Arsenal beat Barcelona over two legs? Of course we can

Written by Wonderman

Barcelona started the game with their one and two touch passing and movement when in possession and double and treble  teaming when not, but unlike like last year we were putting pressure on the man on the ball and holding our shape well. Which is one hell of a task when you see how Barca position themselves with their full backs playing as additional midfielders. In the 3rd minute we got a free kick on our left which Nasri floated in , but Valdes was in control as no one made any contact.

In the 4th minute Wallcott swapped passes with Fabregas and put on the gas in the direction of the goal. In my opinion he took the wrong choice in trying to slide Robin in with the outside of his foot when Nasri was in more space, but the ball ran out harmlessly as Theo hit it a little too hard. In the 6th minute Walcott danced his way into the 6yrd box, layed off to Cesc who then provided a sumptuous chip into Robins path but Valdes was equal to the shot.

Almost immediately Barca were on the counter with Messi running at our back line, Song intervened and got a yellow card for his trouble ( but very necessary) the next few minutes saw both teams showcasing their passing but we were losing the ball needlessly with Djourou and Cesc being the main culprits. In the 14th minute a slide rule pass saw Messi through on goal but Chesny won the game of bluff and Messi screwed his shot wide of the post. Barcelona then went onto enjoy 60% possession for the next 10 minutes and the scene was set.

We seemed comfortable playing on the break including a rapid break in the 24th minute started by Wilshere who found Walcott just outside our 18 yard box. Again Walcott ran at their defence attracting four players with the aid of Van Persie’s intelligent movement. This allowed Fabregas space to receive Walcotts pass, unfortunately his cross was intercepted by Pique stopping an almost certain goal from van P.

A minute later we were behind . A foul in Barca’s defensive 3rd led to a temporary loss of concentration and after a short spell of inter passing Messi fed  Villa who slotted under the onrushing Chesney. In the stadium I thought he was offside, bt replay’s showed that Clichy was playing him on 0-1. But my worry was Alex Song . Having been booked in the 6th min Song committed foul after foul and was in danger of being sent off. Strangely I still felt that we would score.

Chesney pulled off another save at his feet in the near post and another attack on the break saw van P shoot wide.  Barca were beginning to enjoy themselves , they are the masters of finding space offensively with 1 touch passing and movement but more impressively they press in 2’s and 3’s to win the ball back. However we seemed to be helping them by not using what little possession we had in a more penetrating way. Half time 0-1 but a much more even game than we had last year.

We started the 2nd half brightly and Wilshere continued where he left off  ( someone needs to check his passport). We were pressing Barca well and seemed to be  adopting the counter attack approach. Nasri was getting fitter as the game went on and we started to force corners and free kicks as Barca’s work rate  began to diminish. Koscielny was making a mockery of all those who doubted the validity of his purchase  and Jack continued to play as if he was in the park. We had eradicated our sloppy passing and were beginning to ask questions further up th field. For all their possession in the second half it was Valdes who was doing all the work. Messi was  going deeper and deeper and attempting to run at our defence . In the 67th minute he got through on their left but hit the side netting.

That could be seen as the turning point. Villa was subbed for Keita and Song removed for his own good for Arshavin. All of a sudden we were beginning to find space, it appeared the superior pace of the prem had primed our players to perform at a higher intensity for longer. Cesc was finding his range and Eboue had taken his scaredy cat glasses off. In the 77th minute Clichy and Arshavin combined on our left which resulted in a right footed chip from Clichy which put van P in at a ridiculous angle. With Bendtner’s run seducing Valdes into expecting the cross Robin lashed it in at the near post 1-1 and the stadium went mad .


Barca seemed to be trying to hold out for the result but we were having none of it . Five minutes later Koscielny again intercepted, fed Bendtner, who found Wilshere, one touch to Fabregas who with a sublime pass found Nasri on the right , Robin raced forward to cause confusion as Nasri delayed, cut inside and fed an on coming Arshavin to curl the ball into the net 2-1 and cue absolute madness !!! No less than we deserved and a finish not to be underestimated. Barca’s problem now was they had 6 minutes to change their mindset. They had a couple of chances but Chesney was more than up for it

Cheers of ‘we’ve got Cesc Fabregas ‘ rang around the stadium…maybe I wasn’t mad in predicting we would triumph over 2 legs after all…..


Wojciech Szczesny– Did less work in the whole game than Almunia did in the first 20 minutes last year. This boy’s decision making was spot on last night and the defence seem to trust him implicitly. I cant see the shirt being taken from him  8

Emmanuel Eboue – A whiff of a dive here and there, and a touch of fear in the first half, not as marauding as we know he can be, but to be fair to him he was not exposed once in the game and I can think of worse back up right backs 7

Johan Djourou – Was alarmingly wasteful with his distribution in the first half , but his partnership with Koscielny is flourishing. A much better second half performance  and proved he is just as good on the deck as he is in the air 8

Laurent Koscielny – It is easier to say what he did’nt do well….misplace maybe two passes…. This guy is still not the finished article, but anyone who dares to argue that there is not potentially a world class defender in this guy must be mad my joint MOM 9

Clichy – A lot of their attacks came down his side but other than playing Villa onside for their goal, the usual aggressive quick and committed performance 8

Alex Song – Was harshly booked early on and lucky not to be sent off in my opinion. Not his best , but not his worst performance and his substitution probably saved us going down to 10 men , but battled for the cause 7

Jack Wilshere –I am lost for words for this young man. He  respects no opponent and plays with the same intensity every game. I feel the grit and determination of Jack and Kosser were instrumental joint MOM 9

Cesc Fabregas – Was guilty of many a misplaced pass in the first half but didn’t give up. Was instrumental in the winning goal with his early defence splitting pass 8

Samir Nasri – I was surprised to see him start and he looked off the pace in the first 25 mins but seemed to grow as the game went on. Excellent awareness for the winner 8

Theo Walcott – Obviously scared the living daylights out of them periodically and was double and treble teamed for his trouble . I suspect he will cause more havoc on the Nou Camp pitch 7

Robin van Persie – World Class sums Robin up . ran his legs off for the majority of the game without seeing too much of the ball but never gave up. Scored from a ridiculous angle and realy should have had another goal in the first half 8.5


Nick Bendtner– Didn’t do a lot , but I think his run was instrumental in concerning Valdes for Robin’s equaliser 6.5

Arshavin – Came on and ran at the opposition, almost gifted them an equaliser, but is back on form. I would have started him, but what do I know ? crucially scored the winner which was no easy finish 8

138 Responses to Arsenal beat Barcelona over two legs? Of course we can

  1. Morning all

    Thanks Wonderman for an excellent match report. We are blessed with two match reports today and I’ll publish the next one in a while. Its from California Gooner and he won’t be up for a while.

    Going to try and put in a couple of pics now.

    Rasp called me to send his apologies for not being around today and also to tell me that the early Talkspite show was down on us, saying we were lucky!!!!! Obviously they didn’t watch the 2nd half where we exceeded Barcas workrate and scored 2 superb goals to win the match.

  2. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Home Fans-Great display of Red & White colour coding as the teams came out & made a noise that could be heard in Tasmania, Australia 9.5

  3. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thanks for the memories 😀

    Quick whinge about Talk Shite, they’re still talking they can’t level “bottlers” or “weak defence” at us. Are trying to convince us that Barca outclassed us for an hour. Alan Brazil talking absolutely crap….no change then.

    Better from Henry Winter:

    “Arsenal were also emboldened by young Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal teenager came of age in a high-class midfield contest with Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

    Fazed? Fearful? No chance. Wilshere went toe to toe with these heavyweights of the Beautiful Game, trading combinations. To think that Fabio Capello wants to chain Wilshere to the anchoring role, restricting the flow of creativity that burst from him last night. Let the boy play. Let him take the ball to feet in tight areas, let him express a special gift.”

  4. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I just emailed your talk sport. I was just listening to that Brazil idot.

    I said the only thing Alan Brazil has in common with Brasil is he looks like a fat overweight Ronnie Biggs. Give up you silly old git LOLOLOL

  5. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    That Ronnie Irani apparently played cricket for England. Did He 😆 We’ve never heard of him in Oz

  6. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Anyway moving right along. My brother is just as happy as me. Scunthorpe beat Forest. He has followed QPR for as long as I have The Arsenal

  7. ma10 says:

    fabregas wasnt very fabulous. what went wrong? Arshavin the assassin needs a mug of chocolate. good wengerball gunners. bring on real madrid.!!!

  8. tommystout says:

    Marvellous Post boy Wonder, i’m buzzing this morning just like all us gooners must be… so proud.
    Marvellous move from wenger with his substitution of Song, it was like russian roulette at how long he could keep him on the field before he gets sent off, kudos to Arsene there.
    Talkshite and fatboy brasil embarrasingly begrudged plaudits from him (i know (boycott)carlito ) 🙂
    Anyways barca’s way is only sustainable for 70 minutes, they tired at the same point last season didnt they.
    Keep it tight at Camp Nou for 70 mins and we’ll do them, no Pique big loss.
    If we are lucky with injuries over the next couple of weeks then i think we’ll do them.
    LJW was my man of the match chuffed to bits for him, and as for chesneys celebrations – awesome!

  9. Arsenal 4 ever says:

    There is no reason hy Arsenal can’t advance to the last 16. The onus is now on Barca to attack. This would suit Arsenal. Of course nothing is a given.The gunners have no divine right to advance.
    Having said that ,Barca might turn the beautiful game into the ugly one especially if they are losing.Don’t be surprised at crunching tackles,feighning injuries etc.I have watched a You Tube video of the Barca gk clattering into an opposing forward in the the last round.My god/goodness.The victim could have been killed/maimed/blinded for life. No card was shown to the gk.
    The gunners have to be extra vigilant when they are on the verge of qualifying.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    What an evening, what a feeling today. Great write-up from Wonderman, agree with the ratings, save that Walcott deserves a bit more credit for me.

    Barca may well yet go through, their quality is undeniable, but they’ll need to ditch the complacency now. Both sides wasted chances but Barca effectively stopped playing at 75 minutes, whereas we played for 90 minutes. Wenger’s aggressive substitutions (and Guardiola’s decision to take Villa off) were important.

    Am so pleased for Koscielny and Wilshere, gargantuan, unfazed performances from them, showing that talent and concentration are at least as important as experience.

    Very good referee last night, shows once again how poor PL referees are.

    A massive result for us, whatever happens at Camp Nou we’ll feed off last night for the rest of the season, bodes well for us.

  11. For anyone who wants to relive the memory or wasn’t at the game, Le Grove have a great video of the stadium at the final whistle.

  12. Gooner in Exile says:

    The thing is Barca don’t normally have to play for 90 minutes, they’ve done enough after 45 minutes normally that means they can cruise for 45 minutes.

    Frank McKlintock on Talk Shite now let’s see if we get some balance now.

    Facts are we had more corners, same shots, more goals which is in the end all that matters.

    Best thing, nothing to spend at the end of this season, this team will grow and grow.

  13. Harry says:

    What a night, What an atmosphere, What a match, toe to toe, trading blows, it was like a stand off showing each others trademarks moves alternating back and forth….

    Talkshite this morning was irritating at best, Alan Brazil calling all gooners deluded, if we thought we played well!!

    He felt barca dominated the first 60mins!!, what match was he watching?

    yeah they had moments of posession, two prolonged ones, granted, which were only seperated by a breif respite,

    for me,

    0-10 Ours
    10-20 Shared Toe 2 Toe
    20-35 – Barca dominated
    35-45 – barca Shaded but we had some good moments.
    45-50 – Arsenal Shaded
    50-60 – Barca Dominated
    60-70 – Shared
    70-75 – Arsenal Shaded
    75+ – Arsenal dominated……

    Not exact but a fair guide to how I felt the game panned out, they certainly didnt dominate for 60mins….And when they did have posession, they did little with it, they couldn’t break us down that much and looked pretty but ineffective….If we had done that we would have got criticised by all for trying to walk the ball in the net…

    We had as many good chances as them and we scored 2 deserved goals….

    MoTM for me was Kosser 10/10, who this morning has a very messy pocket, as Lionel is still in there……

    Jack was outstanding, 9 agreed, great energy and belief and I thought he held his own with some world stars…

    I think the simple way of looking at this is that, yes Barca had a great team game and for teamwork I would say they shaded in the sense of possesion, but for me we had individuals who stood out….And that gave the the team the belief to keep going….

    Great decision to take Song off, actually i would have taken him off at half time, he was made ineffective by the ref and could have seen red…..When Nasri went in the middle, I felt Nas-Jack-fab took over completely…..

    Not a bad score to go to the Nou camp with, we know we can score there, get two and Barca are in a heap of pain…….

    Back to work……..Still smiling!!!
    Oh 2 b a Gooner!!!

  14. Just listening to it now GiE.

    Why did Guardiola take Villa off? That was a poor decision by him

  15. McLintock having a go about Arsene not spending money, thats his favourite gripe. I used to walk with him in my local park and that was always where he felt that AW lets us down.

  16. Wonderman says:


    You are probably right re Walcott I think with the technical quality on show I was a bit harsh on my asessment of his contribution. At the game I didn’t realise Pique had been booked and will miss the 2nd leg. But lets put this in perspective that was a full strength Barca team and once again we showed cast iron mental strength

  17. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, how proud does one feel to be a Gooner today? And Talkspite’s carping about how we were lucky just makes the feeling sweeter knowing the haters are getting more and more bile filed and bitter.
    Great post on dee-boo(c. Richie Benuad) W man.
    My legs were shaking at half time as I’ve kicked every kick with the lads !
    Although kozzer was a colossus I have to give MoM to Jack – he grew not the game and looked completely at ease in that world class midfield – Cesc, Xavi, Iniesta, Nasri.
    Who couldn’t burst with pride at seeing Chezzer’s reaction to the second goal – me and Chary minor were leaping about the living room after we picked ourselves off the floor, stunned by the meerkat’s composed finish.
    Where are those retards who sat behind me at the Everton game and shouted at Andrey“F**K off to Chelsea”?
    Now remind me, who wrote a post not so long ago that reminded us of Arshavin’s quality ?

  18. Someone said last night that the importance of this win is that hopefully it will give this team confidence when they go into other big games.

    Arsenal beat Barcelona last night and its the result that counts.

  19. Morning chary – what a night, I got a ticket at the last minute 🙂

    Andy Gray just calling for more talking about how good the gunners were 😉

  20. Wonderman says:

    Peaches McLintock is a dinosaur , I ask you what team has he managed ? At youth matches up and down the country you hear parents gobbing off about this that and the other, but ask them to manage the team for a couple of weeks or run the line, the silence is deafening !! Wenger is not perfect , neither is anyone else , but no one can argue that we are not in a strong position with the best ‘ 2nd eleven’ in the prem and possibly world football
    For me we will be selling players because for one I cannot see Almunia sticking around and Denilson will be made redundant by Ramsey, Diaby and Frimpong. Rosicky is on his last legs so maybe a replacement there

  21. SharkeySure says:

    Fantastic read that Wonderman !!!

    Unbelievably busy with work and other stuff today. Just my luck !!!

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, top breakdown of the phases in the game, agree completely. I think we were all paranoid about Song getting a second yellow, I even wanted him subbed before half-time. But the gamble paid off, and I felt he did well right up until he came off – sure, he had to be more cautious but he still did some good work, with and without the ball, and ensured the team kept its shape.

    Peaches, I think Villa was taken off in an attempt to close the game down, retain more possession etc, simple as that. Whatever the thinking, it certainly backfired.

    Does anyone know how long Puyol is meant to be out for? If both he and Pique are absent on the return leg, big bonus for us.

  23. Anyone know who sky gave the MOTM to?

    Kosser was just amazing last night but when does a centre-back get the accolade?

  24. London says:

    Good report WM

    I particularly liked the player ratings.

    I share your frustration over Walcott’s poor choice of pass to RVP, on his right foot and all, when Nasri was so much more better placed. Walcott’s pace might frighten Barça but his control certainly wont.

  25. augustino says:

    hi guys!
    that was super performance from the lads as we showed the chavs we showed to the kings of football we are after their crown glory to the gunners!

  26. London says:

    Both Sky and ITV only ever give MOTM to a player who can speak English well, irrespective of how well they played, hence the reason why Song and Sagna never win it.

  27. tommystout says:

    puyol is likely to be fit for the return fixture.

  28. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Tommy.

  29. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ok all, I’m feeling a bit left out of this “you had to be there” thing, so I’m off to be with my people, Richmond people, only 6 weeks to go, & I get to go to the games.

  30. tommystout says:

    Hey GG9 being a yorkshire gooner sometimes i feel as distant as you must do 🙂

  31. Thats funny London 🙂 But they did give it to Ade and no-one ever understood him 😀

  32. gnarley and tommy – thats why we’re here to include all goooners whereever they are, don’t feel left out please

  33. Arsenal 4 ever no2 says:

    What a super performance. The gunners never say die spirit paid off handsomely.Now barca will have to go on the attack. The thing is the gunners defence must stand firm .Nobody should lose his head in the face of extreme provocation.
    What I am predicting is Barca might resort to some Epl tackling. They could unleash some Taylor Eduardo scenario. The gunner retaliates and is sent off. Then it will be an uphill fight. But I have 99.9% not 100% confidence in the cl ref to punish the perpetrator of such a tackle with a rc.You never know.
    Good luck gunners and I believe if the gunners despatched off Barca,Arsenal could finally land the big prize.

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    You were lucky Peachy, did Raspers not go or not want to go ? At half time you must have needed nerves of steel – as I said my legs were wobbling and I was only at home!
    But the atmosphere at the equaliser and at Arshavin’s winner must have been orgasmic.
    As a supporter you live for moments like that.

  35. Carlito11 says:

    Happy happy Joy Joy! Great post WM- you’ve done well as my brain is still celebration-addled!
    Basking in the glow of a spirited victory and one of the most memorable nights at the Grove. The Holloway Road was full of singing and celebrating until I left at 11pm and I’m sure some people carried on from there.
    Yes, it’s only half-time, yes it could have been 0-2 and that would have been harder to come back from but I don’t care! We’ve proved we can mix it with the very best and I can’t see our games against ManUre of Tottingham in the league giving these players any worries now they’ve proved their calibre. So proud to be a Gooner today and Wenger takes all the credit!

  36. Wonderman says:

    Whilst we didnt win the tie last night, or a cup or 3 points, what we won was BELIEF !!

  37. Carlito11 says:

    You got that right Wonderman! AA meeting: “I am an Arsenal Fan, and I BELIEVE!”

  38. Red Arse says:

    Excellent Report and ratings Wonderman. 🙂

    I don’t know how you could keep tabs on everything.

    Sitting in front of the TV, I was partly watching while unable to breathe as Messi had the ball, and partly watching while yelling with sheer delight at some ace defending by Kosser and JoDu or in ecstatic delight as we counter attacked and scored! Well done you!

  39. imzahmed29 says:

    It was a dogged display from the gunners. How important is wilshere for the next game?

  40. Red Arse says:


    I think you called it correctly with the reason for Barca bringing Keita on in the second half.

    Barca at 0:1 wanted to close things down and swapped a forward for a midfielder. But it was more than simply wanting to hold a winning position.

    At the time we were beginning to turn the screw a bit more with our counter attacks and Barca were not as dominant as they had been.

    In my opinion, Arsenal were playing with the pace, power and stamina that is acquired in the EPL, and Arsene’s astute substitution of Arshavin for Song, and Bendtner for your boy Walcott, showed his attacking intentions.

    Obviously Barca’s skill levels never change, but I think they were finding it physically hard to stay with the non-stop pace and power needed by English teams to survive in the EPL, whereas in La Liga, Barca get the job done early against much weaker teams, and spend the rest of the game wondering which restaurant to go to for dinner.

    The second goal was a brilliant effort by all concerned, but our Meerkat’s finish was exquisite. I told you he would come good! 🙂

    Loved watching Chezzer’s goal celebrations, he looked like a bendy doll in an earthquake!! 🙂

  41. Red Arse says:


    The game was on ITV and I never heard them mention a MOTM.

    I did hear that sack of potatoes known as “Adrian Chiles”, compliment Wilshire for scoring the second Arsenal goal. An easy mistake to make ……. if he had not been watching! Pillock!!

    Mind I heard Glen Hoddle saying during the Spuds game, when complimenting Lennon’s stamina, “tonight, that boy will run all day”.

    Oh Dear, why does TV lumber us with such cretins?

  42. goonermichael says:

    What a fantastic performance. Best team in the world? you’re having a laugh. I’d love to see the top 4 English teams spend a season in la liga and see how good thier league is.

  43. goonermichael says:

    Red Arse
    trevor francis still calls our left back Cliche

  44. Mornng RA and gm

    If it wasn’t so ridiculous for any TV pundit to credit the wrong player with a goal it would be laughable. I forgot that the coverage was on ITV does that mean we get to award our own MOTM?

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Have just checked where last night stands in Barca’s season. Ignoring pretend games like the Spanish Super Cup and the Catalonia Cup (for both of which Barca fielded weak sides), and looking only at properly competitive games in La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the CL, our win is:

    1. Barca’s first defeat in 36 games;

    2. Barca’s second defeat of the season;

    3. only the second time all season they have conceded more than one goal.

    Their sole league defeat this season was that bizarre 2-0 home loss back in September to Hercules (apparently a football club rather than a mythological figure).

  46. Then it has to be said that it was a pretty amazing achievement by us to beat them. Will they let it happen again? Less than three weeks to find out.

  47. Carlito11 says:

    Great stats 26M. I’ve just seen this stat: “Since the establishment of the last 16 stage in 2003-04, 13 Champions League knock-out first leg ties have finished 2-1 to the home team. Seven of those 13 winners have ended up going through.” So we have a chance. I hope we can score 2 there- then it gets hard for them!

  48. goonermichael says:

    Hi Peaches
    We can definitely score over there. What a great result. I’m buzzing. I really wanted to get Barca in this round to either git it out of the way or to get this kind of result. I imagine this will give the boys a reaal boost for the rest of the season. I wish we were playing the mancs this weekend.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Happy Day.

    Fine write up Wonderman but not enough superlatives !

    26.M They are excellent stats and an indication of how well we played last night. If I was being hyper-critical I would say that Cesc can play much better. I think the occasion got to him and he was trying too hard. Song looked ponderous (though London says I should watch his 2nd half again, which I will do), and RvP despite his great goal was not at his best.

    Barca have to come at us and if we can get through the first 20 mins, we can pile the pressure upon them. I would say the tie is evenly balanced.

    The Emirates was brilliant last night, maybe the best ever.

  50. valenciangooner says:

    @26m & Tommy . Reference Puyol . This mornings Marca (Sports daily here) Says “Puyol is a serious doubt” for the return leg . Tendinitis in his left knee , so looks like it’s wait and see .
    Does anyone have any idea where I can see Chezzers goal celebration ? Spanish TV never showed that – or if they did it must have been while I was dancing around the bar crowing at the barca fans .

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Kos had a brilliant game. Is he better than WG? On last night’s performance, he is as good. But I maintain (from a playing point of view) it was a mistake to let WG go.

    One thing for sure, at 25 y.o. and at €9m Kos is a steal. Will TV get his place back???

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Wonderman, great report, thank you.
    I think we will win the tie because we will play even better in the second leg. Last night he defensive side to our game was blunted from the moment Alex got his card. Not only do I believe we will score at least once, but I reckon the psychological advantage is with us in that as a team we have overcome the barrier that was the Big Games Jinx.
    What a night.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. That was a great call you made last night. Pat must have seen it on his Iphone and passed it over to AW

  54. Gooner in Exile says:

    On point of Trevor Francis calling GC Cliche, Mclintobk this morning could not pronounce Koscielny very funny Andy Gray had to help him out.

  55. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s great news Valencian, if Puyol is a doubt and as Pique is suspended who will partner Abidal in the middle at the back?
    Still buzzing from last night and so glad to have put those Middlesex swamp monsters firmly back in our shadow, where those panchods(hindi insult) belong.
    Beating Milan on their ground is so 2006.

  56. We had two great match reports submitted and I’ve just published the second from California Gooner.

    You can read it here

  57. […] Arsenal beat Barcelona over two legs? Of course we can […]

  58. 26may1989 says:

    Chary, perhaps Milito? He’s not tall but I think plays CB. Would be great if the CB pairing we faced was Abidal and him.

  59. Sorry, I hope I haven’t confused everyone by publishing the second post.

    Read the second post by California Gooner

    I’ve closed the comments on that post so come back here to chat

  60. valenciangooner says:

    @charybdis1966. Paper says Gaby Milito .

    Another (maybe) point of interest is that barcas Director General , one Antoni Rossich , has inspected the pitch/grass at The Emirates with the intention of using Arsenals system (whatever that is) at Camp Nou as they have problems there with the grass . So it’s not only Cesc and Jack they want !!

  61. Wonderman says:

    BR Thanks ….but my superlatives went with my voice lol !!!

    Also your point @ 1:58 I can’t see how TV gets his place back, a) he hasn’t played since September b) Kosser and Djourou have formed a partnership. In my opinion it would be mad to upset that now unless one or other started showing signs of physical decline.

    I think it is fantastic that we are now talking in these terms…Chamakh and Bendtner on the bench 10 and 6 goals respectively, Diaby,Rosicky, Arshavin on the bench all internationals. Almunia sandwiched between Chesney ( who for me is next season’s No1) and Fabianki

    What a difference a year makes eh

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Me and You BR. Me and You. One tactics, one selection. No more worries ’till the end of your days!

  63. That’s it then micky, when Pat goes you two are in the hot seat next to Arsene 🙂

  64. goonermichael says:

    They can’t take the groundsman because he was poached by Real 2 years ago

  65. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh rigbt, Cheers ValenciaG – I think Milito is not that good? It’s certainly the impression I got from reading reviews of the Sprting Gijon game last weekend.

  66. charybdis1966 says:

    I must point out what lengths Robin went to thank the crowd for their support – see what happens when you become the 12th man(not in the Howard Webb/ManUre way) and not groan at a misplaced pass and tell one of our players to eff off to Chelsea?

  67. dandan says:

    Two very good write ups, well done guys.

    Even my Liverpool supporting son put out on face book “now that was a proper football match” praise indeed.

    As for little Jack this article is worth a read if only for the quotes attributed to Frank Lampard when Jack was with the England squad,

    Well done the Arsenal, the crowd and all today’s bloggers, gooners all take a bow.

  68. Carlito11 says:

    Is that California’s first post? Top notch piece of writing to go with Wonderman’s excellent earlier report!

  69. It is his first post Carlito, I’m hoping he’ll be up soon to come and chat with us.

  70. London says:



  71. valenciangooner says:

    @Peaches: Many thanks . It’s fantastic , no ?

    Yes , think I had a great night because I belong in the recovery ward today ! Never mind , will get a “cure” shortly – AND another chance to crow at the barca fans – if they show up tonight !?? This is way to good to let go . I’ll worry about the possibility of their getting revenge IF, and I believe it’s a BIG IF , it happens. This is our time.

    @goonermichael: Yes , I’d forgotten about that . Still , rather they took the groundsman than Cesc. One of the best things about today is the photos of Cesc , fist clenched , celebrating, and another of him urging on his team mates. That has not gone down well here with all those (and there are many) who were convinced he didn’t want to be at Arsenal and his heart wouldn’t be in the game. There were lots of comments in the bar during (and leading up to) the game when he was a bit wayward with some of his passing during a slightly below par(for him) first half . The newspaper will be in my pocket tonight and will be flourished as often as I can find reason to . Oh how I am looking forward to tonight !!

  72. Gooner in Exile says:


    “my Liverpool supporting son”

    How did that happen?

  73. dandan says:

    The other one supports Man City GIE…… other site members have told me I am a failed dad LOL

  74. charybdis1966 says:

    Don’t worry Dan Dan, you’re not the only one – Peachy has a ManUre supporting son, how the hell did that happen ?

  75. Thanks chary 🙄

    Inwardly I’m convinced he’s a gooner – he’s carrying my dna so he must be right?

  76. Big Raddy says:

    CG. A fine write up. Great work.

    As you say, Theo influence should not be under-estimated. His threat curtailed Barca’s attacks on the left and allowed Eboue to ease into the game.

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    My son has not one drop of my DNA and yet he is a Gooner through and through. So I’m afraid its entirely down to weak parenting! 🙂

  78. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m only teasing Peachy, you know I love you dearly!
    I shouldn’t be so smug just because both my boys are gooners, as you saw last saturday.
    Bit of a comedown to be playing Orient at the weekend though.
    California dude – another storming debut post. Well done sir.

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Theo and RVP will be deadly in the second leg when we have a fully charged defensive set up with Song and Sagna. (I am not saying we will play deep, just stronger defensively)

  80. California Gooner says:

    goonermichael, yesterday I turned to Sport, Barca’s house newspaper to see what they had to say. The article started with a little fantasy — what if Barca played in England! Today a match against Arsenal, next week, a trip to Old Trafford. What football! The article went on to complain that the ref had blown two calls … but still, I thought it was cool the acknowledgement that Barca had found worthy opponents.

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Be smug. Its Smug To Be A Gooner Day!

  82. goonermichael says:

    my dad and grandad were west ham My brother is a spud and his sons are 1 gooner 1 spud. So much for DNA. I married into Arsenal and I’ve had another 3 wives since that one.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    My Dad was Spurs, my nephew is rabid Spurs, my brother is a Vulkan (never understood that) but I have managed to imbue the Arse-gene into other family members.

    I agree with Micky. Weak parenting.

    GM. My current wife is No.4 !! But she is now a Gooner so this one is a keeper 🙂

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    You tart 🙂

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    You too on No4!! What the bloddy hell have I been doing?

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Cripes, surrounded by Joan Collins’s

  87. Gooner in Exile says:

    Cracking debut report CaliG

    I’ve had such a good day, I’m quite exhausted from being happy. Even my clients worse double entry balls ups had me grinning.

    Oh it is indeed Good to be a Gooner.

    So LJ has Barca reporters asking how much it would cost to buy him. I say start your bids at £100m and we’ll sell at £500 million. I’m sure we can get him on a nice contract.

    I’m also chuffed that the haters are still knocking us, just heard a ManU fan say that after one game we all think we are world beaters, well we should keep our little secrets amongst friends we all know the way 2011 has gone we can all see a massive difference between this season and last.

    We know we would have lost/drawn with Everton at home, gone out to Ipswich and lost against Huddersfield last season.

    We know we have all our players fit at the run in and for the return leg, something most journalists.

    We know we have a great squad and we know we have one of the best managers around.

    We know we have had a great start to 2011 and we can see something building in this side. Keep it amongst ourselves tho, and we may well have 3 trophies to celebrate come May.

    Roll on the O’s

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    My wife has cone to accept she is now a Gooner, I had to buy her a red membership and slowly get her to games, last night she was jumping around the living room singing with me when Arsh stepped up to the plate

  89. goonermichael says:

    You jealous of me and Raddy the super gigolos?

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I had a longer solo innings and no payouts!!

  91. California Gooner says:

    Thanks for the love on my write-up, people. And thanks to London for pushing me to do it. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

    I just watched RVP’s goal again. His celebration says to me “Did you see what I just did!” It is clear he saw the shot, had no idea whether that shot would come off or not, and then went for it. He can’t quite believe it himself.

  92. harry says:

    Still basking in glory, off to football trg now, so many today eating humble pie at work……..One oy best ever nights at THOF……..

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. No questioning the payouts. I have had to learn to say “well, it’s only money” and mean it – not an easy task!

  94. London says:

    It was a pleasure you CG, trust me there is plenty more pushing where that came from. lol

  95. Big Raddy says:

    CG. Schmeichel said on Danish TV that he would never have let in RvP’s shot and that it was a howler from Valdes. He said (and you will have to trust my Danish) that Valdes should first cover the near post and allow the defenders to cover the rest.

    The second was a masterclass of counter-attack. Laudrup and Fat Jan Molby were raving about Jack.

  96. California Gooner says:

    Big Raddy, easy for Schmeichel to say. Think about RVP teeing up that shot. He must have had a hunch or intuition that Vades would cheat towards the center. He starts to take the shot even before the space opens up and then it’s there, just as he predicted. Being able to out-think the situation in that blink of an eye must be very satisfying. I wouldn’t let Schmeichel take the credit away.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    CG. I agree with him. I am still pissed about Almunia letting in a near post shot in the CL Final in Paris.

    I have to say, I couldn’t believe it when the ball went in, I was sure Nik must have scored because it happened so fast. The shot was hit so hard

  98. RvP is so happy when he scores its hard to know whether he’s impressed himself with an amazing skill or just thrilled to have scored for us. It must be very hard to have so much talent and have spent so much time injured.

  99. RockyLives says:

    Two great goals.
    Two great write ups (well done Wonderman and, on a great debut piece, well done CG too).
    Too busy at work today but who cares?
    Life is good.

  100. 26may1989 says:

    It was a great shot from RvP, but Schmeichel (and Raddy) must be right, conceding at the near post like that is inexcusable.

    Raddy, either your humour is drier than dust or your linguistic abilities know few bounds – Danish? Seriously?

    Before I sign off for the day, a little ITYS (well, everyone else has had a turn, so why not me?): to all those who whinged in December about how Wenger had screwed up by allowing us to get the nightmare last 16 draw of Barcelona, think how happy you’ve been today. The CL is about playing big games, and the players proving what they’re capable of.

  101. Here you are, watch it again

  102. London says:


    Top ITYS-ing

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Thanks – really enjoyed that

  104. kelsey says:

    i can’t add anymore as i said it earlier before the first post went up .
    i hear djorou is injured, a back strain but it doesn’t sound bad.

    all i can say to add is our second goal was a masterclass at counter attacking.

  105. Ah but Arshavins was really special too, Nasri was so clever to hold the ball up and Arshavin had a lot of ground to eat up before he received the pass.

    This video has both and 5 minutes of play, might slow everything down so if it does I’ll take it off

  106. kelsey says:

    would theo have held the ball up the way samir did ?

  107. And you get Chesney’s goal celebration too

  108. kelsey says:

    hi peaches, just a brief visit, my daughter is in hospital, dandan will fill you in. back asap

  109. Irishgunner says:

    I loved Chesney’s celebration ha ha

  110. Hi Irish – I didn’t know anything about it until valenciangooner asked earlier today. Did you go out to watch the game?

  111. Irishgunner says:

    Watched it at home cos I had a few call over. Have you get your plastic flag? 😛

  112. Irishgunner says:

    *Have you still got your plastic flag?

    (serves me right for trying to multi-task)

  113. Rasp took three, I put mine down and when I looked next it had gone 😦

  114. dandan says:

    Dont forget Bob Wilson let one in on the near post in the Liverpool cup final. Before Eddie kelly and Charlie George with his famouse lay down goal saved our bacon.
    According to Bob he took a lot of stick from the boys for that.

  115. Irishgunner says:

    😯 Bastard whoever took it

  116. 26may1989 says:

    Kelsey, really hope it’s all ok with your daughter.

  117. London says:

    I cried when Eddie Kelly equalised, although, like everyone else at the time I thought it was George Graham.

    Hot damn, I am in a good mood today.

  118. London says:

    I’ve watched Arshavin’s goal 46 times now, gets better time, I notice that he put a bit more effort into his celebration last night.

  119. London – I’ve just been reading about what was on his t-shirt – it seems it was in his best interests to score and reveal what amounts to an advert for his own clothing line under his Arsenal shirt. Ummmmmmnnnn he’s going to get into trouble …………

  120. Great goal though, can’t match your 46 times but I’d say 26 at least 😆

  121. Rasp says:

    Evening all,

    I’m still speechless.

    I’m sorry, you’re still wrong 😉 I have never seen Gallas play as well for us as Koscielny did last night.

    The surprise for me was that EE was better defensively than Clichy although I don’t think Nasri was match fit and so didn’t put in such a good defensive stint and Clichy was torn between Alves and Messi at times.

  122. Rasp says:

    You can have one of my plastic flags Irish ……

  123. London says:

    Peaches thanks for that I wanted to know what was written on his shirt.

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We can disagree! Let’s look at him in 8 years time and see if Kos has had a similar career. For me WG has been one of the best defenders of his generation. I was thrilled when we signed him.

    My fervent hope is that Kos has more trophies has WG !!

    EE had a fine game but an easier night as Barca chose to use the right flank as the base for most of their attacks.

  125. London says:

    Well that ensures that I keep my nose out of this one lol

  126. London says:

    Is it my imagination or does this look like Cesc, what the hell it is a good song: Eli Paperboy Read.

  127. charybdis1966 says:

    Did anyone notice during one of the crowd shots at the away end there was a banner saying “We’ve come to take back our Cesc” or something similar?

  128. Gooner in Exile says:

    Great tweets from Cesc today talking about the crowd at the Grove last night and how the players need us all like that for the rest of the season.

  129. Gooner in Exile says:

    I did tweet Chesser back after his late night tweet saying “we did it”

    I told him to keep his legs together in Nou Camp but told him I was only joking.

    Henri Lansbury just twitted a picture of himself going out in Norwich tonight, dressed as a leopard …… no idea!!!!

  130. harry says:

    Just sat and watched the match again, bloody superb!!
    Gets better every time, but back to the FA cup on sunday, need to keep this feel good factor bubbling along………

  131. Brigham says:

    I have had some great nights at Highbury in the past, especially European nights, but last night encapsulated it all for me.

    I went to work this morning hardly able to speak, but the pride beaming from my persona and grin told my workmates that I had had a great night at the football.

    Magic and I am so looking forward to my trip to the Camp Nou in three weeks time.


  132. SharkeySure says:

    Just found this

    The glow of last night got me through a pretty tough and hectic day today. In all honesty. I would have preferred a nice quiet day where I could just relax (at work !!) and bask in the glory of it all.

    Instead it was start work at 8am, finish at 6.30pm, dash to 10 yr old sons play for 7pm, and home at 9.30pm, with three tired kids aged 10, 7 and 3. Oh and I ducked out of work from 11am til 3pm to attend a funeral in Wembley that had a 2hr service. I work by Liverpool St stn !!

    A bad result last night and I’d have really struggled to get thru today.

    I love Arsenal.

    Nite all

  133. Brigham says:

    Sharkey, I was the same, with a very busy day at work and stuff to do when I returned home around 5pm.

    All day I had the sort of glow which I can only imagine could be akin to having a threesome with Kelly Brook and Beyonce. Pure magic! LOL

  134. London says:

    There’s plenty of purring still coming from this gooner,


  135. London says:


    If Kelly Brook and Beyonce start off wearing an Arsenal kit I have had the same dream lol

  136. Morning all

    We have a New Post

  137. Brigham says:

    @ London, it was mate, it really was. LOL

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