Arsenal Vs Barcelona 2-2 : Champions League Quarter Final Arsenal Vs Barcelona: 2-2. Walcott and Almunia proved to be essential for late comeback, but is it enough?
Champions League Quarter Final Arsenal Vs Barcelona: 2-2. Walcott and Almunia proved to be essential for late comeback, but is it enough?
Arsenal were in the brink of humiliation if it were not for Manuel Almunia’s great saves especially in the first half where the goal keeper saved at least three 100% chances by the Barcelona outfit.
However the young gunners were up for the challenge after going 2-0 down by two Zlatan Ibrahimović goals, they came back through a Theo Walcott goal and a Cesc Fàbregas penalty to make it 2-2.
Barcelona was on the attack from the starting whistle with the Catalan fleet showing their dominance. Zlatan Ibrahimović missed a goal on just 5 minutes that was more difficult to miss then score when he shot a Daniel Alves cross over the post from six feet.
Almunia saved another point-blank effort from Ibrahimovic on the 14th minute which he must be kicking himself for. But as a whole Barcelona were very unlucky not to go at least 2-0 up by the end of the first half with clear cut chances missed especially by Swedish International, Zlatan Ibrahimović.
To be fair to Arsenal the first half saw two substitutions due to injury that effected Arsene Wengers plans as Arshavin and Gallas got replaced by Emmanuel Eboue (27) and Denilson(44) respectively.
Cesc Fàbregas’s yellow card he received on the 44th minute summed up Arsenal hopeless first half performance as the Arsenal skipper will miss the Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg clash at the Nou Camp.
What Arsene Wenger told the Arsenal boys in the changing room, I have no idea of, but what ever he said did not work as in just the 46th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimović made it 1-0 with a class lob over Almunia after the Arsenal goalkeeper went off his line which was a mistake in my opinion.
The beginning of the second half saw Arsenal play a little more stronger with Nicklas Bendtner missing a few chances, but Arsenal’s moral were in taters when Ibrahimović’s second goal came on the 59th minute. Both goals from the swede came through, through-balls over the Arsenal defence which you can expect at the second leg game in the Nou Camp.
The 67th minute saw Sagna being replaced with Theo Walcot, the turning point of the game to the gunners. Just two minutes after the 21-year-old who has prospects of getting into the England team for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, ran through the Barcelona defence with his lighting pace and shoot from the floor to lower the deficit.
Walcott’s entrance levelled the game with both teams showing attacking ability when on the 84th minutes Fàbregas was brought down in the area by Puyol, to get a penalty and for defence mystro to be sent off.
Fàbregas equalised for the gunners from the spot kick to make it 2-2.
How important Arshavin and Gallas’s injury and Fàbregas’s suspension will be for Arsenal is out in the open especially captain Fàbregas the teams most influential player missing the second leg tie with Barcelona is a big blow for the gunners.