Report: Roma 1-0 Arsenal (1-1 agg, 6-7 pens)
By Randy Osae
Character and poise won over resurgence and momentum tonight.
Arsenal had succumbed 1-0 after 120 minutes of football, but with the aggregate deadlock at 1-1, Wenger’s men held their nerves to defeat Roma 6-7 on penalties.
It was an impromptu route to the quarter-finals of the Champions League – a timid performance could not see off the Rome side, but what else mattered?
And the Gunners will hope to return to that particular city just in a couple of months time.
Wenger opted for the same eleven that snatched a 1-0 advantage in the tie a fortnight ago. Sunday’s saved guns; Almunia, Toure, Clichy, Denilson, Nasri, Bendtner and Van Persie all started.
For their need to turn the tide, Roma were inevitably at much buoy from first kick. It would take Arsenal only 10 minutes to concede.
Francesco Totti swept a low cross into the penalty area with Toure and Gallas clumsily missing out on a clearance. As a result, the ball rolled to Juan at the far post, and he fired past Almunia.
Arsenal look rattled, and the Italians may have initiated a drubbing from there on. Diaby did spurn a couple of chances – a weak effort onto a corner after been played into point-blank range and then missing a header right near the penalty spot.
Those moments were over-shadowed by Roma’s exploits at the other end as Almunia was called into action twice – first punching out Motta’s effort from close range and then parrying Taddei’s follow-up wide.
On the stroke of half-time, Clichy tackled Motta blatantly in the box. But to Arsenal’s reprieve, the considerable penalty appeal by the home fans was waved off.
The second-half did not differ. Wenger’s men were under the same bombardment as Julio Baptista nearly turned home a cross.
Sagna almost nicked in a near-post header but that would have been very wicked on Roma who then continued edging with Totti testing Almunia from further yards out.
Anything would do for Arsenal. A goal and the Italians would have to notch a double more.
And so, Eboue was withdrawn for Walcott. But for some reason, Baptista spared his former employees a lethal kick after been set up free from 10 yards out. He had missed a sitter – any kick would have executed Wenger’s men even with 10 minutes of the 90 left.
And five minutes later, Arsenal’s boss sensed the need for fresh leg as Eduardo trotted on at the expense of Bendtner.
The hustle would not be ending there. Into extra-time when Roma still owned momentum, Arsenal made two glimpses at goal. Van Persie dumped a volley onto Denilson’s cut back well over and then Walcott shot on target with his weaker foot after a swift turn into the box.
Nothing could give, and so it was down to an experience Wenger’s new class of youngsters had never stared before. The last time an Arsenal side partook a penalty shoot-out was at the Millennium Stadium in the 2005 FA Cup final.
Those were times when the old-hands of Vieira and co could settle matters, but perhaps to a slight awe, the kids of today were on that same path. Walcott, Nasri, Denilson, Toure and Sagna all slotted their spot-kicks right on the money to emulate that maneuver.
Indeed, Eduardo had fumbled the initial kick of the shoot-out when his precise finishing was needed the most. But Almunia met Vucinic’s following kick with his knee and kept Arsenal alive.
And in sudden-death, Diaby kept his cool to put the Gunners on the brink before Tonetto blasted both the ball and the home side’s dreams of playing the final at the Stadio Olimpico.
Arsenal, on the other end, had theirs ignited with a quarter-final berth.
Just about through thankfully, we need to take more advantage in our home games, we should have went to rome with a 3-4 goal margin. Nice penalties lads, taken like we were the home side. Thanks for the firework roma fans.
tonight i feel embarressed.It was a shambolic performance but luckily they had Baptista it reminded me a lot about the fa cup final in 2005.
Bendtner 10/10 for effort even though he was dead tired after the 60th minute running up and down on the wing.
RVP 1/10 for effort 1/10 for attainment 1/10 for ability to stay on his feet.
Look at the last 14 games. How many has RVP started and how many have we scored in those games?
Then look at the 3 games he didn’t start in and how many we scored.
He had his purple patch. Deserves to be dropped after that performance.
wow, is all i can say.
arsenal yes they beat roma wuhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
arsenal deserved that win and in the first leg they shud of scored way more ne1 agree
should have gone with eduardo & theo from the off – all in all a very typical performance – grateful to be through – need to up our commitment 100%
LOL guys…today didn’t really seem like our day…but somehow, we showed why you don’t have to brush off opponents to progress and perhaps win it all.
Several sides will pay a fortune to nick it out like this.
I will rather have all wins be this way till will get there, rather than to be emphatic throughout and end coming close but not winning.
I agree, it was one of the most boring arsenal games in recent memory that I have ever seen. Completely luckluster performance from both teams. Shambolic defending on the conceded goal, and no creativity up top. PK’s were interesting though, I was truly bitting my nails hoping we would make it. Was hoping Wenger had started Walcott on the wing instead of Eboue, (mind you I am not one of those Eboue bashers) I thought Clichy ran his socks off for the red and white. Nasri was surprisingly quiet, Bendtner was too albeit for a few instances. Toure should have done much better with last minute header… at leat put it on target. I can go on an on, but anyway at leat we progressed, and thats what counts. Call me crazy, but I hope we meet Barca or Liverpool, should be interesting the QF’s.
you never know?
can we please have some optimism! we are through to the next round and that’s what matters. You should be happy that we made it though to the quarterfinals, especially since we didn’t play great. We weathered 120 minutes of a hostile roma crowd before converting 7 of our 8 penalties. Enjoy the victory and take solace in the fact that we did enough to go through against a good Roma team even though we didn’t play at our best. If the players can accomplish what they did on an off day, then there should be no doubting what they can do when they are firing on all cylinders, which is bound to happen next round. There is something special about this team, and the stars seem to be lining up…
All I hope is that the lessons have been learnt.
In Europe, you get punished over two legs if you fail to take your chances. We almost paid the price of profligacy at the Emirates tonight.
I’m especially glad that we were not the odd one out of the English teams and we made it through to the QF. It doesn’t matter how you qualified, what matters is that Arsenal is in the hat when the draw takes place on 20th March. Good sides are already out of this competition: RealMadrid, Juventus, InterMilan, Lyon, to mention a few. It is indeed a privilege to be among the quarter finalists. Arsenal may well appear in the Final. You just never know.
a win is a win.if you remember guy the championship was won on penalties last season by Man U.so lets give credit were its due.it take a lot off nerves to be under such pressure the young guns were and to ome through like they did.i think we should applaud them for the achievement.there are so many roads that lead to ROME and this is certainly one of them.well done young gooners lets hope come May we come back to Rome as today was a warm up match of the final.
In response to what seems to be the general thoughts on the board I offer the following:
1 WE WON!!!!!
2 We won without Cesc!!!
3 We Won without Ade!!!
4 We Won without a match fit Theo & Eduardo
5. We Won without Tomas (do not know what is going to happen to him)
6 We Won with Bendtner
7. RvP is the 2nd best player on the squad. He carried Arsenal since Cesc went down
8 We Won!!Be Happy!!!!
I have the same sentiments as some of you, it’s good we made it although I recognise we did not play to our full potential today. Let’s not kid ourselves, at times we were rubbish, not free flowing at all. All in all, I have that feeling that this season is going to be special for some reason. Trust me on this, I usually get these feelings, and more times than not, it usually turns out to be true. But they again, it could be the several pints of Bass Pale Ale that I’ve had that are talking. That remains to be seen though. I would be utterly gutted if we had not made it esp. after the Emirates misses. Overall we deserved to make it through, but from this one performance…. I just hope we pick it up for the league game. Arshavin will be in the team, and oh my. I’m glad we got him.
YES,YES,YES, Champion League’s Quarter Final!!!!
i bet u we will get chelse next round i hope i realy do
Guys, which would you prefer? to play well and get knock out or poorly and qualify? Let’s be thankful.
The pitch surface was tremendoulsy slow. I feel Roma has done all they could to make it that way because they have learned 2 weeks ago that if the surface is fast like the one at the emirates, they couldn’t stand.
Anyway, good win. Gunners nearly went out. Let take this as a second chance and move on with it. Gael Clichy was the best gunner on the field. Denilson was the worse.
it was good to see gael have a great game again for the gunners. i was so realived when the game was finally over. Pumped for the quarters! i want to see an Arsenal vs. Barca
It was just luck in the end that saw us through, we play that level of quality again over two legs and we’ll be thumped good. For a team built to perform better in the cl than epl, it was generally an awful performance. In the second half we played for the tie more than they did. Still, trying to think of a bright spot from this one – oh, we did win though.
Good teams find ways to win even when they aren’t at their best. That is exactly what Arsenal did today. I didn’t catch the game but saw the hightlights, well lack their off and all I have to say is wow. Some good pk’s on our part and some luck got us in. Laughing, can you imagine if Denilson would have missed his pk? Ewww boy…
And for not watching the game I can’t comment on the players but I think AW needs to realize that there are CL players and EPL starters. I think we need to find our best team and put them out there every game from now on, CL, FA and EPL. The season is coming to a close and we are fighting on all three fronts.
Good day to be a gunner and a great day to be a fan of the sport.
Hopefully they can build off this, Wegner can swallow some pride (starting line up) and we can move on.
Here is the order of who I would want to play.
did we score in agg?
VAN PERSIE SHOULD BE DROPPED
hopefully we play villa or porto in the quarter finals
jst der man!
van persie is going down!
How can you say drop RVP? Good lord some of you are just plain idiots. Your the same people who call for AW’s head, your the same people week in week out who blame someone when nothing goes right!
Good lord guys, we have a great team I wouldn’t trade anyone.
Show some faith in our team and players and play with the hand you are dealt!
“Character and poise won over resurgence and momentum tonight.”
that sums it all up.