This ones for the newbies.
Shaun commented earlier this week on Arsenal, their style of play, and the Invincibles–the magical 2003-2004 season where the Gunners went a staggering (and record) 49 matches without a loss.
Arsenal will take on Celtic Tuesday in the inaugural match of the UEFA Champions League opening rounds. Celtic, for their part, have as glorified, or more, a history.
Celtic, hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, coupled with their home city rivals the Rangers, perhaps present one of, if not, the most storied (and bloody) rivalries in all of soccer and probably all of global sport. Kind of makes the Red Sox-Yankees look like a backyard wiffleball game.
If Bill Simmons (ESPN.com’s “Sports Guy”) commentary on the US – Mexico powder keg got your blood percolating, I implore you to purchase (yes purchase it, you will not be disappointed) the book, “How Soccer Explains the World” and take a read of Chapter 2. It will, without question, knock your socks off.
For a quick excerpt, courtesy of Google, see here.
*Live commentary from Shaun on the Arsenal-Celtic clash after the page break
Arsenal seem to have the same lineup they had against everton…Celtic…no idea
Nothing off anything really happening…Though have to admit commentators already getting on my nerves. I must admit, ESPN are definitely getting their act together and i understand their need for US commentary but couldn’t they pair each American with a british or european commentator in a mentor, mentee sort of way. That way they would learn the subtle flow of good football commentary.
11: Arsenal pass it around nicely and a deflective ball ends up in Arshavin’s path but his goal is disallowed for offside. It was very obvious it was offside but commentator needed the ref’s decision to tell us (the viewers) what was going on. Okay no more slamming the commentary (unless its really terrible)!
14: Celtic park is in full voice and the crowd seems to driving the bhoys on as they mount an attack but that comes to nothing.
17: Arsenal really passing nicely…they will score soon i think. They just seem to be a class above Celtic (who are playing well).
18: Van persie fouled at the edge of the box. Free kick comes to nothing, though Celtic counter attack nicely and if it wasn’t for a nice challenge by Denilson, Celtic would have had a great chance.
21: ODD…commentary has changed to a englishman and a scot…must have been some sort of audio glitch…Well this makes it a lot better. Well done ESPN and congrats to whomever filled in on a job…done!
23: Arsenal beginning to take control off the game…but Celtic fighting them off.
26: Celtic getting some possession…WOW..McGeady has got some wheels on him. More midfield back and forth between both teams. McGeady definitely Celtic’s best player so far.
32: Game seems to have slowed done some…In other games, ex Arsenal player Helb scores for Stuttgart to make it 2-0 against Politehnica Timisoara (where they hell are they from)
34: Game is getting sloppy but increasing in speed. Song done injured. Not sure how.
Also in the premiership, Sunderland leads Chelsea 1-0 thanks to Darren Bent strike, who clearly is trying to prove something after being discarded by Spurs and so far is doing so. Okay back to game where celtic has a corner. Nothing comes of it.
37: Ref is letting the players play the game which is nice. Not like the liverpool/spurs game where the ref wanted center stage AND missed a blatant penalty in the end…to be fair the final result was probably the right one.
40: Nice run by the clever Russian Arshavin but toe from a celtic defender takes the sting out of the shot. End to end action here as Celtics Scott Brown shots right at Almunia.
43: GOAL…very unlucky for Celtic who were playing very well. Fabregas takes a free kick, and Gallas trying to duck (more like turtle) out of the way has the ball ricochet off his back straight into the corner. Lucky for Arsenal but 1-0 to them.
1 minute of added time….and thats halftime. Celtic are unlucky to be done 1-0. Mowbray will have them fighting in the second half but Arsenal go into the dressing room with that vital away goal.
47: Denilson goes very close. Celtic need to wake up cause Arsenal are rampant.
Celtic beginning to control the ball a little more but the pace of the match is frantic. GOD i love champions league football when two UK teams meet…Very hard, very fast and a lot of F-bombs directed at the referees!
51: Celtic have a promising freekick. Its swung into the box and the ball bounces of Bendtner’s arm. Celtic shout for a penalty but Ref waves play on. Bendtner seems just as clueless in either box.
54: Gallas wins the ball in midfield and threads the ball to Van Persie who scuffs his shot wide. How is Gallas wearing the number 10 shirt? thought he was a defender. Anyone have an answer to this?
Donati and Samaras off for Celtic replaced by McDonald and Fortune. Celtic going for a much more attacking approach.
Yellow card for N’Guemo which means he will miss the return leg in london.
59: Arsenal beginning to take control of the match and Bendtner dribbles up the pitch but resulting shot goes wide. Celtic keep pressing but can’t get the ball past midfield.
I must admit its fantastic watching this in HD. God some these players are ugly but the sharpness of the pitch and being able to see every detail is great. I’ve notice this on all the other sports but finally football is being shown in HD! Well done CSN (is this a fox sports affiliate). Apparently i thought this was on an ESPN channel earlier. I was wrong… My bad. Who ever it is…well done. Okay back to the game which seems to be increasing in the foul dept.
66: Celtic playing sloppily but luckily Arsenal can’t make much of it.
So what the hell channel am i watching this in…can someone help me.
67: Celtic wake up here and Fortune sends in a delicious cross that Gallas intercepts but almost puts in his own net. Resulting corner comes to nothing.
69: Arshavin off and Diaby on for Arsenal
71: UGH for Celtic…as they just let in an own goal via Caldwell. Very similar to what happened earlier with Gallas but this ones goes in the net. To be fair Celtic have been playing sloppy in the second half. Celtic need a goal! 2-0 Arsenal. Celtic deserve better.
75: Celtic playing a little with their heads down. N’guemo off and McCourt in for Celtic. Thats all three subs taken. Hopefully McCourt will inject a little pace and positivity into Celtics game.
78: Arsenal been playing keep away for the past couple of minutes. Still plenty of time for Celtic to get a goal but they’re going to have work hard to get it.
Well it’s certainly going to be hard for Celtic to advance to the group stages of the champions league but you never know.
80: Van Persie sends in a scorching shot but is easily pushed away by the Celtic keeper. Celtic seem to be slowing down some Arsenal attacking time and time again through Diaby, Fabregas and the ever present Van Persie.
84: Celtic showing a bit of life and thread some passes around the Arsenal box but a miscommunication means it comes to nothing. Arsenal’s defense is looking quite good as well. They seem to be A LOT better than last year but have they really been tested yet?
88: Game is dwindling…Got caught reading TSG bit on Dempsey…great article!
Well its seems that second goal really took the sting out of Celtic attack. To be far lady luck wasn’t shining on the hoops but still, great teams make their own luck and Arsenal look like the makings of a great team (even with Bendtner).
Interesting story about Bendtner. Apparently he changed his number for better luck and offered any fan that had purchased shirts with his old number on it, that he would reimburse them. A really nice gesture and I for one was impressed. What was even more impressive is that its apparently its going to run him around 10,000 pounds. That’s what i found most shocking is that they sold 10 grand worth of Bendtner shirts!!!!!!
2 minutes of added team.
In the end Arsenal deserved to win the game but Celtic and their fans will feel a little down.