Never mind Van Persie’s red card, Wenger can moan as much as he likes about that, but the facts are that Arsenal were taught another footballing lesson at the Nou Camp tonight.
Wenger will probably point the finger at the referee, but even before the red card Arsenal had barely got out of their own half. It was a harsh red and it was the wrong decision, but at the same time Van Persie didn’t help himself picking up a needless booking in the 1st half. Wenger can’t blame the ref for that one.
I didn’t think it was anything special as a football match, it failed to live up to expectations and the standard set in the 1st game, probably because the game was so one sided.
Barca had 69% possession and 19 attempts on goal, Arsenal had no attempts on goal. After the match in his TV interview, Guardiola claimed Arsenal didn’t string 3 passes together, it is hard to disagree with him.
Not a lot went Arsenal’s way either, they had to bring Almunia on in the 1st half after Szczesny dislocated a finger, then Fabregas repaid some of his forthcoming transfer fee by setting up Barca’s first goal, before Van Persie got his red card.
But in all honesty Barcelona were streets ahead of Arsenal. They could have had a hat full in the 2nd half and their work rate was up to its usual high standard. They are not just great footballers, everyone of them – including Messi – works their arses off to close the opposition down and get the ball back.
A perfect example of the difference between the two sides was highlighted when within a couple of minutes of coming on as a sub, Arshavin lost the ball in the Barcelona half and it was no more than 5 yards away. He just walked back watching, and he hadn’t even worked up a sweat. A Barcelona player wouldn’t have done that.
Arsenal still have the premier league to play for, I believe they have a great chance of winning that as Manchester United are nothing special, also their post Christmas surge hasn’t happened this year.
If Arsenal can clear their heads and get in the right frame of mind, I believe they can do it.