Quick Reaction: Arsenal 0 – 2 Barcelona

Just figured I’d put a few thoughts towards this match which is something we’ll do for the big matches from time to time.

So it came to pass as everyone expected. The result in Barcelona’s favour, though not necessarily the mauling that many considered possible. The tie is essentially over with Barcelona’s two away goals. Lionel Messi’s just being nice here is all.

Arsenal played well for about 70 minutes. A 0-0 scoreline at the end of the game wouldn’t have been disastrous for Arsenal and things were headed that way. As per the all the articles suggesting how to play Barcelona, they used a mixture of pressing and defending deep to keep Barca at bay. Opportunities were there as well, showing that Arsenal were still being very much Arsenal.  Still, it was definitely a good first half for the Gunners and it’s not as if Barcelona were playing badly.  Except they then reverted to full Gunners at around the 70th minute.

For whatever reason, Arsenal decided they were well in the game after holding off MSN for 45 minutes. The game got more open as time wore on. Not good. It was inevitable the moment would come that ended the tie. The Gunners got a little too confident and, boom, just like that Lionel Messi scores. The result was never in doubt from there.

So let’s consider a few points.

Wenger got his tactics, mostly right but puts the blame on his players for being naive. You sure you didn’t tell them to have a little go there Professor? I didn’t see you yelling, waving or gesticulating for your players to stick with what was working. Here’s some ideas while we’re on that topic of tactical decisions.

Don’t bring on Mathieu Flamini. You should know by now he’s a hazard in defensive midfield. Coquelin didn’t have a yellow card and you know he’s the best at shielding your defense. Secondly, don’t play Ozil. Now hold your horses my more exuberant Arsenal fans. Hear me out.

Ozil wasn’t effective in either his defensive or attacking duties. Busquets ran the show, as usual, while Ozil played bystander. The German started off well but there really was nothing to show for his 90 minutes. A better midfield trio would’ve been Coquelin, Elneny(unless he’s just here to do a Park Chu Young) and Ramsey paying as the No. 10 with the main task of harassing Busquets. You know Ramsey has more than enough energy and enough defensive acumen to help on both sides of the ball. One more decision, pointed out by my brother, a Barcelona fan mind you, would’ve been to have Giroud drift out wide, or stay out wide, to be the outlet against either Jordi Alba or Dani Alves,with the No. 10 and wide players feeding off him. Giroud did a decent job to be fair and almost got himself a goal to boot.

Ah, well. No point in going on about this further. Now just the league and FA Cup to consider.

On another note. Some of these are funny, some aren’t.


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