Champions League semi final preview part 1

by Dexy Longshot

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

You decide!

..cos I can’t, I haven’t got a Dani* who I think will go through to the Rome final even though it shouldn’t be played there after all the Ultra agg of recent seasons, Platini will no doubt skip that issue?.

Back to the teams though, is it going to be an all London affair, will Theirry be facing his old muckers (if he’s fit), will we have a repeat of last seasons final or will the two faves clash with Spain demolishing Europe with the best front-line in living memory.  It is all still wide open, especially with the results that the first leg threw up. Most pundits had it down as a straight Barcelona v Manchester Utd final. No way pedro, not after last week, it will be closer than many think (kiss of death).

Arsenal V Manchester Utd

Rio’s injury is a massive blow for Fergie, look what happened when he was out earlier in the season, he says he’s fit enough to play but if i was Arsene, I’d tell Ade to rough him up big styly in the opening 20 (That might get some debate). Van Persie will hopefully be back up front but Arsenal have got to improve, last week saw them muster a miserly 1 shot on target and 3 off (There worst showing of the season where they average 17.1 shots per game). Not one corner either, a waste when you consider how well Bendner and Ade can perform in the air (when they feel like it). Ade’s shrugs and general disinterest  f***s me off as much as Berba at the moment. Arsene, please, if anyone comes in for him with 20million in the summer for the Togo beanpole, take the wonga and bid Ade Au Revoir. It’s gonna happen, Arsene will be trying Theo up front sooner rather than later anyway, mark my words!

At the other end, John O’ Shea’s strike has guaranteed him a starting spot according to Fergie, much like he did with Scholes last year when he mashed up Barca with that 30 yarder. The same cannot be said of Berba who is still struggling to convince the Old Trafford faithful. Tevez’s endless aggression is winning over Fergie at last but it still remains a doubt if he is gonna hang around for next season (we all know he’s dying to get back to the East End!). The two Ronnys will be asked to do the business up front as well. Wayne as been nothing short of genuius in the past few months and words still fail me how Giggs won player of the year over him, he wasn’t even in my top 3 Red Devil’s. He does deserve to be honoured  with a lifetime achievement gong or best Prem player ever plus nobbing a certain Ms Behr when she was fit, respect to the Taff.

Ryan Giggs – Players Player of the season 2008-2009, no way. Sorry players, you have been lazy on this one, you haven’t got a Dani!*

In Manchesters way will be a better gooner defence, Clichy could be back although young Kieren Gibbs has been an excellent deputy and will in time out his French rival for the right-back spot, what is it with the Arse and world class left-backs. Toure played well as did Sagna but SIlveste is still a doubt so it may be Djourou   who for me doesn’t convince.

Song will have to be up for it in the center, he has impressed in recent weeks but came off 2nd to Carrick and Fletcher, as did Fabragas & Nasri against Anderson. An all round improvement is needed at the Emirates and some magic by Theo, again, if he can get some service from the midfield.

At least Arsenal’s best player was between the sticks and stopped a mauling. Alumunia was on top form and the rave reviews have again raised the question about him getting an English passport (is he really better than what we have though?). He will be tested in North London tonight and could again be the player who decides who goes through. If we look at some more stats, a 1-0 advantage going away into the 2nd leg does the job 60% of the time. If Arsenes boys ponce around like last week, I can see Fergie & co getting the nod for Rome.

* Danny La Rue/Clue

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  • Darren

    my heart says a 4-1 victory, well my dream did last night.

    In reality I think it will be a tight 1-1 draw, we’ll take the lead and once again fail to keep a clean sheet against the big sides

  • Dan Church

    i can definately see us (utd) scoring tonight but its going to be a painful game. Arsenal will try to pass us off the park and it will be frustrating to watch….but i predict a 1-1 draw or 2-1 Arsenal win with a frantic and nerve racking last 10 minutes.

  • rob pullinger

    arsenal – barca final….

  • Tef1on


    Arsenal 3-1 (I cant see UTD not scoring)

    Arsenal win if Bendtner Doesn’t play, If he plays Arsenal to concede 2 while he is on the park.

  • dexylongshot

    It looks like Gibbs will deffo be playing tonight, talk about getting chucked in at the deep end, he has probably played more Cup games than prems, he is gonna be a star!

  • Darren

    i don’t understand why all the Arsenal fans don’t like Bendtner, he’s still 21, he has scored 15 goals this season. It’s not his fault Wenger plays him on the wing, he’s not a winger and I’m sure he knows that.

    Silverstre is liability, with him in defence the opposition will always get a chance or 2.

  • James Webb

    I think the problem with Bendtner is he needs too many chances to score. Arsenal probably create more than any other team and having an out and out goalscorer is what lets them down for me. Bendtner is good coming off the bench (as we found out) but I cant see him getting much better than he is now. Definitely a premiership player but prob better suited to a more physical side who use height and aerial ability to their advantage.

    Gibbs is one of the finds of the season, was very impressed last time out. Problem for Gooners tonight is I cant see United not scoring, meaning they need 3 to win. Its possible but will be tough.

  • Tef1on

    Did the Ref send off Fletcher because he realized that including himself United had 12 men on the field?

  • Darren

    fair point but you have to say we were 2nd best over the 2 legs. Apart from the first 5 mins we were out classed. The difference between us and United is obvious, our kids are in the first team, their kids are fringe players.

    I really hope Barca win tomorrow, it will be a good final if they do

  • Stevie

    time to spend some serious money Mr Wenger on experienced decent players.

    2 semi finals, 6 mistakes, out we go

  • Darren

    we need a monster at the back, there must be another Vidic out there

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Has to be said, where were the Arsenal fans last night? Granted for 8 minutes they raised the roof but after that! And to see a half empty stadium at the end was shocking. The Gooners have banged on all season about how this is a team in development, yet the ticket holders can’t stay and applaud off a young side who have reached the Champions league semi final! It was actually a hell of an achievement, and they lost to the best team in the world.

    Lets hope Barca win tonight and for once we will get the two best sides competing in the final…..

  • dexylongshot

    Talking of that, skip over to the next page for Barca/Blues preview. I find it shocking that there are no comments and it’s nearly lunchtime!!!!


  • Tef1on

    Arsenal Fans don’t go to Arsenal games… they cannot buy tickets! All the seats are taken by corporate idiots. Last arsenal game i went to the two guys next to me asked “WhIch team is Arsenal?”

    Wrote that a year ago on the situation.

    The people who go0 to those games are SPECTATORS not FANS

  • Darren

    Tibbets, what are you on about?

    That was the best atmosphere at the Emirates ever, even when they went 3-0 down they were singing.

    I was at the Boro game the other day and granted, the Russ Abbot was non existent. But last night the fans were class, they were just totally shell shocked like any normal fans would be.

    How smug was Ronaldo? What a complete arsehole, brilliant player but a horrible man. You never see Messi doing that.

    Come on Barcelona!!!

  • dexylongshot

    It is quiet at the Emirates but you cannot say they are all spectators. One my bestiest mates has been a season ticket holder for around 10 years and he goes with 11 others to every home game and a a fair percentage of of away games (That includes the big European ties). I pop along with him for a few games every season if my lot aren’t playing. Is quiet though compared to most grounds.

  • dexylongshot

    Hot of the wire from said Gooner mate (see above)

    “What a shocker night, cant argue with the result they were miles better in every area. Was a great atmsophere for the first 10 minutes, got a bit subdued after but still better than usual – as youd expect for a CL semi. Loads of fans left when utd scored the 3rd which was really lame – the amount of abuse they got from the rest of us maybe they wont bother coming back – good riddance.

    Highlight of the game was seeing bottles pelted at ronaldo, park and ferdinard after they scored second goal and gave it in front of our section. Rio was even giving it the wan*er sign. One bottle hit park I think, surprised papers havent made bigger deal out of it.”

    What are the odds if it was BArton doing the *wan*er” signs it would be front page???

  • Tef1on
  • dexylongshot


  • Darren

    quality, that’s the best thing Bendtner has ever done! Wenger won’t be to happy about that!!

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