Arsenal Show Barcelona What Progress Is

UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 1st Leg
Arsenal 2 – 1 FC Barcelona

0 – 1 Villa (26)
1 – 1 van Persie (78)
2 – 1 Arshavin (83)

Arsenal travel to the Camp Nou in three weeks time with a deserved first leg advantage, a rousing second half performance that was supported ably by the counter-punching of the first.

It leaves Arsenal with a slim lead in the second leg, wary of the attacking strength of their opponents, encouraged by their defensive weaknesses, problems that will be exacerbated by the absence of the suspended Piquet.

Rarely do matches where the media hype has gone into overdrive, live up to expectations; this one did. Barcelona had marginally more possession overall – dominant in the first half, pegged back in the second. Arsenal had more goal threat.

Samir Nasri returned to the starting line-up, a change that would be vindicated as the Frenchman’s confidence returned through the ninety minutes on pitch. Otherwise the teamsheet was as expected.

The night dew glistened on the pitch, Arsenal and Barcelona went toe-to-toe with passing styles that gave a masterclass in how football should be played. It was a mesmirising affair; all of the intricacies that were the Catalans are renowned for were matched by the hosts, whose pace exposed the gaps left by pretty patterns being woven across the pitch.

As early as the third minute, Theo Walcott gave notice of the attacking threat, a rapier thrust that ended with van Persie caught offside, Samir Nasri unmarked on the left might have been the better choice.

Arsenal dominated the early spell, surprising the visitors with their sharpness in the tackle, their tenacity in chasing the ball when possession surrendered. Such a start merited the opening goal and it so nearly came when Robin van Persie unleashed a thumping left-footed drive, Valdes parrying away to safety.

Barcelona struck back shortly after. Villa and Messi interchanged positions and passes, the Argentinean raced clear to face Szczesny, the young Pole stood tall, waited, the shot went past him and the far post, narrowly. The goalkeeper though did everything right and that which was expected of him, as he did for the whole of the match.

Messi clipped an effort tamely into the hands of Szczesny before a counter-punch almost had Barcelona reeling. Walcott broke free and found Fàbregas free on the right flank. The Spaniard delivered an inch from perfect cross, Abidal able to glance clear before van Persie arriving behind him, could head home.

Within a minute, the home side were left rocking. Once more Villa and Messi combined to slice through the central area of the Arsenal defence, the Spanish striker free in the area to slide the ball under the onrushing Szczesny. It was the first defensive lapse by Arsenal, the centre backs drawn to the ball, Clichy not keeping tabs on the offside trap being played. No-one individual to blame, a collective failure.

The visitors pressed home their advantage; Arsenal were blocking efforts from the Catalans before a clear sight of goal could be achieved but jabbing with counter-attacks whilst they regrouped, most notably when Jack Wilshere strode through the Barcelona midfield before van Persie shot wide.

History almost repeated itself when Messi was correctly ruled offside (as replays later proved), bundling home Pedro’s scuffed effort. One year on and Arsenal faced trailing at the interval by two goals; this time Arsenal maintained a retrievable one-goal deficit.

The break allowed Arsenal to regroup and emerge more determined to establish parity. Pedro escaped a yellow card for a theatrical dive over Koscielny in the area before a Nasri cross was intercepted as van Persie was once more arriving to slide home had the ball reached him.

With a quarter of the game remaining, Arsène made a game changing substitution. Alex Song had been excellent and disciplined, playing over an hour on a yellow card. Wenger admitted that this was part of the reason for the change but more that he was determined to go for it. Arshavin arrived; Walcott soon after, Bendtner his replacement.

Fifteen minutes later and the changes were entirely vindicated. As the eighty minute mark approached, Clichy chipped the perfect ball over the Barcelona defence, van Persie clear on the left struck accurately past Valdes at the near post; Bob Wilson and Manuel Almunia might empathise with the Catalan but sympathy is in short supply.

Having drawn level, Arsenal turned the screw even further. Five minutes later Nasri sprinted clear of Barcelona on the right side, remained calm and waited for support to arrive. As the defenders sought to establish a wall to snuffle out the chance, Arshavin arrived stage left, Nasri picked him out and the Russian curled the ball around Abidal and past a stranded Valdes.

It was a glorious Emirates Evening; a win that did so much good for the club on so many levels. The players proved to themselves and outsiders that they can compete at the highest levels and emerge victorious; the support rocked, Barcelona rolled, their air of invincibility shattered. Now Arsenal need to take it one stage further and produce a performance of equal stature in northern Spain.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on February 17, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.


  2. KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS

  3. What a night. What a night.

    I’ve copied this from LeGrove, give them their due, this is exactly how I felt last night. Me and a few hundred thousand others i suspect.


  4. Jackie Jackie Jackie
    Little Jackie Wilshere

  5. I want Arshavin’s t-shirt!

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

    That was swagger redefined!

  6. Great game last night, the boys did us proud. I thought Barcelona shaded things as a team, but we had the two outstanding individual performers on the night in Koscielny and Wilshere. Jack looks like he could play in their midfield and they wouldn’t miss a beat. Hopefully everyone stays fit and a returning Sagna bolsters the defence even more while theirs will miss Pique in the second leg. They still have the capability to demolish anyone on their day, but this result should give us the belief that we can win the tie. Over and above that it should instil the confidence in the side to win all the games domestically between now and then, which would mean we would have a nice shiny silver pot on the sideboard by the time we next meet as well as being still in the league race and the Cup.

  7. they controlled the flow of the game.. but we were more decisive
    only one team can play a highline against Barca and win in the world
    and their the only team that plays a highline against us..

    Cesc was sloppy and showed too much reverence.. next match he will be better and show his real self as will nas who also improved as the play continued..

    saviour played like a young player on form no thought just action..

    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS
    KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS kos KOS

    from Russia with LOVE

  8. Grand Oral Disseminator

    I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to sum up the glory of a victory so overwhelming. So I’ll keep it short, and focus on one minor point only.

    ‘Maicon scored a goal like that in South Africa and the plundits had orgasms.’

    Gainsbourg69 is not wrong. I’m sure many of you will recognise, from lower league terraces and elsewhere, the phrase ‘if the Brazilians had scored it, they’d be talking about it for ages.’ One for the pre-Youtube, pre-BSkyB generation, in reference to a small audience witnessing something special, perhaps, but it still applies now. More in ‘Arsenal-hating media bullsh*t’ terms than ‘smaller audience’ terms, but relevant nonetheless.


    Maicon produced a moment of pure Brazilian magic to set the five-time champions on their way to victory in their opening game against North Korea in Johannesburg.
    The Brazilians, ranked number one in the Fifa rankings, were expected to cruise past the team in 105th place in their Group G encounter.
    But on a difficult evening they had to wait until the 55th minute to break the deadlock as the North Koreans proved more than capable opponents.
    It fell to right-back Maicon to settle Brazil’s nerves with a goal of typical beauty.
    Latching on to a pass down the right from Elano but at a seemingly impossible angle trapped against the byeline, he produced a swerving screamer that bent in with goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk standing a fraction too far off his post.


    Robin Van Persie scored 10 minutes into the second half with a shot that somehow eluded keeper Victor Valdes at his near post…

    Arsenal stuck to their task, despite Barcelona enjoying prolonged periods of possession, and they drew level with 12 minutes left. Van Persie’s low shot from an acute angle carried pace and power, but Valdes was desperately at fault as he stood motionless as the Netherlands striker’s effort flew in at his near post.


    Both summations are taken directly from the BBC website. The same website that confirms we had more shots than Barcelona. And the same website that says that the possession was 53% to 47% in favour of Barcelona, rather than the 65% to 35% or worse.

    It’s the cr*p like this that makes it all the sweeter for me, personally. As if it needs sweetening. Kick us when we’re down, kick us when we beat ‘the best team in the world,’ we don’t f*cking care. We are Arsenal.

  9. Great game. Barcelona were nice and nasty. Nice in that at times they were a delight to watch. Passing the ball like shit – nice shit! And yet they always do silly things. Like removing one of their main threats in David Silva as they did Ibrahimovic last season. They don’t seem to learn – and we punish them. But I wouldn’t blame the whole defence for the first goal. It was Clichy’s mistake. Such shit happens even to the best. Otherwise it was a great show but outstanding contributions from Szscesny and Wilshere. Maybe it was the impetuousness of youth. They showed no fear. They’ll both be legends! I’m still on a high!

  10. The pundits keep going on about Barca’s passing and retention of the ball, but their inticate triangular passing wasn’t going anywhere. Many a time they had to pass all the way back to their goal keeeper. Our only players i feel were not playing to their full potential was Fab and Eboue. The rest were exclelnt. Special big up to little Jack who gave Barca a massive shock to their system. well played Arsenal and were are still in 4 competitions.

    aint that the truth

  11. Went to bed last night in a state of euphoria, honestly believing that at last justice had been served and we had beaten Barcelona.

    Woke up this morning, checked the press and discovered that we hadn’t. Well, the scoreline still says Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1, but the reports seem to say the opposite.

    Checked the stats to make sure that I hadn’t been hallucinating. Yes, we did have more goal attempts than them. Yes, we did have more shots on target than them. Yes we did have 4 corners to their 1. Yes we did score 2 goals to their 1.

    Credit to Barca – they were playing at the absolute limit of their ability, while we still have several gears to move up into.

    But am I missing something?

  12. Thank you Arsenal Thank you Barcelona for a wonderful game of football.Make no mistake Barcelona our a great great team.Kos and Jack were are major stars with Szczesny just behind.Anyone who doubts he is now our number 1 and will be for many years should give up watching football.He has now played a dozen odd games and not conceded a goal that was down to him.He has played at OT and against the best attack in the world.Well done everyone last night

  13. Nice work GOD. Very nice.

  14. Jack Wilshere deserves a knighthood. Some of the tight situations he wriggled out of defied belief. Arsenal players were giving it to him with two, sometimes three opposing players in the same few square foot as him and he still jinked himself space… space he had no right to buy himself really… and got on his bike or played a forward pass. He spins out of trouble like a unicyclist on a tightrope that boy. His reactions… the way he reads the weight and movement of players coming in and sniffs the right exit every time… it’s freakish and beautiful.

  15. You should never get beat at your near post. It’s sacred.

  16. koscielny,jack and chesny were the differenc.the rvp goal was pure class.brilliant team spirit overall and was encouraged by what i saw from the technical bench.seeing pat rice shouting and giving the lads morale shows the importance of a number 2,could explain why chelski started losing it after sucking wilkins.good post yogi and hats off to arsene and our 11 warriors..

  17. Troof, the only reason Fab seemed a little subdued is because any time he so much as thought about getting on the ball there were (at least) two Barca players on his ass.

  18. I’m not myself today. I feel like a junkie or something.

    Anyway, match reports are always dodgy when there’s a late comeback. The deadlines are so tight that they write most of the copy before the hour and hope nothing much changes.

    That doesn’t excuse ITV’s fucked up half-time analysis.

  19. Arshavin’s goal looked sooo Henri Lansbury-isque!

  20. Theo wilsh VanNasregas

  21. Nothing excuses ITV. They employed Adrian Chiles for chrissake.

  22. You know something is wrong when we have to depend on Sam Allardyce to fight Arsenal’s corner in the media.

    Fat Sam is bitch-slapping those who fail to give Arsenal credit and pointing out the fact that Arsenal were tactically superior and lest anyone forget, we actually won the game.

    As for the game, I’m just still smiling like a son of a gun. I’m going to enjoy this feeling for as long as possible and fuck everybody who says we don’t have a chance in the 2nd leg. Even Barca aren’t stupid enough to think we don’t have a chance.

    Most importantlyI’m really enjoying watching the punditocracy squirm.

  23. I’m still buzzing, what a night, this is why we love the Arsenal. The team looks stronger and more resolute than we’ve seen for a few years, but most of all we have a beating heart. Jack and Kos were massive last night, lets carry this forwards domestically and really press on. Man Ure had better be ready because I think the belief is really there now, not hollow belief but real belief that we can chase them down and win the League Title this season.


  24. The only thing stopping this team is in fact “themselves”.
    With belief and if we play 2 our strengths at d NouCamp, we wil emerge victorious..MARK MY WORDS

  25. They did have a little more possession than us… but we used our possession far more effectively and thus created the more chances. We passed it quicker, and with more purpose than they did.


    BEST THING ABOUT THIS IS THE TECH9 CELEBRATION. Frighteningly it’s not in slow motion.

  27. Just enjoy the moment.

    Even some of the die-hard complainer-pundits – admittedly hiding under the security of a pure Wilshere blanket – were rating Arsenal where they should be.

    Four Competitions and Lurvin-it.

  28. I have been getting texts and emails from friends who are fans of other clubs all morning. My mate is a West Ham supporter, and this is what he had to say.

    “Nasri I was impressed with, as I have been all season so far – he offers a great aspect to Arsenal’s game. Wilshere looked an established player last night against undoubtedly the best club team in the world right now (or was)! I think Arsenal are a great team and not reliant on a single player, which is a bit how they became when Henry was about. All in all Europe beware! Return leg should be cracking.”

  29. Koscielny was undoubtedly brilliant as the ‘go-get-shit-done’ defender but Djourou was absolutlely solid as well. And never has the old phrase ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ been truer than with Szcezny and Wilshere.

  30. Yeah, how bad is Chiles! He’s constantly smirking – it’s like he’s setting up a joke that never comes. It makes him look a bit deranged.

  31. Thanks, Els. You are a star.

  32. For those of u @ d stadium i wonda if u guys got to sing the “hands off Cesc fabregas” song ‘cos i cudnt hear it on TV.
    For those of us watching it here in Lagos Nigeria, d atmospher was very electrifying..u need 2c d shock on d faces of d Barca fans wen we

  33. Shit myself near the end when Arshavin tried to head the ball back to Schezzers, but over-fecking-joyed! Come on the lads, do them over at the Camp Nou!

  34. you can get an arshavin shirt gadget @

  35. You can almost see the tidal wave of bitterness oozing from the two-bit hacks and plundits this morning. All those scripts having to be hastily re-written. Serves the lazy bastards right. Still they would rather choke on their own vomit than admit they were wrong and/or give Arsenal their due for that performance. Hilarious. All the spin in the world can’t take the shine of our joy though.

    Beautiful night. I love this team. It’s fucking great being an Arsenal fan.

  36. It was a terrific goal from Arshavin, such a clinical and important finish. he’s had a rusty season recently, do you think this will turn it around for him?

  37. KOS wins the ball at the top of the box. Again. Stays composed and chooses the right pass. Again. He gives it to
    NB52, who does not panic and make the dead-end pass to Cesc, but works toward the middle, perfectly composed despite the SIX Barca players surrounding him. He threads the ball to
    JACK, the MotM, standing still, looking as relaxed as if it’s a Sunday 5-a-side, pings an one-touch inch-perfect pass to the now open
    CESC, who receives the ball with a sublime first touch while spinning, giving him the space to drill a Cesc-only pass, and outside-foot half-the-length-of-the-pitch pass to
    NASRI, who, after drawing 2 Barcas to open up the space for the NB52-Jack pass, got on his horse — pause for a moment here and note Cesc’s head twitch as he notices Nasri get on his horse — and showed that he is younger, fitter, and faster than the whole Barca team, and, as it turns out, more clinical and patient as well, waiting for the defenders to run past him and cover RvP, the pulling it back to…
    ARSHAVIN, who calls for the ball, and completes his return to big game form by eschewing power and calmly sidefooting it home, a finish worthy of one of the greatest counterattacks in Champions League history.

  38. It did get sung, PJ Gunner. But you know what? It didn’t seem that important.

  39. I really want an Arshavin tshirt too, Gadget. How can we get one?

  40. rsd, you hero! That’s come out quickly, hasn’t it? Is that the one? Gadge – we’ve got a visual on the tshirt. Is it the proper one – can you confirm?!

  41. A country mile long smile on my face… What a night..

    Few million people would be feeling the way we’re.. It was monumental..

  42. So, Pep . . . . . . . . what’s your Plan B?

  43. what a night. A day when you thought the establishment would be finally united in hailing the genius of Wenger and showering deserved praise on a world class performance to beat the best team in the world the press and skys coverage is full of Barcas artistry not being rewarded, that we were dominated and mesmerised by their pretty patterns, that Barca should have won, the disallowed offside goal, Valdez’s poor positioning for RVPs goal…wtf do they not know that Super Van scores these kind of goals for fun…Juventus Emiratrs cup anyone? …One journo even went as far to say it was not in the same league as Rooneys Imcredible double standards.

    But the world is not blind. They saw Arsenal impressing their own style on the visitors.amd carving them apart with precision, pace anf artistry. On this night Xavi, iniesta and messi wete outshone by an Arsenal Masterclass. Heroes all.over the pitch but Wilshere Kolscielny grabbed this game by the scruff of its neck and owned Barca putting on a show of world class defensive quality. Barca are well and truly cream crackered for the second round. It clearly shows tha La liga is seriously overhyped . The game was won by exposing Barcas weakness. They could not cope with the intensity and pace of the premiership and Arsenals quality over 90minutes something we do every game and they are not accustomed to .Arsenal I salute you. Arsene is Mourinhos best friend for one day.

  44. strike while the iron hot and all that

  45. Oddly enough, ESPN has the best writeup I’ve read thus far..

  46. Having read the papers, watched SkynotSports News and the usually impartial BBC, it appears Barcelona won 1-2 at The Emirates last night. Funny old game. innit? OOOOOOOOOH TO BE A GOONER

  47. Ok frank..if u say o.
    Anyways i think Barca hav gotten d message dat we r not selling Cesc even 4a trillion pounds

  48. Great game, what a performance!! Kos was simply brilliant, hopefully now the pundits will shut the fuck up about us needing a CB, I won’t hold my breath though.

    All of you that were there last night well bloody done the atmosphere sounded amazing on the telly. Let’s keep that going for every game. The players all commented on how it made them feel.

  49. I don’t think we will sell Cesc this year, PJ Gunner. Barcelona can’t afford him and he won’t want to go to Real or Chelski or the Little Mancs. It seems clear that Barcelona is on his mind though.

  50. barca probably wont want cesc now and be after jack

  51. I don’t want to be negative on a day like this but something troubled me. When all of our players were congratulating each other Cesc was too busy cuddling the Barca players.

    In his interviews he didn’t seem overly happy and referred to Barca as the best team ever on more than one occasion. I was just a little concerned by his body language and things he said.

    Am I just paranoid?

  52. In the words of the Four Sesons.

    Oh What A Night!

  53. Limpar, i can indeed confirm that is the shirt! I’ll be putting my ordering come payday!

    Thanks RSD!

  54. Sick of fans holding Cesc up as some sort of trophy. Show the player and the man the respect he deserves and shut the fuck up.

  55. Gadget & LA,
    The design is the same but the size of the picture of AA’s t-shirt was smaller than the one available on Arsenal Tshirts..

  56. Isn’t it funny how it seems in Spain, the press are accusing Barca of lacking heart, while over here the press are still gushing.

    I couldn’t give a damn anyway. It’s an arsenal thing, n’est-ce pas?

  57. @rsd 12.10pm

    Funny thing I thought the same thing last nite. Of course if they can’t afford Cesc then they certainly can’t afford Jack!!

  58. Lol @ rsd 12:10
    Dat just show how confused they r..only time wil tell how this Cesc issue ends up..but 4 now lets “enjoy” him while it lasts

  59. drew10,
    this picture doesn’t say so: . Also his pass for the winner..

  60. Markus, I love Cesc to bits, but seriously I reckon he will be gone in the summer with Hazard brought in to take his place.

    I would love to have both but I think it unlikely, I am sure Cesc still wants to play for Barca.

  61. we’ll have to get jacks dna tested

  62. While Wilshere (who was outstanding) and Koscielny (whose improvement in the last 2-3 months has been extreme) rightly garnered plaudits, it’s easy to underestimate Szczesny’s role last night. Repeatedly he stood tall in one-on-one situations, and his presence of mind to not follow through on Alves (I think) after that late Arshavin back-header and concede a penalty was a very mature decision. Sure, on another day Messi would have been less inaccurate, and we did ride our luck, but equally on another day Robin would have had a hat-trick.

    The performance merited the result far more than last year’s 2-2 did. The next person who questions this team’s character and mental strength need only be shown the tape from last night. Mentally weak? Don’t make me laugh.

  63. IndianGooner I hadn’t seen that pic, what a great shot. That is the Cesc I want to see. I was just a bit upset that he spent more time cuddling the Barca players than congratulating his team mates.

    Perhaps I am just paranoid!!

    Whatever, we kicked arse last night and I cant wait for this team to bring the glory days back for us. It is on the verge of greatness.

    All those at Le Groan can eat their “Wenger out” words!!

  64. Ship has sailed drew. They can’t afford him now and with the new stricter UEFA rules coming into play I can’t see it. If he does go it won’t be this year. Maybe a few years down the line when his contract is less airtight.

  65. I hope you are right Markus… I don’t want any of these boys to leave this team, together they can become immortals!

  66. If you can beat the biggest and best team in the world, you can beat ANYONE.

    If the emerging talents of Wilshire and Czczesny can not merely SURVIVE the biggest game on the world stage but SHINE then you can say they have truly arrived.

    If as underdogs you can come back from 1-0 down and win the game against the ‘better’ side what does that tell you about your courage, your tenacity, your team spirit and your will to win?

    What does it tell you about your future?

    Regardless of what might happen at the Nou Camp I honestly believe Arsenal came of age last night with a message to the football world that says we fear no-one, we stand tall and we deliver because we will never give up. The impact of this win on our opponents in all four competitions is hard to gauge but we are suddenly THE team that poses the biggest threat to the biggest sides and any cracks that appear in the resolve of the likes of Manure et al will see Arsenal tear through them with a degree of pace, power and penetration they will be utterly unprepared for.

    Just to be at the Emirates last night was an awesome experience and I also believe our own supporters came of age; I can’t imagine what it must have sounded like outside the stadium but the full power of the place was something to behold and it must have helped drive on our heroes, must have contributed to a punch drunk Barcelona who not only knew they were in a big big game, but who now know they have much to fear in March.

    And yet, despite all that, there are still some blogs and commentators marking down the contributions, on one of the finest nights in Arsenal history, the critical contributions of Cesc, Song, Eboue. These people – the one’s masquerading as Arsenal fans, anyway – reveal themselves for what they are; individuals who would find fault with any artistic masterpiece, will never be satisfied, will only ever drink from the half empty cup and will never see the beauty of the dawn, only its surrounding gloom. Fans who will only be truly happy when their side eventually trip, stumble and fall.

    Well I have news for them – I can live without you, at the drop of a hat.

    But I’ll NEVER turn my back on Arsenal. And they will only ever have my unflinching support, my trust, loyalty and commitment. Not just on nights like last night.

    But always.

  67. Well said arsenalandrew.I feel truly sorry for people who can watch a match like last night and talk about the negatives today.

  68. Just wanted to say i thought Barca were still just about the better team last might

    But Arsenal scored at the Nou Camp last year and they showed last night they could get 2 this time around.

    There’s a big difference between being able to score 4 and needing to.

  69. well said, arsenalandrew..

  70. Hi everyone. Where is First Lady? I just want to take a look at her gravater, to look at the portrait of that boy, that boy who is not recognized by the majority of football followers; he never gave Messi a chance. Thanks Arsene for digging up gems.

  71. oh by the way dont know why yogi didnt plug that he’s doing a live blog tonight on my site, but if you want to talk to him live, pop over to my blog at 8pm gmt

  72. “There’s a big difference between being able to score 4 and needing to.”

    And there’s a big difference between a back pairing of Gallas and Silvestre and Djourou and Koscielny.

  73. So far I watched the game on tv rewound and watched the second half again then watched the highlights and I am now watching the full match again in arsenal tv

  74. Delia---Block 112

    What a night, what a team performance , what support from the fans,what a wonderful season we have in prospect. At the final whistle I burst into tears,something I last did at football when we beat Liverpool in the 1971 Cup Final!
    There were times in the first half ,when we were chasing shadows, that I had doubts that we would prevail. How wrong I was . AW made daring 2nd half substitutions and we went for it carried along by the “12th man” the fantastic supporters.
    Kos and Jack were immense and Tech9 looked every inch a world class keeper in the making. The two goals were as good as anything seen in the PL this season and there is no reason to think that we can’t put a couple passed Barca at the Nou Camp.
    Now for the trip to Orient and the visit of Stoke, two equally important games if we want to progress on all fronts.Have a great day fellow Gooners, we deserve it.
    As always COYRs

  75. Well said Delia

  76. OK, Just in case you missed it from earlier but at 8pm this evening (GMT), there is a live blog at with Yours Truly trying to type away as quickly as he can without being too inane.


  77. Wow last night was so good! Everyone was composed, they did not panic and scored two beautiful goal. For me as many said already, Koscielny and Wilshere were men of the match. Koscielny just kept blocking Messi’s shooting angle, being always where he had to be and I wish he could get a goal because he was just awesome! At one point he was pressuring messi who had to get back until they reached the barca defence and after the match Zidane, who was clearly impressed by Arsenal style and has said to Nasri that he wishes us to bet them at the Nou Camp (although it is probably more because as a real fan he can’t stand Barca), asked Wenger what he had said to his team at half-time. Wneger said he asked them to pressure them higher on the pitch and asked the defender marking Messi to put more pressure on him and the message was clearly understood by The Kosc!
    Wilshere is really the real deal, I mean he was by far the best midfielder on the pitch as he made Xavi and Iniesta look like Blackburn players! the stat that he missed only one pass in the attacking third is telling especially against a team like Barca and his ball control was perfect!

    I can’t wait for the return leg to see the catalans getting kicked out of the CL! But before that we have a trophy to win and put in the trophy cabinet!


  78. “Pj gunner | February 17, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    For those of u @ d stadium i wonda if u guys got to sing the “hands off Cesc fabregas” song ‘cos i cudnt hear it on TV.”

    I can through loud and clear-ish on ITV. Not sure if it was “hands off Cesc….” or “We’ve got Cesc….” but it was there. Just at the end though when we were winning.

  79. We should buy that kid Messi. Arshavin won’t last forever and RVP gets injured too often.

    Would £80M do it?

  80. What a load of Bollocks about that RVP’s goal. That was a magical shot, that only few would dare to take, where the obvious and easier decision would have been to cross it across the goal. Wonderful goal.

    And bigger load of Bollocks is Messi missing the one on one goal. Schezney did everything right to make him miss the shot, cutting off almost all angles. Superb Save in my opinion.

    And biggest load of Bollocks has been the Cesc wasn’t in the right frame of mind. He celebrated every goal like a captain should, and fought very well. He had 2-3 players always around him, to cut off supply. Only because of him was Wilshere allowed to dominate so well. Which he did perfectly. As for the post match comments, he seemed delighted, but was also logical that this win would mean nothing, if we were to lose at Camp Nou. Which is exactly how we all would feel. So better to keep ones feet on the ground, save the real celebrations for the second leg. Which we will surely win.

    Theo, will learn from his mistakes, he could have been more effective gong forward. As well as a fitter Nasri, he hardly took on the Barca defense like he’s been doing in EPL week in week out.

    But mostly the confidence will do wonders to the team. Like most, I wouldn’t single out Wilshere and KOs6 for the match. I think everyone played extremely well. RVP’s holding of the ball, was tremendous. Brilliant, link ups all match. Clichy was a monster, defending alone against 2 players most of the time. I don’t even remember seeing Iniesta on the pitch. As for their pretty football, it wasn’t as lethal as ours. We created by far the better chances then them, and could have won by more goals, if not for some poor finishing and last ditch tackles by Abidal, who played brilliantly, in my opinion.

    So far this season, we’ve been beaten only once by a big team, while beating or drawing with the rest. No more, Arsenal go missing on big matches, crap. We ripped apart Chelsea, and Barcelona so far. The teams that the media had conceded the titles to at the start of the season.

    And it was a good time for our players to show that we’re up there with the top. Especially RVP, because he’s mostly excluded from the list of the top strikers. Which is pathetic, there is no complete CF, in Europe as him. Screw Drogba, Villa, and Torres. They’re good, but not in the same league as him. An injury free run to the end of the season will show why Arsene has continued to have faith in him as our main striker, despite the injuries. He’s class.

  81. No doubt, RVP aimed for goal

  82. “consolsbob | February 17, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    MD! MD! You bloody dare!”
    Maybe just “Famous Essex pasties” or in honour of last night “Arsenal Doomers Antidote Pasties – cure all known media hacks’ bile”

  83. February 16, 2011, undoubtedly will be a day that long lives in my memory. The blithely day Arsenal came of age and showed the world a thing or two about resilience, tenacity, composure and a winners heart. Our football spoke for itself. As I pointed out last night, we stuck to our usual philosophy; and strode toe to toe with the mighty Barcelona. Their blood we drew on hallowed grass. To be frank, I’m still beaming from ear to ear.

    “The players proved to themselves and outsiders that they can compete at the highest levels and emerge victorious.”

    Koscielny has shown what a bargain he was, when we secured his services. I’d happily slap a £60 million tag on him to deter any of the monied vultures lurking about from sniffing our way. For a supposedly, inexperienced player, he never looked out of depth amongst the array of world-class/world-cup winning players in his midst. Still not good enough, huh?

    Wilshere is a precious gem in our team. To think he is still far from his best and only 19 yrs old. We are yet to scratch the surface of his illustrious talent. Based on his performance all season, I’d put hands-off £85 million price tag on him without blinking an eyelid.

    Szczesny, what a future he has, behind the post for us. He displayed convincing alacrity to be in the 1st team.

    Nasri 70% fit was still able to contribute the decisive ball to nail the VICTORY. Wow!!!

    Walcott on 3 or 4 occasions showed he could match the quality of Messi.

    RvP and Arshavin’s goals, oh my, oh my. Very brazilian-esque finishing, worthy of comparison to ones scored by my much-loved countrymen.

    Djourou cemented another rock-solid central defensive pairing with his heading away of dangerous balls; thereby rendering Villa, virtually ineffective for most of the night.

    ARSENE WENGER KNOWS BEST. I dare the dissenting, xenophobic media to question his judgement and hurl disparaging remarks at his corner, yet again. The astute, fastidious one (better known as Le Professor) showed his mastery of tactics, managerial superiority and ingenuity through his substitutions and eye for unearthing world-class talents.

    Barça are a beautiful team to behold, and so are we, on equal footing with the best of the best. Last night’s encounter between both giants, should be taught & studied in footballing academies’ manuals worldwide, to future generations on how to play the game cleanly with technical excellence. Long live Wengerball! Arsenal, oh wondrous Arsenal, we love you!

  84. Else thanks for the vid. Enjoyed rewatching it as i did last night though WTF was with the commentator..”A barcelona goal by Arsenal”, can someone explain that bit?

    What a team!What a win.!Fuck the pundits, what do they know? They seem to have influenced football reporters everywhere coz even one of the local channels’ (kenya) report this morning was full of bile saying the goals came from nowhere and that we were lucky to win. Fuck them all I say.

    Bob that clip of the celebration after the 2nd win went in was Hilarius, if it was so funny in a capacity of 60, 000 packed stadium imagine how funny it was when the rest of us went gaga infront of the Telly.

    People give Cesc a break, I remember there was a time during the game him and Van persie were trying to rouse the crowd to cheer some more, that wouldnt come from someone whose heart was somewhere else surely?

    Koscielny is the man!!

  85. oh dear, the independant have given Song a 5 rating and Clichy a 5. I know its a rugby paper but still its only a lil bit of intelligence needed ffs.

  86. I hate puntits.

  87. Apologies for posting a thesis above, but needed to unload my thoughts. The love of Arsenal fills me with indomitable pride.

  88. for our media and puntits,a player is only as good as his transfer fee, hence kos n djourou are dodgy and luiz is world class.

  89. Oooh and how i have managed to stay awake today is a mystery having slept after 3 last night and woken up early to get to work. I guess an Arsenal win is like being high as i cant explain how else I have managed.

  90. what a game, what a result. I came to a conclusion though and that is that barca are not the best team in the world at all, they keep the ball better than anyone but thats all, i also came to the conclusion that they do not play better or more entertaining footy than us. If anyone doesnt agree then you must love watching at least two thirds of passes goimg sideways or backwards, in or around the cemtre circle, it bores me, and what bores me even more is the people that get sick over it. I believe we have layed the blue print on how to beat the little s…., get everyone behind the ball and win it in our half, if you are Arsenal then you will always create opportunity cause we have pace great movement and passing abillity, we coul;d have scored six last night, dont be misled by the pundits, two minutes into itv and veins were throbbing (in my neck) i couldnt believe the full time report and the aggresion on WHY DONT YOU PLAY DEFENSIVLY, GO ON WHY, from the guy talking to wenger, listen to charly nick on sky this sat and hear the reality that is, we are better than barca, we do not play the same way as them and thank f… for that, we entertain and dazzle , we are dynamic, barca were none of these things, ile give them credit for keeping the ball in and around theeir own half for nearly all the game, ile give them credit for being poor finishers, ile give them credit for failing to see the funny side of playing us. Finaly, in the studio i kept hearing that psycologically last years game would play on our minds, no one thought to ask the question would it play on theirs (barca), and i think it did cause they must have thought they were palying against the same team, as the man said we will get to see the real Arsenal this time, and guess what he was right

  91. Agree with all that Ateeb. Particularly your first two points. Wonderful goal (he looked up, saw the gap and picked his corner ffs! – can’t fathom anyone seeing that any differently) and a great piece of goalkeeping forced Messi to chip wide.

    I have to say I thought Theo had an excellent game too. Maxwell’s in the squad as an attacker and Theo wasn’t having any of it. His positioning was excellent and his workrate was even better.

    As he was slaloming through the Barca defence on the edge of the box I couldn’t help but yell out “FOOTBALL BRAIN!”

    A great big Fuck You to everyone in the summer who said he’d never be good enough. He just helped us beat Barcelona.

  92. Yeah, boomer. Who was that guy talking to Arsene before the game? Antagonistic little cnut. I want him named and shamed. Badly needed a slap whoever that was.

  93. I wonder how Geo got on with his coach fairing escapades. I fear he may have got thrown off for not being able to control himself!

  94. Yeah I only heard half of that. I heard him talking over Wenger saying Why? Why? Why? what a tit! Who was that dick wad

  95. Will those who are in the midst of one of our greatest triumphs, masterminded by our captain and midfield genius, stop nattering about Cesc and whether he will or won’t go to Barca. It is disrespectful of the man and the obvious care he demonstrates for the Arsenal when on the pitch. Please STFU!

  96. I don’t think the media would stomach an Essex Pasty any more than they could an Arsenal win MD.

    Any more than I can stomach them and their piss poor drivel.

    Still we are all on a high today.

  97. wow! what an amazing night. Wenger, U did it. I believe in u. Jack was great so that both xavi and inesta couldn’t play as usual. and now let’s go to the FA cup on sunday.
    GBU, the Gunners

  98. Cesc shoving Pikey into the advertising hoardings was a particular high point. And his pass to Nasri for the winner was majestically weighted when you look at it again. IG’s image of his celebration is a beauty. Captain, my Captain.

  99. Awesome performance yesterday. Still excited. Kos was truly brilliant yesterday. Djourou was unspectacular but really solid. Jack was the best midfielder on the pitch. When he starts scoring we could be invincible, it can only be a matter of time. We played a fantastic 2nd half of football on both ends of the pitch. They did not make any real chances and we were always a huge threat on the break while they never really looked like scoring. Despite having less possession we dominated them after the break. They were not at their best yesterday, but that does not matter. We took advantage which is what good teams do. Make no mistake they are still a great team and they will be ready for us at the Nou Camp but yesterday showed how much maturity we have developed and how much better we are especially in the back. We have always had a wonderful attacking flair and played beautiful football but somehow we have always found a way to leak goals and that has kept this incredibly talented group of players from reaching their potential. That has changed in the last 2 months. It will take time for the rest of the world to realize the change but if we continue to play like this the rest of the world will come to the same conclusion. We have shown how good we can be now we just need to prove we can maintain this level long enough to start refilling our trophy case. We still need to take each game one at a time but if we do that winning 2 trophies should be a tap in. Winning 3 or even 4 is not out of reach. Sunday means back to business and I hope that we can rotate our squad a little and still maintain our performance.

  100. I agree Limpar. Perhaps my expectations of Theo have grown too much. He played brilliantly no doubt, thought he could have done bit better on a couple of occasions. Which is easier said then done. Regardless, we wouldn’t have won without him. Kept them on their toes all game. The two RVP chances created in he first half, one of which deserved better finish, came through him as well. Brilliant play. He will get a goal in Camp Nou. Of that I am sure.

  101. LA,
    That pic of Cesc celebrating is the wallpaper on my mobile phone… Every time I see that pic, my smile becomes broader..

  102. Whatever will be will be
    The future’s not ours to see
    Ke sera sera

    So let’s just support our team.

    We can go one better. Difficult but possible. The spell is shattered in one simple truth: Arsenal can create more scoring opportunity against Barca, commonly known as the best team in the world (for good reason), than they can against us. So simple. This does not mean we win or lose, it just means we are good enough at top, top level of world football and there is no limit.

    Let’s see what the wily dominant bull throws at us come Nou Camp. If they come out all a-swagger they are doomed, that doesn’t work any more; if they are cold and calculating, a little humble, they might turn this around. The weight of expectation is off our backs; it is they who face a test of character. I thought we played at 85%. We can shift up a gear. Can they?

    But it’s back to earth now. EPL, FA, Carling and the rest.Well done boys! February 17 and still in all four competitions. So far so good.

  103. Arsenal yes we can.those 2goals were arse wb have trust in u,keep these team 2gather

  104. Yes Indian, I should thank you for that pic is now my desktop image. Everything about it is beautiful. The way the players look like they’re forming a fledgling mountain; the way how they all embrace Arshavin; Eboue’s ebony arm coming round the back of Cesc, providing a wonderful contrast to the rest of the image; and of course the Leonidas-esque ness of Cesc himself looking every part the warrior leader.

    This meant a lot to everyone

  105. Kiuch The Gunner

    @ Firstlady, I guess its hard 4 some pple 2 give credit where it is due n I wont hold my breathe. Some guy on Kiss T.v was arguin tht RVP meant to pass n not score. What b.s.

  106. I was doing cart wheels by me self in the house!!!

  107. It might just be the strange, hazy, weightless mood I’m in today… but I swear I could sit and watch this for longer than is probably healthy. I think I will…

    What a wonderful man. Joy to Arsene!

  108. Gadget,
    very well put… Another pic that give such feelings is the scrum after we score the winner against Everton…

  109. Cesc’s ball to Nasri for our 2nd goal was simply amazing.

  110. LA,
    Pat Rice’s reaction is the best I’ve seen from him.. The winner meant a lot to the Arsenal Footbal Club..

    Also, RvP hugging Arsene after RvP equalised felt like a Father-Son moment to me..

  111. While were discussing special moments, what about van Persie running up to hug Arsene?

    In slow motion we see the run up from Robin; ecstatic after dispatching his effort with masterful technique, but yet there is the slightest bow of the head before he embraces Wenger, simultaneously encapsulating both the affection and respect le Boss inspires in his wonderful players. A magic moment. A lot of what is beautiful about football can be seen right there.

  112. dang it indian gooner you beat me to it!

    It was heart warming though wasn’t it?!

  113. That was a massively lovely moment.

    Here’s a good way to relive some more massively lovely moments if you’ve not seen it already

    The sinew-busting hard work and desire of the performance is better captured in stills. What a brilliant, brilliant performance. Hair-raising and heartlifting.

  114. deano,
    It was… Apart from the goals, that was the best moment of the game for me.. It felt soo warm and nice inside..

    I always believed that these players were more of brothers\friends than colleagues\team mates and now I also truly believe that the players consider Arsene as a Father-figure and that they respect the staff and values of Arsenal Football Club.. Now this is what should be called “more than a club”…

  115. Yes, we did sing ourselves hoarse ‘Hands off Cesc Fabregas’ . The atmosphere was even better than the one during home game against Chelsea.

  116. Chris | February 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    Just wanted to say i thought Barca were still just about the better team last might

    Heck no!

    I dont get people with this nonsense. We were the best team at the beginning of the match, Barca controlled for about the last 30 minutes of the 1st half but the second half was all Arsenal.

    Overall we were the better team.

    Ok, let me read the rest of the posts now.

  117. Nothing to add outside what has been said. Thought Tech9 was outstanding. He will gain a lot of confidence from forcing Messi to shoot wide. I was astonished at how big he made himself! He is a large kid!
    What a great day to be a Gooner. The team will take so much belief from this!

  118. I was quite impressed that messi had kos marking him so tight when he had his back to the goal a couple of times in the box and he didn’t dive, although we’ve recently seen some “gritty” premier league strikers dive in that situation..

    the game was played in more or less the right spirit and showed the world how football should be played..

    its a wonder how anyone can question vp’s goal, any arsenal follower can tell you rvp scores atleast 3 rediculously obsene goals of tremendous quality every season..

  119. Agree with everyone re the atmosphere, i so wished to be there, ive watched the highlights five times so far and im still not tired of it, when i get home tonight im goin a watch it agin n agin. But now i want some recognition from some body in the media, who the f… other than them can see that casius clay has knocked out sonny liston, ronni o’sullivan has creamed stephen hendry, its called new kid on the block syndrome, and its us, yes we are the new kids on the block, the king is dead, long live the king, some think i might be getting too excited but i dont, i was as nervouse as anyone last night but i think i bought into the bull shit that is the barca fan club, barca will always have a problem with us now, they will never be able to beat us ever again cause we play better, more truly attractive football, wher the ball moves from one end to another and it doesnt take 300 passes, we (Arsenal) have seen through their bull. I dont mean to tell anyone what to do but watch the highlights to see who the more dangerouse team in the world is, its us, believe it and boast. im texting sky sports news tonight cause im sick of their ignorance. To everyone who was there last night, a big big well done, you did the club proud, every other football supporter in the world other than the english would have been envious of the football we play, the ground we have, and the way we have brought barca to their f….. knees ha, i could go on for ever im so happy. Annother thing, i usualy just post on this site but read many others, i have to say that at this time The Arsenal are as one, one voice one team one direction, im in love again.

  120. Just tried what Firstlady said earlier… imagine the fans going nuts in the ground… then zoom out and imagine all the fans in the bars and living rooms nearby going bananas… then zoom out again and see people jumping over sofas and rolling round on the floor in living rooms across London and then imagine the same thing happening in living rooms and bars all across the world! All our Arsenal bretheren from across the globe going bonkers in many far off and exotic places! And think of the ACLF family spread out all amongst them leading the celebrations!

    ZimPaul, your call to arms for the overseas gunner yesterday was met with aplomb!

    OOH TO!
    OOH TO BE!

  121. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wow. I can’t even begin to explain the way I feel right now. Watched the match with 6 other die hard Gunners, and there must have been about 20 Barca supporters there and not one of em gave the Arsenal a chance. What a bunch of arrogant cunts. Barca are overhyped, and I’m not surprised to see Bill say Barca weren’t at their best. I disagree. We kept them at bay let them play their game and then exploited the weaknesses with precision and grace. I’d like to send an extra special shout out to ZimPaul for his pre game post. One of those posts that’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Also to the rest of the ACLF family (you know who you are) who have stood strong day in day out. It’s been a long hard road, but we knew this day was coming. I like our chances in the second leg. As Arsene mentioned, we know how to beat the diving little cheaters n Proud to be a Gunner right now.

    Arsenal FC by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  122. OK, Just in case you missed it from earlier but at 8pm this evening (GMT), there is a live blog at with Yours Truly and I can confirm that I had in no way forgotten about it. No sir…


  123. Thanks for the Guardian stills Limpar. Fantastic ! Especially 31 – the one of the Barca players trudging off !

  124. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Holy shit. Looks like LimparAssist and I are on the same page once again. Great minds, brother.

  125. Just read through all the comments posted above..I don’t think I have the right words to capture my utmost feeling of joy yesterday. That victory has taken my expectation to a whole new level (not that I was ever doubted the teams ability). Coming from a goal down against all odds against a Barca team proclaimed as the best team ever to graze the surface of the earth and probably the universe is no mean feat.

    I sincerely believe in the strength of character this team has. Yesterday was a testement to staying true to your belief that football should be played in a certain way (both teams). I know this is not just a flash in the pan as I have seen us do it consistently this season.

    Hopefully, barring injuries, we’ll be able to win things this year. Right now I am basking in the euphoria of victory and no article, pundit, journo, comment or statement can dampen my spirit.

    Oh, what a feeling, to be a GOONER.

  126. els @ 11:38am,

    Did you see Szczesney’s post match interview? He said he was the happiest man in the world right now and went on to explain how the sheer elation of the second goal overcame him. Just brilliant

  127. NJ-N, I agree with you. Barca played their best but it wasnt good enough.

    Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”.

    I believe they couldnt handle our 2nd half punches. They are just not used to being under this type of pressure.

    What I have noticed though is that they dont have an answer for our counter attacks, they have no plan b really. If they defend deeper then they will not be able to pressure as much which will have an effect on their attack. On top of that they are not great at defending and I dont think they would be able to keep us out of the net if they dropped deeper.

    All we have to do is stick with their runners and we will be fine. Thats their game, beat the offside trap for the most part, along with that rely on Messi’s magic.

    This is brilliant!

  128. NJN, great minds indeed. Very good to see you. What a night! Chaps like yourself going nuts in bars across the pond is just what I was thinking of. Good man.

    There’s some great ones, aren’t there, Muppet? Song at full stretch… Jack turning Iniesta inside out… Fabregas looking like Leonidas at the final whistle… the scarves of the North Bank raised up in the air as one… also the ball in the net with Abidal and Valdes stock-still and stunned is a nice one. Captures what a thumping great sucker punch that was. KABLAMM and it’s passed you! God, I love this team.

  129. nolagunner @ 11:59am,

    Great write up. Professional journalists could not have given a better account of our second glorious goal. There again they neither care enough or engage enough heart to climb our of the primordial soup and reach those descriptive levels.

    Well done indeed

  130. For those with “nothing for 5 years syndrome” best quote of the night:

    Fabregas in his programme notes:
    “they (Barcelona) are also an example of how to be patient. When I was there as a youngster, not that long ago, they didn’t win anything for five years. My friends Puyol and Xavi didn’t win anything until they were 26. Nothing. Not even a cup or whatever. They always say ‘you are only 23 and you have the World Cup, European Championships, FA Cup, Champions League Final. So many things. Until 26 we had nothing; we didn’t even know what it was like to be in a final’. That’s what they tell me and its funny because now they have won everything in football. That shows you how football can change, so, so quickly and that patience is the key to everything.”

    Of course Barcelona weren’t rebuilding their stadium in their 5 years, and for all the emphasis on youth they spent many 10’s of millions on Ronaldinho, Ibrahimovic, Villa, etc. etc.
    Anyway, I still think Fabregas is going nowhere until he has won a few things in the red and white….

  131. I like that “punch” analogy Paul.. its early days but what arsenal have on their side looks like condition.. with the hard fort late goals the epl forces on you.. it seems like the condition of arsenal is the one thing barca can’t train for..

  132. Image inked in my mind:
    Dani Alves trudging back, failing to track Arshavin’s run for the goal, either knackered or disinterested or both….

  133. The thing that was most impressive about yesterday was the way we held our shape when they had the ball and because we were so solid in the back we were able to hit them fast and hard on the counter. No team is going to out possess Barca and you can not beat them by holding the ball, but we showed in the 2nd half of the first leg and Inter showed that if you can blunt their attack they are vulnerable to a fast counter. They key to that is being able to render their possession advantage impotent which is what we did yesterday after their goal. How many times have ManU and Chelsea shown us that you need to be able to win when you do not dominate ball possession. Great teams can win with multiple different styles of play. Thats where we are going. Long may it live.

  134. Arsenal play with such a slicknes which is enjoyable to watch

  135. Agreed KS, by playing in the PL we have no choice but to have stamina.

    Another thing we have that I dont see in Barca is some top class quality on the bench. They just couldnt sub as effectively.

    What a team!

  136. I think that bloke in picture 32 is an old friend of mine. I’ll have to find out.

  137. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh we were most definitely going nuts, LA. We tore the roof of that place when RvP’s masterful strike went in. AA23’s goal was just sheer ecstasy. As you so eloquently noted above the composure of Jack Wilshire sure was something to witness. What a little genius he is.

    Weeev got Jack Wilshire!

  138. There`s not much to add to most of the comments on here today. Credit goes to all involved.

    The game last night will be a total contrast to every other last 16 game in the CL. It`s how football should be played in 2011.

    The pundits are now unsure how to react to us. We lack heart , discipline & motivation yet conjure a win against the world`s best. They can`t explain it & fear they`ve been wrong all along.

  139. The credit goes to every single Arsenal fan who has stuck by the team at all times (here at ACLF for example)

    ahhhh its all worth it after last night ^.^

  140. In the bottom left hand corner of Picture 31 it looks like some Gunner fan has stripped down to his underpants as Barca trudge off the pitch. Not wearing a snood either.

  141. Whatever the hacks say this is a great moment for Arsenal football club. I have been so euphoric I have watched the whole game 3 times. I thought Barca relied too heavily on Messi magic to provide the spark. When he started to get closed out Iniesta and xavi might have held onto the ball forever but they seemed to run out of ideas. Misplaced passes and running into blind allies. The determination of the team was epitomized by the back four throwing every part of their bodies to close down any attempt Messi had at goal. We are ARSENAL the best team in the land. COYG. How do we join the live blog Yogi.

  142. He must be a pasty eater MD.

    Probably drinks cider too.

  143. Anyone thinks, we have a brilliant replacement for Song, in KOS??
    I mean, he can sit in front of defence, intercept/break up play & spray her forward!!

  144. congrats to all players and supporters alike of arsenal.

    we are gmt + 1 in Nigeria and there were fireworks at the end of the final whistle for almost an hour!

    my internet connection went off yesterday (of all days) but that alone told me that arsenal had won before i saw it on the news!

    Patience was always the key for us… we are beginning to reap it. am sure it would have come earlier with better injury luck and if flamini and especially hleb had not left when they did

  145. Possibly the best player in the world

    …..and yet noone seems to have noticed


  146. Having said that personally I would have preferred some trad jazz playing in the background….

  147. True that about Flamini and Hleb TS but I think it has been a blessing in disguise. Look at the players who have taken their places – Nasri, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere etc!

  148. I believe he is Frank!

  149. Not read all threads, but Cesc seems to be overlooked, due to a few poor passes; but who almost put Robin through with the header that Abidal (just) prevented, and who else could/would have threaded that perfect ball to Naz, for AA’s goal ??
    OK, not at his best, but still pivotal. El Capitan, more please at the Nou.
    Also, Clichy… just how good is he ? Guess what i’m saying is sing for the unsung heroes, JD too… but Chezzer (thx els/arsenalist) – what a man!!!

    From Mad Jens to Insane Tech9… a bumpy ride, but worth it all now.

  150. Still recovering……..

  151. Haha!!

    Epic Szczesny!!


  152. Read through all the posts and have to say it felt incredible reading over and over again how well we played when we beat Barca. Had the biggest hangover this morning but amazingly the victory cured me of whatever malady I was suffering from yesterday. Am now sat on sofa patiently waiting for the pizza man to bring me lunch, watching the game again. But I am afraid to report some bad news. When RVP scored the equalizing goal, up I jumped just like every other Arsenal fan in the world, unfortunately my Guinness decided to jump up with me, never a good idea!! Ah my beloved Bergkamp 10 jersey was ruined by my beloved Guinness, a tragedy of unimaginable proportion that was quickly forgotten when, several minutes later, an even more important goal was scored by AA and several pints of Guinness, Sam Adams, Bud, Jack & Cokes and I believe a glass or two of wine became briefly airborne before deciding to crash land on myself and my mate Mike. Jersey ruined!! But the night most certainly wasn’t. Anyways wanted a new jersey and now I have an excuse to go get one.

    Where the hell is that pizza?

  153. RVP…………Click Click Click

  154. we can win in spain..
    barca are wounded…they will attack even more..pride damaged..determined to rip us to bits…
    we can take advantage of this..stay calm, focused, concentrated and hit them on the break and score an early, crucial, away goal..
    then they need to score three to win and in going all out we can hit them again…their arrogance and their pride in wanting to hit us for 5 or 6 will be their downfall..
    two goals in the nou camp and its over…

    anyway enough of them weve got a game v leyton orient to concentrate on… 😉

    teams will have to sit up and take notice of us now..we have the ‘invincible’ fear factor again..
    the quadruple is coming..

  155. I think what was most satisfying for me out of all of that (obv aside from the individual performances of our 19 year old wonderkid and our 10 million pound man) was the defensive display of our team on the whole!

    Every single player knew his job, and they all executed it perfectly. As soon as an attack broke down, every single player shuttled back to close of any space they stayed disciplined, and bar one minute moment when we conceded, our defence stood firm!

    If we can replicate that level of concentration and level of willingness we WILL be the best team in the world!

    And as for Barca, they did what Denilson is usually acused of doing. They may have done their fancy tiki taka or whatever they call 1 touch passing now, but the majority of it was backwards towards their CB’s as they couldnt find a way through our red wall!


  156. Very happy to see RVP get a goal against BBB/Spain.

    After a WC final in which he received a grand total of three passes from his team-mates (OK, maybe one or two more), that goal must have felt sweet!

  157. @IndianGooner ~ nice one, if not slightly masturbatury (or is it just me ?) –
    Chezzer is the real thing, and how many of us are crapping ourselves about the defence/GK these days, with TV on the way back, Bac back, Kozzer a finding of genius, JD in Zen-mode… alot of credit to our scouts – it seems no other team in the PL even knows these players AW picks… Oh Arsenal, you bring happiness to millions!

  158. HB
    me and my pal were talking about the 20 minute spell they had today and we said it was just denilson possession, it enabled us to sit back and by not pressing them we didnt tire…our stamina was their for all to see in the sceond half they looked fucked whilest we still looked fresh
    they werent going anyway they were just playing about with themselves in the middle of the pitch…they can do that for 90mins in the nou camp for all i wont get them anywhere.. if you dont shoot you dont score…

  159. I had a 6 and a half hour coach trip back from the GRove last niht, mainly thanks to road worksand the M1 being shut, I couldnt sleep nd on more than1 occasion thought I was going to have to throw up in my bag as the hang over really kicked in. I gotin nd managed to get 2 hours sleep before havging to get up for work.

    I wouldnt change anything about last night!

    Fucking brilliant! WEll done Arsenal, well done Arsene and the boys! There are some greatgreat comments on here, truely encapsolate the mood brilliantly.

    Now, I’m off to get some kip.

  160. We can win anywhere and we can beat anybody. I think the fear barrier was blasted yesterday, it’s never going to be the same again.

    Come over Mancs, it’s your turn to get whooped.

  161. If we come out to play like we did last night when the Mancs come to town, they will get destroyed. They will not be ready for it. I think their only hope will be to pull a Man City and park the bus and pray for a fluke goal…

  162. Where’s the Jack Wilshere vs. Barcelona video?!

  163. I would like to see that as well Limpar…he was absolutely immense last night…the slide tackle he made in the first half was awesome…clean as hell and came up ready to spray a pass…

  164. Now that Wenger, Szczesny, Cesc and others have declared that the vociferous support pushed them over the line against Barca can we all now accept that support really matters?

  165. If only the Emirates could be like that every match…the crowd was epic last night!

  166. sing your hearts out for the lads, ole
    last night was like having 55 thousand gooners in the away end…
    it needs to stay like that..

  167. Interesting stat from Orbinho on twitter:

    31% of Arsenal’s passes were made in or into the final third, while only 21% of Barcelona’s were made in the attacking1/3rd of the pitch.

  168. oh I noticed Bill has been around being blatantly wrong as usual

  169. IndianGooner,

    that stat is not too surprising…we contained them pretty well and they had to settle for keeping a lot if posession in and around their own half…if the Arsenal plays that way the plundits say we lack cutting edge…if Barca do it they praise their ball retention skills…double standards everywhere.

  170. Agree about the crowd support.. Hope the support remains forever like the one yesterday..

  171. anyone think we’ll make a dvd of last night?? 😉

  172. The same pundits and hacks who so easily and glibly write off Arsenal as being pretty without being direct, dangerous and trying to walk the ball in th net etc are the same twats who are waxing lyrical about Barca’s great possesion of the ball without going anywhere in particular with it.for long spells last night.


    The crowd (aka the home support) ought to do their bit every game, the atmosphere was great last night. My and my cousin were told to “calm down” a few times though y 2 blokes who obviously like it quiet. Pehaps they should go to the ballet or something

  173. I see Frank Lampard has come out and said he would rather win the CL than the EPL. I find it funny how often players come out and say stuff like that, I mean it is pretty obvious that Chelsea are out of the title race so who does he think he is fooling? What an idiot!!

  174. Here’s a taster, LA:

    I’m sure a proper one will be up somewhere soon though.

  175. dexter
    thats one of the biggest problems thats troubled the grove over recent seasons…
    if it aint the stewards telling you to shut it its the guy next to you who looks at you like you’ve just walked into his house on a xmas morning and pissed on his kids..
    what these ppl fail to realise is that it is essentially a football arena..your supposed to make fucking noise..if they want peace and quiet then maybe a nice picnic in the local cemetary would be more their cup of tea…
    the away games are much much better but last night everyone was fantastic…im sure the odd few would have had their customary grumble about singing at a football match but as long as its not the odd thousand then it wont matter…

  176. I agree Limpar – all great photos. Taken I bet with snazzy professional medium format cameras with telephoto zooms as long as your arm. Could read newspaper print up to half a mile away.

  177. chelsea will be lucky to win the fa cup
    but as long as they smash the mancs blue and red its all good

  178. Being a masochistic I just could not resist reading the sports reports and comments – fool. Looks like we are going to have to win in Barca to shut them all up.
    Anyway CBob:
    Special introductory offer: just $1 each or 3 for $5
    SpongeBobs Authentic Devonshire Pasties – as eaten by the Queen of Englandshire. As spicey as the Arsenal offense. Extra cheese – 50c.

  179. Yes, viceologist! That’s what I’m talking about! There was one against Wolves in the same style. Love that; in, win ball, up and reading the game again in one movement. Like I say, he’s a bit of a freak… a beautiful freak.

    I saw that too, Ole. He seems to think we ‘won ugly’. I don’t think he watches the games, poor old thing. Can’t be doing with that argument though, not on a night like tonight. Pretty sures he’s WUM.

    Indian, Oofus, thank you very much indeed. Just about to watch those now. Just what the doctor ordered. Arsenal!

  180. jean-guy lechecul

    I dont see that Arshavin shirt from the game on that site mentioned in teh comments. it has arshavin shirts but I didnt see the one he was ewaring.

  181. Bill will be most upset with Koscielny’s performance should he ever get round to watching it. Laurent saved one of his most aggressive, attacking performances of his Arsenal career for Barcelona.

  182. jean-guy, it was up there earlier but seems to have been taken down. Maybe they ran out already? I want one…

  183. Man, that was a performance from Koscielny.

  184. You hero, OOU! (And yes, just watched Kos v FCB twice in a row. Amazing performance)

  185. I heard few people on the radio moaning about the fact that Arsenal players were not pressing enough by not getting close to the Barca players (“Get stuck in ” or “let them know” in English terms ) they assume Wenger is a crap tactician. i knew this tactic came from Wenger and not the players so there must be a reason for it. then I came across this article which delighted me in its simplicity . I heard hundreds of analysis of the game from fans and pundits and yet they all failed to see Wenger’s master stroke. read all about it here.

  186. Who puts these snippets together? Fair dues anyway, it must be pretty labour intensive. Im way too lazy for that lark.

    Anyhooo The Strokes are back…….. mmmmmm

  187. i think that if you do try and press against barca, they will literally pass circles around you for as long as they want. Real madrid tried to press them in el clasico this year and that turned out like shit. I find it inspiring that our boys can sit back and absorb some pressure ( how most teams defend against us in the EPL) then strike on the counter. It shows some responsibility and organization. anyone gone post more highlights on here? i’m gunna keep re-living that fucking awesome experience for as long as possible.

  188. @Deise, i’m super happy that The Strokes put out a new album. I got to see the Strokes play live at a festival over summer. Also Radiohead has a new one coming pretty soon.

    I find it ironic that their are fans who get upset at other fans cheering. here in america the only chant commonly used is “?Let’s go (insert team name) clap clap, clap clap clap” i would kill to be at the emirates, watching my fucking boys do their thing, all the while praising Arshavin’s 5 foot 4-ness and having a nice dig at Adebayor all in one verse!

  189. My brother the doomer has been going on and on about Jack and Kos. I couldnt wait un remind him we had this conversation at the start of the season and I argued that if Wenger had paid 18 M for Kos , 15 M for Jack he’d have been tipping us for the league. His response this time?↲↲Arsene knows. My response? You dirty doomer! 🙂

  190. Viceologist: “If only the Emirates could be like that every match…the crowd was epic last night!”

    Highbury wasn’t built in a day. It’s games like these that will make the Grove a fortress.

  191. hi, i loved this game. although i do have a question… you say messi was offside? i cant see how, maybe i dont understand the rule properly.

  192. 1loosecannon thanks for the link. A very considered and accurate analysis of the game if only pundits and journos had a brain between them. Cant wait for the second leg.

  193. @ismael – it does not matter now whether he was or was not.

    By the way did The Arsenal win? It’s hard to know with the media.

  194. predicted 3-1 so have to say i’m a bit disappointed. i jest. memorable. sagna to come back, no-one to lose. unlike their pique united scumbag. (shames me the scenes on the victory bus between cesc and him after world cup).

    i sit amazed, stunned, elated 36 hours later.

    good meeting you grisfris, in denver british bulldog pub…

  195. xavi, hundred + passes – most backwards & sideways, and our fans criticise Denilson for the same tactic.

  196. Only one thing annoys me. The wankers like ‘black scarf’ on twitter will also enjoy it.

    For those who do not know, ‘black scarf’ is a group of tossers who do not like the way our club is run.

  197. Which actually explains why Barca were rumored to want Denilson. He could play the role Biscuits plays for them, and to be honest, I think Denilson is a better player than Biscuits. Passing wise they are on par, as well as defensively, but Denilson has got his long distance shot and that edges it out.

  198. I ‘ve learned that I can’t watch this game unless I’ve smoked a spliff. The enjoyment is not quite the same.

    Jon Jon, daftest comment I’ve read all day. Denilson was one of our best players against them last season. In fact, I wouldn’t mind Denilson making a cameo at the Camp Nou where we’ll need to hold on to the ball more.

    Black Scarf? Nerds do have great imaginations, don’t they? What gave their nerdiness away was that they picked way too hard a name for what amounts to a group of fat guys behind a computer. Plus, they sound like a fashion collective.

  199. I am still beaming this morning.

  200. hey gainsbourg, lately i have found that a spliff can help with blocking out those wankbag commentators and either focus on the crowd at the emirates or put on some music and allow for my own personally commentary on the game. All the same beating the best team in the world surely qualifies as neccessary conditions for being the best team in the world. Also goonerandy i am beaming as well. I spent a few hours sitting on my porch playing guitar today (we had some nice weather) and a manUre fan walked by and commented on the arsenal flag hanging outside. he actually gave some positive feedback, which is refreshing to hear from all the flip flopping media that normally gets associated with the sport.

  201. also on line three i definitely meant to say personal but, alas, i am high.

  202. Gainsbourg69,

    Lest we forget: ‘any publicity is good publicity’! The blind eye and deaf ear have their strengths.

    Onto what counts.

    I’m still watching repeats and walking in the post-Barca bliss. Can’t wait for the Orient match. I really hope some of the players who didn’t start/play on Wednesday are used. Then Stoke…

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