Report: Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona

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Arsenal fought back to secure some hope in the Champions League on Wednesday night in thrilling fashion.

But with 59 minutes gone today, the Gunners might have just kissed goodbye to their challenge in this quarter-final tie.

Barcelona dominated proceedings without reward but Ibrahimovic let Almunia – who had kept his side in the match – pay for woeful decision-making in goal as the Swedish striker chipped home Barca’s opener seconds after the restart.

The Emirates Stadium went silent. Amongst their misery, injuries had forced Arshavin and Gallas to be withdrawn. So on the evidence of how the night had gone thus far, they could have panicked worse to come.

Worse did come, and moments later, another defensive blunder from the hosts saw Ibrahimovic through and free on goal. The giant Swede had time and space but went for the spectacular again – thumping the ball into Almunia’s near post.

Showdowns like this have ended in shameful maulings for Arsenal this season, so it was easy to fear that while this tie might have been put to bed already, Barcelona were still not done with Arsenal.

Ironically though, it was Wenger’s side who would have the last laugh.

On came Theo Walcott with 21 minutes to go and just three minutes after his introduction, Arsenal’s no. 14 raced onto a Bendtner pass, entered the visitor’s territory and sent home a quick-fire shot through Valdes’ arms.

Walcott’s impact was reminiscent of Arsenal’s former no. 14 who finally made a welcomed return against the Gunners late on.

Consolation or turning point?

The answer could just prove to be the latter as with five minutes left, Arsenal were on level terms.

Wenger’s men had a goal-mouth chance as Bendtner sent in a headed pass for Fabregas to finish off. The Spaniard pulled his trigger but was hindered by Puyol and the referee graciously pointed to the spot.

Barcelona, who already had Pique suspended for the second leg due to a booking earlier on, saw Puyol sent off and before the Catalnas pondered their lessened defensive options for next week, Fabregas whipped home the Gunners’ equalizer from the spot.

Arsenal’s skipper harmed his fitness even further in that event but he was set to miss next Tuesday’s meeting anyway after being cautioned during the first half.

What was not harmed though, was Arsenal’s slender Champions League hopes.

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14 thoughts on “Report: Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona

  1. of course we are !!!!! withouth their central defenders we can winnnn … come on arsenalll !! now we have to put nasri instead of fabregas and walcott start on the wing

  2. LOOK,ANALYSING TODAYS GAME,I CAN CONCLUDE WE CAN WIN BUT WE WILL CONCEDE…
    WHY?
    1.ALMUNIA
    2.MESSI,IBRAHAMOVIC,NOU CAMP
    BUT IF WE PLAY THE 4-5-1 FORMATION OR RATHER 4-1-2-2-1..WE CAN WIN THIS.
    NASRI AND DIABY NUST NULLIFY THE WING BACKS FROM COMING FORWARD
    ARSHAVIN(I THINK WILL BE FIT)..CAN ATTACK FROM THE LEFT SIDE AND THEO FROM THE RIGHT..NICKS GONNA BE UP FRONT
    DEFENFERS SHALL BE THE SAME BUT I PREFER CAMPBELL THAN SONG BCOZ WE CAN EXPECT STABLE BACK LINE..BUT WE GOT TO PRESS THEM MORE..
    GO ARSENAL….

  3. What do we need a 1 nill win or 2?

    From what I saw in the first half we are in trouble! Ha but you can never count us out. Ruban won at the Camp so why can’t we? I think those two late goals will boost the confidence and show that we can play with them.

    Oh well, can’t wait for the week of anticipation, cutting our team down and predicing the lineup and score! hahah..

    Good game (I think)

  4. no Walcott is useful when thier Full Backs are tired.

    till then trickery of Rosicky/Nasri/Arshavin is needed

  5. agree w/karthik. and also wth USA.
    the suspensions will surely play in our favor. but i fear cesc missing out of the prem final run in.

    watched most of 1T, and barca totally ran us over. had torrid time keeping possesion.

    i think if we win by a goal, then we go thru. its just when its all even on agg that the away goals count more. don’t think they are worth double. but then again, i can never keep that strait – so somebody correct me if i’m off there.

    what a comeback. and tho almunia got snookered on the first goal, he looked sharp in 1T. admittedly, i’d turned the match off in disgust (and to avoid IT reflagging me, or my boss’s ire!).

  6. oh, and the way cesc stepped up to convert the pen (controversial tho it may be) and then stays on the pitch. he is the man. THE MAN!!! that last goal could be barca’s undoing … inflicted at the hands of their so-called wantaway former player. HA!!

  7. Barcelona came with a game plan, it worked target Diaby and within seconds of start he gave ball away, they managed to strong together few passes save for Aluminia we would have been dead and buried. Diaby had shocker and he spoiled the team shape with that awkward pass. Man I feel sorry for him also Song was exposed two times for Barca goals. Also the mystery is I never saw the linesman today?

    I think the ref saved us from Fab playing he was not fit from first ball , but he made that up with never die attitude simply class. Unlike Henry His love for Arsenal is far greater why? I mean that is home town team and it dominate everything their woow.

  8. I feel our best chance is definitely to go 4-5-1. If, and of course it’s a huge if, we can keep it goalless for 75 minutes, tiredness & nerves will creep into Barca’s play and maybe we can nick one in the last 15. Walcott has to be a sub – his all-round game doesn’t merit a starting place but his pace could be invaluable as legs tire. AW really has to earn his salary by getting his tactics & selection spot on. Just one last thought – The draw might work in our favour as Barca know 0-0 is good enough for them & that could just have a psychological effect – with a SF place at stake.

  9. our wingers don’t come back and play D. Nasri, AA they don’t drop back and help that is why we got destroyed. I think we need to start Eboue from now on.

    It’s gonna hurt having all three guys out for the rest of the season. Really gonna hurt.

    Where has Fran been? What gives?

  10. Although we were schooled by Barca for most of the game,the players deserve credit for displaying a never say die attitude,which in the end,earned them a credible draw.It shows that despite their youth,they can hang with the big boys.Barca will definately be the bookmakers favourite for the return leg,but as a supporter for life,and a betting man,my money will be on the Arsenal.Keep the faith.

  11. for gooners who have any doubts ,ARSENAL CAN QUALIFY IF-
    1.IF THE ARSENAL JUST WIN AT THE NOU CAMP .THE MARGIN DOESNT MATTER
    2.IF ARSENAL DRAW THE GAME WITH MORE AWAY GOALS ,EG – 3-3(MIN),4-4,ETC
    3.IF THE SCORE IS 2-2 THEN EXTRA TIME AND THEN IF NOTHING GIVES PENALTIES
    LETS ALL HOPE ITS THE IST AND IF NOT THE 2ND POINT

  12. That match sums up Almunia. He can be the best one second, and be the worst the next! I’d hate to say this Randy, but I told you so. 😉

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