Monday, February 14, 2011

Can Arsenal beat Barcelona?.... They certainly think they can

In the 2010/2011 installment of the Champions League, Arsenal finished second in Group H. As fate would have it; it would be only a matter of time before they once again faced Barcelona. Robin Van Persie, Arsenals lethal hit man, said "As a football fan I would fan I would like to see or be involved in the Champions League against Barcelona or Real Madrid." for a second consecutive season Arsenal welcome Barcelona to the Emirates. This classic encounter sees two darlings of European football battle it out for a place to the next round.

Was Robin Van Persie really serious when he claimed his side wanted to face Barcelona?  Let's take a look at Arsenal's first eleven performance against Wolves and see if Arsenal can pull off a win against the Catalan Giants.

In goal Wojciech Szczensy may as well have been having tea with the ball boys. Didn't have much to do all afternoon. However, do not let this take away from the fact he made some excellent saves throughout the game. Szczensy certainly has a birght future at Arsenal and will be a safe pair of hands for the Guneers.

In defence, Bacary Sagna performed remarkably well, and it's a shame for Arsenal fans out there that he will not feature in the first leg clash - Emmanuel Eboue, Arsenal's versatile man will replace him. Eboue has not had too much game time this season and with a certain Lionel Messi at the top of his game Gunners will be hoping he is in top form against the Argentinian.
Laurent Koscienlny had a good game against Wolves - standing his ground and clearing balls often - keeping a Clean sheet is always also a good sign. The Wolverhampton attack was dealt with comprehensively by the Arsenal centre back pairing. Johan Djourou certainly is turning out to be Arsene Wenger's trusted man in central defence. Djourou hasn't put a foot wrong this year, and against Wolves he was no different. He was especially dominant in the air, using his height to good advantage.
Gael Clichy supported Arshavin with his pacey runs. He was a constant threats to the Wolves right back position. Clichy out ran the Wolverhampton wingers on many occasions, and there seemed to be no threat in return on his side.

In midfield, Alex Song was heavily missed last weekend and he proved why against Wolverhampton. His presence in front of the defence removed a heap of pressure off the centre backs. Dominant in midfield, crushing anything that Wolves conjured up in the middle of the park. Jack Wilshere continues to amaze. He was brilliant as usual. Made a countless driving runs into the heart of the Wolves defence which almost paid dividends on a number of occassions. Captain Cesc Fabregas set up Van Persie for the first goal in the 16th minute. He was driving the midfield as usual and superb as always. How he didn't get on the score sheet is still a question begging to be answered. Theo Walcott has certainly grown of age this season. Quick - as usual - he left the Wolves defence - and the linesman -  in shambles. Wacott is certainly a threat that the Barcelona defence will look to quell early on. At some point this season many were asking whether Andre Arshavin forgot how to play football. Clearly coming of a form slump Arhsavin put in a solid performance to get a few critics - including PTA - off his back.

Upfront, Robin Van Persie seems to be scoring for fun right now, which will surely come as good news to the Ashburton faithful. Unlucky not to get a hattrick on the weekend, two goals not even summing up his performance!

To sum it all up Wolverhampton Wanderers were destroyed by a rampant Arsenal side. 5-0 might've been a more accurate scoreline. Arsenal are growing in confidence and they are playing some wonderful football. The defending pair of Djourou and Koscielny is pretty solid. If Barcelona aren't careful they'll be in for harder task than they are expecting.

Written by Stanley Mlenga - (Facebook Follower) - A Massive Arsenal supporter!