March 10th, 2011

Midweek Results: Slightly New, Barely Improved

Image: AP Photo/Martin Meissner.

After numerous staff meetings, a broken window and two arrests (yes, it was the Kellys; no, they haven’t made bail) the Kickette staff have taken a collective deep breath and launched themselves into the unknown.

In response to your apparently voracious interest in our Weekend Results posts, we are going to attempt to make a permanent feature of our somewhat sporadic Midweek Results posts. This will involve rounding up European and Champions League fixtures plus any other business (Cups & whatnot) that we feel you should be aware of. At present we have no plans to cover Europa League games on the basis of:

A) The vast number of them involving teams we’ve never heard of;

B) The Thursday night kick-offs interfering with happy hour at our local bar.

If you complain enough, we may reconsider.

Furthermore, we anticipate teething problems and glaring omissions in the first few weeks, but we would hate to depart from our usual modus operandi and appear too efficient. You might not recognise us.

Tell us what you think, peeps!


Champions League


Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (aggregate 4-3)

Robin. Darling. The man can’t hear you. Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.

Considering the level of expectation attached to the second leg of the Arsenal/Barcelona fixture, we’re surprised to report that the game itself wasn’t actually a let down. Needing only a draw to progress, Arsenal fans would probably have settled for a quiet nil-nil scoreline. Once 95,000 people filled the stadium, Lionel Messi was set to maraud in the midfield alongside late fitness test passer injury Robin van Persie, so it was never going to be that way, now was it?

There was room for optimism in the Gunners’ fans stands during the early stages, but the increasingly frenetic defending that the English side was required to undertake as the first half progressed should have been a warning of what was to come. In fact, after Wojciech Szczesny was replaced by Manuel Almunia due to his dislocated finger, four bookings were issued and Cesc Fabregas’ ill-timed/placed backheel floated into Iniesta’s path clearing the way for Leo Messi (left) to score, Arsene’s men would probably have seen 1-0 down as a reason for optimism.

Image: Getty Images/Daylife.

Realistically though, even after Arsenal had equalised via a Sergio Busquets own goal, the writing was on the wall. Robin van Persie received a second yellow card for not having the hearing or reaction time of a trained bat and Xavi took full advantage of an Iniesta/Villa combo to slot home Barca’s second just before Messi converted a penalty to give them 3-1 and a place in the next round. And while Arsene Wenger has asserted that Arsenal would have won the tie if not for RVP’s dismissal, the fact that Arsenal had no shots on target in the whole game tells a slightly different story.

Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 Roma (agg 6 – 2)

One of these players just missed a penalty. Can you guess which? Image: Reuters/Daylife.

Having three away goals in the bag prior to the second leg, it seemed unlikely that Shakhtar Donetsk were going to undertake the kind of collapse that would’ve allowed Roma to qualify. Roma started cheerfully enough though, with plenty of opportunities in the first fifteen minutes that they failed to convert. They then conceded a goal, missed a penalty and had Philippe Mexes sent off for a second yellow, which left us feeling pity for his piggies.

We won’t mention Daniele De Rossi’s elbow on Srna. Suffice to say, if you thought Wayne Rooney was fortunate not to be sent off for a similar offence a couple of weeks ago, check this out.

After the break, Roma were in disarray and thoroughly exploited by Shakhtar who scored a further two goals to ensure qualification to the Champions League last eight for the first time ever.

In a moment of irony that Arsenal fans are sure to enjoy, their former striker Eduardo scored for Shakhtar. That’s got to smart.


Domestic Leagues


Blackpool 1-3 Chelsea

Here we see that Nando’s bitchfacing is not impeded by either the blue of his shirt or his goal drought. He’s still got it, people! Image: Getty Images/Daylife.

Around the same time as the clanging of dropped points from the weekend’s EPL fixtures stopped aggravating our tinnitus, Chelsea kicked off their fixture against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. A loss would have probably ended Chelsea’s title hopes once and for all, but the Blues put on a assured display for 3-1, with John Terry and Frank Lampard scoring the goals. Chelsea are now nine points behind Manchester United, with a game in hand.

La Liga

Deportivo La Coruna 2 – 1 Real Sociedad

In Spain, a mid-table wrangle between Deportivo La Coruna and Real Sociedad was the feature presentation on Monday night. With only eleven points separating seventeenth from seventh position, every game is crucial and Deportivo skipped up to thirteenth place after Riki and Adrian scored in the 2-1 victory. Having taken one point from a possible nine in recent weeks, Sociedad will need to pull it together soon if they stand any chance of making it into the Champions League spots.



Champions League

Tottenham 0-0 AC Milan (agg 1-0)

shirtless players

Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham.

A goalless draw was good enough reason for Tottenham to celebrate their first CL quarterfinals foray Wednesday night, since they fought hard to overcome AC Milan’s supremely-styled barnets and pestering pointer fingers.

It wasn’t a cake walk by any means, and we were right to pass our fellow White Hart Lane faithful some insulin-inducing cupcakes as they watched their keeper, Heurelho Gomes, venture off elsewhere on a contact lens lookabout. In his idle wake he left William Gallas to save Spurs’ rears from Robinho’s repeated goal-line threats.

For us, the remaining 45 minutes were semi-brightened by Harry Redknapp and Pato’s obliques. Just like digesting 20 jello shots in the same amount of minutes, Tottenham’s manager opted for a sure fire thing in the second half when he swapped Rafael van der Vaart for Gareth Bale. Oddly enough, VDV headed straight for the tunnel, missing his chance at admiring some abdominals fighting for the rights to keep a Milan kit during the post-match shirt swapping.

Alas, despite the Italians’ many mouth-gaping shots on goal – including an Ibra-to-Robinho scare in the 2nd minute of added time – Michael Dawson was pleased with his side’s ugly win. Rightfully so, one of the tournament’s lower-rung lookers move on to play another day while their once formidable foes get nothing but picked-through goody bags of generic brand hair gel as parting gifts.

Schalke 04 3-1 Valencia (agg 4-2)

It took Valencia  less than 20 minutes of game play at the Arena AufSchalke to cancel out Schalke’s crucial away goal from the earlier leg of this tie, thanks to Ricardo Costa 17th minute cracker of a header. What transpired after that, however, was all downhill for the Spaniards.

Jefferson Farfán and Mario Gavranović – two names we know we’ve probably misspelled and have accepted the grammar gaffe anyway – managed to turn the home side’s frowns upside down by scoring goals on either side (40th and 52nd minutes, respectively) of the half. Coolio.

Bla, bla, bla…Valencia missed a plethora of chances that would’ve allowed them to reclaim their stake in the game, but Farfán sealed the Germans’ deal with a brace (Schalke’s 3rd goal of the game) a ways into injury time…bla, bla, bla.

Good…now that we got that out of the way, let’s tackle the game’s marquee moment: seeing Manuel “Duckie” Neuer and Christophe Metzelder vertically hugging and cuddling and possibly crying. We more than “liked” this, but similar to those suffering in our very own comments section, had extremely limited emoticon buttons at our disposal. Next time.

Image: Getty Images/Daylife.


Domestic Leagues


Sylvain DistinEverton 1-1 Birmingham City

Aside from the ref being forced to play yellow card charades, and Mikel Arteta limping off the field with some help from his mates, last night’s solo league match was much ado about Sylvain Distin.

Yup, we said it. An Evertonian world does exist outside Jack Rodwell. And we want in (for now; we have every right to change our minds at whim).

Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

76 Responses to “Midweek Results: Slightly New, Barely Improved”

  1. Zahara says:

    i forgot to say : barca really did show their true personality, and maybe mr wenger should learn a thing or two from barca.

  2. Zahara says:

    barca!may god bless your souls!
    you guys truly were superior to arsenal that night, before and after RVP was sent off.
    so one cannot say that ; if van persie wasnt sent off, arsenal wouldve won.
    puhleese…arsenal didnt have the ball to begin with.
    its a bit hard to say this coz it was my 1st team (barca) against my 2nd team(arsenal)…but still, barca ran oveer arsenal…they even gifted them a goal and still nothing.

    and for some reason,i was really hating on samir nasri…after what he did to dani alves.

    hooray for messi, iniesta(for that amazing pass) and xavi! and barca had amazing defence, even without pique and puyol.

    i do feel badly for poor cesc and daveed villa coz he didnt get to score.

    visca barca! mes que un club! the best team in the world!

  3. Del says:

    Thanks so much for this post!

    Awesome pictures are awesome! ^^

    p.s. Liverpool play in the Europa League! and Manchester City! I demand Europa League coverage here at Kickette!

  4. Marika says:

    I bleed for Milan and Zlatan… They actually played quite well but at some point you have to make some goals to keep in the competition… But hey there is still Scudetto, go for it!!! And Zlatan, my lust for you is still going strong <3

    And I feel for Robin V P too.

  5. xoWinnie says:

    p.s. has anyone else heard about/seen the Fabregas "smile" after the Messi penalty? i am BEYOND repulsed…

    • Deanna says:

      I think it was more of a grimace.

      • xoWinnie says:

        call me cynical, but it looked like a smiiilee. i didn't believe it until i googled it. my best-friend is a die-hard Culé and she's the one who told me about the "smile". as far as i'm concerned, Cesc can tug it, with his little "pity-me" tweets. ugh.

        • kayla says:

          Oh stop this crying. its undignified and only makes you look ridicules. i mean look at the negative ratings on all your comments. Barcelona had a perfectly legit goal ruled offside and a penalty turned down at the emirates. they also had a stonecold penalty at the camp nou. thats 1 goal and maybe 2 more that were denied to barcelona. but did they whinge and cry, no, they just proceeded to own arsenal in every aspect of the game. Arsenal are now proud record holders, and the record is ZERO shots in 90 min. of football. you guys should be ashamed of yourselves, because if it was barcelona that had zero shots in a game we wouldnt be blaming the ref, we would be apologizing to the football world and someone would be fired.

          • Winnie Mata says:

            why would they "whinge and cry" they WON regardless! if you win, who gives a damn! i sure as hell wouldn't care about any of the injustices against Arsenal if we had won, but we didn't, so i'm pissed off. i have the right to be. just like Cules have the right to be happy that they won. get it? like oh em gee, is that too hard of a concept for you to grasp? like i give a sh*t what anyone thinks of what i have to say. my opinion is mine and mine alone, if someone doesn't like it, they can suck it (or thumb it down, for all i care)! i'm sorry for RIDICULOUSLY having an opinion! and i'll have you know, people here thumb many of my comments down, even positive ones for no good reason! still bitter cause loved that Sergio shoved that jackass Xavi during El Clasico? people have their heads so far up his ass i can see their faces when he speaks! so HA, i STILL think it's funny, and if anyone wants to hate they can go ahead because your sneers, gloating, and thumbing down of my comments are NOT going to change how i feel. if you don't wanna read my comments DON'T. it still amuses me that people take the time to comment and thumb them down though. BYE HATER!

          • the truth says:

            you sound like an idiot. so there's negative ratings on her comments. obviously all barcelona fans who can't handle the truth. you tell her to stop crying and then your proceed to write a whole paragraph insulting her team? hypocrisy is so entertining. seems to be a talent with you people. there's ppl who have agreed with her here, me included and we just happen to be outnumbered. let the girl speak her mind. 0 shots=someone getting fired? how ebarrassingly crasss. you, like other barcelona fans and this whole team in fact, need to get over yourselves.

            and by the way, there was plenty of so-called whinging and crying on your fans' part. denial much?

  6. rubyqueen says:

    midweek was awful for me because i'm a arsenal fan.i feel hurt,cheated and dissapointed.and lost faith in football.!!i'm sick of all the dirty underhanded ways.!!:(

  7. xoWinnie says:

    congrats to Barca, i will not discuss their game. they weren't at their best, but they were obviously better than us. done. still hate them though.
    HOWEVER, that referee was really on some other stuff. the choking going on? WHAT THE F*CKING F*CK?!? the stupid ref was RIGHT THERE! he even pulled Iniesta and Nasri apart and a card wasn't even given? WHAT KIND OF INEXPLICABLE BIAS/LACK OF COMMON SENSE, IS THAT!? i was unfortunately not able to watch the game, but after watching highlights, i am SO happy i didn't. i would for sure have broke a multitude of items in my house. i am seriously APPALLED that RVP got sent off for "time wasting" while some bastards get away scott-free with grabbing another by the neck. that is something people can get arrested for in the real world, and it doesn't even warrant a card in a crucial game!

    also, people need to stop spewing bullsh1t about the "fact" that Arsenal would most likely have lost anyway, even with RVP getting sent off…HOW WOULD ANYONE KNOW!?! being down to 10 men, especially while going up against a team like Barcelona is a game changer! and it NEVER benefits the team who's down to ten men! ESPECIALLY not if they're already pissed off, AND their morale is already down and the player who gets sent off just happens to be one of their best offensive players! as if i couldn't express it enough: IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

    as for Abidal's post-match comments about wanting to play Lyon in the next round? fvck off, betch. you'll get yours. keep Real's name out of your mouth, you sore winner. there is nothing more disgusting to me than that. honestly. leaves a bad taste in my damn mouth.

    • SoccerrLoverrr says:

      PREACH it gurl.
      u hit all the right points! such a disappointing match..

      • xoWinnie says:

        why, thank ya! ;)

        • Soccer<3 says:

          You said it girl, you mentioned all I had to say… Febregas took blame after the game and I respect that but come on did you guys see that back heel pass? If you wanted the team to win that bad you should just transfer already it's bound to happen soon anyways. As for all the chocking really shocked me that they didn't get carded.. sh*t like that makes me absolutely sad. I am not much of a fan of either side but Abidal and players like that make me sick lol

          • xoWinnie says:

            i was surprised Iniesta even got in there to be honest…i used to like him. as for Valdes, if he always wants to fight so much, he should take it to the streets. i'd love to see him in a REAL brawl. perhaps with a Barca-hating hooligan. he should not be a punk and try to intimidate some twenty-something players with much less experience than he has. proverbial bully right there.

    • @DebStimson says:

      Abidal actually said that? Lyon has to play Madrid at the Bernabéu. I would be very surprised if that happened so to Abidal I have to say, "You can't always get what you want". ;p

      • Jules says:

        Abidal’s French, it’s only natural he’d want a French team to progress. I’m not a Valencia supporter but seeing them sent out by Schalke was sad to me because it’s one less Spanish team in the running to get the CL trophy.

      • xoWinnie says:

        apparently the quote was: "Any preference for next round opponent? Lyon would be nice."
        he's such a fvcking troll and a jackass, i cannot stand him. and my hatred for Xavi continues to grow. here's some of what HE had to say: “It was fair. We were much better both there and here. Footballing justice”. UM–FAIR? THEY WERE BETTER "THERE"?–WHAT THE SHlT? i can't even…and then people have the nerve to argue that Barcelona is SO classy and humble and lah-dee-dah!


        • Ginnie says:

          haha I know what you mean by the "Barcelona is so classy and humble" comment… Um NO I say an interview for Vogue Spain and Xavi trash talked the whole Madrid team then he trash talked Morinho…. How's that humble? And has everyone forgotten how Barca's goalie keep pushed Mou after Inter kicked them out of Champions League last year… they are anywhere far from humble lol

      • Jules says:

        Abidal is not just French but from Lyon and played for Olympique Lyonnais. Of course he wants to play his hometown team just as Cesc did, there’s something special about playing in the stadium that you grew up in. I’m not a Valencia supporter by any means but I was sad watching them lose to Schalke because it means one less Spanish team is in the running to lift the Champions League trophy.

        • xoWinnie says:

          …okay. what player wants to play against a team they supposedly "love"? he could've wished them luck and left it at that. but no. he wants to "play" against the which at this stage could potentially knock Real out of the competition…why? to spite us? to be able to say "we can do it, and you can't"? and then to comment in such an indirectly snarky way, as though everyone is a dumbass and doesn't know exactly what he's trying to say. honestly? lol ridiculous.

          • Jules says:

            Playing in the stadium where you grew up, surrounded by fans that still have affection for you is common (see Cesc and Raul who said he’s looking forward to returning the Bernabeu one day). You want your country to do well in anything whether it be internationals or in the European league. Not everything is about hating Real Madrid, it’s entirely possible that it’s about how much he loves his old team and wants to see them do well. A Barcelona player could cure cancer and you’d insist that they only did it to spite Real Madrid so I don’t even know why I’m bothering.

            • xoWinnie says:

              lol okay buddy. i'll have you know that there's plenty of Barcelona players i have liked, admired, and respected over the years. this particular squad just does absolutely nothing for me, except piss me off. the only player left there who i have a single ounce of respect and admiration for is Puyol. besides, my Culé friend forwarded me the link where i found his quote, from a pro-Barca forum (to continue to piss me off and rub it in obviously), and Culés were cheering on how funny it is that Abidal is inadvertently saying he wants Real out of the CL. saying you want to "return" could be taken many different ways, and i doubt Raul would be completely content to return there at Real's expense. unlike Abidal.

    • Kristina says:

      Calm down. Now, you are absolutely right, when you are one man down it makes a difference. BUT it is also depending on the character of the game. In this particular game Barca was totally running over the gunners, before and after that RvP was sent off. In a more even game I think that it would have made a bigger difference. And it is no use to whine about the ref''s. They will always make mistakes. Whining never does any good, look where it put Wenger.

      • xoWinnie says:

        excuse me, but which part of my comment did you read and which one did you choose to ignore? i CLEARLY stated that this is a huge blow and would be to any team playing against Barcelona ESPECIALLY if 1) the players are already pissed off by calls which have gone blatantly unpunished (i.e. the choking) 2) the morale is down after already having conceded 2 goals and 3) it happens to be one of their best players who gets booked! just because Arsenal decided to stupidly try to play a defensive game doesn't mean Barcelona was "running it". defense is football too. if that's the case, you can say Barcelona was running their game against Inter last year, but they still LOST, didn't they? so who's to say it MAY not have worked if Arsenal could have just held on with 11 men. the loss of RVP made them even more emotional and desperate, so it definitely peeves me when people try to say it wouldn't have made a difference.

        • Kristina says:

          By running over I mean scoring every goal in the match. Even the gunners goal. You don't score if you don't have the ball. Barcelona had the ball, the passes and the goals throughout the game. That's what I mean. And that is why I think that it probably wouldn't have mattered if Rvp was on the pirch or not.

          • xoWinnie says:

            okay, but THEY weren't the ones who had to score. like i said, Arsene made the stupid decision to have Arsenal play defensive football. even two weeks ago when we won that game, that was my biggest worry: that they would keep attacking reserved and focus on defense. anyone could say that defense isn't Arsenal's forté and that was a dreadful mistake on their part, but hey! it worked until Cesc f*cked up! from what i saw, after that first goal, the shoulders had already started to slump and it's hard to come back from that. i will continue to say that even if RVP wasn't doing much in terms of attack, having 10 men against Barcelona's 11 is a definite disadvantage. RVP can do a lot in terms of defense even though that's not his position. and the reason he was carded a second time did not do much to calm anyone's rage to be quite frank.

            • Kristina says:

              I agree with you that defence isn't Arsenals forté and that is why I like them. And that is why I love Barca, for their love affair with the ball. I totally understand the frustration with the ref's decisions. They were bad. Even Barca suffered from that at on point where Messi should have had a penalty (got tackled inside the box, but fell right outside of it), but there is little use to complain.

              • xoWinnie says:

                i know, but it makes me feel better to vent. and i don't have any friends who understand (they're all Culés or just don't care). so i come do it here. isn't this what this site is for?

      • xoWinnie says:

        and ps. making a mistake is not nearly the same as ignoring the fact that you just separated two players and one of them happened to have his hand on another's throat. that's not a mistake. that's preferential treatment.

  8. I<3ARSENAL! says:

    god that back hell killed me!!! it was horrible!! i had to replay it twice just to make sure i was seeing things correctly.

  9. SoccerrLoverrr says:

    i was realli disappointed with the ref's decision bout givin van persie a red card it was stupid..bussaca or watever his name is should've just worn a barca jersey…

  10. Deanna says:

    To be fair the Gunners didn't need a shot on goal to go through. And the one time we did have a shot on goal we got our striker sent off.

    But what's done is done. Gunners have Utd. on Sat and we need a win.. I'll settle for a draw at OT, though.

    • cescanto says:

      Sure they didn't but a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou, especially with Barca fighting to overturn Arsenal's first-leg advantage? Come on who's kidding who? Even Arsene said Arsenal was not designed to play defensive. A match between two clubs that play attacking flowing football would be hard-pressed to produce a 0-0 score at the 2nd leg of a qualifying champions league game.

      • Deanna says:

        I was saying there was no pressure in the first half to get a shot on goal. Its hard to switch from defensive work to offense. When the Gunners needed to start getting possession in the second half, they did. Granted its hard against Barca to get anything, but for 45 minutes there wasn't a need for us to go forward. You absorb the pressure and wait for the counter. Which would have worked if we had a striker and not a man down in the second half after Barca had scored.

        Saying 0 shots on goal doesn't say the whole story. Mou beat Barca with one shot on goal. I think the second half would have been different. I'm not saying we would have won, but I know we would have at least had a chance.

        • Lilly says:

          It's true. I'm a Barca fan, but I am also objective. Arsenal could well get another goal before Van Persie was expelled, and that would have left Barcelona needing 2 goals to pass on aggregate. And one goal is not difficult to come, especially from a player like Van Persie.
          The timing of the red card was also very suspicious…Immediately after the own goal. The only thing that could serve as a marginal justification is that Messi's goal in the first leg was wrongly disallowed.
          Let's hope the refereeing shenanigans don't continue, for the sake of the game and the viewers.

  11. Nando y Geri 4ever says:

    I am a barca fan and Messi's first goal was really amazing. But, I'm also an Arsenal fan. I believe that Van Persie should have stayed in the game.
    I also really loved how on Twitter, Cesc apologized to all his fans. Melted my heart :)

  12. Summer says:

    Agreed with you…But Samir…

    • Soon2beWifeOfNAsri says:

      He did not track back to help out Clichy when their full backs were bombing forward, at some stages the guy was walking pedestrian pace against Barca of all teams?! leaving Clichy to defend against 2 Barca who were basically dancing past him. Dont get me wrong i love Nasri but he did disappoint last night but he was not the only one….Oh well its happened now onwards and upwards i guess :P

  13. Gladys says:

    Wenger and Nasri are being fined, but RVP isn't.

  14. Kid Gooner says:

    Stats mean nothing. Who cares about 0 shots/ on target? The fact is were robbed by a Swiss referee, with an Italian name and a Spanish heart! Inter only managed 1 shot last year, but they held Barca because they had 11 men. By the way, he also didnt see three different occasions where a Barca player had their hand around a Gunners' neck (Abidal/RVP, Iniesta/Nasri & Valdes/Nasri). All three were worth at least a yellow but, of course, nothing! Football really needs more referee accountablity–implement a system–do something! How about letting them explain there decisions to the world? Seems like Barca always come down on the winning side of these decisions. SMH.

  15. Lotte (Zlatanista) says:

    1. Barca was fantastic.
    2. The sending off of RvP was ridicuolus, a joke if you will. It's hard to see that it made any difference though.
    3. I'm happy that Barca is still in the competition and sad that the Gunners are out. It doesn't make sense but that is how I feel.
    4. I'm also sad that Milan is out, but kinda thrilled that the Spurs have gone this far for the first time.

  16. Americus Killaponius says:

    "not having the hearing or reaction time of a trained bat"? That's a little harsh…..

  17. Liz says:

    Poor Borri!!!

    FYI Kickette, Borri is #1 on the FF5 so he needs have more posts and his own tag. Who's with me?

  18. I<3ARSENAL! says:

    Was anyone else absolutely dying at how protective all the arsenal boys, especially RVP, got of Jack Wilshere when he got hurt? SOO FREAKING CUTE!

  19. Leya_S says:

    Barca-Arsenal game, WTF HAPPENED THERE, idk. Of course Barcelona is fabulous, but I think the Gunners might have been able to hold them off if not for RVP's (unwarranted) sending off. As a Cule, I'm thrilled, but that's overshadowed by my being a Gooner and being absolutely gutted. 2 dreams of silverware bashed, 2 left. Here's to us hopefully spanking United in FA cup this weekend.

    Btw, is that Pato in that pic? He looks hot with his shirt over his face and not his torso. :p

    • Kid Gooner says:

      C'mon Gunners! We have United twice in two month's time. Our season is now!

    • rune says:

      I don't think the statistics showed that Arsenal would manage to hold them off. And not to mention that the 1-1 equaliser was not scored by Arsenal.

      • Leya_S says:

        Yeah, I know the stats were not in Arsenal's favor, but here's my reasoning: Messi's goal happened on a mistake. Arsenal averages about one mistake per game where they are at full speed. However, Arsenal simply CANNOT play with 10 men. As soon as they lose someone, they fall apart, they get sloppy (or sloppier) and they make even MORE mistakes. They were still fighting up until and after Biscuit's own-goal. They were still having (few) chances and holding back Barca. But after RVP got sent off, everything disintegrated.

        I'm not saying its all the ref's fault, bc I am FULLY aware of many of the shortcomings of my darling Gunners, and Barca was running circles around them from the start. However, I definitely think the sending-off changed the course of the game.

        • @DebStimson says:

          I think there were a lot of other blown calls, for both sides to be honest, that changed the game long before RVP was sent off. But as with all sports you have to find a way to win in spite of the refs. It's a bitter pill to swallow but, unfortunately, it's the truth.

          I also think not having Song & Theo really hurt Arsenal. And the "defend and keep Barca from scoring" approach would never have worked. Barca just has too many weapons and "the little genius" always seems to find a way to lift his team in the important games. I honestly don't know why Arsene didn't stick with the same approach they used in London but then maybe without Song & Theo he didn't think it would work? Arsenal attacked the ball and their passing was a LOT better in London. At the Camp Nou, it looked like they were just kicking the ball anywhere to clear it and as a result giving it straight back to Barca.

        • Jess says:

          Rvp didn’t do much in the 55 mins he was on the pitch..but the game was fair in the way even clumsy busquets helped arsenal out…abidal should’ve been red carded though

  20. Marie says:

    Xavi was BRILLIANT!!! (its is about the 10th time i m typing this!!!)

    • @DebStimson says:

      aqhh..but when isn't he? Even on his "off" days he's good. But I seriously had to laugh after Xavi scored and Busi hugged him. Poor Xavi looked like a kid being hugged by his dad. I never realized how tall Busi really is, especially compared to many of his teammates.

      Love them or hate them you have to admit that Barca play's beautiful football.

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  22. kk says:

    minor clarification — arsenal did not just have zero shots on target; they had no shots at all. and that is just too painful a statistic for a supporter like me. rvp getting sent off was harsh, but he had 55 minutes to make a difference before that, and he didn’t :( and honestly, it really looked like he heard the whistle watching his body language (i’m gonna go hide now before i get stoned to death for this)

    i just don’t know what happened to them. credit to barca. the better team won. hope we can still win some trophies :(

  23. Bri says:

    I have to say, the spurs really have me rooting for them in the CL…of course after Barca. It's just heartwarming to see them doing well, they and their fans really deserve a good go at things. Come on you spurs! ^_^

    • Jess says:

      Same here bri…i’m a Barca supporter first…n i root for Spurs in the epl…for all Barca’s awesomeness in this competition, i have this weird feeling Spurs cud win the CL…like a fairy tale ending for the underdogs moment…

    • Lotte (Zlatanista) says:

      I agree with you. Plus i think that Harry Redknapp is kinda cool.

  24. tracy765 says:

    I never thought I would feel this way again after his treachery, but looking at the picture of Nando is making my ladyparts feel funny. Much to my chagrin, he very much still has it, blue jersey notwithstanding. I can't help but feel a teeny bit of schadenfreude re. his goal drought, though.

  25. GinaM says:

    Congrats to Schalke great game played!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jess says:

      Maybe it will be a Schalke vs Spurs final…raul vs vdv…battle of d RM rejects once again :-)

  26. ella says:

    I am a barca fan and I am so glad they won, but van percie is right that ref. was a joke…barca deserved a penalty that he saw and didnt give and then sending van percie out…even i was mad….

    • Thea says:

      Agreed – but I think it's time to accept Kickette's assesment of the match and move on….Barca need to focus on the next draw to ensure survival in the competition!