Arsenal vs. Barcelona-revenge for past heartbreak?

by admin

Monday, February 14th, 2011
 

On the 5th of February we witnessed Cheik Tiote smash home the eighth goal in a wondrous Premier League affair in the North East. In the same afternoon another 35 goals were registered in record-breaking style as the most entertaining and exciting weekend in English Football dazzled the country. Seven days later we were found gawping at Wayne Rooney’s stunning acrobatic goal that transformed an England number 1 into a garden gnome sat inanimately on the goal line.

As football fans we could say that over the last fortnight we have been slightly spoilt. However, with the return of the Champions League one game in particular looks likely to surpass that excellence when the Spanish champions line up against the Gunners.

Arsenal and Barcelona, two very similar sides but with one main difference. Trophies. After the master-class that was the demolition of Real Madrid back in November, Barcelona have become favourites to win the Champions League for a fourth time and to do so in their own celebrated and poetic style. A style that is built on one touch football.

And then there’s Arsenal. A team who play some of the best and most attractive football in the country maneuvered by a tactical genius, an architect of the modern passing game, a Frenchman who’s helped redefine an old English treasure. Arsenal spent most of the last decade dominating the Premiership, which included two Premier League titles; three FA Cups and a record breaking unbeaten run that lasted from May 2003 to October 2004.

However, for the majority of Gunners fans there was one trophy missing. In 2006 Arsenal reached the final of the Champions League and it seemed that winning this would be the icing on the cake of such an unforgettable reign in British football. An evening of promise turned into a night of heartbreak as the London side took home the runners up medal and watched as Barcelona lifted the European Cup.

Since then a new age of talent has been forced to replace the departures of Thierry Henry, Gilberto Silva and Patrik Viera (to name a few) and with a lack of experience in the young side it appeared that Arsenal’s march across England and into European territory had fizzled out. With the Gunners having to rebuild and regain momentum Barcelona kept raising the bar. Three of the contenders for 2010’s Ballon d’Or lace their midfield and with a performance that sent the footballing world into ovation in the Catalan derby it’s hard to see where else they can improve right now.

This Wednesday both teams meet for the third time in two seasons. Over both legs last time round Barca were the dominant force as Messi and co out shone Arsenal’s brightest and it seems likely that the Spanish 11 are setting out to break the Gunners’ hearts once more. In a week of valentine’s celebration, let the romance ensue.

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  • Mike

    Sorry Gooners, I see no chance for Arsenal in this tie. Barca- played 17, won 16, scored 60 conceded 6.

    That’s sensational form, and I’d think too much for the likes of Squillaci et al. Nothing wrong with Arsenal’s midfield or strikers but I expect their defence to not have enough in the locker

  • k

    I beg to differ on the point raised in your last paragraph that the ”dominant force of Messi outshone Arsenal brighest’. Icould remember that the second leg was played with an injury ridden Arsenal squad. The likes of Cesc, van persie ,Song, Arshavin, and Gallas did not play in that leg. The second leg was obviously not played with the full squad. Barca is the best football team in the world presently but that does not make them invincible. The pressure is presently not on Arsenal cos everybody expects them to lose, so it is on Barcelona to deliver. I look forward to an upset. Keep it Goonerish!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    @ Mike, did u not see their result this weekend?

    I agree Squillaci is crap, but he won’t start. We may also have Vermalen back for the second leg

  • dexylongshot

    I’ve heard Diaby has a calf problem too so defencively it doesn’t look too good for the gooners but then again, their defence isn’t watert-ight, Puyol is missing and with the form of VAn Persie at the moment, i expect to see goals at both ends. Barca haven’t been too tidy on their travels in Europe either this season, I think it could well be a repeat of the 2-2 which i was lucky enough to witness at the Emirates last season. If Arsenal get at Barcas defense, Theo has the pace to nobble the defenders and whip those balls in for Van Persie to knock home. It may be a different story at the Nou Camp in a fortnight but whatever the outcome, it will be breathtaking footy!

  • Dexylongshot

    Liquid football, what a fantastic 2nd half!

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