Thursday, 17 February 2011

Arsenal Vs Barca - 1st Leg, 2-1 to Arsenal

This was the big big moment in my club's recent history. The club who was always ridiculed for his lack of trophies in last 5 years, the manager who was always ridiculed for his belief in his players, his spending style, his attacking football tactics...What a moment to show what we can do..what a moment for every Gunner fan who has kept faith in their Club, In their Manager, In their Players..In Arsene we trust and that was paid off handsomely on Wednesday 16th Feb 2011.

The Champion' leg campainge kicked off very nicely for us but then we faltered in between and finished runners up in our group. That made us vulnerable to draw one of the top teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Baryan Munich or Schalke. Now everyone dreaded seeing Barcelona to the opposite side. Who can forget the last year's CL matches. The first leg's first 20 mins were nerve wrenching. The aesomely the scoreline at the end of First leg was 2-2. We came bk into that game due to Superfast Theo. But the No Camp was a disaster. Messi run riot and we lost y 4-1. Now gunner wanted the reminder of those matches and that included our players and our manager.

After last year's beating, everyone suggested to Arsene that we shold change our playing style and park a bus in front of goal like the way chelsea did in 2009 and Inter did in 2010 against Barca.Arsenal plays wonderful attacking football. Our main strength is the passing. Arsenal is dubbed as Barca Lite as Barca is termed the best team in the world at this moment for its beautiful passing game. Their midfield of Xavi, Iniesta, Basquet, Messi and now the lethal Villa has made a truly amazing side. So everyone has made p their mind that Arsenal is in for beating and this time it would be more severe than last year.

But we still believed and look where we are. The match was pretty one sided most of the time in Barca's favour. Arsenal tried going Toe to Toe for as much time possible but the passing and possesion of Barca made it very difficult for us. Still the main difference between last year's Arsenal side and this year was the fit players and increased self belief. The never say die attitude was visible in each and every Gunner Player. Even when we went down 0-1 by a superb strike by Villa(ofcourse Messi was the architect of that goal even if he missed 2 sitters himself) we never gave up on the game. Our Gollie who will turn 21 in April stood tall before the goalpost (btw it was his CL debut) Lurent Koscielny stood tall in the defence. Containing Barca is very tough task for any team and it was evident in the match stats, but we still held on.

The manager's gamble to sub Song with Arsha and Theo with Bedtner paid off. It showed we meant business and attack is our only chance. Finally the hard work, the self belief paid off. Van persie hit the enar post with a very precise angle and suddenly we were back in the match. It was a very emotional moment for everyone. RVP ran towards Wenger to hug him and beckoned all other players.

 I screamed and jumped and danced in front of my TV set. My roomie was left wondering what got into me..But it was not the end of the game and within 5 minutes on counter Jack, Cesc, Samir got into an exquisite move to slot the ball in Arsha's path who coolly slotted it for the winning goal. Barca was stunned so were the millions watching the game. We have done the one up on our last year's performance.

As all the people who were stunned by Arsenal's maturity have reminded me constantly that Nou Camp will be different. In their words 'Barca will slughetr you'. But if they noticed then neither players, nor our manager or not a gunner fan has predicted that now we are in Q/F. We know the work is half done and beating Barca in their own backyard will be tough but now we have a decent chance, we have the self belief and we know we can beat them.

Cant wait for 8th March. it could happen that by 8th we might have CC so breaking the trophy draught. But in middle we have some tough matches and we should avoid injuries and suspensions.

Go Gunners Go..We love you Arsenal..Ooo to be a Gunner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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