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CL Arsenal – Barcelona 0-2, one moment lack of concentration and we paid the price

By Walter Broeckx

Lots of changes at the start but that was to be expected of course. In fact it was the team that was expected at the start of the match. Well the team I expected anyway.

Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

On the beach: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Campbell, Walcott, Welbeck

Arsenal with an early attack but Barcelona can clear. Then Barcelona take over for a few minutes but no real danger. Monreal goes in the book very early after a slipping challenge on Rakitic. Not the man you want to see booked so early on.  Arsenal with a good attack, a back heel from Ramsey to Özil who plays it back to him but Ramsey can’t get his foot around the ball and the shot hits a defender and Barcelona can clear.  Barcelona trying to keep the ball but not really going forward. Both teams trying to press rather high and this leads to lots of misplaced balls by both teams. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

Apart from a few misplaced balls and a few crosses both keeper almost unemployed in the first 20 minutes.  A great attack from Arsenal Özil with pass to Bellerin whose left footed shot is blocked by a defender and the rebound falls to Oxlade-Chamberlain  who shoots straight at the keeper.   The biggest chance of the match for both teams.  Another counter but Pique can cut out the pass from Özil at the cost of a corner. A backpass from Barcelona is ignored by the ref but luckily the following Barcelona counter leads to nothing.  Best chances, only chances in the match so far for Arsenal but still  0-0 after 30 minutes.

Assistant gives a goal kick for Arsenal that should have been a corner for Barcelona. Cech being good on the ball when Suarez managed to get past some defenders with a few lucky bounces of the ball. Messi runs in to Koscielny to win a free kick and gets it. The wall saves it and The Ox on the counter but blocked by Mascherano leaving both players on the ground. The Barcelona player first on the ball but bad coming together.  The Ox seems to be the biggest victim but he comes back between the lines limping a bit. Messi trying a shot but Ramsey with a block. Özil beating Messi to the ball just outside the Arsenal penalty area. Good work Mesut.   A misunderstanding between Ramsey and The Ox leads to a Barcelona counter but nobody on hand apart from Monreal at the final pass from Suarez.  Alves then with a cross but Suarez heads wide. Barcelona closest to a goal in the final minute of the first half. But neither team could score after a very tight first 45 minutes: 0-0.

No changes at the start of the second half in the Arsenal team.  Neymar suddenly in space but Cech came out winner in this one on one. Great save from Cech. After 50 minutes The Ox comes off and Theo comes on. The Ox had been limping since his collision with Mascherano.  Arsenal under some pressure in the opening minutes of the second half.  Bellerin and Mertesacker with vital clearances. Jordi Alba then tries to get Giroud booked by pretending to have been hit in the face… . The Arsenal supporters sing to support the team.  Özil in some space but the pass is cut out in the last instant. A cross immediately after that from Monreal and a good header from Giroud but Ter Stegen can palm the ball away from his goal line. Better from Arsenal now but still 0-0 after 60 minutes.

Barcelona now again with some corners but Monreal and Giroud can block the crosses. A free kick to Arsenal but Kos, Alexis see their shot blocked and finally Ramsey fires wide. A minute later at the other end Per with a vital block and then Suarez shoots wide.  Alexis with a great defensive interception against Messi in midfield to stop a possible Barcelona counter.  Giroud recovers the ball in the Barcelona penalty are but Walcot had run inside and Giroud expected him outside.  A bit later a low cross but no Arsenal player at the end of it and Barcelona can clear.

Arsenal losing the ball and Barcelona can counter and Neymar in some space and with only Monreal between him and Messi the latter gets the ball completely free and he scores. 0-1 for Barcelona after 71 minutes.  The centre of the defence completely went missing there both Per and Kos not to be seen.

Welbeck comes on for Giroud and he goes round his man but cannot find a teammate with his cross.  Arsenal now open themselves up more and is lucky when Suarez hits the post after Per had blocked the first shot. At the other end Welbeck with a lay off to Ramsey but the keeper is first on the ball as Busquet just got a touch.

Coquelin goes off after 81 minutes and Flamini comes on. Flamini immediately is judged to have fouled Messi and that is alas correct, Messi was first to the ball. Messi converts the spot kick. 0-2 to Barcelona after 83 minutes. I expect a lot of abuse towards Flamini in the next days from the blame brigade.  Two very avoidable goals.

Pique gets a yellow card after foul on Welbeck.  To make the evening even more sour Ramsey felt some pain in his knee after a collision with Koscielny.  But he could continue. Cech with a good save on a Neymar header in extra time.

A match that was lost in two moments that could have been avoided but that is football, Barcelona took their chances better than us. We had enough chances when it was 0-0 but couldn’t take them .  The match up to then was in balance but one counter decided the outcome. And I think Wenger was not too pleased with the way the first goal came about.

Maybe time to send the reserves to Nou Camp and concentrate on the FA cup and league from now on.

 

 

 

 

 

65 comments to CL Arsenal – Barcelona 0-2, one moment lack of concentration and we paid the price

  • Max

    This seems to be a recurring problem, our finishing of late has been atrocious and the decision to bring Flamini on instead of El nenny will have the wenger haters in fury.

    The game on Sunday is a time to redeem ourselves but if our finishing does not improve sooner the hard win over Leicester will just be plain nothing

  • john-L

    Proud of the players tonight. None of the lucky breaks went our way. Barcelona are the best team on the planet and really don’t need the ref’s help, but they had it throughout.

    Hope that Ramsey and Ox not badly injured.

  • Josif

    We have played eight games at home in 2016.

    In four of those we couldn’t score despite having a lot of chances.

    Our conversion rate has been a problem since the beginning of the season, something that Wenger will probably solve next summer.

  • John

    Josif
    He couldnt solve it this year with one of the best scouting teams around and well over 100m to spend.

  • para

    We had them, we had them, they were worried, resorted to trickery and then that moment where we stopped the promising attack, played the ball back, lost it and they scored.

    Ref was very suspect, only bringing out the barca yellows after they were 2 up.

    Still a good performance from the lads. I wonder if Danny had started????

    We would probably have forced the ref to give us a penalty. They would have been forced to bring him down many times.

    I did not think that Flamini should have played this game at all. Still, it’s not my decision, but it is my opinion.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsene not sounding happy in his interview……a short summary….players gave a lot of energy, but technically average, he mentioned the word naive as well, comparing to Monaco.
    But did say Barca are a great team…..and that Arsenal put in effort

  • Yassin

    Walter, Although Flamini did touch messi leg, the fall was more than a dive than a foul.. Check the video.

    From a ref point of view this is a foul, but from a sportsmanship point of view, this is cheating, and I hate cheating.
    Which reminds me of the shirt pull in that header from Giroud when he was pulled by Mascherano. Its the same, Giroud should have dived to get the penalty?

  • para

    Forgot:
    I now truly DISLIKE Barcelona as a football team.

    With all their quality and they still have to resort to cheating.

    Do not like them anymore, don’t care what they have won.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thought Danny looked good, one of the positives.
    Reserves in the Nou Camp…..can see the merits, but could kill them!

  • Tai

    It’s a pity we lost a game we shouldn’t considering the effort put in by the boys. But I still can’t get it why Giroud should start any game against Barca. I love Giroud but I know his strengths and weaknesses.

    Well, the UCL is over…let’s face domestic challenges.

  • upp

    @walter, good one. I’m especially glad you didn’t end with your usual bad day, murphys law stuff that you always put out whenever we lose

  • Menace

    John – I wish Wenger had bought you. That might have shut you up – even if he used you for a dumb waiter.

    Barca live on cheating – the taxman, the Game, the referee. They have good football players but do not have basic sporting honesty.

  • Tai

    Please, let’s not go there…it’s a stonewall penalty. Flamini(who had no business coming in) kicked both Messi’s legs off the turf, missing the ball completely. PENALTY!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Para, Barca are brilliant , but so many things about them as a club….and business are deeply unpleasant. Kid trafficking….the great Catalan rebels who symbolise resistance to France having that paragon of free and democratic society, .Qatar. on their shirts…
    then, the cheating, theatrics, tax avoidance. And possibly things that many suspect but will never come to light.
    But they are winners so thats all that matters to some.

  • EPL Referees hater

    And that is why people rain lots of abuse on Wenger ,why bringing in Flamini when you are a goal down against Refreelonia ,when you are to bring Welbeck to play with Giroud and not to remove him. This was winnable match,

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wasn’t really Flams fault Tai, fed a bit of a hospital pass from Per unfortunately

  • Serge

    There must be a way to make sure Danny gets more starts, even if it means Giroud or Walcott get benched. We had chances in both halves but as usual (since Xmas) can’t put them away.
    There are some critical games coming up and we need a regular goal scorer to see us through them or our FA cup & Premier League challenges will evaporate.

  • Polo

    Flamini need to stop doing slide tackles, he concede way to many fouls especially in dangerous areas. Elneny should have been given a chance instead of Flamini. How he just got on and give a penalty straight away is beyond me.
    Our boys played well so that’s good. At least now we can concentrate on winning the league and FA cup.

  • upp

    Thank you tai.
    @mandy, barca has quatar on their shirt, arsenal has Emirates, can you tell me the difference?

  • bjtgooner

    Overall a good effort from our guys against the theatrical child traffickers. One moment of inattention led to the first goal and the match was gone.

    Messi is a wonderful player but in the box if someone breaths on him he goes to ground as if he had been shot! Disgusting!

    But, we gave it a good go, did not look outclassed – apart from the one lapse of concentration – unfortunately just as we were starting to exert pressure on the professional dramatics company!

  • okay what a match we can score 2 at barcelona because we have ever done it ,believe and we might do the unthinkable.

  • Tai

    Mandy, why should Flamini come in when we needed to equalise? Where was Campbell?

    In nights like this you can’t but worry about Wenger’s choice of players. Tactics was perfect. Barca was there for the taking. Giroud was the only drag and Wenger kept him on until we conceded…

    Not Giroud’s fault though…fast-paced tempo game doesn’t suit his style.

  • EPL Referees haters

    But Per too need to ashamed of himself for committing stupid error….. Let’s keep the faith ,we can belay the at amp noon

  • Mandy Dodd

    Upp, Arsenal don’t claim to be the embodiment of a noble socialist cause

  • Polo

    Come on guys, some of us here need to stop blaming the ref or say the opponents cheated etc it make us sometime look daft. I am anti-WOBs like most you here but sometimes we need to give fair reflection on the match and our opponents and debate where our team went wrong and right. We didn’t win because we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal but we played well against what is arguably the best team on the planet. A lot of people including some of our fans say Arsenal is going to get slaughtered and Barca is going to make us look like amateurs but it was far from it, so again well done to our boys.

  • upp

    @mandy, but you guys on untold make that claim on arsenals behalf. Isn’t it hypocritical to claim that about arsenal yet castigate barca in the same breath for the same stuff?

  • dieter

    Good stuff, Walter. And Tai, you’re absolutely right about the penalty. The team did as well as they could, except for the finishing, which is becoming a real issue.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tai, cannot answer why Flam came on, but from what I saw, Coq was visibly tiring,he is not long back…..and if one is being harsh, could perhaps have done more in the buildup to their first goal. But in his defence, he had already expended a lot of energy
    As for the penalty, Per , for some reason, knocked a header down in his area, Flam had no choice to reach for it, or give Messi a free shot. Not his fault.
    As for Giroud, he did a hell of a lot to help defend and hold the ball up. Yes, he did not score, and there was that moment where he passed right when everyone was to the left, and he should have shot anyway. As you say, maybe not suited to that tempo, but no lack of effort. Giroud …and for that matter, they know they has some serious competition, Danny is back, that will raise their games.

  • Zedsaunt

    We didn’t have to equalise, we didn’t have to concede. This was the disappointment for me – that mental strength to finish the game 0-0, and thyenb go to Barcelona and concentrate on getting the result in the final ten minutes of the second leg, the lads let it go.

    It’s that EPL hell for leather go for a win. It’s a two game competition. A completely different mindset from the EPL. It’s painful, a self-inflicted loss.

    Never mind. Some great performances, a great team effort until the first goal. Bellerin looks bloody good to me. Sanchez getting back into it. Kos & Coq brilliant tackles & interceptions. The ruthlessness up front – to me, I sit & watch, there might be a doubt on the edge of their expectation. Welbeck’s goal against Leicester, no doubt whatsoever. Textbook. But Suarez, how many did he miss today?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Upp, not sure who you mean by you guys, the historians on here may correct me, Arsenal like others certainly had staff who made the ultimate sacrifice, and there is a strong Jewish history, but I don’t see Arsenal defined as an entity that stands up to fascists. …..and if they did, they don’t play on it the way Barca do. They wouldn’t let anyone advertise on their shirt, then went to UNICEF….and made a huge play on it, all the lofty claims…then straight to Qatar!! At least PSG make no bones.
    As for Arsenal, Don’t have Stan down as a great socialist either….or his wife.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Still games to go, but could Nacho be our player of the season?

  • omgarsenal

    What is with you lot today? We played unarguably the BEST team in World Football and made a real game of it. I cannot stand the blamers and whiners on here who are SURE their opinions are worth more than Wenger’s expertise and experience and are entitled to shit all over the Club and its manager. Wenger said it all, we were naive and lacked that killer punch that Messi provides Barca. We had almost as many chances as they had but the difference was that HE broke the deadlock and we stumbled after that. Regardless, there is no better finisher than Messi in world football, so we drag ourselves up and get ready to make United pay on the weekend.
    My guess is that Wenger will field the strongest team he can in Barcelona and see if the Arsenal can cause an upset…..but he will do what he thinks best!

  • Col

    Hopefully Wenger will play the b team in the second leb

  • topanlesmana

    Arsenal played good,real good. I’m proud of the guys. We held Barca,the best team in the universe, 0-0 up to the 70th minute. Our players played so well to make Messy,Neymar dan Suarez couldn’t do their usual games. And we had some good chances too. What more could you expect? Only one thing bothered me, Coq out and Flamini in. What’s the point? But perhaps Coq was tired. Perhaps. Anyway,that shows exactly how bad we need a good DM to cover for Le Coq. Flamini is not really the one we need. He’s past his prime. Good game,lads. Real proud to be a gooner.

  • upp

    @mandy, forgive me but I thought your point was “barca claim to be class yet they got Qatar on their shirt”, and in response mine is “arsenal got Emirates on theirs but you still consider them class”, however if that isn’t the point it’s alright, I personally don’t give a damn who has socialist or capitalist history, I doubt the barca board has that as priority.
    …and what is it with akbs telling us they played the best/richest team in the world after every loss? From bayern to barca to ????Chelsea

  • Col

    Arsenal played well, but sadly this game highlighted the deficiencies in the squad that people have been pointing out for a long time: lack of cover for Coq, lack of a world class finisher. 0-2 could have been 1-1 or 2-1.

  • OlegYch

    realistically, not too bad of a result
    reserve team at camp nou that is, better luck for sanchez and co next term

  • Tai

    It takes time to let the disappointment of a high-profile match sink in after playing so well. I’m still getting over it but what was it about naivety? I didn’t see it in our play. No team keeps concentration for 90 minutes. The gimmick is all about taking chances. Suarez, Neymar, Messi all missed when they shouldn’t. Was that naivety?

    The game ended after the first goal. The second goal was inevitable…when attempting to equalise with MSN playing against you…you’ll be lucky to equalise but chances are – you’d concede another. Any team in the world would fall prey.

    I hope Wenger retraces that word later and praise his boys, massacre Man U, win the title and start thinking of two world class players to add to go for UCL next season. We’re getting close.

  • para

    Polo
    We are not JUST blaming the ref. They are varied comments depicting opinions on nearly everything about the game.

    omgarsenal
    ” I cannot stand the blamers and whiners on here who are SURE their opinions are worth more than Wenger’s expertise and experience ”

    People are expressing their opinions because that is what people do, and only a very few are really dissing AW and the club.

    Remember, people without opinions are called “sheeple”.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Let us see…
    Emirates is an very large Airline Company NOT owned by the Emirs (unlike Etihad) but rather by the Emirate of Dubai, so it is an Etatic company.
    The Emirates as a grouping of small monarchies: Usually are into business, but have ventured into Yemen with the KSA, an unwise decision.
    Qatar: Supported the MB (Morsi, who leaked documents to the Qataris) in Egypt and violent groups in Syria (along with their Turkish government oil-stolen-by-ISIS son-of-Erdogan friend).
    So, my ranking is:
    Emirates Airlines (pass, but would love to see it as a publicly traded company; I may actually buy the stock on NYSE or FTSE)
    Etihad: Sub-pass grade; what with the way they finance the Citizens and all the financial BS that goes along with their owners
    Qatar / Barcelona: Fail, especially from the standpoint of Barcelona; they could get ANYBODY on that shirt; picking Qatar is suspicious
    Qatar / Paris Saint-Germain: Big fail, as the club is owned by the Qataris; but, hey, France has become for sale, except for a few bastions

  • upp

    @tai, totally agree. I don’t understand wengers obsession with the word naive. He should praise his team for giving barca a run for their money. If anybody has shown naivety, I think he should look at his performance in the transfer windows. Not being able to find players that can improve your squad is quite naive

  • hilbert

    With a more clinical striker maybe just maybe the game would have gone differently

  • I wish the Emirates stadium stand up in each and every match like they did against the billion dollar team.Next OldToilet lets make the devils swim in their own blood ,i mean they are scattered and scampering for their lives this is the right time to strike and keep their heads ringin with The Arsenal magic. Lets go GUNNERS

  • Menace

    upp yours with a Quatari oil drill.

    Arsene’s Arsenal were fantastic & barring the excellence of Barcas attack we might have still been in contention for this game. Once again our attacks were blocked sometimes contentiously but our failing was not keeping sufficient back in reserve.

    There are several games that we still have to play so I am not downhearted at all. I still dislike the corrupt selective vision of some people on & off the field.

  • Florian

    Btw, anyone noticed we played on Tuesday, while the Manure play on Thursday, which only leaves them 1 day of rest until Saturday vs ours 3. Let’s make that count!

  • hrishi

    @Polo (10:35 pm)
    Well said.. Couldn’t have put it better

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great game. We played really well for 70 minutes, proud of the boys. We are still not up there with the likes of Barca.

    Lack of goals is alarming. Let’s hope they’re keeping all their goals for the PL run-in!

    @Florian: ManU game is on Sunday.

  • Mark

    In the post match interview with the press Wenger did not mention the word naive, so must have said it in the BT interview straight after the match, probably out of frustration.
    As said before the game, we had to take our chances but we didn’t, through a lack of calmness and lack of good fortune with the bounce of the ball definitely not with us. The number of times in the area it fell to them or deflected away to safety was the frustrating part of the match. The referee pandered to their every squeal when they were tackled and they play the game to win at all costs. Don’t get me wrong they have fantastic players but it was interesting that they played the same eleven without subs and if you looked at their bench it wasn’t as strong as I imagined. So what to do in the Camp Nou? It is before the trip to Everton on the Saturday lunchtime so the team will be interesting. I am going to Barcelona so hope we don’t roll over, even if the tie is pretty much dead. If we could score early then who knows. Welbeck looked sharp when he came on, only wished he had one more game prior otherwise I am sure he would have started last night. Surprised that Elneny wasn’t on the bench as he could have come on instead of Flamini, but Mertesacker should have cleared the ball properly in the first place, poor defending. Must bounce back in Manchester on Sunday and put all our efforts into the league now, a double awaits.

  • Stevo

    Florian.
    The United match is a sunday fixture. United will have 2 days not 1 we will have 4

  • rich

    Knife to the heart indeed.

    Hadn’t realised how intensely I was watching the game and how high my hopes had risen until the moment the goal went in.

    That has somehow left me feeling weirdly and uncharacteristically appreciative of both the sport and the team this morning.

    Defeat typically has the effect of obliterating most of what you were feeling should the game have been in the balance until late on, but not this time for me.

    We lost to a better team, better than us by a significant margin, but in my opinion that is purely down to their attack. Give us any two or their front three and we would be a better team than them. That is just life, luck or whatever you want to call it.

    Barca have the greatest player of all time in attack and quite possibly the second and third best current attackers up there with him. If you think we should have any of those players or any of the two or three who are closest to them, well, I don’t know why.

    But we gave ourselves a chance. We performed excellently and gave ourselves a real chance of a truly special result. Wasn’t to be and that made me sad as hell on the night but, so long as I avoid the internet for a couple of days, it seems there’s a chance I can deal with the disappointment well and appropriately on this occasion.

    React well to it and the team has a real chance of the league this year, even after factoring in the hideous refereeing I fully expect.

    I also think Wenger’s reaction was a clear indication he is seriously questioning whether this set of players, his guys, have it within them to evolve and handle situation’s better like the one for the killer goal. I’ve always thought the highest aim is to produce a team which acts like a single organism, sharing the same brain if you like, and we are still not there for me from that perspective.

  • ob1977

    Not sure why people are scared of Arsene using the word naive, he is right as not learning from your mistakes is either stupid or naive, I know which word I prefer.
    I am not knocking the team, for 70 minutes we played a tactically perfect game, the only down point being that we didn’t take any of our chances, but as we started to get a head of steam and exerting good pressure I can only imagine the players felt a winner coming and pushed on, only to push on too much and leave themselves open, the one thing you cannot do is leave yourselves open to counter.
    We have gone out of Europe at the 1st knock out stage for years now because we can’t understand that concept, people used to blame Arsene but it is plainly apparent that it is players not being able to switch on, think the 3rd goal last season after getting ourselves back into it again only to get carries away and getting done on the half way line and Monaco having the free run of the pitch to score, it is criminal, we all know the saying, if you can’t win the match then do not lose it… This surely counts at least double when there is another 90 minutes to go….

  • ob1977

    Sorry this might be easier to read.

    Not sure why people are scared of Arsene using the word naive, he is right as not learning from your mistakes is either stupid or naive, I know which word I prefer.

    I am not knocking the team, for 70 minutes we played a tactically perfect game, the only down point being that we didn’t take any of our chances, but as we started to get a head of steam and exerting good pressure I can only imagine the players felt a winner coming and pushed on, only to push on too much and leave themselves open, the one thing you cannot do is leave yourselves open to counter.

    We have gone out of Europe at the 1st knock out stage for years now because we can’t understand that concept, people used to blame Arsene but it is plainly apparent that it is players not being able to switch on, think the 3rd goal last season after getting ourselves back into it again only to get carries away and getting done on the half way line and Monaco having the free run of the pitch to score, it is criminal, we all know the saying, if you can’t win the match then do not lose it… This surely counts at least double when there is another 90 minutes to go….

  • Josif

    @rich

    I think that this Barcelona are the best team ever thanks to the best attacking trio ever even if they don’t have world-class players like Puyol and Xavi in their other lines of the team. It’s not a shame to lose against them. They have beaten Real 4:0 away from home and Messi came on at 3:0. Last night, Barcelona hadn’t had a shot on target before the second half. That says a lot about the quality of our defending for 70 minutes.

    What worries me is our conversion rate. Suarez may have missed quite a few chances last night but he has already banged 41 goals in all competitions this season (equal to our league tally). Lee Mason could have taken 44 penalties away from us against Southampton but his work would have been fruitless had we had scored just one of our ten chances created by Ozil. Atkinson’s hand for Spuds would have been worth of a middle finger if we could have materialize one of Giroud’s headers. It can’t be a coincidence that every goalkeeper turns into a Buffon against Arsenal.

    Oh, and I think Arsenal are actually the victims of the HG-rule which says all you need to know about English football(ers).

  • rich

    @Josif

    Agree. Said before game that to win we would need a superb performance, to be pretty much deadly in front of goal, i.e above our average and especially above recent (finishing) form, plus, what i consider the luck of their finishing being below their normal finishing standards.

    It panned out exactly like that. We played well, had the luck of Suarez missing an opportunity he finishes 8 or 9 times out of ten, but we didn’t take our chance, then ,on what I think might have been the first, maybe 2nd, time we got it wrong and left the defence seriously exposed while attacking, they scored a killer goal.

    The reality for me is our key attackers are all about 7 out of 10 for finishing, and that’s their average scores as that ability can vary a fair bit with form. Suarez and Messi are 9’s pushing 10, Neymar not far behind. To fiddle with Wenger’s classic saying a bit: they sure do have the more beautiful and the most beautiful wife.

    There’s no easy solution and we do have a team capable of winning domestically. I feel pretty sure Wenger will work hard to try secure any 8+ finisher this summer, but there really aren’t many around, their clubs prize them like the rare gems they are, and their prices are astronomical.

  • Gooner S

    A good performance let down by ill discipline in that last 20 minutes. I can understand Wenger calling them naive because they were. They could’ve settled for a 0-0. The pressure would then be on Barcelona in the return leg but they pushed for a goal, over stretched themselves and got caught on the counter attack. It happens. Arsenal played well. I enjoyed the game.

    This is the fourth time I’ve been lucky enough to see Barcelona play Arsenal since the Champions League final and oddly I felt it was their least impressive performance but best in terms of result against us.

  • porter

    7 out of 10 is a bit generous Rich , our approach play is ok but our finishing is parlous. Para questioned why Le Coq passed back before their first goal. It was because of a lack of movement in front of him . it is basic forward play when players are on the same wavelength , even at school we were taught that it you can’t go forward then run sideways . Scissor movements stretches defenders they either have to pass you on or follow , it creates the gaps that talents like Ozil are looking for but we were static. He had nowhere to go everyone was marked. As they broke and Neymar went down field only Bellerin chased and nearly caught him , sadly Walcott and Ozil stood as one by one the defenders moved across to compensate which left Messi on his own . Poor defending from the front was the nett result of poor attacking.

  • yj

    Playing a high line against the most fearsome attack in the world(Messi, Suarez, Neymar).As if that was not enough, doing that with one of the slowest defenders in Mertasacker, is unacceptable.Giroud and Ramsey also need to up their games.The penalty incident wasn’t all Flamini, mertasacker put him in that difficult situation, he should have cleared the ball or given a better pass.

  • yj

    Playing a high line against the most fearsome attack in the world(Messi, Suarez, Neymar) was suicidal.As if that was not enough, doing that with one of the slowest defenders in Mertasacker, is unacceptable.Giroud and Ramsey also need to up their games.The penalty incident wasn’t all Flamini, mertasacker put him in that difficult situation, he should have cleared the ball or given a better pass.

  • proudkev

    yj, we did not play a high line, what game was you watching?

    Mertesacker played well and made several blocks and interceptions while organising those around him. I can fault him for the second goal as he should have just cleared that but shit happens.

    As for Ramsey, he covered more ground than anyone else.

    Why is it some fans just look for scapegoats and people to blame all the time? Barcelona aren’t exactly some non league team we should be rolling over.

    In the game I watched, we contained Barca well and created plenty of chances. The Oxlade miss was the game changer for me, that was a sitter.

    I was impressed with the way we played and controlled Barca, lets not forget they are the current European Champions with the best front three in world football.

    The first goal was exactly as Wenger described it, naivity from the players. He said they had spoken about that, so he was naturally disappointed with the lads for committing to many in attack, a replica of Monaco.

    I had realistic expectations and as disappointed as I am, I am able to apply common sense and logic. It is just a shame some others aren’t able to do that and are trying to find scapegoats and aportion blame where there is none. Attempting to make out that losing to Barcelona is some kind of tramatic disaster is not only ridiculous but just shows how desperate some people are.

  • proudkev

    Gooner S

    Good comments mate.

  • para

    proudkev
    “He said they had spoken about that, so he was naturally disappointed with the lads for committing to many in attack, a replica of Monaco.”

    I just wonder why AW did not then scream/shout/instruct from the sidelines to our players to drop back when he sees them committing too many players forward. Sometimes a wave of his hand would really be enough.

  • proudkev

    Eveneing Para.

    He was gesticulating! Have you ever been in a ground and tried to hear yourself think, let alone speak to the chap next to you? Not sure how a manager who is across the other side of the pitch is supposed to be heard shouting instructions without a megaphone.

    Sometimes players need to take responsibility. After all, it is they that give the ball away, miss sitters, drop crosses and ignore tactics. Yet invaiably it is always the managers that carry the can. Wenger never criticises his players publicly but he did last night for failing to follow his instructions.

  • porter

    To be fair Kev , messages get passed from the touchline to the players.

  • Yj

    Proudkev,
    I should ask u what game u were watching.Don’t u know teams switch strategies in a game? Arsenal started the match by attacking Barca, then the team played very deep and tried to catch Barca on the break. In the second half, it was much the same, only that around the 70 mins mark, Arsenal started committing more men forward in search of a goal, with the Defenders playing a high line. If they weren’t doing this, why was Barca able to get a 2 v 1 situation in the build up to d goal? Where was Mertasacker? Where was Kosscieny? Where was Coquelin? Where was Ramsey? Where was Monreal? Only Bellerin was closely chasing Neymar; Monreal was not close enough to Messi to intercept the pass to him. You obviously turned a blind eye to all these facts. Wenger used the ‘naive’ term bcos some players kept repeating the same mistakes(Mertasacker the chief culprit).The fact that Wenger said the same mistakes made against Monaco was repeated just shows that we both agree on some players not learning.Because of Mertasacker lack of pace, he lunges at balls instead of chasing attackers. Lunging at balls can be detrimental because if u miss it, you are out of the equation, and your team will be short of a defender to stop the attack. Before a defender lunges, he needs to be sure he’ll get the ball. This lazy lunge was what got him sent off against Chelsea. You can choose to absolve everyone of any blame, but I clearly saw Ozil angrily rebuking some of our players as if to say, how could u let this happen against the best attack in the world?Mind you Mertasacker was blaming the loss on our attackers not scoring.You can decide not to blame anybody, but one of the people you are protecting blamed our attackers, and Wenger himself had strong words for some players.You can choose to be a ‘naive’ fan or an honest fan.