Mirror Football

Sky Sports | Football

Arsenal News

Football Results

Barclays Premier League News

Arsenal News-Wire

Arseblog - "It"s fuckin" excellent"...an Arsenal blog.

Thierry Henry - Arsenal's Legend

Arsenal FC Blog

Arsenal Times News

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Arsenal have a right to feel robbed after Barca ref farce

Journalists and stats fans have been quick to point out the vast disparity between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

Ok I admit nineteen shots to nil and 724 passes to 119 don't exactly add weight to Arsene Wenger's assertion that Arsenal would have won the game had Robin Van Persie not been harshly sent off and the Champions League specials reflected this.

But when is any side going to out pass Barcelona?

Those stats were always going to be in the Catalan club's favour, just as they were against Inter Milan last April, when Jose Mourinho's smothering tactics worked perfectly and perhaps uncovered Barca's only weakness – their tendency to over-pass and lack of a killer instinct.

That may seem like a churlish thing to say about a side that has Lionel Messi and David Villa up front but across these two games against Arsenal – up to Van Persie's sending off - Barcelona were wasteful and allowed the Gunners to stay in the tie.

The first 50-60 minutes on Tuesday went pretty much to plan for Arsenal until he referee intervened with one of the most ridiculous decisions I have ever seen. It showed a complete lack of common sense. The Barcelona players, who gathered around him, won't have helped either.

As talented as they are and for all the plaudits they rightly receive, their behaviour towards the referee is a disgrace.

Be it rolling around on the floor or surrounding the ref to demand a booking, Barca new every trick in the book. But such is the style of their attacking play it seems to be bypassed by the media.

I can perhaps grudgingly agree that, over the two legs, Barca had the better of the play and the Champions League best odds always suggested they'd go through. But I go back to last April's game with Inter again where it was the same story.

And to suggest Barca were always going to win anyway is also a misnomer given the balance of the tie when the ref intervened. The referee changed the course of the game and made Arsenal's holding task impossible. And for that they have every right to feel aggrieved.

No comments: