TWEEET TWEET TWEET. Barcelona go through. Barcelona were amazing but the referee was even better. All told the Blau Grana deserved to win, but the referee denied us fans an exciting second half with the RVP sending off. Shame.
92:00 - Barcelona are playing keep away as Arsenal desperately try to get the ball back.
90:00 – Arsenal’s defense has been poor and amazing all at the same time. They have given up so many bad passes and gotten beaten so easily, but have done what it takes to stop the final ball. Game could very well have been 32-1.
87:00 – Arsenal get a break-away and Wilshire tee’s up Bendtner but the lumbering Dane’s touch is poor and Valdes claims it. A better striker would have scored. Little Miss TSG would have scored.
86:00 - Wow. Barcelona waltz into Arsenal’s box and it was Dani Alves and Messi versus Almunia who is haplessly rooted to the spot and yet the Brazilian’s half pass, half shot goes wide. Not sure how they screwed that up.
85:00 - Messi charges down the middle again, surrounded by 5 players and lays the ball of for Afellay, but Almunia again makes himself big and blocks the shot.
83:00 – Afellay makes an immediate impact as he scampers onto a long ball, beats Djourou for pace but his side footed shot goes wide. Another speedy Dutch winger in the making.
82:00 – Villa comes of for Afellay.
78:00 - Arsenal reach for the bottom of the barrel and send on Bendtner. Meanwhile Messi has a shot, but it is well saved by Almunia who has been Arsenal’s best player.
76:00 - That said, Arsenal’s passing has been pretty shocking tonight, as they for the upteenth time pass the ball straight to a Barcelona player.
74:00 - Arshavin comes on for Rosicky who hasn’t down much. Barcelona are rampant and playing beautiful football, but the referee’s antics has made a huge impact on this game. RVP’s sending off had a huge impact as they no longer really became dangerous.
71:00 – Goal by Messi. Almunia is rooted as Messi sends it into the bottom corner. Barcelona 3 – Arsenal 1 – Referee 5
70:00 – Immediately after the restart, Arsenal give up a penalty as Koscielny slices down Messi.
69:00 - What a goal. Xavi scores after a gorgeous build up from the Catalan team. A beautiful series of pinging passes, started by a slalom run by Iniesta and ends with Xavi slotting past Almunia. Barcelona 2 – Arsenal 1 – Referee 3
67:00 – Almunia makes a wonderful save as Villa is clean through from a Messi pearl of a pass, but the Spanish keeper makes himself big and pushes the ball away from danger.
65:00 – Arsenal having their best spell of the match now that RVP is gone. There defending is on a knifes edge but they are moving forward with far more verve.
60:00 - Arsenal counter but Abidal averts the danger and Barcelona come right back, but take one pass to many and the final shot goes over the bar. Commentators say that the time from when the ref blew the whistle to when RVP shot was a second. This ref sucks. I hate when ref’s think they are bigger then the game.
56:00 - Wow. Van Persie get sent of as he thought he was through and kicks the ball as he was trying to score. Referee though he was time wasting. Like I said earlier, this game will come down to the referee being an egotistical douche bag. RVP claims he didn’t hear the whistle. This is ref is grade A dick.
54:00 - Barcelona come right back and Villa charges down a ball and kicks Almunia in the face. Ball comes to Messi but he is dealt with and Arsenal clear.
53:00 – GOOOOOAAAL. An own goal from Busquets as he heads a great goal into his own net. Wow. That came out of no where. GAME ON . Arsenal 1 – Barcelona 1
52:00 -Nasri runs half the pitch down a 2 foot wide corridor along the touchline and wins a corner!
49:00 – Barca resume where they left off from the first half, with Messi dancing and jiving around the entire Arsenal defense. I think his teammates are just watching in amazement as no one is there to latch onto a beautiful pass.
PEEEEP and we’re off as Arsenal kick off the second half.
Correction on the goal. It wasn’t a blocked shot rebound. Messi, the genius that he is, controls the ball, chips a sliding Almunia and volleys the ball before it touches the ground, into the back of the net. Beautiful
Halftime. Arsenal need to bring on Arshavin and try and string a few passes together. Rosicky experiment is not working. Barcelona need to keep doing what they do without the theatrics and Nani-ing (aka crying).
48:00- GOOOOOOOOOAAAAL. Messi scores an easy one after a horrendous mistake by the Arsenal defense. Fabregas loses the ball and Iniesta sends Messi through, whose initial touch is blocked, but he latches onto the rebound and hammers the ball into the back of the net. Barcelona 1 – Arsenal 0. Barca going through at this point.
47:00 - Whiny little school girls they maybe, but they sure are beautiful to watch when they’re on. Barcelona thread a series of one-time passes that slice open the Barcelona defense.
46:00 - Definition of handbags here as two not so tough teams are over-reacting beyond belief. Dani Alves crumples cause Fabregas breathes heavily on him.
45:00 – OHHH Argy bargy has Wilshire is brought down, but the Barcelona players who are a bunchy of whiny dicks when things don’t go there way, accuse him of not being hurt. They’re still pissed cause Arsenal didn;t kick the ball out when Abidal was writhing on the ground.
43:00 – A CORNER FOR ARSENAL.
42:00 – Abidal hurts himself and the physio’s come out to treat him. Ref hogs the water bottle and Adriano has to pry it out of his hands. Why do I get the feeling that the ref is going to ruin this game because of his ego.
40:00 – Hard to believe, but the game has gotten a little boring as Barcelona are dominating without threatening. Arsenal can’t put three passes together and lose the ball before the halfway line.
34:00 – High comedy as Almunia tries to clear it from a back pass and hits Koscielny in the back of the head. Sadly the ball did not go in the back of the net, but bounced toward Gibbs who cleared it.
32:00 – Mascherano is playing really high up the pitch and has developed quite the touch since his days at Liverpool. I guess that’s what happens when you’re surrounded by Tiki-taka masters.
30:00 – I think the only player in the Barcelona half is the Valdes. Either that or the Blau Grana are playing with 14 people.
28:00 – Fabregas’s turn to get caught in possession, but Djourou saves the day, but the ball comes to Pedro’s who’s shot goes wide.
26:00 – Barcelona’s front line and midfield are playing better defense then their defenders. Ball rarely gets out of the Arsenal half.
25:00 - If England can produce more players, the likes of Wishire and Martin Kelly, they might actually get out of the second round in the next world cup. MATT – Wenger is wearing a large Starter jacket. Sadly no visible bling though.
22:00 - All Barcelona as they toy with the Arsenal the way a cat toys with a mouse. Though according to my childhood TV viewing, the mouse usually wins.
17:00 – And Szczesny can’t continue and Almunia is brought in. This should be entertaining though as a poor typist, I’m happy. Szczesny is a bitch of a name to type.
16:00 – Barcelona win a free kick about 35 yards out. Dani Alves sends in a blasting shot that bounces right in front of Szczesny, who does well to hold on it. In the process though he seems to hurt himself and physios bound out of the dugout.
13:00 – Djourou gets caught in possession and Messi scampers toward the box with only the keeper to beat, but Koscielny makes a goal saving block, though falls over gifting the ball back to Messi who sends in a delightful ball, but Gibbs cuts it out. Great reaction defending by the Londoners.
11:00 - NO real flow happening yet. Both teams doing their best to be cagey and the ref is trying to impress the little child by blowing his whistle every 15 seconds.
6:00 - Arsenal breakaway, but Rosicky’s pass is wayward and Barcelona counter immediately. Well can’t really call it a counter since the majority of their players were still in the Arsenal half, but nothing comes of it.
5:00 - Why are the referee’s wearing white shirts? DO they have home and away and a third strip?
4:00 – Pedro put on through, but took too much time to control the bouncing ball and his effort is wide.
1:00 - OHHHH..Arsenal being “hard” and Xavi gets on the tough end of a Clichy challenge.
TWEEEEET: Barcelona kick it off.
This is new. Typically before most football matches there is the traditional exchange of little children. Each team brings out 1 to 11 kids dressed in the clubs shirts. This time though the referee had a little child too. Is that child in charge of the other children? Do the other children berate and make fun of the referee’s child during the game? Does it suck to be the kid holding the referee’s hand instead of say Fabregas? Can anyone answer these questions?
Arsenal don’t know how to defend, so expect an attacking mentality from Wengers boys especially as Barcelona’s makeshift back line will be susceptible. Barcelona need a challenge as La Liga is becoming a bit of breeze for the Blau Grana.
The line ups
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Diaby, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie
Barcelona: Valdes Dani Alves, Busquets, Abidal, Adriano; Mascherano; Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, David Villa, Messi.
SUBS: Barcelona subs: Pinto, Bojan, Keita, Milito, Maxwell, Afellay, Thiago.
Arsenal subs: Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Eboue, Chamakh, Bendtner.
Hello everyone and welcome to one of the tastiest champions league games in a long while. In the first leg, Arsenal were 2-1 winners, but Barcelona got the important away goal, which should hold them in good stead for tonight’s mouth-watering clash at the Camp Nou.