Barcelona – Arsenal Second Leg Liveblog

If you’re like me and you feel like you’re going to burst from the emotions leading up to this game, never fear, the liveblog is here! This is the perfect place to laugh, to cry, to scream, to yell “I love you all,” or to otherwise express your emotions (while following the rules of course).

I have class until 15 minutes after the game begins, so unless my extreme ninja skills can somehow get me out early, Kari is going to be getting the ball rolling.

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336 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    March 8, 2011

    WHAT A F-ING MATCH

  2. mardia
    March 8, 2011

    I can’t even jump and down, I’m too drained from all the stress and tension of that match. Dear God.

    Most of the focus is going to be on the van Persie red card, but we shouldn’t ignore that we thoroughly outplayed Arsenal on that pitch.

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      I hope people don’t forget Busi gave them a goal to go along with their 0 goals and 0 shots. They were absent the entire match until we took our foot off the gas after repeated fails at goal. Oh well, there’s also Messi’s disallowed goal from the first leg and two handballs. Add that to a no call for a penalty on Messi and I don’t see how arguing about the red card is even possible.

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      *0 shots on goal, 0 goals (not including an own goal)

  3. Roz
    March 8, 2011

    That was tight people. Alumnia brilliant. Barca just a bit more brilliant. Quarters he we come!

    • Artur
      March 8, 2011

      WOW thanks! posted that on my friend’s FB profiles who are saying Arsenal were the better team, ya right lol!

  4. Chandler
    March 8, 2011

    Congrats! You deserve it and you Won. Barca played some sublime stuff and I have no problem with you winning you 11 were better than our 10. I mean look at the facts, whenever we have even players on the field we win or are winning examples (CL until Lehmann gone we win) (same tonight 1-1 we win) Your house Ade.

    OK ENOUGH OF THAT LIKE I SAID I AM BITTER.
    YOU WON YOU DESERVED IT. My god and the chant @Majatt that was awsome. Please Please finish the job.

    Congrats and Screw your selfs,
    Love Chandler

    • March 8, 2011

      0 shots and 0 shots on goal. We even had to score a goal for you.

      I think that’s why you lost.

      But to come here after such a painful defeat… I salute you. I’d have been even more bitter if I were you, Chandler. Respect.

    • March 8, 2011

      Cheers. Thanks for stopping by. Your team was terrific over both legs.

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      Your team can win the PL.. Its time your lot finishes the job instead of telling the whole world so..

      Again the numbers complaint! Are we whining that we had to play with an entirely makeshift defense for the nth number of time?

      Winners find a way, losers find excuses..

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      Agreed, I just want it all there best against best. I respect your club, your football, “your way”. You won congrats, but makeshift. Come on you are great team with a complete great squad. I feel we are also and no complaints about who we had out there. Noe should you. It was a great phucking game period. The best team won. Your lot needs to go take of the CL. We’ll take our league and see ya again next year.

      Great Game I’d love to say go fuck yourself but well…..
      Go phuck yourself…. with love
      Chandler

  5. jnelson
    March 8, 2011

    I am so happy we are through, but that was AWFUL. That was the worst finishing I think I have ever seen. [Explitive], [Explitive], [Explitive]. We should have ripped them apart after RVP was sent off. Instead, we have to listen to moaning for the next year. Great. At least it’s better than losing like we almost did. Watching the game at about the 80th minute I was telling myself that we were going to throw the game away. Missing that many chances had to cost us. If it wasn’t for sMasch…This is supposed to be a great day!

  6. March 8, 2011

    I’m so drained. Right now, I’m literally shaking. That was the longest 4 minutes of my life. Holy moly mackerel Busi. WHAT A GOALAZO. The second goal was just amazing. This is why I support Barca.

    Honestly, I don’t care what anyone says. I agree van Persie shouldn’t have been booked for kicking the ball away, but that was his SECOND yellow and he only has himself to blame for the petulance of the first. If you have to many reffing desisions go your way (our first leg, Birmingham) karma will strike back.

    But who cares about that. REMUNTADA AND WHAT A REMUNTADAAAAAA!!!! Wouldn’t be us if we didn’t let that horrible last chance for Bendtner. Thank god for sMasch.

    And speaking of sMasch. What a game. Actually make that the entire team.

    Gosh, I’m not even speaking straight. I end with:

    I love you, Barca~! PARA SIEMPRE!

  7. March 8, 2011

    Arsenal pushed Barcelona very hard. Credit to them. They are a much better team than they were last season.

    The reputation they get pinned with in England for being soft or mentally weak is nonsense.

    It was a very strange game. But make no mistake about it. Barcelona dominated this match. They played Arsenal off the pitch the first half.

    Over and over Arsene Wegner and Arsenal talk about how they deserve to win games because they played better than the opposition. Even in games they lose they often say they “deserved” to win.

    Barcelona absolutely deserved to win this game.

    Many, many arsenal players could have been sent off in this match for Arsenal. And that was a function of how Arsenal decided to defend. They were unable to retain any meaningful possession and were forced to chase. And they tried to chase physically.

    And when you do that you are always at risk for going down players.

    • March 8, 2011

      Arsenal fans can be happy. Their team really did push us. Very dangerous on the counter–our defense made of DMs and LBs really did tell at times. Arsenal’s goal should have never happened.

      I was afraid we’d shoot ourselves in the foot again, but Mascherano, I’d go to Barcelona to kiss you for that last intervention. I was 10000000% wrong about you. What a match from you. We owe a huge part of our qualification to that last ditch tackle.

      And yes, we totally deserved to win this match. And we did, showing our character after an own goal by scoring that beau-tiful second.

      I’m really, and honestly shaking right now. WHAT A MATCH. This is what being a football fan and a cule means. Incredible. I’m never been on such an emotional roller coaster. Holy crap.

  8. jordi™
    March 8, 2011

    Kos shouldve had 2 reds so who cares.

    We win baby.

  9. Eklavya
    March 8, 2011

    I THINK IM GOING DIE.

  10. soccermomof4
    March 8, 2011

    1. Thank you Lord!

    2. Oh, are we in for complaints now! see point 3

    3. vP’s 2nd yellow was not deserved, on the other hand his foul for the card in the first half was Soooooooo stupid. Maybe it makes up for Messi not getting a PK in the first half.

    4. Poor Busi, I can’t blame him because he’s playing out of position.

    5. Tomorrow I can go back to liking Arsenal

    6. Hugs to all the cules

  11. Jose
    March 8, 2011

    WEEEEEE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!!! WE DESERVED TO WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNN!!!!!

    TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT EL CAMP!!!!
    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES UN CLAM!!!!

    • Eklavya
      March 8, 2011

      VAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • March 8, 2011

      TOTS UNITS FEM FORCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! BARCAAAAAAA BARCAAAAA BARCAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

      I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

  12. Jnice
    March 8, 2011

    K, I’m happy we won.

    But I’m kind of pissed of we played around like that instead of ending the game with the 4 goal.

    What in the world were we doing? It’s almost as if we wanted to throw the match.

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      ^This totally sums up my opinion. Kinda blows

    • blitzen
      March 8, 2011

      Jeez guys, can’t you just be happy and celebrate for 5 freaking minutes? 2 years ago you would have been thrilled with how we played!

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      Arsenal….. That is shit, you played very well, we lost. We are at least the best team you have played in your league. Hell id take your league any day. I am following yall (yall= your lot) and hoping you take it. Do not be flippant or a dick-head you won and deserved it, but last years CL at your house is not the norm. Enjoy it revel in it but do not be condesending.

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      then again enjoy hell if we had won, I am sure I ……. I’ll leave it there

      good night God bless, I I toast the health of our teams and this wonderful way of life

  13. Artur
    March 8, 2011

    I would like to take this moment and thank Mascherano for being amazing throughout the whole match and stealing a crucial ball from behind off of Bendtner at the end.

    I sincerely hope to see more of Adriano and Mascherano

    • soccermomof4
      March 8, 2011

      That tackle where Mashe hurt himself, the one that saved the game for us, was worth ANYTHING we paid for him this summer.

  14. Jose
    March 8, 2011

    That being said, Arsenal is soooo much better than last year. Better team, better scoreline, same result.

    As for ref decisions: we should have been at least 2-2 coming into the Camp Nou. Arsenal has no right to complain about refereeing decisions when such a massive one went for them in the first leg.

    Maybe Wenger would have been better served preparing his team for this match instead of playing injured-not-injured mind games with Nasri (1st leg) and RVP (2nd leg).

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      True, maybe even understated, but the English press doesn’t care. For a whole year we are going to be hearing about how Arsenal was robbed. …..I wish we could play them NBA Playoff style. Best of 7. Actually, I wish we could swap all our Liga games and play Champions League teams in Best of 5s and 7s. That would be cool.

    • March 8, 2011

      BritPress can kiss my Canadian arse. Where were they when we had a goal disallowed, when Song was supposed to be sent off, the non-call on Messi that should have been a penalty, Koscielny not being given a second yellow for the P!! penalty…

      Not to mention the fact Alumnia needed to make 10 saves (or more) to keep them in the game. Not to mention they had 0 shots and 0 shots on target. Not to mention if we finished our chances this scoreline would be in the double digits.

      Arsenal robbed? Hardly.

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      HAHA and they can kiss my American arse. I wouldn’t care what they thought, but unfortunately there are so many innocent people duped into reading their columns and “headlines” and believing their mounds of slanderous filth. I feel the same about all the pour souls who go to Marca.

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      and AS *you know, the art institute

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      So that’s why they’re named Arse-nal..

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      Agreed

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      Arsenal Fan; Agreed and where the phuck did that Liverpool stump-jumper learn to play. Masch was immense.
      As an Arsenal fan we have a player kinda of like Masch (great or dismal) or maybe you all love him and think he has it and I am wrong. I am really just mesmerized with his game today.

      No complaints if you have an “Arsenal Fan” yelling they were robbed, well that is not my ilk. You were very good (Go Figure) we played well and lost.

      Well Barca folks I have enjoyed it, and I am in no way OK with the result is sucks, it hurts, and it will be remembered. The result was deserved. Good night, take it home. I will not be trolling or bothering yall (do not know what a troll is minus the bridge ones) I just liked the thought and ideas of some of the posters pre-match and post, but I must return to my lot. I love them tons but pampers and tissue will be needed.
      Last post until yall finish the job.
      Fuck ya Love YA
      Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal

  15. March 8, 2011

    Kxevin and Isaiah have an INCREDIBLE match waiting for them.

    This is why football is the world’s sport. Incredible. Just incredible. I experienced unbelievable joy (Messi’s goal), crushing depression (OG), hope and joyous anger/passion (Xavi’s GOLAZO, AZO, AZO.) And finally, Messi’s penalty which he should have had

    This match should have been all over way way way way way way way way way way way sooner than it had. We need to finish our chances and Dani’s inheritance of Iniesta’ forcefield…but I just don’t give a damn right now.

    BARCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! *BEASTLY ROAR* This is why I’m a cule!

  16. Artur
    March 8, 2011

    Man of the match guys?

    Mine is Dani Alves … no words can describe his relentless forward runs and numerous steals off of Nasri! Really deserved a goal today.

    Team as a whole was amazing though!

  17. Humphrey Bogart
    March 8, 2011

    I am so over the moon. Regarding the red card: If the referee thinks he can hear Pedro whistle within the stadium, than RvP must hear too and then it is a yellow card for delibertly pushing the ball away. Anyway, in the first leg every decision was against us.

    And they had ZERO; NO; NJET; NADA; RIEN shoot on goal. So how can they think they would deserve to go through, that is beyound ridicolous.

  18. Goo
    March 8, 2011

    For people like me whose streams died just in time for the goals:

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTTSzT8-0bI
    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcK-MdF-jBk
    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JW9Nd-nvJI

  19. Jose
    March 8, 2011

    Apparently Wenger went ape-stircus in the tunnel. Wonder what happened there…

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      Wenger can only blame himself.. Playing Rosicky instead of Arshavin?

    • Chandler
      March 8, 2011

      Damn man, but again Agreed

  20. Olufestus
    March 8, 2011

    I dont know what to write! HOLY CRAP

  21. jnelson
    March 8, 2011

    I think this says it all:

    Match Stats

    Barcelona Arsenal
    20(12) Shots (on Goal) 0(0)
    8 Fouls 19
    5 Corner Kicks 2
    8 Offsides 4
    76% Time of Possession 24%
    0 Yellow Cards 3
    0 Red Cards 1
    0 Saves 9

  22. March 8, 2011

    I’m so proud of our team. We’re on our worst form of the season, with a short squad, injuries, and suspensions. Mascherano and Adriano came through BIG TIME. Whenever I want to slander sMasch, I’ll always remember that last-ditch tackle on Bendtner and the injury as a result. TE AMO JEFECITO!! You are indeed a boss!

    • tutomate
      March 8, 2011

      They were both great today. Did you see sMach push Adrian out of the way when he was subbed?: He was like get off me you made me get injured.

    • March 8, 2011

      Yesh! Someone else saw that too! Go tutomate! 😀

    • tutomate
      March 8, 2011

      Lol that’s cold

    • soccermomof4
      March 8, 2011

      Barca DNA- itty bitty trophies between the base pairs, held there by stronger than normal hydrogen bonds

  23. tutomate
    March 8, 2011

    Such an awesome game. I’m so buzzed right now I can’t write too much but I saw the game at world sports cafe and it was awesome there was EE fan there it was so beautiful.

    • soccermomof4
      March 8, 2011

      was the EE fan rooting against us or against the EPL?

    • tutomate
      March 8, 2011

      Against us I was taunting him about the 5-0

  24. slynn71
    March 8, 2011

    I am still reeling over that match!! it was awesome!!!! Just awesome football!!!

  25. Josep
    March 8, 2011

    Amazing. Mascherano MOTM if not for his sturdy play but he saved it with that 1-on-1, great ball by Wilshere (who showed his punk attitude)
    Btw, prepare for the trolls.

    Points of contention.
    1. Diaby, foul. PK/FK on edge of the box.
    2. Koscielny right before that PK, if Messi goes down.
    3. RVP sent off was very harsh, but he doesn’t see that second yellow if he didn’t see the first. It was clearly for a number of dissent-related incidents. That didn’t effect the outcome though. He wasn’t tracking back, he was playing up top and not defending. Doesn’t affect us.
    4. How many PKs were we denied before finally getting one?
    5. Koscielny concedes a PK, but doesn’t get a yellow? If RVP doesn’t go off he should’ve and would’ve.
    6. Gooners before you complain think about what went against us. a) Messi’s goal wrongfully disallowed, b) AA handball c) Djorou handball on messi’s goal d) Messi PK.
    7. Arsenal had 0 shots. They didn’t deserve to advance at all. The worst part was we were one kick away from losing. luckily it was bendtner, I always pick on him. some gooners defend him. they won’t anymore.
    8. WE HAVE TO FINISH OFF MATCHES.
    9. idk what else to say guys. Masch wow. saved my season.
    10. JNICE GET THAT OCARINA OUT

    • Josep
      March 8, 2011

      Oh yeah and apparently the Arsenal players surrounded the ref in the tunnel post match.

    • soccermomof4
      March 8, 2011

      Preach it, Brother!

    • jnelson
      March 8, 2011

      sMasch was great, but his long passing was just too off. Too many early drives were wasted by a way off pass (ditto for Adriano). Both were instrumental though, with sMasch’s tackling and Adriano’s runs and speed, but Dani was just HUGE. After a slow and off start, he was straight up Gangsta. MVP were all way too wasteful, despite Villa’s brilliant assists and Messi’s incisive runs. Iniesta and Xavi both had their moments. Abidal could very well be MOTM, too. How he isn’t in the top 4 DEFs in the world is beyond me. I think he is now our best.

  26. Diego
    March 8, 2011

    I’m trying to be happy but I can’t.

    We were too risky and wasteful which left me with a bitter taste at the end of the match rather than happiness.

    • soccermomof4
      March 8, 2011

      Diego be happy. We won despite not having CBs and not being in particularly good form this time of year. We outplayed them and they had ZERO shots. ZERO!

    • Diego
      March 8, 2011

      I’m of course happy we won.

      Just thinking about Alves’ ball and then Bendtner’s !!!

  27. Ryan
    March 8, 2011

    Messi now has 8 goals in the CL, joint lead and already matching his number from last year!

  28. March 8, 2011

    Barca played great.

    The squad’s lack of depth really concerns me.

    Winning 3-1 in the last 10 minutes of the match, Pep had no viable defensive players to add to the game after Keita was introduced.

    And even then – Keita was in the game forced to play out of position.

    Villa was horrible. And Pep didn’t really have another viable striker to turn to.

    It’s unfortunate. Barca are by far the best team in the world – but if they don’t win the treble their lack of depth will have been a major reason why

    • majatt
      March 8, 2011

      Valid point, Bojan needs to be better and if not he needs to be gone. Soriano would do better as a backup possibly. Affelay isn’t a bad option and when he is settled he will prob be a lot better.

  29. Kariyanna
    March 8, 2011

    WHAT A GAME!!!!! Arsenal really pushed us this Tie and hopefully we can move on stronger from this.

    Also will there be any Revista De La Liga tonight since 2day’s a UCL match day???

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      Still on course for Quadruple disappointment!

  30. Diego
    March 8, 2011

    This is how I feel about RvP’s Red Card.

    Abidal: “Van Persie red card decisive? Of course it had an influence but the players should stick to the rule too”

    He knew he was offside, He shot the ball hoping to waste time and thinking the ref won’t send him off for something simple as that.

    • March 8, 2011

      dont think that it was intentional. first of all there was 90,000+ screaming fans and they were insanely loud. plus it was 1-1 with Barca knocking on the door for another goal, they needed another goal. Also, there was literally one second in between the whistle and him kicking the ball. Kinda ridiculous call in my opinion and hard to say even if it was intentional it warranted a second yellow.

    • Kariyanna
      March 8, 2011

      I seriously doubt there was a 1 second margin in between the ref’s whistle and RVP shot. I swear I saw the Linesman Ref raised his flag as RVP touched the ball then the ref blew. In UEFA you always check the linesman’s flag since the rules are more stricter.

      Take the match against Kopenhagen for example. If that guy had check the flag before playing to the whistle he would’ve been on.

    • Roz
      March 8, 2011

      The time between the whistle and the kick was a second. I honestly he did not hear it. Guys we have every right to be ecstatic but we got some iffy calls in our favor.

      Nevertheless we did dominate. Thats a plus. We need to be less dependent on Messi or we will be in trouble.Visca Barca!

    • Roz
      March 8, 2011

      *think

    • Humphrey Bogart
      March 8, 2011

      Yeah, but so did Arsenal in the first leg, when everything went against us.

  31. March 8, 2011

    I’m very happy to get through, but I hate for a game to be decided by flukes/weird calls/freak plays. I think Arsenal was planning on defending for 80 mins till we got tired and getting us on the counter, much like they almost did had Bendtner not had such a horrible touch. Yes, everyone is pointing to the 0 shots on goal by Arsenal but once Van Persie was wrongly carded for the second time, of course its going to be near impossible to get a shot off playing a man down with a back up goalkeeper. I just wish we could have beaten them the proper way, but football is never fair, and we should have been through to the CL finals last year if it weren’t for that stupid handball call on Yaya. So it goes. Sometimes the football gods smile, sometimes they don’t.

    We will never know what could have truly happened if they had not injured a goal keeper and went down a man, so there’s no point in recounting hypotheticals. All I want is for this team to start showing some continuity and prove in the next round and in Liga that we are truly the best team in the world. I hate that the press is going to bitch about all the wrong calls instead of the fact only one team came out to truly attack and play football – us.

    Let’s pray for Puyol to return soon and start showing the world our true class and talent!!! VAMOS

  32. Eklavya
    March 8, 2011

    Mascherano … sacrifices for the team!

    1st goals: freaking brillant! Oh man what football oh man I have a freaking headache god

    BUT the way we threw away chances….SHEESH man…

  33. March 8, 2011

    Arsenal may look like the only team in England that plays decent football, but what I saw today is a nasty nasty team that only has fouling and negative tactics in mind.

    4-0 still stand, thanks to the merciful Busquets

  34. K_legit
    March 8, 2011

    if we don’t finish off the chances we’re going to pay sooner or later..Imagine if Bendtner had scored *shudder*

  35. Vj
    March 8, 2011

    As if they did a lot when RvP was on the field..

    I love it when Gunners stick to BS in the face of reality..

  36. Nav
    March 8, 2011

    OMG I AM SO HAPPY

    GO BARCA

    F YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

    *passes out*

  37. soccermomof4
    March 8, 2011

    Sangria time, goodnight y’all!

  38. March 8, 2011

    Van Persie Red:

    I’ll say this again and again. The second yellow was undeserved IMO. I believe he didn’t hear the whistle over the whistling fans. But it was the SECOND yellow. He only has himself to blame for getting the first. If he hadn’t been so petulant he wouldn’t have got it. End of.

    Is the ref’s fault they couldn’t get out of their own half?
    Is it the ref’s fault they had 0 shots on goal? Is it the ref’s fault Wenger put in Rosicky and not Arshavin. If people want to cry “Chelsea” all over again, let them.

    They love their grapes sour in North London.

    I have no idea how they

    • K_legit
      March 8, 2011

      Preach sister!
      Plus I quoted you on a fb page if you don’t mind

    • March 8, 2011

      No prob, K_legit. Spread the word 😉

    • barcapanda
      March 8, 2011

      I totally agree. The second yellow was a weird call, but he had been playing on the edge all night. I don’t think his attitude during the first yellow card helped, either. Strange (and yes, undeserved) as the call seemed, if RVP hadn’t set himself up for it, the whistle call would have basically been an irrelevant quirk in the game.

    • addi
      March 8, 2011

      Chelsea isn’t in North London if that’s what you are implying.

      I thought the 1st yellow was an example of extremely bad refereeing (my reasoning outlined in a comment somewhere below). Maybe I’m wrong, but your opinion strikes me as that of someone who hasn’t played a lot of competitive football. From someone who’s competed at one level or another since he was 8 yrs old let me assure you that 9 times out of 10, a good referee prevents the 1st yellow incident from even taking place.

      While making the ‘big money’ calls is arguably the skill of the referee, game management is the art of the referee. I thought the ref failed at both tonight. YMMV

    • March 8, 2011

      I have played competitive football, thank you very much, and if you have played as long as you’ve claimed, then you’d know better than anyone that is the time to keep your head and not do anything rash. Especially knowing the nature of the game (your RB was booked for throwing the ball away—all good teams adapt to the strictness of the refereeing).

      In any case, what was van Persie doing the last 55 minutes of the game, other than picking fights? Amassing 0 shots and not tracking back.

      Complaining about refereeing is the last thing Arsenal fan should do, because it implies that you’ve been hard done by the whole tie. Remind me what happened in the first leg?

      It seems that lots of fans are bitter and are focusing on the red because they have nothing else. Arsenal were well and truly outplayed.

    • addi
      March 8, 2011

      I thought it was pretty obvious that RVP had been instructed to stay up the pitch and attempt to provide an outlet.

      If you read Euler’s very good match preview you would have been reminded of how tirelessly he tracked and pressed from the front in the 1st leg. His play this evening was so wildly different from three weeks ago that I assumed AW had tasked him to play as a lone forward rather than the false-9 role he usually plays. Both our wide players tracked your fullbacks so deep that he simply couldn’t afford to drop deep as well, and if he did there would have been no-one there to exploit the space opened up by his movement anyway. It’s worth bearing in mind that last week he was still supposed to be out with a hamstring problem for a minimum of 3 weeks so it’s quite possible he was playing through injury too.

      Think of it this way, it is the Refs job to protect the players from reckless and dangerous challenges. Football’s a physical game and in high pressure environments emotions become frayed, the Ref has to know this and to manage the players on both sides to ensure matters don’t boil over.

      Imagine if after the confrontation around Jack, and the hands that he received to both his face and his throat, RVP had completely lost it. He could easily have ended up going in on Alves (or whoever it was) with a lunging studs-up challenge rather than a shoulder barge and possibly put the player in question in hospital.

      If this had happened, he would have been guilty of severe violent conduct and would have deserved both a red and a ban, but the referee ALSO would have been responsible for a potentially season ending injury because he had failed to manage the situation correctly.

      I’ve played under many good refs and many very, very poor ones. In my opinion this is the skill that separates the two.

      I’ve gotta say that I disagree very strongly with the idea that because Barca were the better team I have no right to an opinion on the standard of refereeing.

    • ooga aga
      March 9, 2011

      just want to say, RVP got the first yellow for palming alves’ face, some refs would even give a straight red for a hand to face like that…because it didnt entirely look like a mistake. he was in a rage and the ref gave a yellow to calm the f***er down. not saying he should have got a red but a yellow, made sense. and yup i grew up playing football since age 5. bye.

    • addi
      March 9, 2011

      I didn’t see the hand to the face the tv angle was bad (lol I sound like AW now huh?), I just saw him go in on Alves and the way he was charging around he definitely needed calming, I just thought the ref handled the whole situation so poorly.

      http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0gu58901ZRcHC/x610.jpg

      You’re right though… some refs would show a red card for a hand to the face.

    • Jim
      March 9, 2011

      Just gotta say that completely misses the point. You are responsible for your own conduct. Not the referee. It’s always a cheap shot to blame any referee for something a player does. End of.

  39. March 8, 2011

    Pedro needs to get back into form scoring goals.

    And Villa. What a disappointing game he played. He was very poor this game and it was a game that coming in everyone knew there was a good chance they would need 3 goals to ensure advancement.

  40. Nik
    March 8, 2011

    What a heart-attack of a match. I’m glad we won, but jeez. I don’t think my heart can stand much of those.

    Also, I don’t see how anyone can argue that van Persie didn’t deserve his first yellow. Second yellow was most definitely harsh and unwarranted, but he put himself in the position to get a harsh dismissal with a ridiculous and unwarranted push on Alves’ face.

  41. Roz
    March 8, 2011

    Arsenal did much better then EE. Got to give them that.

    • Jnice
      March 8, 2011

      Much better? They looked clueless to me. Defended better, but in terms of keeping possession and creating chances for themselves, they were as awful as we’ve seen in the Camp Nou.

    • March 8, 2011

      If we took our damned chances, you won’t be saying that Roz.

    • Noslehcimretep
      March 8, 2011

      at least EE managed some shots on goal. Or shots at all.

    • Kariyanna
      March 8, 2011

      Well in their general play I would say they did much better than EE in pushing us to our limits in both legs combine.

  42. K_legit
    March 8, 2011

    Adrianooooooooooooo
    he has totally won me over..great game from him..bt he did have that WTF moment when Wilshere dispossessed him and almost set up the anti-striker Bendtner

    • vicsoc
      March 8, 2011

      I asked this is the liveblog but…

      Has he finally settled in? Or is he just that much better on the left than on the right?

      Like it or not, this match was foreshadowing for Maxwell leaving the club this summer.

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      He really needs to cut down on mistakes if he’s to continue.. Looking at the current defender drought, we need every man we can get!

  43. March 8, 2011

    Oh, and welcome Kariyanna! We had an odd meeting before 😛 , but it’s nice to have you on BFB (you were innocent the whole time (I saw your email and you weren’t one of the two) and just got caught in the madness unfortunately).

    It’s always nice to have another female cule!

    • Vj
      March 8, 2011

      Good to know that all is well!!

      For posterity’s sake, what will happen to the other two?

    • Kariyanna
      March 8, 2011

      Oh,yes Kari welcome back!! Sorry for the misunderstandings earlier on! If it wasn’t for you replying to one of my comments on the Arsenal blog about the Toral situation I would’ve never found this site!

      Its a pleasure to see there are so many knowledgeable female cules here commenting so regularly! I learn so much by just reading all the comments here!!

  44. March 8, 2011

    Folks about the card – it’s true van Persie’s second card was strange.

    But this was the macro issue – Arsenal could not get the ball and they need to have to ball.

    They are not built to defend 75% of a match. They don’t sit deep and absorb pressure. They press. And they couldn’t defend effectively for that long.

    That’s why they had to play in such a risky fashion and so physically.

    The way the game was unfolding there was huge risk for them going down to 10 men the entire way.

    And van Persie’s sending off only prevented the ref from sending off other players.

    • March 8, 2011

      Egg-sactly. They can howl to the heavens about the second yellow, but they were outplayed completely THE WHOLE MATCH. That’s why the red is all they can focus on. Which is sad because they defended well and really pushed us. If they complain about the ref, the credibility and respect they earned with that defensive performance will be blown away IMO.

    • addi
      March 8, 2011

      I would disagree. While I acknowledge that FCB were the better side and deserved to win and progress based on their performance, I also thought the Ref was very poor throughout the game…

      Euler gives an accurate synopsis, and one which I would largely agree with. I posted my views (and congratulations) below and I think they are largely similar to his… if seen through red and white tinted glasses.

  45. jordi™
    March 8, 2011

    They had zero shots.Zero.One busi goal doesnt mean they would get back in the game.W/E imjust buzzing we got a penalty in europe.Oh and qualifying was nice as well ;p

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