CL Liveblog: Arsenal-Barça

It’s on now, folks. Kari is here with an exeception liveblog that come straight from the depths of her cule heart. Fill up yer cups and enjoy the spectacle. There are no prisoners today and no time for thinking about the words that come out of your mouth: The Emirates is about to get hijacked, y’all!

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

280 Comments

  1. Whatever
    February 16, 2011

    Let’s get this done! Go Barca!

  2. Blow-Grenade
    February 16, 2011

    Oh Yes!!! It’s going to be good!!!

  3. February 16, 2011

    *rocks back and forth in a fetal position*

    GAHHHH!!! LET’S DO THIS!!!! LEEROY JENKINS! VISCA BARCAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    • February 16, 2011

      no ye olde pube for me. friend couldn’t get day off from work. how you didn’t request this day off the second the draft was announced is beyond me.

  4. Vj
    February 16, 2011

    *Takes deep breath* *Chants In Pep We Trust* *Repeats*

    🙂

  5. MoSSi
    February 16, 2011

    From Barcastuff:

    Barcelona line-up (non-official): Valdes – Alves Pique Abidal Maxwell – Xavi Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa #fcblive [cat radio]

    The non-official and official almost always are the same..

  6. MoSSi
    February 16, 2011

    It’s official, Maxwell leftback, Abidal CB..

  7. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    *Watching the last seen from Braveheart*

    DAMN YOU ENGLISH

  8. Whatever
    February 16, 2011

    Predictable line-up.

    I hope it works! Go Barca!

  9. K_legit
    February 16, 2011

    LETS DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    You better save room for me on the LB Kari!

  11. February 16, 2011

    i don’t know if i’m liveblogging today. i didn’t during el clasico. i feel like this game needs my full love & attention.

    • soccermomof4
      February 16, 2011

      I’ll give the game my full love and attention when I rewatch it tonight w/ hubby.

  12. Nav
    February 16, 2011

    From barcastuff:
    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Abidal Maxwell – Xavi Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa #fcblive [cat radio]

  13. February 16, 2011

    COME EARLY IF YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE PART. THIS GAME IS GOING TO TAKE MY FULL ATTENTION AWAY.

    • soccermomof4
      February 16, 2011

      I’ll be there at 2:30 with my bad typing skills made worse by trying to watch the awesomeness that unfolds before me!

      • blitzen
        February 16, 2011

        I was hanging out in the previous thread all by myself. 🙁

        • soccermomof4
          February 16, 2011

          Reply for you from last thread—

          “No one here is panicking, we are just booting about different tactics ideas.”

          Kxevin wanted to leave off Alves for Adriano and mei said, albeit jokingly( one can hope), to play CT. If that’s not panicking…

    • soccermomof4
      February 16, 2011

      Wenger ought to have his head examined.Can’t he remember what happened the last time he played people before they were fully fit?

      • mei
        February 16, 2011

        Theres a reason why his treatment table is always full.

        • soccermomof4
          February 16, 2011

          Tomorrow, when I allow myself to become an Arsenal fan again, I’m gonna be pretty ticked off by this recklessness!

  14. Roz
    February 16, 2011

    Omg Omg Omg Omg Omg Omg Omg…Im done

  15. Lev
    February 16, 2011

    lol yeah i could never liveblog during a big game. Maybe in a next love God will bless me with an extra pair of eyes underneath my chin so I can watch the match and the comments at the same time!

  16. Josep
    February 16, 2011

    No one has talked about the threat Alves has.

    He’s going to be coupled with an apparently fit Nasri. Nasri is an amazing player, but Alves is the key to this match on both ends.

  17. February 16, 2011

    “Lionel Messi needs 1 more goal to become FC Barcelona’s out right top goalscorer in European competitions.”

  18. Eklavya
    February 16, 2011

    I’m nervous but apparently it’s nothing compared to you guys…

        • February 16, 2011

          it’s an eklavya joke.

          this is a bojan joke from today’s lll:
          “Barça arrived in London on Tuesday evening, turning down the chance to trot around the Emirates pitch. Instead the Dream Boys headed to Loftus Road for a Wednesday morning stretch and to give Bojan a taste of the Football League – where he may be farmed out unless the wee nipper starts scoring some goals sharpish.”

        • Eklavya
          February 16, 2011

          OMG SoMo4 you don’t know the peanuts joke?! 😀
          You’re in for a treat. NO ONE SAY ANYTHING!

          • Vj
            February 16, 2011

            I was hollering peanuts all last Saturday. Only managed 1 goal.. Hope tonight’s better..

          • soccermomof4
            February 16, 2011

            I only know the CT Peanut thing on totallygoats.

          • K_legit
            February 16, 2011

            Vj explained the whole Peanuts thing to me a while ago….its just a LB thing SoMo4

          • February 16, 2011

            yeah, it’s pretty lame somo. that’s why it’s an eklavya joke. ;^)

    • Vj
      February 16, 2011

      Its veetle => Kari is gonna be laaaaate 😛

      • Eklavya
        February 16, 2011

        I’m watching it on TV so no LB from me.
        Vj, you can do the peanuts job on my behalf.

  19. jordi™
    February 16, 2011

    We’re wearing minty green? 😀

    • Eklavya
      February 16, 2011

      I think so. What else would we be wearing?

  20. outerspacedout
    February 16, 2011

    Is liveblog up yet? Not getting it myself

  21. Jim
    February 16, 2011

    Sorry, folks. Have a good liveblog. No way am I calm enough to do two things at once.

  22. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    2-1 FT Full credit the Gunners, Pep better have a word with the team after this one.

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      The second goal was preordained. The ball was being passed around feet in front of him and Messi was just watching it. That can’t happen.

  23. Jnice
    February 16, 2011

    I’m so sad right now. Honestly, I don’t know what to do with myself. Messi and co let me down today. Big time. Squandering chances like we were playing against some bottom side. Of course it was going to come back to bite us. The manner in which we concede was so disappointing as well. It’s unbelievable.

    I probably won’t be on here for the next couple of weeks. I won’t be able to deal with the comments I will read and all the rest of it. Take care folks.

  24. Roz
    February 16, 2011

    I need some optisim. Any one care to give me some?

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      We got an away goal?

      Puyol might be back for the return leg?

      100,000 screaming cules is going to welcome them at the Camp Nou?

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      And the return leg is in MARCH! 😀

    • Vj
      February 16, 2011

      There’s such a thing as a second leg..

    • Ryan
      February 16, 2011

      The same result we got in the home game vs Inter will see us through this time. 🙂

  25. Ian
    February 16, 2011

    Barca almost completely disappeared in the second half. Before the first Arsenal goal I was already seeing it coming. Full credit to the Gooners — but I still have faith that Barcelona can do better next round. We might not have Pique then, but hopefully Puyol will be back.

    So, brb, gonna finish crying first.

  26. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    We look lucklustre and tired, and you know it is february. Apart from Abidal, Busquets and Xavi everybody looked absolutely uninterested, in particular Messi in the 2nd half. Even Iniesta was absolutely off colour today.

  27. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    I officially hate that minty piece of feces adorning our players today.

  28. February 16, 2011

    Next time Pep wants to play Messi in meaningless matches for 90 minutes because the fans “deserve” it he should remember that image of messi standing there looking exhausted as Arsenal starts the break for goal two.

    Very disappointing second half. Very unclear why Iniesta was so absent from this match.

    Messi – just had one of those games. He looked exhausted in the second half.

    Maxwell – he was utterly awful. He contributed almost nothing offensively and was out of position and caught out for pace again and again and again this match. He was abyssmal.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      February 16, 2011

      100% agree; Messi looked so tired I justed wanted to grab him and put him into bed too sleep 48 hours.

  29. Roz
    February 16, 2011

    What pisses me off is how Nasri owned Keita for the 2nd goal. And was that a handball on Arshavin?

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      What should also piss you off is that second goal we were robbed off.

    • February 16, 2011

      Inexcusable by Keita. He’s put in for defensive support and doesn’t close the ball down.

  30. barca96
    February 16, 2011

    2 things that I feel played a major part in us losing the battle in the 2nd half;
    1-sMasch. WHy didn’t Pep play sMasch? Why???
    2-P! ineffectiveness

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      That was for the 2nd half.
      FOr the whole match, the award would definitely go to Maxwell.
      One of the few things that I don’t like about Pep is that he is stubborn.
      -He doesn’t really learn from his mistakes; Rotation(sMasch), Maxwell.
      -Rest MESSSI!!!!!!!

  31. outerspacedout
    February 16, 2011

    Remuntada at Nou Camp! God I cannot go on any football websites except this for the next few days, cannot bear the English smugness. Hope Chelsea atleast lose. And I want us to go medieval on them at home. 4-0 Bayern and Stuttgart, 5-2 Lyon, 4-1 Arsenal. Even Inter 1-0 with their unbelievable defense. A pissed off Barca is nasty. Also credit to Arsemal they played a fantastic game.

  32. February 16, 2011

    Congrats to Arsenal. They played their hearts out. Deserved win.

    Quick notes:

    Barca: That second half was inexcusable. What gave you the idea that you could pass the game out with a 0-1 lead? Was it the away goal? PLAY the whole game. Looks like you haven’t seen the first leg from last year.

    Maxwell: Not good enough, Pep. Sorry, but he’s not. Play him against the teams that sit back/ lower league teams, not in any big games. I want Adriano for the second leg—can’t be much worse.

    Pique; Blessing in disguise that he’s out of the second leg? Me thinks so. With Puyi back and Abidal, I’d take that CB pairing any day of the week after this performance.

    Messi: Poor game by his standards. He was poor last time too. I’m expecting 4 goals from him.

    Xavi: Incredible, incredible game. Just a shame the rest of the team wasn’t on the same wavelenght

    Villa: Thanks for the goal. I don’t think you should have been subbed, but Pep wanted to defend a 0-1 lead. When has that ever worked, Pep? 😛

    Sportsnet: I still hate you. Very, very much. But maybe you guys not broadcasting this match was a blessing in disguise? I still wanted to watch it though, so f**** you.

    In the end, let’s put this into perspective. It’s February, our worst month. The team is collectively tired this month, it’s like how we were so poor in October. The idea is for the team to peak in April (Like we peaked in November). We’ve been poor away in the CL anyway.

    I’m not worried. We’ve got our away goal and I’m sure we’ll put them away in the Camp Nou. I’m just a little peeved at the whole performance.

    And as always BFBers, we stand by our team.

    Visca Barca!

  33. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    And I can not understand what happened in the 2nd half. We were so comfortable in the first half and then sleepwalking in the 2nd half. I can for the sake not understand what has happened there. I just hope Pep will give them the hairdryer treatment, that was an absolute shambles

  34. February 16, 2011

    Bad performance. Good result.

    Regardless of the fact that the players stayed in Barcelona and sent their shadows to London, this loss is all on Pep. Not sure if my comments were published on the live blog later (Kari forgot to approve me on time:) ) It was sooooo obvious that we needed Mascherano in the second half instead of Villa to strengthen the fragile midfield especially on Alves flank. They ran over our defenders on counters.

    But it is still all in our hands, if the players want to qualify, they will. If they performed as today, then Arsenal deserve to go through, their players showed they need it more.

    • February 16, 2011

      I did! People just didn’t want to hear you question Pep not playing Mascherano. Again.

      😀

  35. Vj
    February 16, 2011

    I’d play FF over Maxwell in the 2nd Leg. Heck, I’d start Bojan over him..

    Gawd I hope Puyol comes back in time..

    Alves – Milito/Masch/Busi – Abidal – Puyol for me..

  36. Sheena
    February 16, 2011

    Guuuuuuuuys.
    Stop it. It’s February. We all KNOW what our form is like in February. We’ve got an away goal. We need to score once at home to progress.
    It’s true that we squandered chance after chance, but you can’t say that Arsenal didn’t either. Things like these happen in games, keep the faith.
    Visca Barca.

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      I agree.

      But here’s a thought to give you nightmares. They ship two goals on us at the Camp Nou, we have to score four.

      • Sheena
        February 16, 2011

        Well that can’t happen. The second leg is on my birthday. I WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

  37. G7
    February 16, 2011

    Victoria = Victory ?

    Up the Gunners !
    Fantastico.

    • Vj
      February 16, 2011

      Atleast you’re getting the grammar right.. Well played..

      SIGH!!

  38. merge
    February 16, 2011

    We were a demolishing machine before the Christmas break. What happened to it? It hasn’t been the same after the break, we lost fluidity. I hope it’s just the February effect.

    We better wake up before the return match; Arsenal as sure as hell are going to score here.

  39. Eklavya
    February 16, 2011

    Worst player on our team: PEDRO. Offensively AWE-FU-LL! Lost ball after ball after ball after ball. He should have been subbed off instead of Villa.

    Sigh, I need to avoid internet for a while. Tomorrow everyone’s gonna annoy me, yay!

  40. Vj
    February 16, 2011

    Why do we always switch off after taking the lead? Happened THRICE now in KOs, four times if you count FCK..

    Aargh!! Still shocked!! You could’ve seen it coming!!!

  41. Nik
    February 16, 2011

    Positives first: we have the away goal, the next leg is in March (aka not Hlebruary), and we have Puyol back.

    Now that’s over…ugh, what a match. We’re lucky to escape with a 1-2 loss. People have said it, but the team was just off today. Idk what it was, but our passing was just sub-par. Idk if it was motivation, exhaustion, whatever, but we were just off.

    Maxwell cannot start the next leg. Period. I’d rather have Fontas or SMasch at CB to allow King Eric to be at LB.

    Totally did not agree with Pep’s substitutions. Maybe I missed an injury, but why did he yank Villa off so early? I would have rather seen Villa stay in until the 75-80 min mark, and then bring Keita in (if necessary). Why give up on the hunt for a second goal so early?

  42. jnelson
    February 16, 2011

    Wow. Somehow the second half this time managed to disgust me even more than last year’s. What a poor showing; what’s up with everyone packing up at halftime? We just quit playing. I was a little confused at why we started lobbing deep passes the entire second half. BTW Maxwell AND Alves were atrocious. First half: there breaks were caused by a Maxwell back pass directly to Walcot, a weak Alves back pass, another weak Alves back pass, and P! squaring the ball in the box to no one. Second half: ……. P! kept getting out-muscled and out-hustled(!?) every time Alves laid a pass to him. Keita failed to control the game. I saw Villa’s substitution as an abandoning of our principle and the final confirmation that we were done with our interest in this game. Meanwhile, Arsenal pours on the attackers, making their defense ripe for the picking. This just makes me sick. I have no doubt we can win the second leg, and easily, but this was embarrassing. I knew we would blow our first CL win, but didn’t count on us shutting down so early. Bring on another Remuntada that should never have had to be.

  43. Eklavya
    February 16, 2011

    Also, what was up with the subs? Adriano and Keita for Villa and Iniesta? Why not Mascherano for Pedro?

  44. beeeef
    February 16, 2011

    We’ve seen this team underperform against lower opposition before, but in the CL round of 16? I don’t think I’m alone in saying I didn’t expect this kind of effort. There were some standout performances, but others had some of their worst games of the season too. Shades of Inter @ San Siro.

    This loss feels so bad, one might almost forget that there’s still a 2nd leg to be played! Hope we can build off this loss and come through in several weeks time.

  45. jnelson
    February 16, 2011

    Where was Busi in the second half? I’m a little confused as to why he did all his defending on Alves’ wing and left the center of the field completely clear the entire half.

  46. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    I’m officially renouncing Spaghetti.

    • jaymin
      February 16, 2011

      hopefully not capellinni as well. sticks to the fork more suitably after typical overcooking by non-Italians.

  47. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    Reminded me of last year against Stuttgart. We were also very awful in this game and turned it around in the 2nd leg. But I do not knwo what to do: should we rest Messi on saturday and risk loosing points? Argh, I am so angry that they did throw away our lead like that, it is not believable.

  48. Whatever
    February 16, 2011

    Pep’s substitutions didn’t make sense. We needed someone in the midfield (Mascherano), and Pedro should’ve gone out.

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      We needed P! for the hustling and pressuring.
      P! can last longer although Villa wasn’t tired at all.
      If Pep took Villa off for sMasch I wouldn’t mind but not for Keita.

  49. February 16, 2011

    I could list a whole bunch of excuses, but in the end it shouldn’t have mattered. The result was fine, the performance wasn’t.

    Let’s get ’em in Barcelona!

  50. Ian
    February 16, 2011

    Blaming February now are we… So does that make a draw exemplary for this month? 😛

  51. barca96
    February 16, 2011

    I said this last year too after the draw at the EMirates.
    Our mental strength is not as strong as Madrid’s.
    Notice how Madrid always find a way to come back while we always lose the lead…

    Anyways, if we put 5 in the return leg, all this will be worth it.
    But please Pep, next time play sMasch in England!

    • Ryan
      February 16, 2011

      The same Madrid that hasn’t progressed from the first elimination round in ages?

  52. Lev
    February 16, 2011

    Congrats to Arsenal. They played us better than anybody has this season.

    few points

    1a. Messi’s goal – does anybody know why it was disallowed? Foul? Handball? Bad breath?

    1b. I understand once in a while we have the ref against us, but this could be the 2nd year in a row that ref’s make crucial errors against us in CL. Last year at the Emirates they gave Fabregas a very debatable penalty (it was he who kicked Puyol, not the other way round), followed by an Milito’s offside goal. Today Messi had a goal disallowed, Pedro was manhandled off of the ball in the penalty area (debatable, I know) and whoever headed the ball in Alves’ path handled it (pretty much impossible to see from the ref’s angle, I know)

    2. Be that as it may, we have ourselves to blame. Messi and Pedro missing golden opportunities in the first half. Letting Arsenal dictate the game in the 2nd half.

    3. Credit to Arsenal, they played extremely well.

    4a. Xavi would have been king today.

    4b. Abidal also, although he might be partly at fault for the 2nd goal, being that he was the closest to Arshavin. Might need to see it again before I judge, though.

    5. Say about Villa what you want, but for all his missed chances this season he always scores in the big matches or the ones against former teams where we absolutely need a goal and nobody seems to make anything happen.

    6. Pep outfoxed. Although I understood the reasoning behind it, I did not agree with bringing on Keita for Villa (thought Keita was poor, btw). WTF at bringing on Adriano for Iniesta.

    7. RvP. What a goal.

    8. What a game. We need to step up in Camp Nou.

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      1b. bad breath?:lol: . It was Arshavin. It was such a clear handball. They should put a referee on both sides of the goal post.

      5. Villa is a big game player! Somebody suggested it before as well.

      6. sMasch!!!!

      7. It was VV’s fault.

      8. We will definitely win big in Camp Nou

    • Ian
      February 16, 2011

      Arguing about the ref’s decisions against us will only enrage teams in the opposition, counting non-Gooners. What was done is done, but whether or not we should have been given a penalty/extra allowed goal, the credit still goes to Arsenal, and I salute them for the win.

      For the rest of it I agree with all your points. If I were Pep I’d have gambled Villa for the remainder of the game, because he shines when the rest of the team usually don’t.

      The second was line Xavi vs Arsenal. Seeing Barca like that when I’m not yet too used to February kinda sucks, but that’s life, Barcelona loses.

  53. blaunero
    February 16, 2011

    Terrible terrible second half. Messi worst player on the pitch and by some good distance too. He was visibly tired and only a tired Messi can miss chances like those two. Abidal, Busquets, and Xavi our best players. I didn’t understand the subs at all. Why not take Iniesta out earlier to put some muscles in midfield? Why even keep Messi when it was clearly not his day?
    I fear tie may well be over. Guardiola has never won a knockout series after losing the first game. It’s disappointing but let’s do justice to Arsenal who threw themselves at us for the entirety of the second half.

    • Eklavya
      February 16, 2011

      Um, no way Messi was the worst player. He played well in the first half, only missed the good chance at the start. Otherwise, he made good passes was OK generally.

      Pedro on the other hand was just terrible both halves. Lost ball after ball after ball. So many times we would find space towards Alves only for Pedro to lose the ball. He wasn’t even tight with the ball. What was with that easy “fall” in Arsenal’s area?! He should have kept the ball and waited for someone to come. I could go on…

      • barca96
        February 16, 2011

        Don’t tell me that Messi was worse than Maxwell or P!
        Messi was not just good in the 1st half, he was good in the beginning of the 2nd half too.

        • blaunero
          February 16, 2011

          At least Maxwell, though poor, looked interested. Messi just stopped moving. Ok I get it he was tired, but he should then be man enough to tell to his coach that he needs a break. Is that so hard? If in 3 weeks we play the same way we will go out, and that’s the end of it.

  54. merge
    February 16, 2011

    Pep (on TV) saying we played better than last year (???)
    And Maxwell afirming that we had a very good game, controlling until min. 80.

    • Whatever
      February 16, 2011

      Are you serious?

      I can’t believe they are saying that. We played like shit.

      • barca96
        February 16, 2011

        We didn’t play like shit.
        It’s just that they turned off halfway in the 2nd half

    • mega_tajh
      February 16, 2011

      The team didn’t actually play like shit just certain players i.e Messi.

      Those internationals really burned us out I assume but seriously I saw the drop coming when we played against Athelico Madrid just i brushed it off as slow pace win….I can’t wait for the team to get a full weeks rest to recover/

      • Whatever
        February 16, 2011

        Only Abidal, Xavi and Busquets played. The rest were spectators.

  55. February 16, 2011

    why is barcastuff stuck on this for me?:
    “Barcelona have won all 17 league and CL matches in which Messi, Villa and Pedro have all three started this season”

    where’s pep’s esplanation for all this?

  56. ooga aga
    February 16, 2011

    two hand balls in the box by arsenal. still, we played like shit….and part of that is because arsenal played very well. i still would put money on us going through.

    • ooga aga
      February 16, 2011

      just want to mention again the two hand balls in the box. by arsenal. in their box. fuddgggggeeeeeee

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      We didbn’t play like shit.
      It’s like Pep instructed them to take it easy after he took Villa off.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      February 16, 2011

      I do not agree. We were shit because we did not put effort into it not because of Arsenal: not running, not defending and missig chances has nothing to do with Arsenal it was all our complecency / tiredness. Arsenal were not really that good. We did loose this.

      • Ian
        February 16, 2011

        Is March a good month? I’m still new here. It should be, or I’m doomed. -_-

        • Humphrey Bogart
          February 16, 2011

          March is a lot better, in February we are giving away points and leads like gifts.

  57. mega_tajh
    February 16, 2011

    I was hoping Affelay was coming on for Villa when I saw the substitution but when I saw Keita it was obvious that the team was tired and need more legs in midfield the only problem was that we started to pass the ball around disinterested for anymore goals while Arsenal knew there was still a game to play for.

    It kinda felt like Inter away all over again….Hope Arsenal come out to play like they did 2day in the 2nd leg.

    • mega_tajh
      February 16, 2011

      Wow now looking at our fixture list we have one hell of tough away La Liga games coming up..Away to both Mallorca and Valencia back to back but at least maybe we can rest a few versus Zaragoza before the Arsenal game..

      • blaunero
        February 16, 2011

        It did feel to me as well just like the Inter game. We take the lead and still we allow Arsenal to counterattack us. Seriously. Shouldn’t that be the reverse? Bizarre game, mainly to the fact that we in the first half and a couple of times in the second half missed chances to make it 0-2, and duly Arsenal took advantage of it. I have a bad feeling about this.

  58. tutomate
    February 16, 2011

    Terrible game as a whole. Messi forgave on 3 occasions Iniesta was totally absent and the entire back line on the second goal lost concentration. And Valdes got beat to the first post. Great game by Arsenal they were consistent and worked very hard, credit to them.

    All that said a 2-1 loss away in a 2 leggegd affair is not too bad. We have to put this to rest at home with sheer footballing force.

  59. Josep
    February 16, 2011

    Pep: You bring off Villa for a midfielder, and we start losing the battle of midfield. unacceptable.
    VV: Unexcusable mistake! that was the worst big of goaltending ever.
    Maxwell: Honestly, nothing I can say. you are bad.
    Abidal: we miss you at LB.
    Pique: Lackidaisical all the time, and lacking. just falling asleep out there.
    Alves: You had a great game, per usual.
    Biscuits:Great.
    Xavi: Amazing
    Iniesta: What happened? You were ghostly.
    Messi: the worst match I’ve seen you play professionally. you need to slot home your shots, and you lost the ball in the box leading to the second goal.
    Villa: Well played, lucky you scored you shot straight into the keeper.
    Pedro: ugh.

    Now the one huge thing was Wilshere. I like him, always have. was uncertain he’d perform. he was amazing.. but I don’t know how he’ll react in the second leg in such a hostile environment. Song I don’t know how he stayed on the pitch. Walcott was subdued. they scored a typical counter attacking goal like their one this weekend vs. Wolves.

    anything else?

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      Pique was immense at the back. You guys need to stop criticizing Pique.
      He hardly made any mistakes. I really don’t get it.
      What does the guy gotta do to get some credits here.
      Pique and Alves often don’t get recognized here.

      Btw, Villa wasn’t lucky. If you looked at the replay, you could see where he was aiming.

      • Eklavya
        February 16, 2011

        Pique wasn’t great today, barca96. I mean just compare him with himself lets say 2 years ago. He was great vs Drogba.

        • barca96
          February 16, 2011

          He kept v.Persie quiet all night and made key interventions.

      • Josep
        February 16, 2011

        Pique was just standing around for the whole RVP goal. Then was standing around in front of VV on the second goal. what was he trying to accomplish besides shielding VV and making it impossible to see?

        • Ryan
          February 16, 2011

          Fair enough with the shielding bit, but VV really should have had his near post covered. It’s the same thing that happened in the Espanyol – EE game.

    • Lev
      February 16, 2011

      Villa lucky? Slotted it between his legs, just like he has done on countless other occasions. Great finish.

      Messi was a goal away from having a good match (meaning that were it not for the ref, he would have had a good match). Not great, but not bad either.

      • barca96
        February 16, 2011

        Haters gon’ hate…

        Messi had a match similar to some matches in the WC.
        Like you said Lev, just a goal away to be good.

        • Josep
          February 16, 2011

          haters? yes we’re cleary Messi haters here. Messi wasn’t Messi today. even if he scored he’d have had a bad match, like a few weeks back he was bad and slotted home two.

          don’t criticize my knowledge of the game, he wasn’t very good. a lot of this was due in part to tiredness.

    • Jim
      February 16, 2011

      Villa does that deliberately. Great goal.

      • blitzen
        February 16, 2011

        Agree. Villa is a master at slotting the ball between a keeper’s legs. He did it to Casillas in the Clasico and countless other times in his career.

  60. G7
    February 16, 2011

    Well played to both teams, a good advert for football.
    Arsenal just about deserved it based on the second half performance, maybe the best of the season. RVP and Djourou were outstanding imo.
    But Barca played some fantastic football also in the first half.
    Messi looked strangely tired to me (?).

    It will be close in the second leg, but you are still the slight favourites.
    Best of luck to both sides at the Camp Nou. Who dares Wins.

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      “Messi looked strangely tired to me (?)”

      Yeah, it was odd. Then again, he is playing way more minutes than he needs to, and it’s starting to show.

  61. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    Luckily, we should get three midweek breaks leading up to the return leg.

    The players need to get rest. NAO.

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      correction, we have four league games. The week before the CL match, we have a midweek Liga game.

  62. Nik
    February 16, 2011

    Also – last thing we should do is blame the refs. We lost it on our own. No need to invite the refs to partake in that.

    • blitzen
      February 16, 2011

      WE can certainly blame the refs for disallowing Messi’s goal. It was onside as the replay showed.

      • Nik
        February 16, 2011

        That’s fair. But, you can’t blame the ref for the team completely sleeping through the second half. Unfortunately, refs are humans, and they make mistakes. I’m not excusing the mistake, nor am I negating its importance. However, that disallowed goal shouldn’t have prevented us from scoring more.

        Every team faces adversity. Great ones overcome it.

  63. ooga aga
    February 16, 2011

    did arshavin get a yellow card for lifting his shirt like messi did? not to be sour grapes,,,,i think its a valid question. i dont think he should, but i dont think messi should have either.

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      The rules in CL could be diferent with the rules in Spain…

      • Josep
        February 16, 2011

        They are, its a yellow for shirt removal I believe. Same with in England.

        Last year in the qualifiers Vukcevic was booked for taking his shirt off…his second yellow.

        And two years ago Iniesta in the semifinals.. 🙂

  64. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    In a game like this you see how valuable Puyi is, never ever would he have allowed that everybody switched off like that, he would have screamed, pushed everybody, going forward,… Puyi please come back!!!!

    • Lev
      February 16, 2011

      AGREED! We really missed Puyol out there.

  65. beeeef
    February 16, 2011

    All credit to Arsenal for that 2nd half performance. Still, can’t hide my disappointment in the collective team effort. Which was almost nonexistent for half the match?

    We should have put this tie to bed with two goals in the first half. But alas, complacency gets the best of this team again in the CL (of all places and times).

    2nd leg should be an ABSOLUTE CRACKER, however. Whatever the outcome. Can’t wait already.

    Also, was anybody else having trouble with streams for today’s match? I had to switch at least three times because the connection would just stop and the stream would freeze.

    • beeeef
      February 16, 2011

      Lots of Veetle links in particular were being shut down due to copyright infringement or whatever.

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      We were still dominant in the first half of the 2nd half.
      It was just the last 20 mins or so. Oh so similar to last season.

      Madrid would’ve definitely found a way of clawing back. Just saying..
      THat is one thing we always lacked, mental strength and complacency that leads to throwing leads away.

  66. jordi™
    February 16, 2011

    This is two years straight Max has been on walkabout while we get countered (humped) on the break.Inter away.Now @ the Emirates.Also Why does he give away the ball so much? In addition, it would be nice if we had a back up CB that would threaten Gerard’s place, I honestly feel hes getting complacent.Im gonna stop short of cussing shakira, but come on man, get your head screwed back on.

    • Lev
      February 16, 2011

      Mmmm a lot of people saying Piqué had a bad game, but I didn’t think he did. Could be mistaken, don’t know if I could stand watching it again. I do agree that we need a back up CB to a) keep Piqué sharp and b) not have to rely on Maxwell whenever Abidal plays at CB – although that is what we got Adriano for. Mmm.

      • jordi™
        February 16, 2011

        I dont think he had a bad game, but he falls asleep a tad too much now, though that could arguably be down to not having puyi in his ear the last few games.

  67. Huckleberry
    February 16, 2011

    Totaly worn out as a team, especially Messi and Iniesta.
    And what the hell does a player like Maxwell in the best team of the world?

  68. Whatever
    February 16, 2011

    And Pedro lost the ball way too much.

  69. y2k156
    February 16, 2011

    All credit to Arsenal for their come back. An ok match for me, not great as both the teams were not exactly playing great.

    I have to say this rarely but i think Pep missed it tonight. Our second half was as bad as i have seen and his substitutions were not on the money at all. On other hand, Arsenal always believed in themselves and gave a good account.

    Overall, the tie is finely balanced. Sadly this was opportunity missed.

  70. jordi™
    February 16, 2011

    BTW, Taking off Villa meant Djourou and Kolxyzpfft could just step right up into midfield overloading it.Villa for ibi, masch for any one of Andres or MAx would have done wonders mo.I feel like shit.

  71. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    I do not agree that Arsenal were that good, we did bring them back into this much with our lucklustre performance and that is what really makes me angry.

    It is okay for me if we loose because the other team was better but I get so f*** up when we just give a lead away without any need.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      I agree with you, yes…
      I give a credit to Arsenal for played their hearts out entire game…
      unlike us, slept in the last 20 minutes or so…

      but a lost like this is just leave a bad taste in my mouth…

      Barça weren’t outclassed whatsoever, we played bad…
      we could definitely win, definitely, if we just played well for the whole 90 minutes and finish those chances,

      that’s what frustrates me…

  72. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    Good game today….by Arsenal.

    VV—there’s that near post that must be guarded
    Pique—can we bring up Fontas and play him until Pique realizes that he makes millions to play this game, not to ooooh moc moc w/ Shakira
    Maxwell — we feared this, but we hoped
    Messi—-Dude!
    the good guys= Xavi, Alves, Busi, Abidal, Villa wasn’t awful

  73. Manish
    February 16, 2011

    Depressing week for me.. just depressing… nothing right going since last Saturday..every two days i have something new to bear with.. i hope it ends with this loss… by the way.. Kari I wasn’t able to post comments on the live blog.. none of my comments were published…

    Now there is only one way to go.. and that’s up…

    • February 16, 2011

      Sorry, my internet died and streams were turning off like us in the second half.

      My apologies and that goes for everyone else I missed. Sorry.

  74. February 16, 2011

    Whatever dudes.

    I’m off re-watch Barca 5-0 EE in a dark room with ice cream. And reminisce about the good times. #ClassicCuleOverreaction

    • Eklavya
      February 16, 2011

      That can’t be correct. We had it towards 60%.

    • Lev
      February 16, 2011

      Wow. During the first half we had 60%. The 2nd half was horrible.

    • merge
      February 16, 2011

      The lowest ever? I don’t remember any lower possession stats.
      Congrats to Arsenal

  75. merge
    February 16, 2011

    Xavi: It’s like a deja-vu, but worse because we come back with an (undeserved) defeat. We have been superior but haven’t been able to close the match like we should have done.

    Pep (answering a reporter asking about Maxwell): Maxwell’s had an impecable match, he never got burned.

    • February 16, 2011

      Reverse psychology at its best.

      I think it’s necessary for the team to stick together in public (with everyone going crazy because we lost), but privately, I bet they’ve gotten a good talking to. Especially Maxwell.

      • merge
        February 16, 2011

        I have the feeling that Pep’s face said it all. His half smile was only in his lips, his eyes were sad.

      • Nik
        February 16, 2011

        Yeah, definitely agree with you. No way the team can think it deserved to win. Arsenal simply wanted it more.

        And Max…smh. Does it say something that I was having heart attacks from the get-go that coincided with Maxwell receiving the ball?

  76. jordi™
    February 16, 2011

    I dont mind losing but God if we’re gonna lose can we at least look poor like we have not a chance? I hate when we’re smooth sailing then self destruct.It hurts much more.Anyway, we just need to win by two goals @ home but our “defending” worries me.Id seriously play :

    Abidal-Puyol-Fontas-Alves than suffer Maxwell’s shit giveaways again.Again.And again.

    • Eklavya
      February 16, 2011

      I agree. The “self destruction” accurately describes the match. The result was more of our own failure than their success. I’m not trying to not give Arsenal credit but they really were at their best during the first 15 mins.

      • Nik
        February 16, 2011

        Come on, man. That just makes us look like sore losers. Yeah, sure, we shot ourselves in the foot. However, they took advantage of it. Full credit to them.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      “self-destruction”… yes, this is exactly the words I’m looking for…

      but again, credit to Arsenal…

  77. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    It is really strange: on the one hand I can hardly remember a game where we were really that bad (maybe against Hercules) but nevertheless we took the lead and had chances to finish it off, so what make of that? I mean we were really, really bad but could have won this game.

  78. merge
    February 16, 2011

    Cesc: We felt better than last year. This time we didn’t have so many injuries, and we are a year older. 23, 24, 25, 26, the best age.

    Van Persie: I don’t know how I scored. I’ll have to watch it again!

    (please take all this with a pinch of salt; they mitght not be the exact words!)

  79. Eklavya
    February 16, 2011

    Maxwell wasn’t that bad as people are saying here. Both the goals came after Walcott was subbed off. He did fine in the first half but like everyone he switched off during the second one.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      February 16, 2011

      Yeah, I think so too, I was a collective sleep, apart from Xavi and Busquets. I think at least in defence Maxwell was not too bad. It was the whole team that lost this game.

  80. Eklavya
    February 16, 2011

    If you ask my opinion, the ones who let down were Iniesta and Pedro.

    Iniesta? Hallo? Were you on the pitch?

    Pedro, I’ve already said enough. His worst match in a while.

  81. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    And Pep has to put his food down with regards to Messis playing time: why does he have to play in a friendly fo 90 minutes, why in the copa?

  82. judaspissed
    February 16, 2011

    New poster but regular reader – had to register just to say Dani Alves is useless. Both Arsenal goals came down our right when he was AWOL & I almost smashed my TV in when Arshavin scored. I will have nightmares about Alves gently trotting back whilst Arshavin burns past him & then simply turning around & walking away when the ball went in.

    Sign your contract or leave. Now.

    • Eklavya
      February 16, 2011

      Whoa dude. Alves was excellent offensively. A lot flowed through him, but his attacking partner – Pedro let him down way too many times.

      • beeeef
        February 16, 2011

        I wonder if playing Alves and Maxwell on the flanks was such a good idea? Of course hindsight is 20/20, but when we have three natural CBs in the back-line in some combination of Pique, Puyol, Abidal or Millito, there just seems to be a lot more defensive stability all around.

        Was Millito ready to play this match however? Or could Masch have effectively occupied a spot in the middle to move Abidal over back to LB in place of Maxwell? We can only speculate.

        I guess ultimately, regardless of whoever is in defense, when the tiki-taka isn’t in full effect we’re going to be in danger of conceding.

        On a brighter personal note, maybe this loss is a good excuse to avoid footy websites for the next couple of days and concentrate on my thesis instead.

      • ooga aga
        February 16, 2011

        if you look at the average position charts alves was farther up the pithc thah ANYONE except maybe one other player. face it, he’s not a true defender, the assumption is that he will be pushed forward and cant get back to defend every time. that is just they way we play and the way he is instructed to do so by Pep. alves was great today, very active.

  83. merge
    February 16, 2011

    OK, I’m going to be positive (just to stop being depressed): It’s not the end of the world, it’s just one match lost, the team was all Barça at the end of the 1st half, it just need to be all Barça the whole 90 minutes, easy!

    REMUNTADA!!!

  84. February 16, 2011

    ok all I care about now is scenarios that put us through. is it technically tied on aggregate since we got the away goal?

    • jordi™
      February 16, 2011

      If we win 1-0, we’re through.Any score with us wining by 2 goals puts us through.2-1 sends it to extra time and any score where arsenal scores more than 1 and lose by only one goal puts them through.

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      No, we have to score or else we’re out.

      Basically:

      1-0 and we’re through

      2-1 and we go to extra time and penalties

      3-2 or 4-3 and we’re out.

      Any draw or loss and we’re out

      Any win by more than one goal for us and we’re through

      • February 16, 2011

        so basically we’re going to have to play a perfect game next leg. welp, let’s hope to God puyol is ready.

  85. Chris M Arsenal Fan
    February 16, 2011

    Nights like these are one of the reasons no one on earth should take this sport for granted. The two teams that play beautiful football like no other did not dissapoint tonight.

    We started off well but its not how you start its how you finish. Barca were not bad tonight at all. I understand the frustraion in a lot of you ’cause well, Barca played well and should of won. Walcott should of passed to Nasri on that break in the first half and as i saw chances being blown, i though it would be “one of those nights” for us. Who would of though that a 19 year old Wilshere would be man of the match for Arsenal? I sure as heck didnt think that would happen. The fighting spirit we showed and the never give up attitude is always important in any team and im happy we showed that tonight, it is the main reason we won.

    Barca got tired, you saw it in the players. I dont think you guys should blame any of your players ’cause when fatigue hits, it really is hard to continue. Barcelona players are amazing but are also human, never forget that. We finally had a full Arsenal squad bar Sagna due to suspension, going up againts the best in the world so that helped us a lot. Van persie is very important to us when he is fit, with him in the starting 11 we play totally different, you put Nikki or Chamakh instead of Van persie and we dont play as good.

    Arsenal were not amazing but we did good and i think now after this win, we have that belief in us that its not mission impossible when we play Barca and that if we give it our all the full 90 minutes, we can beat the best in the world. I appreciate you guys giving us credit for the win, it means a lot to us Arsenal fans beating a team thats in there golden generation at the moment.

    Remember that there is a second leg at Nou Camp so dont lose faith in your team. I know that we have a full squad now and we have a lot of confidence, but that is going to make it a better game for us fans. I hope we win in the second leg, nothing is promised at the moment, if we lose at least we can say we went out to the best team in the world.

    • ooga aga
      February 16, 2011

      thanks for the classy comment. it’s only half time and the second half is in our stadium, so it still an uphill battle for arsenal…we barca fans wish that the world could have seen us at our best…we were far from it,,,,part of that has to do with arsenal….part of it is just ….well, you are boudn to have some off days. really we were lacking a lot of polish today.

    • Nik
      February 16, 2011

      Classy response. Thanks for that Chris. Full credit to you and your team. You guys showed a lot of heart and determination out there tonight.

    • barcarolle
      February 16, 2011

      Good words. Wilshere was a revelation – knew he was good, but to control play in that manner as he did against Barcelona at 19 is very impressive to say the least.

    • merge
      February 16, 2011

      Congratulations Chris M! Attitude and willingness are vital, you deserved it.

  86. BarcaGirl_Indo
    February 16, 2011

    excuse me, but I have to let it out… I feel like my chest is gonna blow…

    I’m sooo PISSED OFF… great 1st half turns into NIGHTMARE in the 2nd half, again…

    I guess Barça players and Pep were packing and go home at the half time, eh??

    I love you, Pep… but I literally wants to scream histerically to you…
    WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?

    VILLA for KEITA?? ADRIANO for INIESTA??

    my good GOD, what the hell happen in the last minutes of 2nd half??
    where is Smasch? I want Smasch!!

    and please, do not mention “his” name a.k.a TOWANEM again for at least 3 weeks from now…

    *breathe in* *breathe out*

    sorry, I’m saving my rational and calm comments for later…. smh… *facepalming*

  87. ooga aga
    February 16, 2011

    two hand balls. by arsenal. in their box. affecting the play. no calls.

    still, how does messi miss that chip in the first half. HE NEVER MISSES THOSE.

  88. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    Oh No, I just remembered that I have to watch this game again w/ hubby!

  89. mega_tajh
    February 16, 2011

    Wow can’t believe people are calling us arsenal-lite after this result!!!! Can’t wait to take out my revenge next 2wks!!

    • Jose
      February 16, 2011

      jajaja, don’t even bother reading any other websites. There will be a cloud of smug encompassing the futbol internets until the return leg.

  90. PhepheSa
    February 16, 2011

    I really wish I could make you all feel better but don’t know how. You guys really sound depressed. We still have the second leg to play and hopefully we can get passed that. I think we shouldn’t be too harsh on the boys, i know the second half was disappointing but really these guys have made us so happy this season that I think I can let this one slide. Pity it happened in the knockout stage.

    Let’s all look foward to the return leg and support the boys even more now cos they’re really gonna need us. The BritPress is gonna have a field day tomorrow with all the “proof that la liga is shit” stories. So chin up, God knows how the team feels right now.

    P.S Jnice, don’t pay attention to the rags we know how good this team is and we believe in it. Just think of how much they’ve made you happy this season

    Forca Barca!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      “Just think of how much they’ve made you happy this season”

      your comment make me wanna cry, literally…

      I mean, it’s so sad they had such a great season in La Liga, breaking 16 consecutives winning record, manita after manita…
      and then suddenly they have a bad 20 minutes or so in Europe,
      that can cost us a precious trophy…

      you can have a bad match in Liga and still win the Liga,
      but you cannot have a bad match in UCL… 🙁

  91. Humphrey Bogart
    February 16, 2011

    And the worst of it it was so unncecessary, so uncalled for. That must have some kind of consequences. We can not present our colours and our club like that. I really hope Pep has some harsh words for everybody (with exception of Xavi, Busi and Abidal) and we see some kind of reaction in the next games. That was totally unworthy of FC Barcelona.

    • PhepheSa
      February 16, 2011

      I think you are being a bit harsh on them. I know that today was bad but I believe the players always go out and give their best unless it’s a match with no relevance. I hope they are able to deal with the pressure in the next games and not self-distruct.

  92. Jim
    February 16, 2011

    First of all this isn’t over by a long way. Honestly if I had to stake my mortgage on which side would go through it wouldn’t take me long to decide on Barca. We had this game under control. Even though we were strangely satisfied with trying to take the sting out of the game – always dangerous – there was no feeling that they could come back for me. I could not believe Valdes got beaten at his near post in that way. Just awful. Once that happened the second was no surprise.

    Xavi was amazing but what was wrong with Iniesta?

    Of the defence I thought only Abidal played to form although Maxwell was not as bad as the knee jerk reactions would seem to suggest. I’d remind people that Walcott was taken off and that Maxwell wasn’t at fault for either goal. However, he was again sloppy in possession and deserves the same criticism coming the way of Alves, Pique and Busi. When I say Abidal played to form I’m still not excusing him either at the first goal. RVP is his man as the move develops. He can’t just let him drift across behind Pique who doesn’t even look as if he knows he’s there and then try and play him offside when he has the pace to come across and cut out the threat.

    For the second Keita switched off completely.

    FWIW, I thought it was a really bad signal to send to replace Villa with a midfielder.

  93. blitzen
    February 16, 2011

    I hate Hlebuary. 🙁

    And I also hate those FR5$8&^ing minty green kits!

  94. February 16, 2011

    Ok guys lets not get all doom and gloom, we really didnt play that badly. You have to credit Arsenal who played with a lot of heart and determination and who didnt give up. Away games in knockout stages of CL are tough, there is a reason why we have not won a single one, not even in the treble winning season. 2-1 is not that bad a result, better than them winning 1-0. We have our away goal.

    Also, and I dont mean this as an excuse, but luck was on their side and that does make a difference in the CL. We got lucky beating chelsea when we won the CL, Inter got lucky beating us last year and Arsenal got lucky tonight. If Messi has his shooting boots on this game is all over before half time. If the linesman gets one out of 3 poor decisions correct then it is 2-2 instead of 2-1. Not to mention their first goal, which was the biggest fluke ever and completely changed the momentum of the game.

    The only thing that dissapoints me is that that we seemed to be content with the 1-0, which isnt really our style and maybe Pep was trying to show a more cautious approach away from home in the CL, which i can understand, but still I think we should do what we do best, which is kill off opponents.

    I was watching the game with a Chelsea fan and believe me he has no love for Barca, in fact he was supporting Arsenal, but he still felt we were hard done by.

    The worst part of this is now we have to wait 3 weeks to play the 2nd leg and I live in LONDON. I know about half a dozen Arsenal fans and they are going to be soooo smug for the next 3 weeks. That is really gona piss me off!!

    • Humphrey Bogart
      February 16, 2011

      But the good thing is that in 3 weeks that horror february is over.

  95. majatt
    February 16, 2011

    I think for alot of people its hard to swallow because reality has been on hold for the better part of 3 years.

    Messi’s rate of finishing is beyond insane so when he performs like a human being its terrible. This wasn’t a bad game but I think complacency did us some harm.

    Pep needs to go for it more in away games in Europe, Kieta and Adriano are his typical subs (from my memory) in this sort of game. Is it prudent? At times but Arsenal are not to be underestimated.

    I somewhat expect a repeat of last year with Messi going ape shit and breaking them over his knee but I guess I’ve lost touch with reality as well.

  96. blitzen
    February 16, 2011

    I think you’re all being a bit hard on the team, though. There were long stretches of time when we were in complete control, pressing hard and making opportunities. We had some bad luck with Messi’s big miss and then the disallowed goal. As others have noted, Xavi and Busquets were both excellent, Abidal was his usual monster self, and Alves was good, if not at his best.

    Pep’s big mistake was subbing out Villa. He wasn’t absolutely brilliant, but he was good, and he was at least awake, unlike Messi. Substituting a midfielder for a striker sent a bad message to the other team and took the bite out of our attack. Then Iniesta came off for another (mostly) defensive player. Arsenal saw that Pep was content to play for the 1-0 and stepped up their game. That pissed me off because that is not how we play. We attack. Always. Remember, Pep?

    And that is what Arsenal did. Attacked. They were relentless and determined. They wanted it more than we did. And they got it.

    But in March they will be in our house. The last time we had them over, Messi scored four goals. And I guarantee he will be in the mood for revenge!

    • Humphrey Bogart
      February 16, 2011

      Absolutly agree, and the strange thing is the Pep repeated the same mistake like last year when he took off Ibra.

  97. Jose
    February 16, 2011

    I am eagerly awaiting The Review from Kxevin.

  98. blitzen
    February 16, 2011

    Also, I am Hlebbing us all for the rest of the month as penance. 😛

  99. Barka
    February 16, 2011

    Why I’m confident the team will play better in the second leg, I don’t want the players to participate in that Remuntada campaign on the newspapers again. That was embarassing last time against Inter.

  100. Víctor
    February 16, 2011

    I never expected this. Pedro, once again, had a bad game against Arsenal? Well, he’s gonna get revenge in the 2nd leg.

  101. BarcaGirl_Indo
    February 16, 2011

    totally off topic…

    I’m at office today, with no make up in my face, no concentration/focus on my job…
    my cellphone ran out of battery for hours and I don’t even care to charge it back…

    and I’m very irritating this morning…
    my co-workers probably hate me today…

    the worst thing is I’m very pessimistic at this moment…
    I think that EPIC FAIL “Remontada Campaign” thing against Inter gave me a bad bad trauma…

    I hate Hlebbuary…:D

    • PM
      February 16, 2011

      Super defensive teams like Chelsea/Inter couldn’t hold Barca from scoring. We will go most likely go through. Somehow I’m more worried about the liga matches in between.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        February 16, 2011

        that’s another thing that make me badly depressed at this moment…

        I’m terrified for the next La Liga match, I’m really sorry for being negative,
        but that’s just how I feel right now…

        these boys look tired, I think mentally and physically exhausted…
        they need to get fresh so bad…

        I will be very happy if I’m wrong….

        • PM
          February 16, 2011

          Usually Barca responds pretty well after a loss. If I am not mistaken that has been the trend for last 2/3 years. After the Bilbao game there is a one week gap. That should help.

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      Haha. I can’t even wear contact lens today as I only had 2 hours of sleep and after the match ended, I jsut couldn’t sleep. My eyes would burn if I attempt to put on my contact lenses 😆

      THe fans just gotta do what they did when we played EE. That would be enough.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        February 16, 2011

        we need all Cules in Camp Nou to give 100% support and create a very very hostile atmosphere…

        at least that can help to distract opponent’s mentality…

  102. PM
    February 16, 2011

    How is Barca going to respond against Bilbao this Sunday? Pedro, Messi could use some rest but I don’t think that will happen against in form Bilbao. In 3 weeks time Barca plays 4 liga matches, and none of the matches are going to be easy. But, if there is one team that can rise to the challenge it’s BARCA. Lets hope players forget about Arsenal quickly and bench players raise their game asap.

  103. barca96
    February 16, 2011

    @ooga aga:
    Messi’s miss wasn’t that bad. The gk( can’t pronounce nor spell his name) closed the angle pretty well.
    The only way to go for Messi was for him to chip over his shoulder which he did but then of course, the goal is covered. Not a bad miss.

    However, Messi did once or twice went solo when he had a dozen Arsenal players in front of him when there is some one free in the box.
    DOn’t understand why he gave up running the 2nd part of 2nd half.

    @blitzen:
    If I remember correctly, we always suffer when we defend a lead. Always because like you said, that is not part of our game.
    If Pep really wanted to defend the lead properly, put sMasch in!! Not Keita or Adriano.

    Iniesta wasn’t that bad either. Both he and Messi dozed off in the last 20mins.

    @Jim: Maxwell wasn’t at fault for both the goals but he was poor all night. I don’t understand, he looks disinterested in playing for us. He doesn’t hustle. I mean, if I get a chance to play for the best team in the world, I would play like it’s my last day but Maxwell always seemed so casual. And I hardly see him chasing the ball back after losing it.

    For hte 2nd goal, he was nowhere to be seen. He was jogging back to the penalty area. Same thing happened on an Arsenal counter in the 1st half. He was just jogging behind the Arsenal player instead of challenging for the ball.

    Manita comeback definitely!

    • PM
      February 16, 2011

      I agree with you, Maxwell isn’t really helping these days. If Milito were as good as Marquez of last year Barca could do a better job in defense.

      Whoever Barca gets as left-back or center-back in summer should have some pace. Too many players involved in possession game high up the pitch will always be vulnerable to quick counter attacks. One Abidal can’t do it all.

    • Jim
      February 17, 2011

      Did you see where he was though, barca96? He was almost up at their box, chased the man he was marking who got the ball to close him down but a couple of quick passes later it was approaching our box. Keita should have been covering for him but went to sleep. I’m not saying he had a good game – he didn’t- but neither did four or five others. Just looking for some fairness here 🙂

  104. Víctor
    February 16, 2011

    Why do people mention the Iniesta sub as way important… I mean, sure, he’s a great player (although he wasn’t that great today) but the sub was almost at the end… it didn’t affect the result that much… Villa’s sub, on other hand, did… although, we shouldn’t miss Arsenal’s sub as well.

  105. Iniesta was poor throughout this match. Not only this in the last one also. This is the second match in a row where he had a bad night and our midfield struggled. I thought we paid the price for a bit of laid back attitude in teh second half. We had the game in our hands but never saw any proper pressing in the second half. Arsenal players performed really well.

  106. Víctor
    February 16, 2011

    As a side note: of course, I hate the loss, but I’d rather lose against a team that plays to attack us and uses pressure (Arsenal) than lose against a team that just sits deep (Inter).

    • barca96
      February 16, 2011

      BUt if we lose against a team like Inter, we can say that we lost because they parked the bus :p

  107. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    Just got done rewatching the game with hubby. Had to do it with a poker face because I didn’t want to give away the result to him. So I watched more objectively.

    -Messi was off, and for a couple periods of time he was walking, but to his credit, upon second viewing, he did try to kick it back into turbo. He wasn’t awful. He wasn’t bad. He was just off and acting like a human. One gets very tired when one tries to play 3 different positions for 60 minutes.
    -Pique was not as awful as I thought, but there were some bad moments. Defenders can’t have bad moments because it leads to goals.
    -Maxwell was not very good today, but neither was he horrible. None of the goals were his fault and he quite possibly saved one but offensively attacks came to him in order to die.
    -Xavi was pretty awesome.
    -Alves played well, but even he can’t be two places at once.
    – P!! some good, some bad, some headless chicken
    -VV definately at fault for first goal, out of position/ not covering near post (THAT was one heck of a goal)
    -Villa, I enjoyed watching him play today, very involved, tracked back nice goal
    -Busi strong game overall but still some bad Busi moments(I don’t care if you think you’re fouled. Don’t waste time trying to call the game. get up and get the ball back (this means you too P!!))
    -Abidal saved our butts many times but I thought he could have done better with Arshavin’s goal.
    -Iniesta was very “on” in the first half. The second, not so much.
    -Pep, dude, if your gonna protect a 0-1 lead, might your consider a destroyer like Mascherano??? and Adriano? really?

    For a neutral, this game was awesone. Good game Barca. Good game Arsenal. Hubby was like “oh. I can see why you like to watch Arsenal” and I was like “oh, shut up”.

    Btw, why are we talking about wanting Cesc. What about Willshere? ;-D

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      IF we lose/draw in Camp Nou,

      he’s going to be like :

      “wow, my current team is better than Barcelona… why would I want to go there, anyway? I want trophies… Daddy wenger, I’m staying here…”

      Cesc nonsense-transfer saga will be dead,
      so let’s tap Wilshere instead… 😀

  108. gowtham
    February 16, 2011

    hey guyss:D
    what a game. like the old saying, a game of two halves, first half being brilliant, second was self destruction mode:S
    but guys one thing i do not like is bashing MESSI, he had a bad game, but you guys have to consider the level that he is playing in, first of all he is carrying the team on his shoulders, this is not xavi’s or puyol’s team, this is meesi’s team, and he is our leader. The man is bound to be wasteful during some time in a season.we cant keep on expecting him to put in every god damn chance he gets, hes going to miss some now and then. If he was half as wasteful as some of our other players, then we would really be having a hard time… Just dont bash him please…
    Villa was good…
    VV, well its his peridiodical mistake
    pique, was good but pissed he got a yellow
    alves, we need him really bad,
    Xavi, GOD, nuff said
    iniesta, where were you
    pedro, look at above comment
    villa, was good
    pep, weird subs..
    im looking forward to the next game, if we score first, then it might be a whitewash, 😀
    so march 8th

  109. BarcaGirl_Indo
    February 16, 2011

    it’s not a new thing that we lose against a brilliant defensive team…
    most of the time, we struggle against opponent like Chelsea/Inter/Bilbao, etc, etc…

    but when we lose against opponent that play the same style like us,
    then people can easily say :

    “apparently, Arsenal play total football better than Barcelona…”
    “apparently, Barcelona is Arsenal-lite, not otherwise”

    Imagine we must live that statement for –I don’t know how long- if we fail to get through the next round…

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      this is a reply for Victor, btw… 😀

      • Víctor
        February 16, 2011

        people can say a lot of things… if we lose against Inter then people say “playing defensive and sit back is the way to do”…

        thing is… I find it less painful to lose a game against Arsenal or Valencia… than to lose against a team that just parks the bus… at least it’s better for football in general…

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          February 16, 2011

          I find it more painful actually,

          cause I genuinely believe Barcelona play a better total football than any other team in this world…

          but now we lost against opponent that people always mentioned as “Barça-wannabe” or “Barça-lite” or whatever they called it…

  110. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    @ Blitzen—Do the rest of us have to suffer regular Hlebbings as part of your penance? Don’t make me go back to that Shakira avatar!

  111. blitzen
    February 16, 2011

    Guardiola:

    “I am upset that we lost the game, but there is still the second leg to turn things around. I don’t know how far we’ll get, but we’ll be ourselves”, said Guardiola in his post-match press conference, where he said time and again that he has no intention of changing his team’s style.

    To end he said “allow me to have faith in my players. They have achieved too much in a short space of time for me not to have faith in them”.

    I have faith in them too. 😀

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      “I don’t know how far we’ll get, but we’ll be ourselves”
      “allow me to have faith in my players.”

      please do, Pep… please have faith and be ourselves… 😀

      subtitute a forward with a midfielder when we only lead 1 goal (while the game is still far away from finish) is not ourselves…

      I miss my real Barça, the mighty Barça who tore EE for 90 minutes…

  112. February 16, 2011

    i just woke up from my blackout. we didn’t lose did we? i’m having these horrible flashes of an arshavin goal. i must be losing it.

    • blitzen
      February 16, 2011

      It wasn’t Arshavin! It was a horrible little hobgoblin Arshavin. 🙁

      God I hate him.

  113. Josep
    February 16, 2011

    anyone who thinks Pique didn’t have a bad match rewatch it. on the second goal not only does he play Nasri onside, he is just standing there shielding VV (who was playing so, so well untill RVP’s goal)

    And look who is slowly jogging into the box. If he’s sprinting to cover, Alves will cut that ball out. But he’s not, what the hell happened. were they that tired that even ALVES didn’t sprint?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      February 16, 2011

      re-watch it? I don’t think I am gonna be able to torture myself…

      at least not today… 😀

      • barca96
        February 16, 2011

        Both he and Abidal played RVP on-side for the 1st goal too.

        The players did look tired in the last 20mins. They really did.
        I noticed that. Cmon, we are not used to this speed..
        Imagine when we meet Man U or Chelsea…

  114. soccermomof4
    February 16, 2011

    ESPN says we had 66% possession. For what it’s worth.

  115. jaymin
    February 16, 2011

    We’ll sell Barcelona Cesc this summer as long as John Cryer agrees to restrain himself from approaching Wilshere until 2023 : )

  116. Guardiola should have taken off Pedro and brought in either Bojan or Afellay or even thiago. Pedro was having a ridiculously off night. The biggest problem was Messi switching off himself in the second half. Xavi was trying to find him in many occasion, but he was least interested. We did the same mistake last season – sit back and relax. This time around the punishment was a bit harsher. Now we have to play a script perfect matcxh at the Camp Nou.

    Jack Wilshire played really well, but I would like to see how he cope with the pressure at the Camp Nou.

  117. beeeef
    February 16, 2011

    I didn’t think too much of Arsenal’s home record in the CL (no losses against opposition from outside England), but both last and this year, we squandered leads to ultimately tie and lose, respectively.

    Couple that with our rather dismal away record in CL ties, and maybe this result isn’t that surprising from a purely statistical point of view.

    Despite being a goal down, I think we have what it takes to progress to the QF at the Camp Nou. Playing at home on that huge pitch, with the support of thousands of home fans should help to some degree to stabilize our player’s mentality and bring out their best form.

    • Nav
      February 16, 2011

      I’m going into total isolation mode and not going to read anything (except this site and barcastuff) until our home leg.

  118. February 16, 2011

    gems from the four four two liveblog today:

    Tim Stannard – Arsenal v Barcelona: “Messi’s iffy luck in England continues. Yet to score a goal there. Including against Stoke.”

    Tim Stannard – Arsenal v Barcelona: “Arsene Wenger pictured on the bench looking like he’s going through a particularly bad phase of rehab.”

    -before arsenal went up, obviously.

    Tim Stannard – Arsenal v Barcelona: “Still contemplating who will go through between Arsenal and Barcelona. It even took a trip to the ‘special room’ to ponder. Too early to call. Let’s see how Barça’s form goes over the next couple of weeks.”

  119. February 16, 2011

    Full faith that we win handily in the return leg guys, but cudos to Arsenal for taking the game to us. I did not like pep going defensive bringing Keiteeeee on with only a 1 goal cushin.

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