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?

By Kxevin

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. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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 😀

    3. 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.

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

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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

    2. 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).

    3. 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)?

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

    5. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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

    2. *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!

  7. 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

    1. 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.!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

  10. 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.

    1. 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

    2. 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

    3. 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.

    4. 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!

    5. “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 !!

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

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

  11. 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.

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

    2. 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.

    3. 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

    4. Hahaha … can’t believe there Arsenal fans!

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

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

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  14. 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 😉

    1. 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.

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

    3. 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.

  15. 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!!

    1. 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

    2. 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!

    3. 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…

    4. 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!

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

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

      Hmmm, I wonder if this applies for Cesc 😀

    7. 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.

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

    9. 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!

    10. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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??

    1. 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.

  19. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  20. 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.

    1. 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

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

  22. 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

    1. 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.

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

    2. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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)

    1. 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

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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

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

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

  25. 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!!

    1. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

    2. 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.

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

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

    5. 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!

  28. 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.

    1. “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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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^^

    3. 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.

    4. 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!

    5. 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.

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

    1. 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…

    2. 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?

  34. 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.

    1. 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 😀

  35. 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!)

    1. thanks for visiting and posting!

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

    2. 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

  36. 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!

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

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

  38. 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…

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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

    4. 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.

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