Mar 08

Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (4-3 agg.): Resilient Arsenal knocked out by Barcelona

A dominant display by Barcelona saw Arsenal bow out of the Champions League at the Nou Camp, although the Gunners will feel hard done by after Robin van Persie’s sending off early in the second half.

A match between the two sides ought to be a showcase event for two of the greatest footballing teams in the world to go up against each other.

Instead, the referee decided to take centre stage, and gave Barca the helping hand they in all likelihood didn’t need to progress to the quarter finals.

Arsenal’s Starting XI

Szczesny
Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Diaby
Rosicky – Fabregas – Nasri
van Persie

Certainly Barcelona started well of their own merit, as Arsenal appeared overawed by the big occasion. In the first six minutes, Arsenal only touched the ball for 25 seconds.

Losing goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to injury after 20 minutes did not help matters, and Arsene Wenger was forced into an early change, bringing on Manuel Almunia.

Arsenal though were rarely in huge danger – despite not being able to keep the ball for more than a few seconds.

Nevertheless, one successful attack from Barcelona would turn the tie on its head, and so it proved.

As the half drew to a close, Cesc Fabregas inexplicably backheeled the ball on the edge of his own area. A schoolboy error, which the intercepting Andres Iniesta duly punished.

He fed Messi, who juggled the ball over Almunia and volleyed home.

1-0 at half time then, but an Arsenal goal would again shift the balance of the tie.

It arrived shortly after the break.

Samir Nasri did well to hold off Javier Mascherano and win his team a corner.

The Frenchman then provided a fine delivery to Sergio Busquets, who headed into the corner of his own net.

Arsenal were suddenly buoyant, and were finally putting some passes together, but the referee soon put an end to their encouraged mood.

Having already punished Arsenal for some niggly fouls with yellow cards in the first half while letting Barca players off the hook – including ignoring Eric Abidal grabbing Robin Van Persie around the throat – he gave Robin Van Persie the softest red card in the history of Football.

Van Persie was given marginally offside, but the Netherlands striker – unable to hear the whistle amid the noise from the 95,000 strong crowd – held the ball for one second and shot wide.

A second yellow for kicking the ball away, according to Massimo Busacca from Switzerland.

After that, it was almost all Barcelona.

Messi scored from a glorious move between Andres Iniesta and David Villa, and the Argentine maestro added a penalty soon afterwards.

In fairness to the referee on that occasion, that decision could hardly be argued with.

Jack Wilshere did put Nicklas Bendtner through straight on, but the big Dane’s touch let him down and the chance was gone.

That was it – 3-1 to Barcelona on the night.

Would the Catalan side have progressed if it wasn’t for the shocking sending off?

Almost certainly – but we will never find out for sure.

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27 Responses to “Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (4-3 agg.): Resilient Arsenal knocked out by Barcelona”

  1. Tshepo says:

    No comment about the second yellow, there was too much pressure at the Nou Camp, I dont wanna be negative, FA cup on the weekend but most surely we should be concentrating on the league, come on Arsenal.

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  2. CF4 says:

    We got absolutely mauled. Men versus Boys. Let’s not embarrass ourselves by pretending the red card had any affect on the game whatsoever.

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  3. Sam says:

    The referee was an absolute disgrace. One of the worst performances I have ever seen by an official. He blew up for every arsenal foul and gave barca all the decisions, there is no way he was not paid. The RVP sending off was laughable at any level of the game. Barca were obviously the better team but considering they had 12 men in the ref we were always gonna lose.

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  4. jonesmalo says:

    Resilient yes…unfortunately we played this entire game with the handbrake up. Fabregas was OBVIOUSLY not fit. He should have been benched the moment we equalized. Diaby was also badly off the pace. Really, Denilson would have been better, which is saying a lot.

    We were unlucky, but we didn’t manage a single goal on target.

    Not good enough. Again.

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  5. Rivnam Lahan says:

    @Sam:

    You got outclassed but that was a bad decision from the ref

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  6. Andrew Knox says:

    “although the Gunners will feel hard done by after Robin van Persie‚Äôs sending off”

    Hmm. It would have been an utter travesty if we’d got through, I’m with CF4 on this one, we were totally dominated. They were so much better in every department. Sure, it was no sending off but we were weak weak weak :)

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  7. jo says:

    completely got dominated just needed a goal to trough.

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  8. Ken says:

    Saw this coming. We couldn’t even get the ball pass our own half, and when RVP was sent off it was definitely over. The way they played against us we were lucky not to conceded 5 or 6.

    On the positive side though, Almunia was looking good. He is inconsistent but always deliver in big matches. Don’t sell him !!!

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  9. Angry Fan says:

    This is what happens when u don’t win ur group. Wenger out. Diaby and rosicky are useless. Had enough of losing all the time and wengers rubbish about this team is good enough. It’s not. It’s crap.

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  10. jay says:

    So once again, we get totally outclassed, we could play Barcelona week after week and never play them off the pitch. I’m afraid this is going to be another season without silverware, how long are we going to keep putting our trust in that wanker wenger? Its time to get rid and bring in a manager who is willing to sort out this shitty defense. IN WENGER I NO LONGER TRUST!!!!!!!!!

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  11. ole says:

    @CF4: True they got mauled in the first half, but it took 6 min in the 2nd half to score when we tried. Also the sending off is strange, messie could have walk, abidal should have walked, alves kicked the ball away three times in the first half (should have walked). But remeber taht it took us six min to get our goal and we were through. In the first half it took barca 49 min to score while it was 35 min to go when Vpersie walked. So you have to remeber the whole game.

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  12. The_Wenger_Boyz says:

    No mention of the greatest striker ever to pull on an Arsenal shirt? Nicky B could of given himself the biggest head in world football if he’d of tucked that chance away right at the end but no!……… Never mind Nick your still the best in the world and don’t let anyone tell you any different!

    Gutted. But i always thought this one was gonna be a mammoth task. United are there for the taking on Saturday so regroup boys and take it out on the them. Surely not 3 shit refs in a row…………………..

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  13. Tshepo says:

    Stupid and dumb of you to be calling manager’s head when you are frustrated, we are all disappointed but have good valid reasons. Stupid PLASTIC FANS…….

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  14. ole says:

    @Angry Fan: How can you single out them, before the goal we played like inter milan until Cecs gave them a goal, what did wilshere do? Nasri? V persie? I agree diaby and rosicky ain`t very good enough but not based on today.

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  15. Leonard says:

    I am one of those who saw this coming, I don’t know why Diaby and Rosiscky began this game. Very disappointing display from Arsenal, they where outclassed this time. I think in my personal opinion this is another trophy-less season unless arsenal begins utilizing most of its chances scoring.

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  16. Angry Fan says:

    @ ole. Not based on today? Are u mad? Or have u been smoking something? The trouble is people like u who support wenger no matter what. Enough is enough now and I’ve been saying it ages. This wet dream wenger has hasn’t worked. time for change. Starting with a change in peoples attitudes. The longer we support this clown the longer this goes on for. We need to let him know this ain’t good enough. Change is needed before it’s too late.

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  17. ole says:

    @Angry Fan: Yeah I smoke you should try it! What did wilshere do? Cesc? V Persie ? Nasri? I think they are all poor;) And Wenger and the fans and you most definentley!!! Bendtner? Arshavin? Clichy?, Sagna?, Sczenschney?, Rice?, Djourou?, Denilson?,Vela?, Adams?, Keown?, Henry?, Pires?, Vieira? Etc….

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  18. GunnerMKD says:

    dear god, we were outplayed, the ref was on their side, we could`ve lost 10-1, and we still had a chance BUT NOOOOOOOO, NICKLAS BENTNER GETS IN A CHANCE AND WHAT HAPPENS? HE BLEEEEEEEEEW IT! YEAH! THE ONE TIME HE COULD MAKE DIFFERENCE< HE WAAASTED! i screamed so loud when he missed, my mom became shocked in the kitchen. she was like WHAT YOU LAYING FOR? ITS JUST FUCKING FOOTBALL! but only i know the way i felt when the shitty benter missed. i tell you who would`ve scored that one … EDUARDO, THE DUDE THAT GOES TO THE QUARTER FINALS WITH SHAKTHAR, AND HE SCORED FOR THEM … never should`ve get rid of him.hopefuly i cool off tomorrow, ut today i`m pissed as fuck!

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  19. Jack says:

    How can some of you people be saying that Wenger should be sacked for not playing possibly the best team in the world off the park???
    Arsenal defended resolutely and fantastically well for such a renowned attacking team, and were it not for the ref wearing Barcelona stripes underneath his white shirt the game could have been far different.
    Just because we played in a different way to our usual style and lost thanks to the superb skills of the best player in the world and a sprinkle of bad luck is no reason to call for the coaches head.
    I think we defended fantastic today and even though we lost this can and should be used as a stepping stone to the league and the FA cup, with the knowledge that over 180 minutes of football we lost to a team that some are calling the greatest club team of all time only 4-3.
    The rate at which this current Arsenal team is improving is exponential and I have only high hopes for them from here.

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  20. Irish gunner says:

    Wel said jack the boys tried there best at 1 all we had a chance but after red card writing was on the wall,we still have all to play for this season an i would take premiership over antin else,come on u gunners!

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  21. SgtGunnerWil says:

    We played extremely poorly for a team with all tha attacking talent. Ithought the lads had come into the 2nd half knowing they needed to attack and indeed they were soft when we put the minimal amout of pressure on them.
    I wonder why, of ll days we played this poorly. Surely if that ref is to justify that sending off, a couple of Barca players should been off 2!

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  22. Irish gunner says:

    Stg we cant play when we didnt have the ball,xavi is a smug cunt but he is a wizward with the ball id take him over messi any day. Big shout for almunia tonight thank god we didnt sell him

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  23. keith says:

    Two tropheys down two to go Wengers excuse against Man U will be that we where tired
    Arsenal will never win anything under the Wenger/Rice team.Time for a change

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  24. Bob says:

    Does kolo Toure get his wife’s diet pills from Pep Guardiola?

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  25. TinkoDinko says:

    Ok, let’s not forget that Arsenal lost the CL at the group stage, after arsenal being second on the group. Let’s face it Barcelona is a big team, but I don’t think they will make to the final.

    What I will consider a disaster is losing the Man united game this sat, let’s just wish that Szczesny will be back soon, we should all put some faith in our players and wish them all the best.

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  26. jhnhgs75 says:

    spanked

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  27. dom says:

    time for a clear out starting at the top..same old same old..pretty football with no end product..plenty of money but a manager to stubborn and fearful to spend..team has too many light weights and not enough men..need more brits just look at wiltshire, he is our top gun not cesc (be realistic, he has no chance of getting into the barca first eleven) five and a half years and still counting, no fight no trophy…please change something im sick of this run of “potential”..apologies to all die-hard gooners not my intention to slag the team off

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