our chances and our best player has chosen tonight to have an off day.
    Let’s hope AA makes the difference in the second half.

  228. Once fabby and Rvp cool their nerves. seems like Narsi has already. all we need is a little magic from those two… You think Aw will swap Song for Denny at some point to avoid a potential red? Denny did well last time.

  229. Well, you would know alex you little barcista.

    How many times have you watched Arsenal?

  230. I reckon Song will have to go off for Denilson..one more foul & he’s off..

  231. I think Alex is a spud pretending to be barca fan

  232. I agree steww.

    AA to make a difference when we need to.

  233. BBB are a bunch of cheating c*nts – they are really trying to get Song sent off. I despise them. If they’re so f*cking great, try winning the game without cheating. Come on Arsenal, we started well, if only we could have taken one of those early chances.

  234. AW – time to shout and scream.. but ffs, Barca are playing outrageously well. Bastardos!

  235. Who would AA come in for? I thought Nasri picked up rather well in the end of second half. Also Wilshere is playing very decent. He keeps getting better and better. Where will this end? 😮

  236. I dont think we need a high line, they are suspect to the counter.

  237. I agree mj. Song looks to be heading for the sin bin!

  238. Cos it was offside you cvnt Alex – fuck off now.
    The ref effectively castrated Song early in the game, but no cards given for Barca players.
    You have to say that few, if any Barca passes go astray and we really have to make our chances count.
    FSC pundits shit as usual

  239. No he really is a barca fan, poodle.

    Arrogant. Ripe for the plucking.

  240. too many people are watching Messi and not the runners.

  241. Yes I remember, but after winning 17 league matchs in a row, things like that are an accident. Like your 4-4.

    I’m only saying that you mustn’t expect Barça to fade, cause it’s very unusual. You must trust in the speed and skills of Walcott and Van Persie. It won’t be easy for Arsenal, nor for Barça.

    Sorry for my bad english

  242. all you saw in 3yrs was barca in a bullshit league where no one even knows who finished 3rd place. all you see is the belligerent confidence of a flat track bully. yes they are good but they are not used to the qualities we bring to the table from a far stronger league. re fair weather cunt alex

  243. Wilshere and Kos (apart from the goal) are playing amazing!

  244. @poodle, if only you click in my name and visit my website, you’ll see I’m a Barça fan.

  245. My worry too is Song picking up a second yellow.. The Farca C*nts are going down at the slightest touch and the ref blows. Haven’t seen as many ‘play ons’ for us..

  246. The problem with AA is he’s poor defensively. Would rather have Gibbs double up with Clichy if Nasri has to go off.

  247. Fuck off Alex. Couldn’t give a fuck what you think.

    Same double standards as last year; ref hasn’t allowed us to get a foothold. And still we’ve created as many chances as them.

  248. This year I’ve only seen Arsenal 10 or 12 times. Hey, I think this leg will be open till minute 180. We must enjoy the 2 best teams in Europe playing great football

  249. awh who cares, it a great game anyway, and everyone knows Barca will go out in the semis or quarters anyway. (just hope, god forbid its not to Tottenham!)

  250. Nasri really needs to help Clichy out. I think his injury is affecting how much he contributes defensively. Good game so far, RVP should have buried one. We’re playing too high a line, which is fine, if you track all their runners, which isn’t happening. Dani Alves needs to be contained somehow. Perhaps, switch flanks with Nasri with Theo.

    I am worried about Song now. It wasn’t a yellow to begin with, inconsistent refereeing on that part. That’s affecting us. Denilson anyone?

  251. Can someone in the Americas just obliterate Warren Barton? His script is old and worn. “The central defenders didn’t do well as the game wore on.”
    Excuse me but Clichy is a full back, the last time I checked, and he played Villa on for the 1st goal when the central defenders stepped up.
    Anyways I was impressed by Kos passing out from the back and his tackling. IMO we are not doing well in midfield. We simply are unable to hold onto the ball and our passing at times is just not accurate and sharp enough.
    Denilson anyone?

  252. Gibbs down the left sound bright! but I am not the boss, neither do I wanna be…
    any body knows, why didn’t Cesc shoot at goal, i am furious!!

  253. We had Barca on the back foot towards the end of the second half. Some of the passing wasnt the best but I believe we can keep it up and have a real go in the second.

    Alex no on fades in the Serie A.

  254. messi goal debatable..
    rvp needed to finish one of those, we cant mess about taking 10 shots to score 1 like we do in pl
    cos barca wont
    we will open them up more we just need to finish..
    we need 2 or 3 this half..a draws no good
    i would be suprised to see denilson on either for song
    5 yard possession time and songs 1 foul away from seeing red

  255. I think if Song did not have that yellow he would have tackled and taken the ball before it reached Villa, he could have afforded that and possibley gotten a yellow. but as it was now he did not dare to.

  256. Lets see if they can keep it up, last time they faded badly in the second half. Hopefully we are playing ourselves into this.

    Steww I’m listening to the commentary on ATVO, but I might as well be listening to the usual biased commentary. They keep going on about how Song is lucky to still be on the pitch, and how great the catalan c*nts are. Try saying a couple of positive comments about the Arsenal team. It has not been as one-sided as last season, which is a positive.

  257. Paul N Nobody plays football in Serie A

  258. I agree Passenal. Biscuits took a dive off Song. Fucking c*nt. I hope if he gets a red, it’s a really malicious tackle on that little piece of c*nt.

  259. Cesc is nervouse me thinks, he must be cos hes not playing top notch today.

  260. Yeah, agree guys – this kind of game is made for Denilson.

  261. OK alex.

    You must remember that your team, for all it’s talent, has zero respect here for their off pitch behaviour and their on pitch attitude.

    No repect, no class my friend, no class, no respect.

  262. AA instead of Nasri will only expose our left flank..really tough one for Le Boss now, IMO we should carry on with our natural game, with Bendy on for Jack in the last 15!

  263. Atleast we are playing.we need to capitalize on one of the counter attacks.is denny on the bench,i have a feeling if song stays he may not finish the game.am not impressf by barcas play acting n eboues.clichy needs better cover from nasri since barca have looked menacing from that wing.COYRs!

  264. Fuck Barcelona. I hope somebody kicks Messi in the face.

  265. consolsbob. why? what happened?

  266. Also agree that Cesc could do with finding his feet.

  267. KenGun, Gibbs?!

    Arshavin has been defending very well of late!

  268. 0-1 down but it’s not looking too bad. At the end of the half Barca looked like they started fade or that we’d started to play (take your pick alex, either or is fine).

    We can tire Barca, as long as we’re patient with the ball. Let the ball do the work, conserve our energy and use it for when we need to defend.

  269. I have switched to my usual procedure of switching off the commentary.. Watching the game on mute is lot better than hearing the plundits..

  270. We are still in it guys!

  271. Shotta, I thought Arsene would play Denilson. He will retain possession and he did not appear to be in awe of them. I’m sure he has played against better players in Brazil. Cesc is just not playing to his usual standard. He needs to step up and be the captain.

  272. The shirt pulling has started again already.

  273. @CB, Well said Sir!

  274. FUCKING COME ONNNNNN!!!!!

    CLICK CLICK CLICK NOWWW!!

  275. PV4 – the epitome of cool ~ How we need him now, on for Song..

  276. People, watch the game. Its the left side that is being exposed.

  277. Really alex?

    Your obscene love thing with your players and Cesc off pitch.

    On pitch? Your ridiculous diving.

  278. SPot on CBob..

  279. consolsbob. I’m not proud of what happened with Cesc, I prefer him to stay in Arsenal, seriously.
    And for the diving, well, I think it’s more jumping over Song tackles

  280. having slated la liga I have to say that I wonder how further AFC would have flourushed in a more ‘romantic’ (for lack of better word) league. ie we spend so many of our weekends fighting off barbarians rather than honing our more innate skills.

  281. alex
    ive got four words for ya fella
    WEVE GOT CESC FABREGAS…..

    2nd half..lets go get em..no surrender..just like last year
    back at ft…

  282. Wilshere is a beast!

  283. Looks like We’ve switched to 4-4-1-1 with Nasri and Walcott playing little deeper and wider..

  284. Fuck this ref. They get away with all sorts of shit.

  285. JonJon, as you should’ve read, I love that you have Cesc Fabregas. I really enjoy watching Arsenal play, and without Cesc, it wouldn’t be the same.

  286. Ignore this fuckwit.

  287. This ref’s fucking joke.

  288. OOU,
    I wished for a unbiased ref.

  289. If we can sustain this pressure Barca will break.

  290. Alex go to a Barca blog you are annoying!

  291. I think the ref is playing for a place in 2012 Euros or for the CL final..

  292. Kos is playing well tonight.

    Come on RVP, you’re better than this!

  293. Get up you tosspot!

  294. Our first corner of the game???

  295. Well played Kos

  296. No yellow for Pedro diving?

  297. we’re nippin at the heels now…..

  298. They are going to break. They don’t get this type of pressure in the SPL.

  299. Good Cesc, play them at their own game!

  300. pique out of second leg

  301. Haha, no Pikey for the next game. Shove that up your holes!

  302. Score one soon and all the pressure will be on Farca..

  303. C’mon boys

  304. As I said Alex, the Spanish Teams are not used to continued pressure and pace.

  305. Much better

  306. jesus they have over 400 passes to our 200… 83% accuarcy to our 78%. dont shoot the messenger….

  307. Paul N, well, it’s your opinion. I think Barça won’t fade.

    And fade or not, I’m enjoying a really good game

  308. Their kit is a bit ‘Blue Square South’ though

  309. COME ON ARSENAL!

  310. I can feel it! They are going to break.

  311. This Arsenal team will be the best in the world very soon.

    I am very proud!!

  312. Fucking ref….

  313. Its not an opinion that the Spanish league is slower. They are not at this point.

  314. I’d like to see us make a change soon.

  315. Get Theo on the ball, get him running at that defense

  316. maybe we need bendy? the cocky dane that think he is the best? he usually scores in these kind of matches just cos hes so cocky and arrogant.

  317. RVP is key

    CCAAAAAAAMMMMMMMonnn u reds!

  318. This ref is a colossal anus.

  319. Corner for a ball off Villa??

  320. That was never a corner

  321. Very astute spot, Remi.

    Real class kit.

  322. Yo these refs are something else. We cannot get a break either way!!!

  323. 4 or 6 refs, it doesn’t make much of a difference…

  324. Eboue really is a clown. Thank God won’t see him for the next leg. Idiot.

  325. AA on for Song??? Going all out??

  326. Wow – AA on for Song?

  327. Ball watching there!

  328. Barca packing midfield. Arsenal packing attack.

  329. I agree. The ref is awful

  330. Keita on to shut it down. Arsh for Song. We are light in midfield. I don’t like it.

  331. very light in midfield indeed, hope we score .

  332. have to say eboue is not one for discipline, quite a few ball have been floating in to his opposite number unread.

  333. well its hard to win when Cesc and RvP does not have great games. especially csc has not been up to his standards so far anyway.

  334. AA for Song… I like it, as Barça supporter. Don’t think it’s a good idea. As you say, lighter midfield

  335. Barca are visibly tiring Alex you cvnt

  336. oh alex why do you have to post here? you just annoy people.

  337. It’s like a Tio de Nadal in reverse. Nobody wants you here. What a dick!

  338. there is indeed bad blood between barca and Arsenal. simple as

  339. some where in the dank depths of spain, a plank bridge is missing its troll… fuck off alex you sad little lurker

  340. Our crowd support is great tonight – well done

  341. Big Nic on for Theo.. 4-4-2??

  342. Wilshere’s been blinding tonight.

  343. hey, I just came to talk bout the game. I think I didn’t say anything offensive, just trying to enjoy the game analyzing it with the rival.

  344. Wilshere and Kos have been really good today. Great actually.

  345. YEEESSS!!!!

  346. RVP yessssss

  347. There you have it!

  348. RvP’s magical left foot.. 1-1…

  349. GEEEEEEEEEEEET INNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!

  350. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

  351. RVP – World Class.

  352. JUST FUCKING BRILLIANT!!!

  353. no retreat no surrender
    come on boys one more

  354. Rvp world class. Game on. Up your Barca.

  355. WORDS DONT DISCRIBE

  356. CLICK CLICK CLICK. ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

    FUCKING COME ONNNN!!!!

  357. RVPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

  358. Valdes is a sh*t keeper…

  359. Didn’t I say they would break. Barca doesn’t face this type of pressure in the SPL.

  360. King Eboue to get the winner!

  361. Cream always rises!

  362. Now to get the winner…

  363. IG, forget the keeper, that was brilliant, no way the keeper expected that!

  364. YYYEEEESSSS!!!

  365. GOOOOOOOOOOOL

  366. Kozzer must be absolutely the greatest passing central defender in the world. And what a tackler!

  367. Arshavin!

  368. the form we are showing now should hopefully pass on to the second leg…

    OMG
    OMG
    OMG

    2-1

  369. AA is backkkkkkkk

  370. FUCKING YES! FUCKING YES!!

  371. AA 2-1…

    What a celebration from AA..

  372. Arshavin. Get in there.

  373. ALEXXXXXXXXXXX YUH LIKKLE BLOW WOW!!!

  374. FUCKKKK THHHEEE WOOORLLLDD.

    WE ARE THE ARSENALLLL!!!!

  375. AAaaaaaaaaaargh

  376. He is only 5ft 4!

  377. FUCK THE FUCKING WORLD!!!!!!

    WE ARE THE ARSENAL!!!

  378. Great substitutions Arsene. Pure class. Pure tactical brilliance.

  379. Paul N,
    I was using one of the D**Mer statement…

    Where is alex from Farca??

  380. Shotta, dus like yu seh mi yute!

  381. Bullshit. That was a foul on RvP!

  382. COME ON BOYS!!!

  383. Fucking biscuits, up to his usual tricks

  384. You told me to leave

  385. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  386. WILSHIRE MOTM

  387. When did Bendy come on? – Didn’t even see that

  388. Chesney is getting better with his reactions..

  389. Scezny looks the dogs bollox.

  390. love how the arm chairs are trying to say we need a new keeper…. what a bunch of mugs. pity is all i have for them now

  391. This is the best game of football I remember watching.

    Wilshere has become great on this performance.

  392. One more please. Should keep going.

  393. Szcesny’s a beast. Wilshere my motm!

  394. hope we can keep concentration for 4 more minutes. fight guys, fight!

  395. Another minute to hold on..

  396. 00:35 hours in Nairobi. Sweet victory and sweet dreams!

  397. FUCK YES! FUCK YES!

  398. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  399. 2 big mistakes from Arsha.

  400. By far the greatest team, the world has ever seen!

  401. Is it over?

  402. Congratulations. Great 2nd half. I hope we’ll see another great game in Barcelona.

    And sorry for trying to talk about football.

  403. Kosrou is my MOTM.. Kept the “best attack in the world at bay” with out parking the bus..

    Anyone still doubting Cesc’s commitment check his celebration at the final whistle…

  404. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  405. Shotta, low dat mi yute and rejoice!!!

  406. Fuck off Alex.

  407. heh…… now for the old Nou….

  408. I take it back about Chiles being a bell end. He’s a fucking huge bell end.

  409. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA………

    oH tHe Joy……!!!!!!

    Pure Class.

    Of all the midfield maestros on the pitch. One stood out. JACK WILSHERE. Pure Class.

  410. Regardless what happens at their place what a night to be a gooner…!!!

  411. What a fucking game. That’ll go down as one of the best ever.

  412. Yes Paul N my yute. This is SWEET!
    I’ve been waiting for this moment for 5 years

  413. What a game and what a comeback in the final 15mins.. Loved it.. The subs were spot on again..

  414. I’ll tell you what they were lucky to get away only losing by one and they will fucking know it.

  415. Kos/Wilshere CO-MOTM!

  416. Kos6 finally getting the recognition his performance over the last couple of months deserves??

    My MOTM by a country mile……..

  417. kos really stepped up today, stuck to his game and used his lightning reactions to great effect. skilled instinctive play over cheap tactics, how the media will brown nose this in the morning i dont even want to know..

  418. You just don’t get it alex.

    I’m sure that you are genuine but your team just lacks class. Pretenders to being a great club rather than a great team. Even there you are just too used to getting it easy in Spain.

    Our game now.

  419. great subs too

    all round brilliance

  420. “Fear has been defeated, there’s no turning back.” now A R S E N A L.

  421. Messi in Kos’ pocket.

  422. Commentators here, fighting amongst themselves. One c*nt slating Theo. The other Valdes for leaving his post. But frankly, that was an amazing goal, a tight angle. Too tight. Villa wouldn’t have thought of doing that.

    Click Click Click……..

    Matched them first half. Outclassed them the second, by a country mile.

  423. Song for AA – come on did anyone see that coming? And it put Nasri in the middle and that gave us control. Genius from Le Boss.

  424. What a game, I mean WHAT A GAME!! This is how you play football. I hope the FREAKING plundits have got there answer already.
    JW, you fucking Legend!!!

  425. come on everyone I want a hug!!!…I could cry!!

    This is why we love the Arsenal. This is why we come to ACLF.

    We Are the Fucking Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  426. SHOTTA!!!!!

    Arsenal were clearly the better team overall.

    I told you that you would tire in the second half Alex!! and the thing is you dont have a great bench to give relief!!!

  427. And still the Barca wankfest continues. WE CREATED MORE CHANCES!

  428. great ball ny clichy for the 1st goal, his right foot should maybe be used more… ;b

  429. @Alex arsenal fans used to like Barca until last summers face involving Barca not wanting to be held randsom in paying market price for cesc. they were so obnictios! After that nobody really likes them. they just showed their real colours last summer.

  430. Enjoying the post-match discussion.. Plundits looks heart-broken.. Wont be able to sleep tonight.. Farca didn’t look like the unearthly team everyone was talking about..

    We’ve won against 10, We’ve won against 11, We’ve won against 12, We’ve won against 13, We’ve won against 14, We’ve even won against 15 and today we won against 17!!!! It was 17 vs 12…

    Emirates was rocking tonight.. Hope this kind of support continue forever.. The better the support, the better our players play..

  431. we have arrived this season..
    jack and koz where motm..
    everyone beware..

    alex ….see you in the return leg sunshine..we knocking you out this season fella

  432. last summers farce i mean not face

  433. Arsenal….the best team in the world. Andres who?Xavi who? Lionel who? Doomets and doubtets your f@cked now!Barca Lite my @rse.Well and truly beaten without recourse to dirty Mourinho tactics.What a day to be a Gooner. RVP and Arshavin legends. Laurent Koscielny is the best defender on earth had Barca in thier pocket. Wilshere is world class. COYG.

  434. I’ll tell you what. That AA finish was better than the fat bloke falling off a chair’s.

  435. yeah Steww, super stuff!

  436. Words can’t even describe this. Always read this blog, never post. I am so thankful to be a Gooner today!

  437. I hope that bitch named Jose Mourinho saw this one & made a few notes!

  438. And the thing is Barca played very well. I dont want people saying they had an off game and all that nonsense!

  439. deano,
    Me too…

    Here’s a big HUUUUGGGGGGGGG to all the ACLFers…

  440. Chiles and Vierra agreeing that “one goal is never enough aginst braca, especially for Arsenal.”

    Seriously, Viera is just another ex Arsenal critic playing the media’s game.

  441. quadruple
    arsenal smash

  442. WARRON BARTON AND HIS GROUP OF F*CKTWITS AT FSC ARE DOING BACK FLIPS. EFFEN BASTARDS.

  443. That was a shot not a cross, RVP didnt even look across to NB

  444. On twitter:

    Ray Parlour said on Sky Sports earlier that Barcelona would take the lead and Arsenal would win 2-1!!! IT’S ONLY RAY PARLOUR!!! HERO

  445. I have tears in my eyes…what a fight back..

  446. Kos6 and Schezney were class, too.

    And Clichy, ofcourse, all alone against two of their players whole match.

    Can’t miss Djorou either. Song and Wilshere partnership was immense, despite the referee crippling Song early on.

    We don’t lose when djoroue and Kos6 in the middle? Let’s keep them fit for the 2nd leg.

  447. A BIG HUUUGGGG TO YOU BOB AND ALL ACLFERs. WE HAVE STOOD BEHIND THIS TEAM FOR FIVE YEARS.
    Caps off.

  448. Hey beloved troopers!

    Did i not predict days ago that we would beat ’em 2-1???

    Feels good to know we can beat the best team on our turf. Tonight we enjoy the fine victory. dust ourselves off tomorrow, and refocus, for the job is only half-done.

  449. LAughing my ass off, Bob!

  450. Both were Mr. Bob!

    That last goal is mad.

    Barcelona didnt take their foot of the gas, they tired, right Alex?

  451. We are the ONLY team to beat this Barca side without parking the bus.

    We played football against them and won.

    I cannot believe the pundit reaction. They are an embarrasment. How the fuck were we dominated? I missed that entirley. I saw 2 teams that looked very dangerous and one of the two teams taking their chances with aplomb. Alan ‘the turd’ Green catergoricaly stated we didn’t deserve to win. Unbelievable.

  452. We could discuss a lot about the lack of class, but I think it’s very subjective, we wouldn’t agree. As I said, I didn’t like what happened last summer, and basicaly cause my second team is Arsenal. I’ve been in Highbury and in Emirates, enjoying the game dressed in red.

    Yes, today you made a great match. But we’ve been tired last 3 weeks. It’s not an excuse, we can still be tired in 2 weeks, we’ll see.

    And I get that Arsenal fans used to like Barça till last summer. But I also think that the Champions League final and last year quarters, may have helped that feeling. And hey!, If you pass this leg, I’ll dress in red till the end of Champions league, hoping to win it. I’ve just tried to coma and talk about football with some gunners. I get it maybe wasn’t the best time.

    But again, great match. I hope we enjoy the next game. And sorry again for my english

  453. Laurent Koscielny MOTM by a country mile. We wll meet Barca in 2nd leg having already won a trophy and on an even bigger high. COYG. So this is what they call English grit. We have bags of it.Never say die.

  454. barcelona = ARSENAL L.I.T.E.
    That my FB status for today…

  455. CBob,

    AA’s goal is indeed the best curler I’ve seen.. Especially when you consider, He didn’t have time to take the shot.. That is a worthy ‘goal of the season’.

  456. What words can describe the Kozzer! What a defender!
    Messi in his pocket all night.
    What a Wilshere. What a RVP. What a Nasri. What a Cesc. What a Song. What a Djourou. What a Little Russian. What a Walcott. What a Cichy. Whata Eboue
    WHAT A WENGER!
    WHAT AN ARSENAL!

  457. deano, I give the credit to Fat Sam, he gave us all the credit and said that barca couldnt keep up with the pace.

  458. I cannot wait for the Wilshere match video tomorrow.

  459. I’m so happy as even dancinh to the we buy any car music during the ads!!!!
    kinda weird tho, we’ve won nothing but feels like we won everything!

    13 heros out there tonight

  460. and Souness!

  461. I am so happy, I think I will be sleeping with a smile on my face tonight, if I manage to sleep at all that is!

  462. Words almost fail me when I think about JW in the middle today. They were on him like starving rats around a discarded takeaway and he just wriggled and turned, never looked flustered never panicked.
    And Arsene had the faith in him and Arsene made him.

  463. How absolutely blind and disrespectful has the British media been towards Arsenal. With very few exceptions they said we stood no chance. Even the BBC which is effen taxpayer supported, for crying out loud.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/blog/dirty-tackle/post/The-BBC-didn-t-think-Arsenal-could-beat-Barcelon?urn=sow-322423

    An effen disgrace. If I was an Englishperson?

  464. I agree Kos was MoTM no doubt!

  465. Fuck off Adrian Chiles

    Fuck off Andy Dunn

    Fuck off Paul Merson

    Fuck off Steve McNamanan

  466. Screw the media, savour this moment ppl, Arsenal have come of age.
    ARSENAL!!!!!!

  467. Now they damn the Gunners with faint praise. Like Cbob has said:
    F*ck Them All!

  468. Shotta, Paul, mj, Indian, I thank you. What a night, what a fucking night, to all long time ACLF loyalists. YES!!

    This club is going places none have been before.

  469. Wilshere was sensational. Simply unbelievable. Up against the best midfield in the world and he didn’t lose the ball once. For a 19 year old, incredible.

  470. Passenal,
    I wont be able to sleep tonight….

  471. Alex ~ cool man, just some of us get excited/puerile.. and afterall, it’s game on, at your place. We are the best, us two teams, and fuck the mindlessess. See you sooon!

  472. As for all the possession stats. They weren’t that threatening despite, the media trying to throw how well they dominated. Apart from one messi one on one, they hardly created a good goal scoring opportunity. We created more chances then them. Despite them having useless possession for long period of the game.

    As for the “Arshavin handled in the box’, no fucking way. It came off his head and then onto his arms. Some pundits, have actually gone blind tonight.

    Needed some luck to win though. But it was about time lady luck smiled on us.

  473. Too bloody right, CBob and all the other ACLF loyalists. What a great day to be a Gooner!

  474. I am one happy bunny but the Camp Nou awaits! Still we done what people thought we couldn’t Fuck them all!

    And guys, I’m not one to usually do this, but I think some have been far too aggressive to Alex. It’s not like he’s a parasite like AIC who really deserves to be told to fuck off constantly.

    Alex has actually been pretty cool and fair with his comments.

    Anyway, that said, this team is pure heart! We’re the Arsenal, fuck yeah!!

    RVP and Arshavin. Magnificent bastards! That’s how you beat a quality opponent Spuds!

    Fuck yeah!

  475. I should have said that shotta.

    Fuvk ’em all. We are The Arsenal.

    Say it loud and say it proud.

  476. wilshere is scarily good. hes better than cesc was at that age. Cesc was more like Ramsey, great but not complete. Can Wilshere get any bette? If he does hes gonna break all boundaries!

  477. Kiuch The Gunner

    Jack Wilshire was amazin’, his pass to Nasri in th build up to th 2nd goal was perfect, his attitude belies his tender age. Kozzer had a monster of a game too. Alot 2 be done in th 2nd leg bt I will savour this victory.

  478. deano, they are pissed off that they were wrong to write us off. Yes BBB dominated periods of the game, which you would expect from quality c*nts, but we created more chances and scored more goals, ergo we deserved to win. Suck it up plundits!

  479. the sick thing is we win on a day when Cesc is not 100% . We no one man team, and we no one leader team, they are all leaders and take responsibility. thank god for that.

  480. Lil Jack: 19yrs, Sensational growth in the last season and half…

    Chesney: 20yrs??, broke both arms couple of years back, played for Brentford a year back.

    Kos6: Played in ligue2(??) couple of years back and his first season at the very top.
    JD: Injured last season. Planned comeback during the first half of the season with only 1 game a week.

    What a CB partnership between the two since the start of 2011…

  481. I think i peed my pants alittle when the second went in. Fuck barca we are Arsenal.Is the there a centre back who plays the ball forward like Koscielny? definately man of the match for me. ooh to be a gunner, i ought to sleep as it ispast one a.m here but am so so happy i dont think i can.

  482. The corner’s been turned forever!
    The final march to GREATNESS is in effect.
    In Arsene we trust
    In Arsenal we believe.

    The new best team in the world just defeated the last best team in the world!
    Who wouldn’t have thunk it?
    We never doubted it
    We just needed the world to see it
    Now we all have
    Oh how I love it!

    Bring on the 2nd leg…WE ARE after all THE ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  483. Alex is just another victim of media spin Gadget.

    I agree with you. He just has no objectivity. Unlike us.

  484. I am on cloud 10. Fuck the pundits. Fuck the world. Because they cannot take this away for us.

    Arsenal 2

    Barcellona 1

    If we can score 2 at Camp Nou (they have pique out) they will need 4.

    Enjoy this night ladies and gents…i love you all and it’s Game on.

  485. And one statistic fact that I don’t know you are aware of. In ALL Barça – Arsenal matches, home or away; the team that scores first, NEVER wins the match.

    Thanks for your comments. Don’t wait for me in 2 weeks, I’ll be in Camp Nou.

  486. Will the media please shut up about an unexpected comeback.
    BrokebackBarca play in a two team league, the SPL of Spain called La Liga, and they are totally unused to the week-in, week-out pressure that we face every week. Once we sustained our pressure and believe in our quality they would eventually break.
    We the partisans at ACLF made the point over and over but the idiots blithely ignored it. As I said the English media have always disrespected the quality of Arsenal football while downplaying the plain violence and unfair refereeing we facde in the PL.

  487. CBob and Shotta,
    I’ll join you guys.. Fuck’em all.. We’re the Arsenal…

  488. I understand First Lady.

    When both goals went in I was up off my seat screaming obscenities at the screen.

    Ahem, not my normal behaviour.

    Just absolutely charged up.

  489. Everyone was great today. Especially Kosi.
    He was just unbelieveably good. I lost words!

  490. @Paul N | February 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

    “ALEXXXXXXXXXXX YUH LIKKLE BLOW WOW!!!”

    Yeah! Tell that little putanheiro Alex where to go.

    @ALEX Oi Viado!!!!!!!! Vai tomar no cu…. never forget this Arsenal porra!

  491. Chesney’s celebration after AA’s goal..

    The young guns have Arsenal blood..

  492. Forgot to post the link:

  493. I did the same Bob. I think I pulled my hamstring while jumping up and down as well. Absolutely worth it.

  494. ACLFers: I shouted for the 1st goal but I must have blown a blood vessel for the 2nd. How I love our Little Russian.

  495. consolsbob, I was jumping up and down in my living room and screaming like a mad woman, so I know exactly what you mean!

  496. Farca made double the number of passes but only scored half the amount of goals than us…
    Wonder if they would be known as a passing team without end result!!!

  497. calma calma Borges ahhahaha

  498. Great win, second leg still to come but i will savor this win forever! Koscielny looks like a world class defender, had Messi in his pocket!. Wilshere is some talent. I am so happy to be a gooner, to all the naysayers time to eat your words.

  499. Kiuch The Gunner

    Too excited 2 sleep too Firstlady, luckily I dönt hav an early mornin. Oh 2 be a gunner.

  500. What a game and what a win… the funny thing is that right now I just feel completely flat… every emotion has been wrenched from me tonight… from the wondrous Fabregas pass and Van Persie strike in the earliest part of the first half to the deflation of seeing them score and us fail to keep possession of the ball to watching that revival in the final 15minutes. I am spent.

    Just want to say thank you to all the ACLFers who have kept the faith.. to Yogi most of all but also to Shotta and C bob and Indian and Muppet, especially Muppet’s parodies of dooming… Gadget, Passenal… all of you. You know who you are… your positivity and good humour has been a great source of comfort and this site has become a must read.

    Thank you Arsene Wenger, thank you Cesc Fabregas, Thank you JD and Song and Clichy and Tech9 and Eboue and Little jack and Van P and Walcott and AA and Nasri and Bendy… and HUGE THANK YOU KOSCEILNY, MOtM by a mile for me… thank you Pat Rice… thank you Arsenal for giving me this moment.

    Sorry if I make no sense folks but I’m too emotional and happy and exhausted to make sense. PTBAG… God bless you all and Good night.

  501. I pumped my fist a bit, was watching at work!

    YO WHAT A MATCH.

    The beautiful thing is the team will play without fear in the next match. We know we can beat them.

    BEAUTIFUL!!!

  502. Well Passenal. I was in the best company then, oh and you too Ateeb.

    My Brother.

  503. Tonight is a night to remember.. Doesn’t matter if we go out of the competition at Fart Camp, but tonight will be remembered in the same we do the victories at the San Siro and the great CL run of 2005-06..

  504. Pah! I beat you all: I was hanging out of my Camberwell window singing at the first goal. My throat is still sore

  505. Paul, you gentleman you. You sound a bit like Marge Simpson.

    Well said, as usual, Joshua.

  506. The Johan Djourou undefeated streak continues, something like 27 games he’s been in Arsenal haven’t lost. 😀

  507. this is the game of the season! whoever goes to the CL final. nothing can beat the game tonite! two total football teams head to head. the fact we won makes it even better.

  508. Half the job is done, lets do the other half in two weeks. the best part? we did it the Arsenal way, no getting in their faces or putting in leg breaking tackles!!!God i love this team.

    Consols thanks, very unladylike behaviour but we beat the so called best team so i get a free pass,

    Indian, i never heard a word the commentators said despite my volume being high(i say screw them and anyone else who doubts us} btw the crowd at emirates was fantastic, more of the same please.

  509. I did want to shout Mr. Bob, trust me on that!

  510. The 2nd half was the best football I have ever seen us play. The Kos was absolutely superb, clearly MOTM. Our entire team played great defense. Eboue was excellent on the right. Just great stuff. They made 2 chances in the first 1/2 but they had plenty of possession and made pass after pass but did not really make a real chance in the 2nd half.

    Barca will be ready when we come to the Nou Camp, but if we play as solid in the back as we did tonight and have been playing for the last couple of months, there is no team that we can not beat. Its far to early to claim victory but certainly worth a huge celebration tonight.

  511. Firstlady and others,

    Sample of tonight’s chants after we scored the 2nd. Sent a chill down my spine..

  512. Opta on twitter:
    3 – This is only the 3rd time Barcelona have had fewer shots than their opponents in their last 32 Champions League games. Subdued.

  513. bring on leyton orient 😉

  514. Interestingly with Pique suspended and, presumably, Puyol coming back Abidal will continue in the centre with Maxwell at left back. I think Theo could really be the hero at the Nou Camp, we’re going to be under pressure for periods in Barcelona so the counter is going to be essential.

  515. OptaJoe

    This is only the 3rd time Barcelona have had fewer shots than their opponents in their last 32 Champions League

  516. Only thing that worried me was Cesc’s comments, This Barca team “The best team in History”, and all that crap. He needs to get Barcelona out of his system, I think.

    What a win!!

  517. This made me laugh

    “BREAKING NEWS! Xavi has discovered that Jack Wilshere has “Barca DNA” after examining the sweaty sock he got when asking for his shirt. “

  518. dups,
    great one..

    Farca DNA!!! I thought their DNA was the cause of their poor(than usual) performance during the final 15mins.. Maybe C*ntalonia DNA isn’t suited for full 90mins of football..

  519. lol Chesneys goal celebration is way funny….

  520. Opta Sports on twitter
    91% – Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere completed 91% (10/11) of his passes in the attacking third v Barcelona. Gem.

  521. Nice One:

  522. IndianGooner – that is a good image of Jack. lol

  523. ÀA’s goal in good quality video.. The quality of the goal becomes more evident every time I watch..

    A2-1Bhttp://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=107499968,t=1,mt=videoSimão | Myspace Video

  524. The orginal comment in under moderation..

    Link to AA’s goal in good quality video.. The quality of the goal becomes more evident every time I watch..
    http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/107499968

  525. Two proper football teams playing proper football – JW and Kos awesome – and
    I’m going to Barca – Cmon

  526. Just watched the highlights again on a foreign channel Lineker was an absolute idiot at the start he labelled Arsenal “Barcelona light” and the day before he called Arsenal “ Barcelona mini me”, I thought it was an absolute disgrace that these people keep coming up with names to try undermine our team. Wenger has always been playing one touch football since his days in japan why is it now everyone jumping on that comparison shit. We are Arsenal we play different to Barcelona,, we base our game on quick passing counter attacks while Barcelona like to pass side ways for hours and hope for an opening for Messi so I don’t know why they keep belittling Arsenal.
    Graeme Souness tried to find excuses he said the second half Barcelona looked tired because they played too many games then an uncharacteristic Sam Alladyce stopped him in his tracks and reminded him that Barcelona had a long Xmas break while Arsenal didn’t. He smacked him right in the mouth with that. We beat them not by parking the bus but with good football. why can’t they give us some credit for once? They had that look with their eggs on their faces as their predictions were wrong and they did not like it. Come on Arsenal.
    For now we should enjoy this victory.

  527. @mentalist 🙂

    @Joshua You’re making perfect sense to me. I hardly slept a wink last night, kept tossing and turning; the fear of defeat kept haunting me like an evil witch. And then came the countdown to game. The longest hours of my life, waiting and waiting. Then the kickoff. Their goal. But still i kept faith (a little wengerism there). Deep in my heart I always knew we could come back, as we had shown few glimpses of what were capable of in the 1st half. Fantastic goals. Yesssss!

    Both teams exuded flair, and exhibited football of the highest order. We proved the doubters wrong (again), by going toe to toe with Barça. Our fans were AMAZING. Can’t thank them enough for creating a superlative atmosphere.

    On an ending note – I love each and everyone of my fellow ACLF’ers. Thanks, Yogi Warrior for providing us with a salubrious outlet to demonstrate our unwavering support for our beloved Arsenal. You’re a great host.

    Remember Gunners keep on believing and never lose faith! This Brazilian is out.

  528. What a game !
    What a comeback !!
    What joy !!!

    The crowd was great.
    Nasri, Cesc and van Persie started slowly and grew into the game in the second half. Either Wilshere or Kos were MOTM. They were phenomenal. Barca tired towards the end, as they couldn’t keep up.

    and Arshavin has returned !!!

  529. 1lc,
    well said..

  530. Mario Balotelli meet Jack Wilshere!

  531. I thought the changes were a master stroke from Wenger. Bendtner almost put a ball thorgh for a 3rd . Wilshere, Kos, Nasri, RVP were fantastic so I don’t know who is MOTM. Possibly Wilshere. He did not waste many balls.

  532. Just got in from a bar, in Abu Dhabi. Surrounded by plastic Farca fans.
    Except for a few had core Gooners we sang from start to finish. Took stick when they went one up. One shit of a Farca fan was in my face shouting ‘MEN AGAINST BOYS’. Then it was all about the Arsenal in the second half.

    The singing got louder and more defiant from us Gooners. Then all hell broke out when Van Persie scored. Ended up jumping on the back of my mate and punching the air, losing about three quarters of my pint in the process. All the while scanning the bar looking for that nasty twat that got in my face. And I gave it back to him in spades.

    From there in, you could see the plastic Farca’s losing their bottle. Moaning and clutching the heads at every misplaced pass and Arsenal attack. Farca could not keep up with the pace we set.

    Then what a great second goal. Which showed everything good about Arsenal football great passing and a class finish by Arshavin.

    We stood firm with the team. And they did us proud.
    I expect many a night like this from this group of great and talented players.
    They showed skill and a belief. It takes bottle to play against Farca, like they did in an attacking way.

    I’m well and truly emotionally drained and drenched with lager.
    Well played the lads.

  533. and by the way,
    does the misery brigade also deserve the joy of tonight ?!?

  534. Come of age massively tonight – Barca M**C and Leyton Orient – be afraid- here we come

  535. Well well well

  536. I jumped up too quickly for Robin’s goal and my knees locked. Took several minutes to get me seated again. Then Andrei scored and I lost consciousness for a full 30 seconds in the arms of the woman next to me, who I have never seen before but we swapped telephone numbers. The best game of my life. Best Arsenal squad I have ever known.

    ….Arsenal…..

  537. You smoothie Frank.

  538. Agree Frank..
    The best Arsenal squad..

  539. Bradys right foot

    Ahem….not a bad game tonight lol.

    The Pantheon of pundits crumbling as we speak I wonder how their going to shoe horn this victory into their hate. Great performance from the lads one or two areas for improvement but everytime we broke we looked like scoring. If things fall for us out in the camp nou we could tear them apart.
    Wilshire and Kozzer, Wilshire is only 18 and Kozzer wa.s world class tonight

  540. luckily i missed all the post match garbage that was bound to be spewed by those FSC cunts. I think i’m gunna watch the video posted above of the crowd singing. Wow 50,000+ gooners singing “and its arsenal…” is fuckin music to my ears! hopefully the spuds heard all the noise down at shit hart lane. I like the fact that we were able to play solid defense for long periods and absorb the pressure barca put on us, and then we were looking to strike on the break. and i fuckin love this team. Are those stupid plundits still going to be calling for us to sign a keeper and CB’s. It seems as if that is an old stand by those plundits use to take a dig at arsenal. Although i can tell they are starting to grow weary of using that bullshit. Some commentators on FSC were talking pre-match, and then some wanker just kinda throws it out there. “well you know people always say that arsenal could use a Keeper and CB’s” FUCK OFF WE ARE THE ARSENAL sadly i don’t know if the media’s hate of arsenal will ever end….

  541. Lets not talk about the doomers, this night is dedicated to Arsenal fans

  542. does anyone think the media bias against arsenal will have an end? i don’t. Even from a non arsenal bias perspective that was a real quality match. It sure puts those Chelsea V Man U snooze fests to shame. FUCK YOU MEDIA WE ARE THE ARSENAL. i’m going to go watch the video posted above of the crowd singing. 50,000 gooners singing “and its arsenal..” is fucking music to my ears! hopefully the spuds heard that down at shit hart lane.
    i’m glad to have a quality group of supporters to share my opinion with.

  543. wenger out!

  544. Woah! Loads of comments on here tonight. What’s the deal?

    Oh whens the barca game by the way!

    I also agree with Frank.

    I’m so so so so so fucking proud to be a gunner. I almost wept when that second one went in.

    I was trying to be magnanimous in victory by racking my brains trying to think which one of their midfielders supposedly isn’t a cunt. But for the life of me I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

  545. I think Alan Hansen said it best when he said
    “Well they goat a caple o’ neu dafendeers but thee just no god anuf”.

    Daft twat. Koscielny was a walking god tonight.

    How old is wilshire? Here’s one for you, Wilshire one day will be better than Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Nasri, Cesc and maybe even buisciuts if he knuckles down.

  546. This pic says it all… Farca DNA, My Arse..

  547. so i’m browsing various newspaper websites to see what kind of bullspit gets posted. here is a little example. http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/mirror-football-blog/Oliver-Holt-on-Arsenal-2-1-Barcelona-Even-when-beautiful-Barcelona-lose-they-win-article700425.html

    this nutcase says that even when barcalona lose, they win! my head is spinning right now trying to comprehend. and he goes on to say that barca still hold the advantage in the tie! if anything they hold a negative advantage…

  548. Messi goes “WTF” after a Song backheel..

    http://arsenalist.com/video/?id=xh2frx

  549. Koz and Jack had amazing games

  550. up the arse!! what a match..absolutely exhilarating. i got by-law officers called on me for yelling and celebrating too much! fuck barca, we are the arsenal.

  551. Alex:
    “Congratulations. Great 2nd half. I hope we’ll see another great game in Barcelona.

    And sorry for trying to talk about football.”

    I thought that Guardiola taking off David Villa was a daft move. Upon seeing this the proffessor capitalizaed by taking off the likeliest player on his team to get red carded (swoosh, pressure drops ten bars in one move) and puts in a forward, we’re now playing a 4-2-4, which gives us tons more mobility. At the end of the day Keita and the rest of their midfield get lambada’d. Now tell me, who the fuck are you to question who Wenger takes out or puts in to a game?

    Van Persie beat Valdes before he even kicked the ball. That was never meant to be a cross in a million years. Robin caught Valdes cheating and put the ball in the space he had vacated. And what a fucking shot it was. Maicon scored a goal like that in South Africa and the plundits had orgasms. Scoring like that is not easy and even less so when the stakes are so high. What Robin showed there were nerves of fucking steel. He gets a fucking ten for his audacity. Fuck you Wesley Sneijder. You should’ve been passing it to Van Persie more often. Sorry, Dutch supporter airing grievances.

    Loved it when Nasri came to the middle and Cesc dropped back to play the Guardiola role. When that started, Buiscuits and Shavy were taken over. Arsenal clawed themselves back on top. Cesc, to me, is better at the passing game than Shavi. I think his passing range is more complete. Xavi is awesome when it comes to pitch awareness and putting in a killer pass, but Cesc is more accurate from distance and more dynamic by some distance. When Cesc is allowed to drop back and have the play infront of him he orchestrates better than Xavi. His passing and his strength creates time for him. And he’s also a crafty bastard.

    Little Jack was splendid. Nineteen years old and you’re not only going toe to toe with the best in the world but you impress? You’re having a fecking laugh. He is right up there in his development with Messi and Cesc in my opinion. Glided past barcelona’s midfield over and over and over again. Never looked nervous or out of his depth. We’ve known he was a start but now the Jack Wilshere arse licking is going to go on hyper drive.

    I’ll take Koscielny for eight over £24m pound rated Brazilian uber god David Luiz. He’s like having Cesc playing at centre back his passing is so ubelievably good. Not bad for a French novice, huh?

    Special shout out to the doomers and AAA’s. Without you today wouldn’t have tasted as sweet.

  552. Tennessee Arsenal

    Another post from across the pond:

    Just got through with the game (had to record it so’s I could work).

    Wow!

    Thanks for ACLF and all the comments that helped me build my excitement this morning (stealing time at work to check on what’s really important).

    Who didn’t play great tonight?

    My wife asked, worriedly, “Is that a good ‘Oh my God’ or a bad one?” after the second goal. Little did she know.

    This feels good.

    Thanks also to all yelling it up in London, helping me be heard, in spirit, from the provinces.

  553. Tennessee Arsenal

    OK, OK: I should give it a rest, but…

    After the Newcastle match, I thought, as I have before, “what’s the use in caring so much about all of this, if it brings so much grief?” Why not give it up, walk away, when there’s so much else to worry about, so much else to keep me up at night?

    So now, after the pain has been replaced by joy, I’ve decided to cash in the positive balance and walk away for good, knowing that my last thoughts of Arsenal can only buoy me up.

    Of course, in the sober light of tomorrow morning, I’ll reconsider. In which case I’ll continue to live through the ups and downs of fandom, and beg your patience in listening to my drivel on ACLF.

    What a great victory today!

  554. tennessee, the joy and pain of supporting a team, or anything really, usually find a way to balance out. whenever something shitty like the newcastle match happens, you need to know that the shitty feeling won’t last forever. luckily our team is fucking awesome so the low points are far and inbetween.

  555. Great, fantastic game of football tonight and we thoroughly deserved to win, even though possibly a few of our players were not at their high standard best and it could have or should have been 4 or 5 – 1 to us. We need to make more use of Walcott in the next game because he can skin the Barca defence. But we looked even better in the second half and props to Wenger for that change and the substitutions.
    Had a glance around the media reports and they are disgusting, lazy, cliched hacks, the guy at the Mirror slagged us off and then gave us much better player ratings than Barca. If this had been Man U or the Spuds then they would have been creaming themselves. Well fvck them.
    Off to finish off the marketing of Bob’s pasties, think I’ll call them “Cbobs Famous Essex Pasties”

  556. I am so beyond impressed with Wilshere’s performance…the little Englishman showed more composure than most experienced midfielders could muster in their entire career…Fucking immense…

  557. I hate that I have to watch the game’s recorded and by the time I get to the computer to discuss the game with proper Arsenal fans it is the wee hours of the morning in England…Proud to be an American Gooner tonight!

  558. I f this team stays healthy there is nothing stopping them from the quadruple! All trophies are there for the taking…

  559. Was reading through the Spanish media and the verdict from the Barcascum was that the referee was biased towards us because he didn’t give Messi an offside goal and didn’t blow for a non-existent penalty or rather a dive from Pedro. Absolutely pathetic. They gave us all they had and dropped off late as expected. Then we nailed them just like we did last season. The difference in this game was that they only scored one.

  560. Was Messi’s goal offside, though? I’ve watched it in slow-mo many times and still can’t decide. I think he was onside, to be honest.

    Here’s the exact frame of Pedro’s touch: http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/2896/messin.png

  561. Funny how Clichy was just standing right there asking for the offside, just like he did when Villa scored. I love the guy but that is unacceptable.

  562. 3 more games in Feb to go. Win them all and we would have 1 trophy in the cabinet, and an unbeaten run in Feb to boost our confidence going into the Barca away game.

  563. Superb performance. We could have scored more. Cesc and Theo can and will play better in the return leg, as will Nasri. We are a fantastic team away. Barca are feeling some doubts. Drawing to Sporting Gijon and losing at the Emirates. The story is their fitness. They just aren’t used to playing this intensely and having actually to defend their final third against this sort of aggression, talent, and quality. They usually have 75% of the possession, so even playing 60 or 65% is going to tax them. We usually have 60 plus % and adapted well to playing without the ball. The second half was all ours and we ended up with more shots and equal shots on target.

    We can improve and we will. This isn’t even the best of Arsenal. Barca played their game but it wasn’t enough. Of course, they will be better at home and Messi may have a blinder, but the boys did us proud.

    Tears in my eyes–this team is a joy, an absolute joy to watch! Wenger is a genius. Best part of his press conference afterward was him pointing out that our game was very different to the Spud-Milan game–refused to put them in the same frame at all!

    Still floating on cloud nine! Good to be a gooner and great to read everyone’s fantastic comments. Take care everyone at ACLF and enjoy!

  564. Wenger is a genius. Friday, 17th Dec:

    “My reaction is very simple – difficult but possible,” he said.

  565. Amazing result, and I knew we would win. Even at half time when my missus asked it I still though t we would win, I told her we would.

    It is not often we play a team better at football than ourselves, but last night was one of those occasions. However, as we know all too well, the best football team does not always win matches. Barca picked us apart at times, but they do that to every team they play so there is no shame in that. We got our luck with Messi’s goal which was without doubt onside.

    To a man, we were superb. A special mention to Wilshere and Koscienly though who really did stand up to be counted. Both goals were excellent, and I was glad for AA in getting the winner.

    When Song was subsituted I fully expected Arsene to bring on Denilson, so I was really pleased to see he “went for it” by bringing Arshavin on. Great team effort, great win, and now we have something to take to their dump.

  566. fuel for the anti arsenal debate. uefa champions league says Wenger savours Arsenal’s ‘special night’ why the hell do they put quotes around it?
    there is something special about beating the team that is frequently referred to as the best team in the world. It means that they are no longer the best. We are, by transitive property, the best team in the world. I am stoned and feel liking busting some knowledge on the world. consider the following tree. (barca)>(every team in the world) I heard the commentators say that a few times this game. (our boys)>barsecunts>everyone else. enjoy that. Whenever we lose the odd 2-1 match to some lower league peons and the game is basically us passing the ball in their half then retrieving the hoofs that are launched back, sorry for the run on sentence, the media call us lightweights or call it tippy tappy. Some wank bag at a respected media outlet said that barcelona actually win games even when their score is lower than the opposition’s. save me jebus.

  567. fools. we are all fools, we all know barca let us win because they couldnt be bothered!!

  568. What a night, what support, what a team and what a manager! I’d say “it doesn’t get any better than this” but I believe it will!! We – the unflinching loyal – should share this moment as the start of things to come.

    Kos and Jack stand out as key players but everyone in red&white made me proud. Our nerves affected our passing at times – particularly in the first half – and Nasrigas are still getting back to best form. Equally, we only really had problems around the final third in not tracking runners going in behind us. THE FRIGHTENING PLUS OF THESE FACTS?

    We can still improve for part two of this drama!!!!!

    On Alex from Barca: I’d beg us to show him more respect next time he appears. He is genuine and clearly loves football played the right way. He also shares our unhappiness with certain actions and deserves a place among us. Granted, during the actual match and with us 0-1 down, it might not have been the easiest of times to engage in unbiased discussion with someone whose key allegience lays with the present opponent. Howeveer, let’s show the same class as we expect from our team and the opposition next time. If possible.

    Next we face Orient and I’ve got my fingers tightly crossed;~)

    COYG

  569. duke – That is the special thing. They were excellent, but we still beat them.

  570. I can’t wait for YW’s match review to re-live the match and put everything into (positive) perspective. 🙂

  571. Lil Jack looked more spanish then them.

  572. Cunts on radio five saying Barca should have had 4 by half time and that Kos must have had ‘ the game of his life’ when in fact he just carried on doing what he’s been doing.

  573. I wonder if Wenger is getting some praise over at them other blogs. must be now surely.

  574. Curmudgeonly…that is how I would describe press and media this morning. Mean spirited and curmudgeonly.

    They seem to be blind to the fact that some of Arsenal’s passing and movement especially in the second half was actually superior to that of Barcelona, the second best team in the world.

    We are going to stuff these little fuckers in the Camp Gnu…of that there is not doubt.

    ….Arsenal….

  575. For all of the sheer admiration the football establishment have of Barcelona. They don’t have a Robin Van Persie, or a Theo or an Andrei Arshavin up front. They are one-dimensional. Just as we were when our best attacking players were injured. We are better than Barcelona.

  576. And they knew itFrank, they were scared yesterday.

  577. Exactly, DG. Barcelona tend to harry and press constantly when they are playing a team they fear. They almost overplay, as if they want to put the whole tie to bed in one half. This is a mistake because they tire. If you hold firm against their onslaught they start to flag. That is when our passing and movement must count…and it did. The best team won.

  578. MD! MD! You bloody dare!

  579. My man of d match;
    Theo wilsh VanNasregas

  580. Fuck it. Sleeping has only made it worse. I’m a quivering wreck. I’m not doing any work today. I keep coming close to break down and weepin. Weeping tears of beautiful divine joy.

    ACLF, I really must join in on the self-congratulations. You beautiful bunch of magnificent c#nts! How I could kiss you all! Never did we stop believing. Naga, joe, AIC, and their scumpool can still fuck off.

    It’s only half-time so let’s continue the fight, but for now I’m as happy as I’ve ever been at work.

    And the crowd were magnificent, even better than the chelsea game.

  581. Someone rescue Alan Brazil from Talk Shite – the fucker is on the brink of commiting suicide. He can’t handle it – he even left the stadium before we equalized.

  582. Exactly Frank,
    For a lesser team (think Real Madrid), Barca’s pressing game can demoralize, and they are quick to take advantage. But against our fully fit team? No way they could keep it up. We pass the ball way too fast and too direct for them to keep pressing for long. So, they tired quicker than they might have normally been against their usual La Liga opposition. Then we pounce, BAM, BAM, game over.

    And that Wilshere, what a player! Kos too.

  583. Absolutely spot on frank

    “For all of the sheer admiration the football establishment have of Barcelona. They don’t have a Robin Van Persie, or a Theo or an Andrei Arshavin up front. They are one-dimensional. Just as we were when our best attacking players were injured. We are better than Barcelona.”

    Also they just couldn’t sustain the pressure. Not Quite Fit Enough. We went the whole game, got back on top and just did our thing.

  584. So, so proud of this team/squad. Well done, Arsene. Well done!

  585. Darius,

    Yes. I turned on Talk Shite this morning at 7am and some hack was on there, I think it was Steve Curry, who totally savaged Arsenal. I just couldn’t believe it. We were outclassed, Barca was incredible, Cesc will be at Barca next season, Barca play the beautiful game. He also read out articles from Oliver Holt of the Mirror and Martin Samuel, which backed up his view.

    From there on in, it was just total hypocrisy from Alan Brazil. In the past, when arsenal have lost say, 2-1, like to manchester united, when we have had 60% possession, the accusation has been that we have all the lovely pass pass movement, but no end product. So now the ball is in the other foot, they tell us that our 12 shots on target was not as good as the 20 minute spell in the 1st half exhibited by Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets when we couldn’t get the ball. BUT WHEN WE DO THIS TO TEAMS THEY SAY IT’S BEAUTIFUL FOOTBALL BUT NO END PRODUCT.

    And… both our goals were very good, in particular the 2nd goal, which IF SCORED BY BARCELONA WOULD HAVE HAD PEOPLE SALIVATING ABOUT THE GENIUS OF BARCELONA.

    So FUCK OFF TalkShite. FUCK OFF Steve Curry.

  586. *walks in whistling la marseillaise and lands his fedora on the coat stand way across the room*

  587. lol, Muppet. Here’s an idea, why don’t you stop tuning in? Its almost like you crave their acceptance? Fuck them! IGNORE them!
    They can say whatever they want. The rest of the civilized world knows we played well and are now a force to reckon with, not least of all the Barca squad, management and fans.

    There is a new best-team-in-the-world, and it ain’t Barca. Hooah!!!

  588. Good entrance Limpar. Do you perhaps have a touch of warranted smugness their.

  589. Even the manc and chelsea fans around here admit (begrudgingly of course) how well we played. They all realize we’re the only team in the world that don’t need to park the bus to beat Barca.

  590. Limpar, Henristic 🙂

  591. Your boy Koscielny had another awesome game. At a level were surely the fuckers can’t ignore him.

  592. When Cesc said Barcelona are the best team in the history of football, he meant it as a testament of last night’s half-way achievement; he also said clearly, this is just half-time; if we don’t go all the way at Camp Nou it means little. It’s a good attitude, strong, mature but he not totally correct. When was the last time Barca went a goal up and lost a match in CL or domestic competition? And how often has this ever happened in the last 5 years?

    Anyway you look at it, this was a big result. I compare firstly with the last season, and there are big, big differences. Last season at home Barca could have been 3-0 or 4-0 up in the first half (but for Big Al). This season WE could have been 2-1 or 3-1 up in the first half with the chances we created. This was the foundation for the second half. We dominated the second half as they tired, and boy did they tire. It’s a very important lesson for us. Barcelona tires.

    The affair remains equally balanced now. We have to face Camp Nou. They have to face us, having lost the psychological edge. They have to come back from a goal down, knowing we will create chances and the probability is we will score (at least one) away, and especially as we tore them to shreds on the break at least 6 times last night. They need 3 goals to be sure, (unless we score 2) within regular time. This is not easy and opens a whole bunch of challenges to them; how best to score against Arsenal without conceding on the break. If it goes to extra time, youthful legs will dominate. They must score quickly, one goal to level asap (they are ahead at this point) and then not concede. Very tricky.

    So I think we have an nicely poised competition now, as Arsene said, difficult, but possible. I would like to think that in round two the result will be a draw 1-1, and the two cancel each other out throughout the match.

    I didn’t think we played as well as we might. Nasri was a little hesitant. Theo a little thoughtless, Cesc a mite subdued, Song a little shackled with the card and RvP ever so slightly off-colour (I wondered whether he was not well, and I suspect he has a bout of minor flu, he was coughing at the interview).

    So, I am certain we have another 10% to add to the pot in Camp Nou.

    Our positional play in the second half was outstanding, majestic. Watch again. We weren’t ‘drawn in’ to their bewitching passing play (which is how they break out of midfield to attack), we held position and kept it tight.

    Moment of the match – Tech 9’s joyous celebration at the second goal!!!!!

  593. Just reading the comments from last night. So funny… well done everyone. What a night. I like the universal ‘fuck the world’… that’s just what I was thinking.

    “Their kit is a bit “Blue Square South” (!) Excellent.

    And OOU you are hilarious in the heat of the moment.

  594. He was immense wasn’t he, els.

  595. Talk fukin Shite, thats it now you can fuck off fat al and his bolton essex somehow a manc sidekick, unfukinbelievable that they rate the spuds win better then beating the best team ever to have ever exsisted. fukin disgrace, they cant hide their hatred for arsenal , absoloutley gutted they were that we beat barca, and they cant handle it.

  596. twas a gr*tty performance from the Gunners.

  597. Heh, Heh, Heh!
    Can’t stop chuckling. This is going to be a good day.
    Heh, Heh, Heh!

  598. Limpar he was indeed. Some stunning tackles. He is so mobile, too much for them by a long way. Was a few times a robbed the ball on the edge of their area too. I think he put them on the back foot a few times.

  599. Why the fuck are any of you listening to TalkShite?

  600. I have to agree with Markus and Henristic. Talkshit, you’re having a laugh.

  601. cunts of the day.
    alan fat yid manc cunt brazil.
    mick or nick or prick dennis for stating that although arsenal have two great english players the bad news is we only have two!!
    matin knows fuckall about fuckall samual
    ronnie shit cricketer never good enough for england even though we were shit back then irani

  602. You think yogi had a few too many last night.

  603. Barcalona: they can score here, but they can’t win here

  604. http://arsenalist.com/video/?id=xh2dx6

    I feel tears of joy welling up every time I watch it. A master goal. A clear example of Arsenal out-footballing Farcaloanus. How can anyone deny it?

  605. I liked how ITV and Adrian Chiles’ script of wanky Barca sycophancy came crashing down around their ears… they just ploughed on regardless with their preprepared (often strangely alliterative) Barcalatives, gush gush gush… while Arsenal ran rings round their paramours on the pitch behind them…. to the point where none of their drippy words made any sense – live on air! Priceless.

  606. I want Arshavin’s t-shirt!

    No, I really fucking want Arshavin’s t-shirt.

    That was swagger redefined!

  607. Determination
    Cohesion
    Patience
    Resilience
    Incisive
    Focused
    Etc etc..Wenger superlatives 4 this team..Spot on

  608. The only thing that can stop this Arsenal team 4rm winning tropies is infact “themselves”.
    If we belief and play to our strenghts @ d Nou camp, we wil come out victorious
    Mark my words

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