By Rob Deyzel
2 weeks ago the Gunners were on course for an unprecedented quadruple. Today Arsenal still without silverware after their Carling cup loss to Birmingham and exit by the hands of La Liga champions Barcelona staring at the possibility of no silverware for another season!
The game at the Nou camp was a fairly tepid affair from Arsenals playing ability. Not a single shot on target all game and certainly not the fluid passing football we are used to from the players in red. Fabregas playing his first competitive game at Barca since his move to Arsenal as a teenager was billed as an opportunity for the Spaniard to impress his former employees. Instead a nervous Fabregas had the wrong impact for the opening goal. A ridiculous back heel 20 yards from goal was intercepted leaving Iniesta to feed Messi who flicked the ball up and over Alumunia and smash the ball into an empty net. Barca winning on away goals. Half time.
The second half started well for Arsenal. Nasri swung in a corner and Busquets nodded the ball into his own net! 1-1 on the night and Arsenal in pole position. Then the game was to change its complexion. van Persie off side and decides to have a shot anyway. Van persie already booked claims couldn’t hear whistle which is likely and gets a soft second yellow card for time wasting. Shocking decision. the gunners down to ten men. Barca now have the edge and press forward. Iniesta is the man to set the scores level with a fine finish passing the ball into the net. Its now level with extra time beckoning. Koscielny then tripped Pedro in the area to award Barca a penalty. Messi slotted home and Arsenal left with no chance. Arsenal out of the competition with honour? I don’t think so.
How can I sum up Arsenal recent performances? Lazy and lacking in maturity. Koscielny looks out of his depth and he is supposed to be the Gunners best defender! Come Monday morning Arsenal could be out of the FA cup and only left in with a chance of winning the EPL. What a difference a week makes!