It’s Arsenal, a.k.a. “The road to ****** goes through London”

Hmmm .... I still know Catalan ....

It’s the Gunners.

For those living under a rock or something, the Champions League draw was held today, for the final 8 teams and their seedings. We draw Arsenal in the quarter-finals, setting up a nightmare draw for both sides, frankly, and a feeding frenzy for the Spanish press.

Will Cesc or won’t Cesc? What of the beautiful game? Should Arsenal reopen Highbury to shrink the pitch from our expansive football? Will Henry have a conniption at having to face his former club in such a crucial tie?

Ah, gotta love European football.

Frankly, it’s not a shock that we draw Arsenal, since all through the tournament, whenever we have had the possibility of drawing a club that brings with it fraught emotions, we have. Inter has been the most recent iteration of that.

And speaking of Inter, if they dispatch CSKA, we will see Eto’o again in the semi-finals. Here’s the full draw:

Olympique Lyon v Bordeaux
Bayern v Manchester United
Arsenal v Barca
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow

Not only does it set up a quarter-final draw with the beautiful game on full display, and a semi-final matchup with Inter and Eto’o, but it also foreshadows the dream matchup, a finals return of us vs United.

But we have to get there first, and frankly, Arsenal is a club I would rather not have seen until later in the tournament. They have all the tools that can vex us, from ball handling and fast wingers (anybody fancy Theo Walcott running loose toward our back line?), to that same kind of possession game that we play.

Mind you, most people think that when you get a mirror image of yourself, you know how to beat it. Whatevs. It also matches up two coaching minds, Arsene Wenger of Arsenal, and our own Pep Guardiola.

And then, of course, there’s the tastiest morsel if you’re a mouth-frothing, gibbering footy journo in Spain: Last time we faced Arsenal in a big Champions League tie, it involved Henry. We won, and he came. If we win, will Fabregas do the same? Do we even care?

What a matchup. Frankly, United have the easiest road to the final, and conspiracy theorists can call up all kinds of mojo if they like. But they shouldn’t have that much trouble with Bayern, or the winner of the Ligue 1 faceoff.

Yes, the discussions have already begun, so let’s continue them. Frankly, I think it will be a close-run tie, but we will go through on away goals. I think that having both second legs at home gives us an immense advantage, because we will be able to score goals, even against Inter, I think. What say ye?

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

254 Comments

  1. Whatever
    March 19, 2010

    I think we’ll crush them. Period.

      • stowe
        March 19, 2010

        i was hoping that we could meet them but i was hoping it would be in the final. that would be an amazing game to watch. they can’t beat man u so if my dream was to come true we would have had to play man u early. i had a feeling that we would draw arsenal and then get inter though. well, should be fun to watch even if we don’t come out on top (which i think we will)

  2. March 19, 2010

    I think there might be another trip or two to Barcelona in my future, if I can get tickets. Waiting for news of the members home on-sale.

  3. barca96
    March 19, 2010

    show a bit of humilty “whatever”. remember EE?

    at first i have doubts but then arsenal plays an attacking team so that will leave us with a lot of space. but on the other end, our defence need to bring their a-game.
    if im not mistaken gallas is injured, so they will only have vermaelen and old campbell. and campbell is slow. but we need to watch out for vermaelens aerial threat.
    they kinda lost against every big team this season except one.
    we need to make sure we score goals at the emirates.
    so it’s do-able imo

    • barca96
      March 19, 2010

      and hopefully cesc and arshavin will prove to us how big of a cule they are 😛

    • Whatever
      March 19, 2010

      I was being honest. I really think we’ll crush them. I simply don’t understand why is everybody putting Arsenal “high” — they aren’t that strong at all.

    • RvP
      March 19, 2010

      When he was a Portsmouth player last year, Campbell came 2nd in the castrol rankings for fastest players in the Premiership (only Walcott was faster than him). yes, he might be old, but he’s surely not slow 😀

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      How arrogant you really are, you think Puyol is any good anymore, will we see more of his diving, I can’t wait to play Barcelona, under estimate us at your own peril. against Stuttgart in the first leg you were lucky, you have not been convincing away from home.

      • Cam
        March 19, 2010

        What you call arrogance, is actually confidence. It comes from winning. You can be forgiven for not knowing anything about that.

        • Tak
          March 19, 2010

          Confidence is respecting opponents, like looneygooner said, under-estimate us at your own peril, do so and we will tear you to pieces. Lionel Messi you say? We have Francesc F*cking Fabregas, and he’s a gooner.

          • barca96
            March 19, 2010

            wow. u guys are proud of stealing our product and call it yours? lol.
            any coach in the world would choose puyol over campbell. dude is not even in the NT.

          • soon
            March 19, 2010

            your “product” was trained at Arsenal and plays for Arsenal. only ignorant Barca fans would say that he was stolen. Arsenal traded for him and Barca got their share.

          • Tak
            March 20, 2010

            barca96, are you for real? your product was just the packaging at barca. He was trained at Arsenal, he was tought at Arsenal, he learned his trade at Arsenal, he became the best at Arsenal.

  4. March 19, 2010

    And by the by, if we continue with our winning ways, we will have 17 matches in 2 months, or roughly a match every 4 days. Whoa!

    Sure could use a deeper squad right about now …. or a big, giant-ass lead in the Liga.

  5. March 19, 2010

    I forgot about Arshavin. Don’t know how I could have done that. Anybody know if Van Persie will be back for them this season?

    So much is riding on this tie. Fabregas will either have the matches of his life, or be paralyzed and tormented. Our possession game will be crucial, because without a doubt, they can score goals. My ideal side against them is our fastest, which means that Abidal and Keiteee have to be on the pitch.

      • stowe
        March 19, 2010

        ibra presents a big threat for one of arsenal’s weaknesses. remember they are weak in the air similar to us. i guess it all depends on his form going into the game

        • BL
          March 20, 2010

          barça being weak in the air is almost a complete myth. sure its been true in the past but last season? they started to stamp out that worry and this season? its almost completely gone.

          i don’t know the stats off the top of my head but the number of headed goals or goals from corners conceded has been very very low this season. we are excellent defending set pieces i’d say (excellent for barcelona).

    • Jake
      March 19, 2010

      goal said that the french greyhound was out for the season! i was can anyone else confirm this or is it just their poor journalism (surprise surprise)?

      • Helge
        March 19, 2010

        I was also shocked when I read that line. Hope it’s just another piece of bs from BS.com

    • Happy Gooner
      March 20, 2010

      Van Persie should be back this season, but it will be after we play Barca.
      My worry is that Messi does for Barca what Henry did for Arsenal. If we played badly it sometimes didn’t matter, Henry would sometimes run through half a team on players and score a wonder goal, like Messi did on Wednesday.
      However we can score goals from anywhere in midfield.
      Whatever happens, with the talent on the pitch, it’s going to be two GREAT ganes!

  6. Andrew
    March 19, 2010

    If there’s one team that can beat Barca then that’s us
    Fight Fire with Fire

  7. goonerinbarca
    March 19, 2010

    Nice balanced article coming from an Arsenal season ticket holder living in Barca for a year. I’m surprised you’re scared of walcott and it’s good to see that we have respect on the continent. I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait. Just need to get those tickets now!

  8. Jonno
    March 19, 2010

    I love the over-confidence of Barca. Keep it up. Arsenal will make them chase shadows for 180 mins. And this time we’ll have 11 players on the field and hopefully the linesmen won’t give you an offside goal.

    Revenge will be SWEEEEEEEEET !!!!!

    VIVA ARSENAL!!!!

    PS We’ve got Cesc Fabregas! You haven’t.

    • Eklavya
      March 19, 2010

      You can keep him. We’ve got Xavi and Iniesta 😉

      • Mo
        March 19, 2010

        Really…weird how xavi and the rest of the mugs at barca can’t seem to keep their pants on when talk of fabregas comes around. He’s a gooner, Up the Arsenal!!!!!ATID

    • cliveee
      March 19, 2010

      dont want fabregas at all, but give us nasri if you dont need him.

    • BL
      March 20, 2010

      *sigh* let the quality posts keep coming.

      my long time arsenal supporting friend went into serious depression mode as soon as he heard the draw, most gunners are afraid, as they should be.

      thinking that arsenal are going to out-possess barça is just lunacy, unfortunately the possession game that arsenal plays in england does not equal the one barça plays in spain and europe to great success. this will be evidenced in both legs.

      its going to be one helluva two matches, but one thing is for sure, wenger will not try and play with barça. he’ll try and shut it down, give away possession and counter, just as he has in the past when arsenal approached the latter stages in europe. keep in mind that was against teams like juventus. against barça? yeah i think that trend will continue, especially since this team is even more inconsistent and inexperienced than the 2006 squad. he attempted to play against united last year… what happened?

      good luck to all gunners and cules, i hope for a grand spectacle!

  9. les
    March 19, 2010

    campbell is slow, but he has a 100% scoring record against you. lets be honest both attacks are fantastic, but both back fours are not great. We got the better full back you got a better keeper. We’ve NEVER beaten you. Its going to be fun

    • Boat Forever
      March 19, 2010

      Sagna is no way better than Alves… Clichy isn’t better than Abidal either!! This is coming from a huge supporter of Clichy and an even big critic of Alves. Yeah Sagna is mildly better than Alves ‘defensively’ but then Abidal is light years ahead of Clichy in that department.!!

  10. Hector
    March 19, 2010

    We have 309 readers online right now!?!?!

    Incredible. Once again, NewsNow + Arsenal in a post title = INVASION!

    This is going to be a fun next few weeks.

  11. Dublin Gunner
    March 19, 2010

    hey guys, irish arsenal supporter here, van persie is out till may so he wont be playing against barca, i think it will be tough game for both sides but it will be one off the best games, both teams will be attacking, the game will be played the way it should be,
    united will be waiting in the final for the winner

    • stowe
      March 19, 2010

      don’t forget about what inter did to chelsea, the winner of this isn’t guaranteed making the final

  12. Odiegooner, 9ja
    March 19, 2010

    Couldn’t be more happy with this draw. Its time for d 2006 final revenge. Boys, cut up a new arse holes for these spanish guys. Teach them english-footballing lessons which poor man. U couldn’t do. Then bring on mourinho’s inter n make up an all-english final. Arsenal to beat barca in both legs. Regardless. We’ve got Cesc, Arshavin, Gallas(due back), verminator, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Diaby, SONG, eduardo, RVP(due back). Sorry, barca are in for an unforgettable hell of a long night.

    • Bojan
      March 19, 2010

      you poor sould. i pity you. Let me remember you that arsenal is barely in the race for the CL. It can barely make to UEFA cup. So don’t get to optimistic please. Be realistic, you are facing the next generation of football phenomena. Barca is playing football that has never been seen until now. So don’t get too much happy. Just wait and see how your net gets filled with fantastic goals Viva La Barca

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        What a fool you are, we have scored more goals than anyone in Europe, you have been shaky in the CL. Arshavin and Cesc will educate you about total football. Realism is you are not the same team anymore look how Real have closed the gap on you

        • Andrew
          March 19, 2010

          Look how Real have choked in the clutch and how Barca win when it counts.

        • arse
          March 19, 2010

          I’m an Arsenal fan but I gotta say you really are a loon as your name indicates. We ain’t Chelsea or United. Show some humility and respect to the other team ffs.

      • Hugo
        March 19, 2010

        Football that’s never been seen before? I think Holland/Ajax of the 70s (to name just two of MANY teams) would argue with that point!

        And your point about the UEFA cup makes no sense. I’m assuming English isn’t you first language (understandable- this is a Barca blog!), but are you talking about Arsenal strugling to make the UEFA cup spots in the league? We’re 3 points off the top of the league actually and- United and Chelsea aside- have dominated every team we’ve played. The reason the beat us is because they had the right mix of power and skill, Barca don’t have that and I have every confidence we’ll take this tie. It’s going to be two great games though!

        Oh, and to the person who said Cesc will either be great or anonymous- just watch, you’re going to find out why he’s our captain at just 22!

        • Sal
          March 19, 2010

          “And your point about the UEFA cup makes no sense. I’m assuming English isn’t you first language (understandable- this is a Barca blog!) . English is my THIRD language and BTW it is STRUGGLING not strugling and it is YOUR first language NOT YOU first language. Barça vs. Arsenal is going to be very entertaining . However it is a match up of The Real Thing vs. The Wannabe . Arsene Wenger has been coaching for 30 years and he has NEVER won anything in Europe . I doubt if anything will change this year either !!

      • Tak
        March 19, 2010

        HAHAHAHAHAHAH. What an arrogant moron. Wenger was engineering the beautiful game before Guardiola even had a career! Spanish twats!

        • Areign
          March 19, 2010

          and yet in 1 year Guardiola accomplished more than Wenger dreamed of in the past 30 years.

  13. 'holic
    March 19, 2010

    Come to see Eboue

    You’ll only come to see Eboue

    Get ready to vote out Laporta after Cesc has shown you the way to go.

    • vicsoc8
      March 19, 2010

      Please don’t make comments like that if you have no idea what you’re talking about

      • cescy
        March 19, 2010

        Ah but he does know what he’s talking about, barca like realM have the same short sightedness in the boardroom. When we beat you, the knee jerk reaction we have all come to expect will surely be to sack pep. Lets just say it will come as no surprise.

        Be afraid, we are gunning for revenge, and we have the ability to exact it. Barca are a very good side but you are not invincible, in fact, if the arrogance of some of your fans is refelcted by the players then its advantage arsenal already.

        • vicsoc8
          March 19, 2010

          We are having elections at the end of the year. Laporta can’t be voted out at this point. Like I said, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about

          • FabIsGone20102011
            March 20, 2010

            Hahaha … can’t believe there Arsenal fans!

            Cescy – Say my name, cause you know its true!

  14. les
    March 19, 2010

    As arsenal are the biggest club in the world Hector, it causes more hits. One day you might be as great as us……

  15. Bojan
    March 19, 2010

    wow somehow i knew Arsenal will be our opponent. But nothing to worry. Van Persie is injured and arsenal has a weak defence. Only to fear is the attack witch i know it will be destroyed. The Messi(ah) as always will decide the crucial moments of the game and man, i get scared when i think of the barca’s fury that is showing on the last few games. Brace yourself Arsenal here comes the mighty Barca. I pity you. Viva LA Barca.

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      And you have a great defence dream on, your defence is past it, slow and old

      • Jake
        March 19, 2010

        old? we have alves-puyol-pique-abidal. nice one. puyol is the only one that could be considered old there, and he is still rated amongst the best defenders in the world. pique is like 22 for christ’s sake.

        • Tak
          March 20, 2010

          Im sorry but your defence is dyer, don’t think you have a solid rock at the back, we all know about your “we will score more than you” philosophy, your FB’s push too far up the wings in that 433 and if you don’t give our attack respect, we will just crush you on the breaks.

          • FabIsGone20102011
            March 20, 2010

            Like you did against Man U and Chelsea?? .. ha ha

  16. Cesc Blanc
    March 19, 2010

    tough tough game, but hopefully, we will handle it somehow.

  17. Jose
    March 19, 2010

    AAhhhh yessss, Arsenal fans!!! Please keep it coming!!! YOUR HATE IS LIKE A WARM RAIN UPON MY WEATHERED BROW!!

    😛 But seriously, let it all out boys. Please please, we want to hear it all right now 😉

      • Jose
        March 19, 2010

        Better to have them in for this one post than seeping in for the next two weeks 😛

        • March 19, 2010

          If the strategy works, great. But I have a feeling they will actually be back *more* if we egg them on. Swallow your pride, let the players on the pitch do the talking.

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      Hate is a bit strong, it’s call competition, if you consider it hate then you need to lie down and calm down

      • Jose
        March 19, 2010

        lol, not at all, man, I find trash talk fun (when both sides have their heads on right). The “brow” phrase is actually a reference to a somewhat obscure comedy skit, but I can’t find it on youtube right now.

  18. Dazza
    March 19, 2010

    Cannot wait!! Hopefully Henry will score a few own goals. You can take Henry out of Arsenal, but you cannot take the Arsenal out of Henry! In all seriousness, may the best team win. Either Messi will rape our dodgy defence and the spanish waiter or Cesc and Arshavin will run rings around Puyol. Mouthwatering!!

    • barca96
      March 19, 2010

      you guys, go back to your own forums or blogs.
      or just go down to the local pub.

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        Have you ever been to a game at the Nou Camp?, I have and I go to all to Arsenal home and away games that’s support, not armchair support

        • barca96
          March 19, 2010

          gooner, im staying half -way around the world in a 3rd world country. i think staying up till 3am watching on cable or stream is good enough for me.have fun!

          • cescy
            March 19, 2010

            So you base yoru opinion on watching a grainy stream. Jog on numpty and let someone who has a valid opinion do the talking. I say again, Barca’s arrogance will be their undoing. The fans and the board are so up their own arsenals that it will surely affect the players. Learn some humility. In fact dont worry, we will teach you some…

          • Ethan
            March 19, 2010

            this is what u arsenal fans still dont get, u dont have to go to the camp nou to be a real supporter. that is why our club is more than a club, and not only that, but why we are far greater and bigger of a club. the reality of the situation is we do have a better team. you also have a wonderful team filled with great young talent, the only problem is, our talent and play is better. your arguments that our team isnt the same from last season, well let me tell u, we are fire storming into form right now at the perfect time. Arsenal will be dominated by a superior side, and i have watched every big game you have played this year, and it wont take much from pep to know how to take you down. It is unfortunate that you have to play at home first, bc that is really what is going to have this tie decided. and for the record, learn what it means to be a real supporter of your club. i’ve been to the camp nou for league and champions league games 2-3 times a season for the past 5 years, and just because i have had that privilege, does not make me any more of a fan than my fellow cules, u moron. AND seriously, nobody here wants FABREGAS. honestly. he wouldnt make our starting lineup, so why waste money on him. you can keep him, and we can keep on winning trophies while Wenger still tries to figure out where he went wrong. Visça Barça!

        • stowe
          March 19, 2010

          does arsenal not have any fans in foreign countries? i thought they were the biggest club in the world

          • looneygooner
            March 19, 2010

            Typical response from a plastic armchair supporter

    • Eklavya
      March 19, 2010

      “You can take Henry out of Arsenal, but you cannot take the Arsenal out of Henry!”

      Hmmm, I wonder if this applies for Cesc 😀

      • Ethan
        March 19, 2010

        no, bc cesc is a cule at heart, so that saying would really be, u can take cesc out of barca, but u cant take being a true blooded catalan raised to be a true cule your whole life out of a catalan(cesc). word.

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        how! you let Cesc go, it is Arsenal who have made Cesc who he is today, not Barca.

      • Tak
        March 20, 2010

        How many times lads! We made Henry the player he once was, he wasn’t a gooner when he came, and now he is a gooner through and through. It was he who once said “Once a gooner, you will always be a gooner”.

        Cesc is ours, he is not yours, his heart is Arsenal!

        • Ethan
          March 20, 2010

          u obviously know nothing about culture and family in catalonia. no english futbol team would ever make a catalan born, barca raised player, loyal to arsenal over being a cule for life, like he is. wait till u see where his real loyalty lies, and we will be here to console u when u run to us crying.

  19. Jamie England
    March 19, 2010

    I can’t wait for this!! Van Persie has a chance of being fit for the return leg unless Mr Wenger pulls a suprise and hes involved earlier! Gallas is more than likely out of the 1st leg, maybe involved in the second.

  20. Dublin Gunner
    March 19, 2010

    these barca fans are yanks!! what do they no about football?? there just like united fans, support the team that win the champ league, well at least next year they will support the gunners!

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2010

      What do you KNOW about grammar?
      And please don’t compare us to United fans.

    • vicsoc8
      March 19, 2010

      I may not know about football, but I do know about homophones.

  21. adal
    March 19, 2010

    Last time we beat Arsenal, Henry chose to stay in the club for another season. This time if we beat Arsenal, will Cesc do the same??

    • AA23
      March 19, 2010

      Actually, if we beat you will Pep find North London attractive when he runs down his contract next year? I can’t think of a better successor to Wenger.

  22. Freddie
    March 19, 2010

    I am so glad we have barcelona – lets see who can play the best football on the day – I would rather play against a team who plays, rather than a team who trys to stop you from playing.
    Nobody is unbeatable – ask real madrid

    • BL
      March 20, 2010

      just watch, you’ll park it and counter just like everyone else with any thought for any chance at survival against this barça team. if arsenal attempts to play open football against this lot they’ll be sliced apart. wenger knows this and once the ball is rolling you’ll see it too.

      • Tak
        March 20, 2010

        Haha you don’t realise Wenger is a master of this game. If you play openly against us we will slice you apart. Period.

        We aren’t your team who will happilly try and stop you from playing your football and roll over late-game. We are the ones who will show you just how beatable you are.

        • BL
          March 20, 2010

          wenger is such a master he hasn’t won anything for 6 years.

  23. cesc-lisious
    March 19, 2010

    The arsenal shall prevail, mark my words. Etoo is no longer there, Barca you are done. Fab to score a hatrick and by the way Eboue to mark Messi exactly in the same way he did to Ronaldinho. Messi wont have a sniff of the game. Betterstill Clichy will show you how to defend at very high speed. Vermaelen and Sagna will not take any nonsense.

    Bendtner, Diaby, Song and Campbell will be physical on you lot. Puyol is gonna poopoo himself on the sight of a MR WALCOTT.

    • stowe
      March 19, 2010

      DIABY…. physical? since when? sorry, but that’s what all the arsenal fans complain about at arsenalmania, that he isn’t physical enough. will be interesting to see how bendtner does against barca

  24. j
    March 19, 2010

    yeah right crush arsenal yo must havin laugh. you only one the champions league because the ref was a barca fan

  25. les
    March 19, 2010

    Jose, it goes up on newsnow. And as for us being vile to you, thats untrue. We hate La porta (unsetlling hleb, henry and trying to with cesc) and the spanish press, but as messi said, we play the same football. any fan of football love’s to watch our two teams. If we hate any1 its those lucky mancs. fcs we supported you beating manure last year. Enjoy the games, cos they should be great

    • Zlatanator
      March 19, 2010

      I’m pretty sure Arsenal were happy to unload Henry, especially at the price we paid. He was rather stagnant that last season with Arsenal.

    • Jose
      March 19, 2010

      Yeah, haha. I hope none of the regulars tries to get into a shouting match with our new found friends 😛

    • barca96
      March 19, 2010

      ramzi, i read in one of your posts that you don’t think that
      yaya-xavi-iniesta is not the perfect combination.
      what is then your preferred midfield?
      love that post btw even though it’s very long!

  26. adal
    March 19, 2010

    Looks like the spiting contest has already begun..

  27. vicsoc8
    March 19, 2010

    Unfortunately, this place is going to be almost unreadable as long as this post is up. Here’s to hoping Bayern can steal one against Man United.

  28. Keano
    March 19, 2010

    Arsenal are just poor mans barca- they copied our style and this season tried to imitate our formation. But I suppose imitation is the best form of flattery. Sol Campbell would’t turn in Heathrow. When Arsenal win titles to match Barca then you arsenal fans can talk. (Look a post without mentioning Cesc or Merida)

    • cescy
      March 19, 2010

      Keano thats a real spanish sounding name…i smell pre-pubescent glory hunter. Grow up and then people might actually care about yoru opinin, until then we will let our football do the talking…last two games you have been pretty good, but before that? Average. You are not unbeatable kiddo, and you will soon get to see that for yoruself. If yoru allowed to stay up late that is

      • Keano
        March 19, 2010

        Im supporting barca since the days of ronaldo 96/97(around the same time arsenal decided to develop a philosophy you plank (1 nil to the Arsenal ring any bells, probably not for you)- check your spelling its ‘your opinion’ although your probably writing your comments off your schools computer when you should be in English class.

        • cescy
          March 19, 2010

          Lol good comeback kiddo, i take it your not spanish then seeing as your giving out English lessons. Hell, i bet you live in hounslow and walk around permanently swapping between your barca and your manure shirt. Glory hunter.

          • Keano
            March 19, 2010

            No correct great observation skills on my name not being spanish- about as spanish as your ‘cescy’ (which to be honest sounds a tad homo) is English. But I’m not Spanish or Catalan- thats the beauty of supporting an a club such as barca as they were established by foreigners- still thou they are not as international as Arsenal- does walcott or Ramsey even get a run– never mind don’t forget tonights homework spellings ‘your’ and ‘opinion’ write 3 times in copy each.Good lad. Perhaps your in an internet cafe anyway I won’t waste your money, your times prob up.

          • Andrew
            March 19, 2010

            On the matter of grammar, I think both of you (especially Keano) needs to learn the difference between your and you’re before you start criticizing each other’s grammar.

        • Tak
          March 20, 2010

          Keano you need to take a look at grammar yourself. You’re clearly uneducated.

    • AA23
      March 19, 2010

      Barca have leveled off, Arsenal are on the rise. Chelsea in decline, Liverpool in a shambles, Madrid spinning their wheels. Your 4-3-3 has worked a treat for us this year. Thanks for inventing it. Oh, and we’ve actually outscored all of Europe including yourselves, and in a tougher league (Ahem). We’ve won plenty of titles and will start doing so again soon. This year might be a year or two too early, but then again it might be a year too late for your squad.

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      the style we try to perfect is actually based on the Ajax team you dick, our style has been since Wenger came here 11 years ago when you were and still are in the shadow of RM

      • Blow-Grenade
        March 19, 2010

        Keep trying to perfect the style …. the perfection will seem far from the mark when Arsenal meet Barca.

  29. Keano
    March 19, 2010

    ps dont be counting gallas hes been dreadful since leaving chelsea

    • AA23
      March 19, 2010

      You clearly haven’t been paying attention.

    • Happy Gooner
      March 20, 2010

      Keano Keano Keano,
      You really haven’t watched much of Arsenal this season have you?
      Until his injury Gallas has been great this season!

  30. Liza
    March 19, 2010

    I understand Arsenal fans coming over here, but why do we have to get the ones who don’t add anything??

    It’s a tough draw for us– our side has the tougher teams (Arsenal, Inter), though I guess that’s debatable… I have faith though!!

    • Jose
      March 19, 2010

      Usually the first off the mark are the more adamant “fan-boyish” types.. Once we’re actually near the match date, we’ll likely get some good discussion with visiting readers. That’s the dream at least.

      Hopefully as part of Isaiah’s preview he can get an Arsenal blogger to come on and do one of those great interviews that this site has had for Real Madrid and Valencia!

    • Helge
      March 19, 2010

      Both quarter and possible semi: away first, that’s some good news 🙂

  31. y2k156
    March 19, 2010

    It will be a fantastic match up. I look forward to the games. After all, if we have to win it, better do it hard way:).

    Don’t like all the needless comments though. Don’t Arsenal guys have their own forum somewhere. Intelligent comments are welcome but lot of worthless bits floating around. Sad.

  32. March 19, 2010

    Actually all are welcome here. Both sides play the beautiful game, and I suspect that fans of one side watch the other. I know that Arsenal is far and away my favorite non-Barca side. It will be a good tie.

    Dublin Gunner, many of us are indeed American, but this site draws from all over the globe. There might be some new fans here, but some of us have been Barca socis for years.

    Football is a global game. Please don’t let a fan’s country of origin presume knowledge, or lack therof.

    • Sairax
      March 19, 2010

      Hey Kxevin. I am an Arsenal fan, but I also enjoy Barcelona. I pretty much cheer for you guys if Arsenal isn’t playing and I catch as many games as possible. (Oh and that was sweet when Madrid dropped out of the CL 🙂 ) Anyway, this was a draw I did not want. I respect and admire Barca a lot and I soaked in all 6 trophies last year in awe. I visit this blog all the time and enjoy all the articles from you, Isaiah, and the rest. I’m going to stay out of the arguing about whether Arsenal can beat Barca or if Cesc is going to leave us. I hope that we have 2 legs of great football and that if Arsenal don’t win, that you guys do. Also hope we both win our leagues! Keep up the great work here at BFB 🙂

      • majatt
        March 19, 2010

        Sairax, I believe you represent most level headed Arsenal/Barca fans. I also hope both Barca and Arsenal win their leagues and with Unt/Cheslea still having to play Liverpool and each other there is a good chance.

      • Blow-Grenade
        March 19, 2010

        Hey Sairax, you set the tone for rest of your gunner fans to follow!!! A class act!!!!

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      Football is global you are right but supporting the team you were born within 2 miles of stands firm

      • BL
        March 20, 2010

        you are lucky, some of us weren’t born near any clubs, in far away countries where football is popular but not glamorous and our parents aren’t from fashionable footballing countries but we still play and love the game. barça is a global inspiration to many people including myself, the city, the culture, the catalan people truly speak to me as a person and thats why i love barça. mes que un club!

  33. Hector
    March 19, 2010

    We will have future posts on this but its a very common misconception that Arsenal and Barca are the same.

    Just because teams like to play possession does not mean they are exactly alike. Wenger adapted a few elements from last season’s Barca to this season’s Arsenal but they still have plenty of differences in addition to Pep himself implenenting changes this season.

    • Jnice
      March 19, 2010

      “but its a very common misconception that Arsenal and Barca are the same.”

      That’s what I’m saying…

      We don’t play the same exact style at all.

  34. islington gooner
    March 19, 2010

    Ha Ha keano…Go back to supporting the scum you mug.

    Make me laugh you Barca fans…Just like Manu a bunch of glory hunting muppets.

    Come on Arsenal,show them bigmouths a proper team.

  35. Helge
    March 19, 2010

    First of all, I would have preferred to face CSKA, OL or Girondins. Arsenal is on my third-to-last position. This could potentially become an insane tie with football à la Barcelona-Atlético – wonderful to watch, but not a free win at all for either side.

    But what the heck is the case with ManU? Another easy draw!
    I still have a bet running that CR will be this year’s CL top scorer (which could give me 479€), I wouldn’t mind if Messi still tops him (because then, we will most-likely defend our title and that’s more valuable than any money in the world), but now I fear that Rooney does the job… the defence of Bayern is actually worse than the one of OL, I expect OL to win the French battle, and they might be a tough nut to crack. But Bayern’s defence is no good:(

    May the CL winner be the winner of this tie

  36. Andrew
    March 19, 2010

    1. I think it’s sad that there are more Arsenal fans in here than Barcelona fans.
    2. I thought Barcelona was a well-respected team world wide. I think we respect most other teams around the world (save Real Madrid), so it surprises me that Arsenal fans are so hostile against the Cules.

    Arsenal plays the best football in the EPL and I think this will be more trouble for us than Mancheser United.

    • cescy
      March 19, 2010

      Andrew, i will think again about my earlier comment about barca fans having no humility, given your thoughtful post. But the vast majority of barca posters on the arsenal forums that i go on come on and brag about how they are the best and they will get cesc and blah blah blah and it paints a bad picture. Thats where the hostility (i speak for myself) comes from, its the same arrogance that Manu and RM fans display, which is grating. As a footballing team, i have the utmost respect, but i stand by my earlier comment that you are not invincible, and i think it will be a fantastic exhibition of football. May the best team win.

      • Helge
        March 19, 2010

        But cescy, this is NOT a usual barcelona blog. We are all very humble and reasonable here. Maybe the main reason why we’ve won many titles last year is because Pep teached the team to show humility and take every opponent serious, take every match step-by-step.
        And also, the majority of us are Barça fans since 6 or more ages. So right now I might sound a bit cocky, but only because I have to admit that this is the best blog and the best community I’ve seen on the web. Still, we don’t consider our club as superior and you won’t see any of us flaming in Arsenal forums. Some of us (including myself) visit Real Madrid forums, for instance after a heavy loss, to show them – in a respectful way – that they suck. But they are the exception^^

      • Andrew
        March 19, 2010

        I just read all your posts, and while you’re a bit aggressive, I agree with you, we are not invincible, as many opponents have proved. As for Barcelona fans on the Arsenal forums, I cannot defend them. I can only say here, Barca fans are humble. In fact, one of the most drawing aspects of Barcelona to me is the non-pretentious-ness of their fans (at least here) and players (the fact that Alves and Busquets are the only players that dive on Barca make me proud to be a fan as well). If you read through the posts on this site, you’ll see the comments and articles are consistently considerate and professional in regard to other teams. This is the first time we’ve had reader opposition, which I think is great, but even before this, you will not see much trash-talking against other teams (again, except Real Madrid or EE (Evil Empire), as we call them. I agree, this game couldn’t be better, especially due to the fact that my roommate is the biggest Gunner fan I know (our room is full of red). Thanks for writing and good luck.

        • cescy
          March 19, 2010

          Andrew thank you, and sorry for tarring you all with the same brush, and for my earlier tone. That is a human error of judgement on my part, and having read through all the posts here, i appreciate that the arrogance referred to in my earlier posts is not prevalent here, and is by far in the minority. I do particularly like the irony pointed out by viscoc8 below! As i said, i do have respect for Barca as a footballing institution, and watch Barca when i can because i am a fan of good football. Good luck to you too. Time to head back to my familiar territory!

      • vicsoc8
        March 19, 2010

        Will all due respect, it’s sort of ironic that you are annoyed by Barcelona fans that come into your forums and act arrogantly, while it is our little community that is being overrun right now.

      • Zlatanator
        March 19, 2010

        And honestly, you shouldn’t confuse fans attitudes with that of the Spanish media.

  37. majatt
    March 19, 2010

    The number of delusional fans on here today is amazing.

    I like the draw, I would like to see Bordeaux go through vs Lyon. Bayern/United I have no preference but I think United can win that tie. Inter CSKA will be interesting, I think it may be the surprise tie as CSKA have been performing well and trips to Russia are not easy.

    Barca v Arsenal, my oh my. How long have I been waiting for this? As a footballing spectacle it will be amazing or a bloody mess.

    Arsenal has more mobility all across the pitch so if they adopt the high pressure system that has plagued us this season they could be very effective at breaking up our game. Conversely if Barca play with energy the same will happen to them so they game could lack rhythm and be scrappy in the midfield.

    I feel the wing play will be key: Alves and Arshavin (if he is played on the wing) could decide the game. This is also a game where Ibra could come in super handy dropping into the midfield to help with possession and on Set Plays.

    I’m really looking forward to this.

  38. Darkknight
    March 19, 2010

    Look at how insecure all these ARSE-ANAL fans are, they infest the blogs of other teams whenever it mentions them, Barcelona would cream you losers.

    You met a big teams twice this year and both times you were taught a footballing lesson, especially against United!

    As for Febregas, you took him from Barcelona, it is a bit hypocritical to complain if they try to do the same…what goes around comes around.

    I am not a Barcelona fan (United Fan) but when I visit a interesting blog I don’t think it is right to post rude comments directed at the blog’s team.

    • Steve
      March 19, 2010

      Hahahahahahaha You said “ARSE-ANAL”!!! Woweee, you’re so super-cool and clever and ace and stuff!!!

      I’m shocked that you’re a United fan…

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      Darkknight do you actually know where old trashyard is? glory hunter

      • Darkknight
        March 20, 2010

        I see you had nothing better to say than the old drivel, you know everything I said is true.

        2 Finals and One win in the last 2 CL’s…remind me again how many time you guys have won this competition to make you so cocky?

  39. jordi™
    March 19, 2010

    Should we start Thierry in london? I dont doubt his quality, but emotionally these games are always hard.Villa for example is always a mess when they play sporting in gijon.But i guess we should put out the best team possible and he’ll be good for breaking their high line.

    • majatt
      March 19, 2010

      I think it depends on Pep’s tactical approach. Does he play Keita in the middle and Iniesta up front to try to hold more possession? Does he play the 4-2-3-1 with Busi/Yaya, Messi in the middle and Iniesta/Pedro on the wings? If so Henry up front as facilitator or Ibra up front as destroyer?

      Will arsenal play 5 across the middle to stiffle distribution? In which case Henry could be less effective.

      It will be interesting to say the least 😀

  40. Lefty2Gunz
    March 19, 2010

    This is my first visit to this site….found it on newsnow. I have to say as an Arsenal fan, Barcelona are one of my favourite teams. I think they are superb and have always watched them. I remember the days of Couto, Nadal, Ronaldo, Rivaldo etc. I remember when when Van Gaal was manager and he was one game away from the sack and Xavi won the game for Barca 1-0 and they went on to win the league that year. I got a lot of time for Barca.

    I always hope for Barca to win in El Classico, never liked Real too much (flashy gits!). Too be honest I didn’t want Barca but now we have them we have to focus on stopping the best player in the world….Messi. He is sensational. I know we have big hitters as well though. We have to keep a clean sheet at the Emirates, that’s where Arsenal can win or lose the tie.

    All I know is that both sides will go for it and that’s what football is about. Don’t worry boys, we don’t play like Chelsea!

    And IF we lose to you….then there’s no other team I would lose to (but we won’t!)

    • cliveee
      March 19, 2010

      thanks for visiting and posting!

      this tie will produce the real best football in this world.

    • stowe
      March 19, 2010

      thanks, it will be a pleasure to watch this game. i hate chelsea because those two games were so boring except for the end with the iniestazo. i really hope that arsenal wins the epl and that they are focused tomorrow against the hammers

  41. Tyler
    March 19, 2010

    Let it be known, I’m a huge fan of Arsenal. Really they are the only premiere league team I can watch, and I love a lot of the players. But let’s be realistic here. Arsenal has not won against a top tier team this season. Don’t believe me:

    8-29-2009: Man Utd. 2 – 1 Arsenal

    9-12-2009: Man City 4 – 2 Arsenal

    11-29-2009 Arsenal 0 – 3 Chelsea

    12-2-2009 Man City 3 – 0 Arsenal (carling cup)

    1-31-2010 Arsenal 1 – 3 Man Utd.

    2-7-2010 Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

    Anyone notice a trend? The numbers don’t lie. Not even a single victory against top rated teams in their own league. We are better than all those opponents, and like I said before: The only team that can beat us is ourselves.

    Much respect to all the gunners, I look forward to meeting you in the quarter finals, and may the winner of the tie go on to the final!

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      We beat Villa Liverpool twice,Spurs Everton all consydered top tier sides check your facts, Manure lost to Liverpool twice last year, lost to us and still won the league, it’s over 38 games not a handful, look where we are now.

      • BL
        March 20, 2010

        all due respect but villa is not a top tier side in europe, liverpool are dreadful this year, and spurs… everton… again not top tier european sides. i believe this point above still stands, you have a fairly terrible record against the best teams in england.

  42. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    and this is why I was hoping not to get Arsenal. The Cesc silliness. sheesh.

  43. Olly_gooner
    March 19, 2010

    I’m really pleased about this draw, we are all going to be in for some magical football from both sides IMO.

  44. Pete the First
    March 19, 2010

    Hey Kev, you’ve hit the sewer pipe that is NewsNow. The Arsenal are now flowing to block it up!

    Looking forward to a good game. I sat amongst the Barca crowd in 1999 at the Nou Camp for the 1-1 draw. Also the final 2006. Need a bit of revenge……..

    Seems you Yanks are starting to pick up the real game…Take me out to the real ball game…

  45. Kxevin
    March 19, 2010

    I think that as the many Arsenal fans visit this space, you will find that we aren’t like a lot of Web joints. Here, we’re generally respectful, nice (usually) and are bereft of the kinds of flaming, squabbles and other things that detract from the quality of discourse on other sites.

    So again, welcome, and good luck in the upcoming tie. I think that just as you all think that your side is going to win, we think that our side is going to. We wouldn’t be true supporters if we didn’t beleive thus, right?

    Thanks for the kind words, goonerinbarca, cairax, cescy and Lefty2Gunz. We’ll try to keep things civil here, because each side’s fans have insights into their respective sides that we might not over here, so I think that it’s of value to keep a respectful discourse going.

  46. Kxevin
    March 19, 2010

    Oh, and BS.com is WAY off about Abidal, who is well into the final phase of his recovery, and did some field work today. Not sure where they got him being out for the season. Just checked Sport and EMD. Not a peep about that.

    • jordi™
      March 19, 2010

      They also have

      “The Opposition – CSKA Moscow
      Formation: 4-3-3 – Capable of playing fast, fluid, attacking football that has seen them branded ‘Barcelona Lite”

      It makes you wonder if they have actual editors.

      • Kxevin
        March 19, 2010

        Actually, I stumbled upon a bit of that CSKA/Sevilla match when CSKA was in full attacking flow, and I have to say that I had to do a double-take and check the jerseys. They looked good. Lots of one-touch and that same kind of flowing in waves thing. Don’t think he was that far off in the description.

        • jordi™
          March 19, 2010

          Yes i agree CSKA play some nice stuff, and espcially that kid necid.And Their keeper is great but the thing is BS.com have that lttle snippet in our article vs the gunners, as in CSKA is our opponent :D.Should have pasted the entire thing 😀

          “The Opposition – CSKA Moscow
          Formation: 4-3-3 – Capable of playing fast, fluid, attacking football that has seen them branded ‘Barcelona Lite’
          Strength: Possession play dictated by the perceptive passing of Cesc Fabregas
          Weakness: Desire to play football at all times can leave the defence and suspect goalkeeper Manuel Almunia vulnerable

        • nobody
          March 19, 2010

          That should be a Typo i think, which is very common there. It talks about opponent of Barcelona which should be Arsnel that plays the mentioned style.

  47. Corrine
    March 19, 2010

    WOWWWWWW

    well for one thing we’ll see some entertaining legs

    on paper this looks like a good tie but i’m getting a headache thinking about how the fans will clash for this one

  48. vicsoc8
    March 19, 2010

    My brother is a gooner. The tensions are going to be very high in our family for the next couple of weeks.

  49. Eklavya
    March 19, 2010

    I find it hilarious, that every time there’s a word about Cesc in any post, this blog increases in population.

    Thankfully, no regular here is – er – “brave” enough to reply to them 🙂

  50. March 19, 2010

    Arsenal could very well win the game at the Emirates. I think you have to say Barca is a better side, but they are not the team they were last year. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Man U is a one-man team with Rooney and a collection of excellent players, then Barca is also with Messi. We’ve been collectively slapping our foreheads about Xavi recently, and Iniesta it must be said has come off the boil. Most importantly, I don’t think Barca is very good away from home.

    On the other hand, Arsenal, constantly dealing with injuries and putting out a new lineup every. single. week, continues to make it a challenge in the Prem. Without having the advantage of any kind of solidity in the lineup or even in the positions that individual players play in, they pull out wins–sometimes really good wins.

    But. Arsenal hasn’t beaten the biggest teams this season, at home or away. They could win at home–they’re pretty good at home and have some momentum behind them–but I don’t see it being more than a goal or two. 2-0 or 2-1, and a Barca win is far from out of the question.

    In any case, I think Barca will roll them at the Camp Nou

    • cliveee
      March 19, 2010

      according to your prediction, i’d like to see fabregas to score that goal against us. and i wanna see how he will celebrate. or not celebrate. that will tell a story.

      and yea, i don’t think bendtner will score. i will throw up too if he does.

  51. stephen
    March 19, 2010

    I like this draw, I think it will prove that we can beat ANYONE.

    Arsenal is my favorite english team, and so for me this is spectacular! Still want barça to win of course.

  52. morrow
    March 19, 2010

    Keano, you are wrong we have been playing Wengerball even before Rikaard’s time and Guardiola spent time at Arsenal Colney before becoming Barca’s manager and yes 433 is only this season but with a twist bringing Cesc closer to goal.After Arsenal, I love Barca.

    • March 19, 2010

      But Barcelona were playing this way when Wenger was still crawling in his pampers. (Michels era).

      Me-not-interested-in-this-firework-party. But just for the records.

    • Keano
      March 19, 2010

      Does the names johan Cruff or Rinus Michels(in the reverse order) mean anything to you????

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        Cruff is Dutch he didn’t learn his trade at Barcelona glory hunter

        • March 19, 2010

          Cruff is Dutch? What does that have to do with him coaching Barcelona based on that style.

          And Arsen is french…How stupid.

  53. Jose
    March 19, 2010

    I am happy with the draw, not because I think it’ll be easy, but these will be great matches. As has been echoed here, Arsenal are the only EPL team I really like, and always hope they go far (not this time though, haha).

    I’m glad we are at home in the second leg.

    Other notes: Happy that there’ll definitely be a Ligue 1 team in the semis. Inter need to watch out for CSKA. Not looking forward to a Mourinho re-match.

  54. Kxevin
    March 19, 2010

    If Henry continues his resurgence, I’ll be a lot more comfortable. These past couple of matches have shown that really, what he brings to us when he’s on form (or even close) and on the pitch can’t be replicated by anyone that we have on the roster.

    We also need Ibrahimovic to get his shit together. Now.

    • March 19, 2010

      I predict that Henry will be more decisive in the second leg. Unless if he plays in the center in the 1st leg.

      Yet,its still too early to know. It all depends on the form of players like Keita, Yaya, Busquets, and Iniesta (beside Henry of course) when its time to pick the selection.

      I am calm about this one. As long as we do our job properly.

    • Bill
      March 19, 2010

      I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually more confident going into the business end of the season, with a resurgent Henry. He and Ibra can now switch positions frequently, which means Henry’s intelligent movement and better communication with Messi, Xavi and Iniesta will bring great dynamism upfront that we have been lacking for a while.

      • March 19, 2010

        I am with you. But can we afford not starting Keita in London? If Ibra learn to open to channels till then, I can see him starting with Henry. Or else, Iniesta will be on the left so we create midfield superiority whenever needed. Not poetic, but practical. Thats what a two-legs-knock-out-competition is all about.

        At home, another story.

    • Phil
      March 19, 2010

      Agreed and I’d also feel a lot better with Abidal back on the field. Maxwell has been improving, but we need Abidal’s speed and defensive ability.

  55. Tyler
    March 19, 2010

    I’m glad we drew arsenal as well, because if we end up in the final and win, I want everyone to see that we beat the best teams, and didn’t take a stroll through the park like a certain team I know (cough manu cough).

    If we beat arsenal and draw inter and beat them, it will be hard for people to say we are not the best in the world.

  56. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    I don’t mind Arsenal fans coming over but the ignorant comments are definitely unwelcome. I am a regular here though not a frequent poster, but just the same it is anoying to read some of the Arsenal postings here. It’s like having strangers rudely barge into your house without a hello or excuse me and spurt nonsense about your family. I have no doubt you Arsenal fans have encountered stupid arrogant Barca fans on other blogs and forum, just as we over here have come across both good and bad fans of your team, but that does not mean you can simply barge onto every site containing the word “Cesc” “Barca” and start posting irrespectful comments. I have you know 90% over here are levelheaded, as long as it is not EE related ha! So, check out the community of the blog/forum first next time before posting ok? sorry for the long rant!

  57. vicsoc8
    March 19, 2010

    Thoughts on the draw:

    United looks to be favorites to run through to the final. I just have a gut feeling they won’t make it. My personal preference is to see one of the French teams in the final, preferably Bordeaux.

    This is exactly the draw I didn’t want for us. Not because I don’t think we can beat Arsenal, but rather because this is the exact draw that could lead to outside influences affecting our dressing room. With the presidential election drawing closer the last thing we need is everyone in the world dealing with Cesc/Barca drama.

  58. cliveee
    March 19, 2010

    exciting draw. dream tie.

    big chance for zlatan to prove himself, and this tie will show why having him is much much better given the two teams play similar possession football.

    i have always been impressed by Song and Diaby. sometimes i almost feel like Song is playing like The Yaya. i am not the least bit surprise to see another Yaya-Busquets combo against them, but I believe it won’t happen. Xavi will still be the main microchip, and we will keep the ball longer than them, or we won’t this time??

    Abidal will be a huge huge boost to our backline, because after seeing so much maxwell’s defense, i am not confident we can count on him to defend. against los che, Pablo gave him trouble. against Stuttgart, there is one play he got skipped pass in the box and he fell down and almost caused a penalty (only to see the other player stayed on his feet), i just don’t think he can contain walcott or arshavin.

    and i really don’t think we have more arsenal fans here than barca fans. just on this particular day, arsenal fans or fans supporting both clubs would speak up more.

  59. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    Anyway, I’d be more optimistic over the tie if our other strikers start putting their shit together. Right now Messi is our only goalscorer, and Pedro! sometimes, but we need Henry’s goals. and I don’t know if Ibra is suitable to start as we really need quick players for this. A sub maybe? The only thing I am confident of, is Valdes is better than their goalkeeper. Will Xavi and Abidal get back in time for this?

    Hector can’t wait for your Arsenal Barca differences post.

  60. AnonymousGun
    March 19, 2010

    Good luck to both team.

    May the best football wins 🙂

  61. Tom
    March 19, 2010

    With the tidal wave of gooners coming in, I thought I’d throw my 2 cents in as well. I’m an Arsenal supporter first and foremost, but Barca has always been my second team, and I’ve been following this blog from back when it was on theoffside.

    As much as I would have liked an easier draw, I can’t help with salivate at the prospects of these 2 games. Although Messi vs Slo Campbell will give me nightmares in the coming days, I think we matchup decently against you, and are more than capable than scoring goals.

    Let’s hope for 2 games to remember, and I know who I’ll be cheering on to win if you guys do knock us out.

    Cheers!

  62. Bill
    March 19, 2010

    LOLOLOLOLOL! I love this! Arsenal fans invaded this space like a pack of sentinels! I actually dont mind a little ‘trash talk’ from them.

    I have a feeling Arsenal fans mostly have Barcelona as their second favorite team. After this round, they will have arsenal as their second favorite team. 🙂 This is not trash talk, it’s the truth. There is a difference in how this two teams play.

    Both teams move the ball around well, and both teams maintain possession very well. Barcelona just do it better, and more intelligently. I’m not taking anything away from arsenal, I like how they play. But there is a difference.

    Theres a reason why guys like Henry(when Ronaldinho was around, he was a bench player before Eto’o got injured), Hleb and Sylvinho find themselves on the bench in barcelona, and why Cesc & Arshavin are well adviced career-wise, to stay their ass in arsenal.

    Arsenal are very good at identifying young players and bringing them up and teaching them well, but unfortunately for them, they dont have the financial muscle to go all out for one or two expensive players who can fit their system.

    • jordi™
      March 19, 2010

      Yes Bill I love it! I’ve been reading things elsewhere such as “Fabregas will dominate our midfield”. Keeping aside the fact that he warms the bench for the cerebral “overrated” pair Xaviesta in the national team, ive watched all of arsenal’s big games the last 2 seasons and he hasnt been able to take command.He’s scored a lot of goals this season and I have a feeling he will score against us but in no way will we be chasing any ball or shadows.I actually feel if Ibra reacts well to his recent benching and gets back to playing with desire like he had at inter, he can cause them problems.Drogba has caused them a lot of problems scoring in almost every game he plays against them by imposing himself physically against them.We need the arrogant who the hell are you version of ibra(atleast the playing style) to relieve duties from the timid version we now have.

      All I’d like is that for once we start an away european game on the front foot without giving away goals.Messi has been lifting us on his shoulders recently lets hope the desire to get to Madrid will motivate them all and we wont have any injuries.

  63. Bill
    March 19, 2010

    Let me be the first to declare, with arsenals open type of play, and while everyone pays attention to Messi, I have a feeling Ibra will be a revelation and the star in this series.

  64. arsenal4ever
    March 19, 2010

    by bye barca!!! Henry will cry, heheh!!!!

    We ve got Cesc Fabregas, we ve got Cesc Fabregas, we ve got we ve got, Cesc Fabregas!!!! We will win at home and draw against you so bye bye!!!

    Championsleague 2010 Winner Arsenal!!!!

    • cliveee
      March 19, 2010

      can football make me sound younger too?

  65. Mike
    March 19, 2010

    Look at all the gunners hopelessly underestimating Barca. Barca is the better team but nobody should be too confident since football is unpredictable. Hopefully Barca’s form seems to be improving lately.

  66. cliveee
    March 19, 2010

    before i understand how football club works, i always thought arsene wenger is the owner of arsenal because of his name… lame, i know.
    but how much of a coincidence can that be?!?! did any jokes come out of it, gunners?

  67. Bill
    March 19, 2010

    By the way, do you guys realize this is exactly the kind of draw real madrid were dreaming about? A chance for Ronaldo to beat Man U in the semi’s, and then real to demolish Barcelona at the Bernabeu….Ouch! couldn’t resist.

  68. stowe
    March 19, 2010

    good to see some of the rants calmed down and our visitors are starting to post intelligently, i hope it stays that way. and fcbfan, i know that ibra isn’t super quick but could he play like drogba does against arsenal? he destroyed them in their last matchup. I still don’t know what happened to xavi, how long is he out?

  69. ElJefe
    March 19, 2010

    Not super happy to be drawing the 2nd best team we could have drawn against. But at least its not Man U, and playing a fresh talented team vs. Chelsea or Intermilan against should be alot of fun.

    I like getting the big games out of the way early. If we can’t be Arsenal now, we don’t deserve to progress or waste or time with another semifinal match. Can’t wait!!!

    Is Van Persie confirmed out? Who’s going to mark Ashavin?

  70. ArshavinTheKing
    March 19, 2010

    Tyler you’re obviously an idiot what about our 3 wins over Liverpool? If you’re counting Man City as a top team where are the scousers?

    Also, Man Utd at Old Trafford we played them off teh park and were VERY unlucky not to win let alone lose, the 2 games against Chelsea and the other against Man Utd we didn;t exactly get embarresed our overall play was usually better than them but they scored on the break EVERY time and we didn;t take our chances. Oh and losing to Man City in the Carling Cup was our YOUTH TEAM!

    8-29-2009: Man Utd. 2 – 1 Arsenal

    9-12-2009: Man City 4 – 2 Arsenal

    11-29-2009 Arsenal 0 – 3 Chelsea

    12-2-2009 Man City 3 – 0 Arsenal (carling cup)

    1-31-2010 Arsenal 1 – 3 Man Utd.

    2-7-2010 Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

    • Bill
      March 19, 2010

      Well, atleast you have moral victories on your side 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Zlatanator
      March 19, 2010

      Liverpool has been pretty terrible this year though.

      • Tyler
        March 19, 2010

        I don’t mean any disrespect, I just find those results very interesting. Not even being able to scrape out a draw against Chelsea and ManU in particular reveal to me a side that struggles when the big games come. I look forward to the March 30th though, we shall see which Arsenal team shows up, and which Barca team for that matter.

        • UNC_Arsenal
          March 29, 2010

          The difference is, those teams beat us by sitting back an absorbing pressure, then hitting us on the counter-attack, which is by far our greatest weakness. I expect Barcelona to come out and play football against us.

          I also think that Arsenal’s pace will make the difference in this tie.

  71. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    Stowe, yeah let’s hope Ibra reacts to the Stuttgart benching positively as Pep said, cause we need him.

    Just came across another Rooney Messi comparison on Daily mail, on how they have been both sensational this season. makes me laugh, cause Messi has been playing sensational every

  72. barca96
    March 19, 2010

    arsenal fans, if you guys wanna talk smack, please do it on goal.com

  73. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    *every season. Next year it will be Messi vs whoever is top scorer in EPL.

  74. jordi™
    March 19, 2010

    Just dont make the preview title “Cesc comes home”.We’ll be swarmed for sure.

    • Bill
      March 19, 2010

      actually, I predict the reviews will be titled, ‘we came, we saw, we conquered… and left with cesc’

  75. fcbfan
    March 19, 2010

    Wo, just read Arsenal have conceded 33 goals in EPL, that’s like double ours. How about their defense in Europe?

    • jordi™
      March 19, 2010

      *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSFR4I6Py8M

    • looneygooner
      March 19, 2010

      How many goals would Barcelona concede in the EPL, a lot more than us, how would Barcelona stand the test playing up north against teams like Stoke,Bolton,Blackburn, Birmingham and Sunderland teams that have kicked us every season and broken the bones of three of our players. Messi would last a month in the EPL. you wouldn’t have the stomach to play the conditions up North

  76. morrow
    March 19, 2010

    Ramzi-Keano, Michels played total football, but not at Wengerball speed, Arsene further developed the dutch concept of the game with the speed of the game in the EPL.For me the final numerical score will not really determine the winner of the game but who resorts to the physical game first loses. Incidently you did back in 2006 and Thierry had a one on one for 2-nil.Arsenal is an understated club, you would not want to historically look at it’s contributions to football. WM formation which was standard before the Brazilians 442,floodlights,TV,numbers on jerseys,names on jerseys. The only club in EPL that is not a physical location,and we are developing a model for a fiscally sustainable football club, sticking to its football principles. I live in Sweden, good luck,hoping for 216 on Sunday, my apologies if that is against your rules.

    • barca96
      March 19, 2010

      arsenal became a good football club after wenger came.
      started following arsenal because of bergkamp and then king henry.
      but i must say that wenger only started with the financial thingy a few years back and i think it started because of the lack of money from the Emirates stadium. and wenger only started buying young players a few years back as well.

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        what lack of money from the Emirates we pull in 3 million every home game, and it was Herbert Chapman who made Arsenal, check your history. we don’t buy superstars we make them

      • looneygooner
        March 19, 2010

        Lack of money is Barcelona charging 70 pounds a ticket for us Arsenal fans to go over, talk about a rip off, who needs the money now

        • Olly_Gooner
          April 5, 2010

          Unicef need the money.

          I was amazed by the quality Barca had on the day, and surprised we came back. Let’s hope the second leg is as much of a roller coaster as the first.

          Oh and Henry is a Gooner BTW, I wouldn’t play him if I were you 😉

  77. Pyro
    March 19, 2010

    Personally I think that Barca’s team looks much better than Arsenal’s. Gael Clichy is atrocious at defense. Messi will surely exploit that. Ibrahimovic if on form will give Slo and Vermaleen trouble. I like Arsenal but I’ll always be a Cule at heart. This year arsenal has flopped in the big games, both chelsea and man utd games in the EPL. Arshavin could be a threat but he will have to go against Alves who is a very pacey capable defender. Walcott is not ready to play in the big stage and in midfield Barcelona is just better, Xavi + Iniesta are far better than Cesc and Denilson. Cesc is quality but not impossible to stop. In the DM department Barca has the advantage Toure Yaya is a much more capable mid than alex song.

  78. morrow
    March 19, 2010

    Barca96, this is getting embarassing Arsenal gave structure to the game as we know it.Do you think it is by chance that Cesc does not come home and Thierry is still bound to the club after all he has won in Spain. Arsenal is not only about football or politics. Herbert Chapman built up the club and football in general in the 1930’s. All through the years the club has been known as the Bank of England. Former UEFA chief Johansson’s Stockholm club AIK was financially bailed out by Arsenal in the fifties. Arsenal’s history is the history of innovations in the game not maybe not enough in medals. You are a great team but if you come to play football you will lose, you will have to kick us to beat us, and that is borne out by all the statistics you quote.

  79. Henkamp
    March 19, 2010

    Im sure we all cant wait to see two games of football that will be talked about for years to come and should surely be the finest display of football to take place on the planet (brasil vs holland would be my second).

    I dont think this tie is a clear cut as some barca fans would believe, you’s definately have the advantage because of playing at home last but we will have a hunger for the game that you’s will find a handful!!

  80. Alfa
    March 19, 2010

    Hi all Barça fans. Great blog you have here with a great friendly spirit. We have a similar blog, with a similar spirit, at ArsenalArsenal.wordpress.com. We like a bit of debate and friendly banter but only among friends.

    We both play very similar styles, football played the right way, but this season we seem to have got more of our pace and confidence back as well as the young players mature. If we win, that will be the difference for me. We also do have a threat in the air in Nikki Bendtner who has struggled a bit but is improving very fast now – he is 100% more popular than Adebayor.

    When Thierry came back for visit a little while back he came on the pitch before a league game and was cheered non-stop for 5 minutes, mostly with the chant ‘You’ll always be a gooner’. Same response when Bobby Pirez came back for Villareal. I think it will be tough for TH.

    Interesting that you don’t want Cesc, quite happy about that. If you saw him play week in week out and saw what he does off the ball and the way he runs the team you might feel differently.

    Sol is slower but his reading of the game seems even better and even though Porto were fast he wasn’t caught out (let’s not talk about the first leg!).

    As some of your fans said, Ajax and others were playing this way before Arsenal (and Barça) but our revolution started in the 90’s when Dennis Bergkamp joined us (1 year before Arsene) so the connection with Total Football is there.

    By the way, some of you call yourselves cules I think, is that like we are gooners (Gunners) and is it something to do with “ç”).

  81. goonermichael
    March 19, 2010

    You’re out. deal with it suckers 🙂

  82. goonermichael
    March 19, 2010

    Remember the final. You needed an extra man to beat us. You’ll not even win your own league this year Madrid are much stronger than you lot.

  83. O Melhor
    March 19, 2010

    As an Arsenal fan who loves to watch La Liga, this is a tie that I have been looking forward to my team vs my favorite team from Spain! I believe on their day Arsenal can dispatch any opposition but it will be fantastic to see two attacking teams who play free flowing football and that have some of the best players around (Messi is the best player around) but I mean others in their own positions too. It shall be great to see this game, may the best team win!

  84. keepinitgoonerish
    March 19, 2010

    I love the way u Barca fans seem to think u’ll walk all over us, but its the way i like it, u think u play good possesion football u aint seen anything like us, i do feel however Barca & Arsenal play the best football on the planet, it could be 2 of the best games in the last 20 years. My personal and frank view is that this will be the maturing of an Arsenal team which will go on and dominate domestic/european football for the next 5-10 years. Barcelona u’ve been warned… Arsenal are coming.

  85. Helge
    March 19, 2010

    I wonder why so many people claim that we are expecting this as a sort of free win… can’t you read what most of us are writing?!?

    • Phil
      March 19, 2010

      I just think of them as trolls and ignore them. It scares me to think that human beings could actually be that reactionary and dense, so I prefer to believe it’s an act.

  86. sherazi
    March 19, 2010

    Remember we always play best against teams who try to play football..so keep an eye…gooners v r

  87. The Fan
    March 19, 2010

    In the words of Arsene Wenger himself “Do you have to hate the opposition to love your own team?”

    Lets get this straight. Both sets of fans here love the philosophies and style of both teams and for the justice of how football should be run and played , we should want Arsenal and Barca to win their respective leagues.

    As for the CL match, I believe Barcalona’s biggest advantage is their composure in front of goal. The goals/shots ratio for the Barca forwards are incredible, especially Messi’s.

    Arsenal though may find their biggest advantage in their opponents style, being that Barca want to play expansive free flowing football instead of focusing on negating the opponent. This is because in the premier league, Arsenal have to put up with most teams concentrating on simply not allowing Arsenal to play, through whatever means. This will create a large chance for Arsenal to truly work their magic since they are able to still do so even when opposition aim to disrupt them and that preparation from the EPL will be key. Their resilience is shown most by players such as Diaby and Song who will take the ball off the player well , hold it up from several players and either progress in Diaby’s case or pass in Song’s case.

    End of the day however if Arsenal can not convert their play and possesion into goals then however many or few chances Barca get, expect Barca to score for to win the tie Arsenal will aim to outscore Barca rather than preventing Barca from scoring.

    I am curious to know how Barca will react in the first leg if Arsenal are in control of the game since I can not imagine them choosing to merely soak up the pressure. It is an oddity to see Barca not in control of a game.

    Considering both teams are attacking sides with susceptible defenses i disagree with many that claim 1-0, 2-1, 1-1 results. There will be goals and lots of them though i feel there is greater chance of Arsenal or Barcalona losing by a big margin because if either successfully abuse a weak link it will lead to disaster for the opposing team be it Messi receiving assists from the vast amount of senders to set up in little time a fast, long range and accurate shot on target or Bendtner’s physical presence giving Arsenal a target man capable of scoring from the air or holding up the ball to give anyone an assist.

    Of course to keep competition alive i would prefer the 1st leg not to destroy the hopes of one of the teams since seeing a match like this will be amazing let alone seeing 2 legs!

    For those who wish to look at the team’s other games of the season to predict the outcome of this match, it would be more difficult to use such methods with Arsenal. Though results show Arsenal have struggled against Man u and Chelsea this season it does not mean they struggled against the better opposition. Arsenal shine against technical teams and the most technical out of the big four other than Arsenal is Liverpool who are the closest to playing continental football other than Arsenal in the EPL and on all three encounters this season , they have lost to Arsenal and yet they managed to beat Man U in their last 3 encounters and hopefully after this weekend , Fernando Torres will make that 4.

    Though while against Man U, Arsenal were unlucky one game and did not perform another, Chelsea had them beat. However the manner in which they lost is not going to be employed by Barcalona which is for 90 minutes to simply sit in your box and soak up the pressure.

    It will be a good match and may the winner of this match please survive the boring match vs (most likely)inter to beat (likely)Man U at the Bernabeu.

    • barca96
      March 20, 2010

      good post!
      it’s nice to have an open game.

    • Helge
      March 20, 2010

      I completely agree with your last sentence, and I also pray for Torres to beat the damn Mancurians!

  88. Chris M (Arsenal Fan)
    March 19, 2010

    Amazing draw. I don’t know why fans argue about games, especially this one. Instead of arguing and calling each other names just be respectful, i don’t understand how that can be so hard. Anyways does anyone realize how many people around the world creamed there pants when they saw these 2 teams drawn together. Let’s be honest, no one knows whos going to win. We can say what we want, at the end of the day we don’t know, it’s not said and done yet, period. We are all confident about our teams which is normal. We are all passionate about them.

    I can’t come in here and say whos gonna win but theres one thing i can say and everyone here can agree that we are in for a hell of show from both teams and i for 1 is not going to take this for granted. Both teams have there strengths, both teams have there weaknesses. It’ll all come down to who wants it more and who can exploit each others weaknesses best. Barca is the favorite for a reason, Arsenal live by being the underdog, it’s what fuels them, so we should be in for greatness in these 2 legs.

    And please, any Arsenal fan that comes in here, respect the blog and there readers and posters. You have to show respect to get it back. Great blog, hopefully some of you Barca fans can come to some Arsenal blogs (if you havent already) and have some fair and respectable debating, we’ll respect your opinions.

  89. RK
    March 19, 2010

    XAVI >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> fabregas
    XAVI is GOD!
    Arsenal have only Fabregas..We got MESSI,XAVI and INIESTA!!!!
    VAMOS BARCA!!!!

    • fake supporters
      March 20, 2010

      Pretty sure you cannot speak catalan. sort your life out you glory hunting turd

  90. There is no point in fighting, I think that Barca fans would root for the Arsenal and vice versa if our own teams were not in the competition, if only because we have such a similar playing style. Having said all that, it is barca’s to lose. I hope Barca wins the double and that the Arsenal come back and win the prem!!!!!!!! Let’s all enjoy what is sure to be the most beautiful quarter final of all four games.

  91. mgslalala
    March 20, 2010

    we’re going smash you, you arrogant fuck. ‘Will Henry have a conniption’…. will have a fit, fly into a rage? no because he’s got class unlike you, you hideous little shit. i nevever comment on boards but youpissed me off so much with your pomp. its made me resolute in my belief were going to cunt you. i’ll standing there on the 31st screaming with extra gusto because of this poxy post so thanks for that.
    ‘If we win, will Fabregas do the same? Do we even care?’. shows how little you know about football. cesc has been the best player in the league this year ( maybe rooney but he’s a ginger northen fuck so he doesn’t count) and you don’t know if you want hi? if you don’t want him, tell that dildo joan laporta to stop trying to tap the poor bastard up for five seconds. im going to love watching that bubble permed turd puyol trying to keep up with arshavin. that’ll be a laugh

    anyway good luck you vile, vile dick

  92. WeveGotCescFabregas
    March 20, 2010

    wow what an amazing mach up this is going to be.
    yes barca are flying in their league but their defence is weak and in all honesty the spanish league is nowhere near the standard of the EPL..apart from barca and rm the quality of teams is not that great..this is not the case in the EPL
    our defence is also weak but put arsenal in the spanish league and we will be just as destructive…
    we play the extact same way and have the exact same weakness so it should be interesting..although barca have been poor and extremely lucky in some cases travelling in CL so i think it will be decided at the emirates..
    if you play like you did against stuttgart away and we play like we did against porto at home the deficit should be too great for you to make up at your place..
    may the best team win..but one thing is for sure its going to be one of the greatest spectacles of all time..two pure footballing sides…cant wait

  93. Steveo
    March 20, 2010

    “Most Gunners are afraid..”. You people make me die. Your best players have gone (Ronaldinho, Eto’o) and been replaced with inferior product.Too many elderly, sluggish players making up the numbers for you. Yes, Messi is class and can be very good on his day but the Germans hardly made it difficult for him to move around with the ball. You are in for a very big shock if that is your outlook so keep it up and reap the whirlwind that is the mighty Gooners right in your faces. Lets see how you do against 11 men…

    • Gunners' runners
      March 20, 2010

      “Lets see how you do against 11 men…”
      You make me remember the quote said by an Ex-Arsenal Current Chelsea man after beating the “Gunners”…

  94. fake supporters
    March 20, 2010

    You are all a bunch of fake supporters – none of you ever go to the ground. sad glory hunters. where were you when real used to humiliate you?

    armchair supporters are subscribers to satellite tv – I like watching 24 doesn’t make me a fan of Keifer sutherland’s entire back catalogue.

    • BL
      March 20, 2010

      many of us do go to the ground actually. making sweeping generalizations just make you look like a fool.

  95. Alan
    March 21, 2010

    Barcelona are tailor made for Arsenal. This time your gonna lose.

  96. September 5, 2010

    I’ve read over various of your current posts and I had been curious about if you were interesting in swapping blog links? I am always seeking to switch links with websites about similar content! I look forward to hearing back from you quickly.

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