Hmm… How many times have they met and what’s with Messi and Arsenal? It’s like such games gives him that ‘supernatural’ strength and for reasons brings the best out of him.
I expected it to be a tight game and the first half was fantastic especially from Arsenal. But it takes just one error and all the hard work comes crumbling. The first half was great and every one who witnessed will agree with me. Both had their chances and I was happy for Arsenal and their strong display. Their tactics clicked. When playing Barcelona it’s always advised to play deep and overloading players in the middle. Yes this allows Barcelona to attack more but then again that’s the whole idea. Take on waves of attack and then when opportunity arises counter attack swiftly. But this calls for individual defense brilliance which Arsenal showed especially in the wings and backline. Messi couldn’t work his magic and this meant well for the team.
The turning point came about when Arsenal pushed players higher up and the fatal mistake if you’d watched the game was when Arsenal began to tiki-taka on the right side. Ramsay could have changed the possession to the left side and I believe it was a back pass to Coquelin who was way up and on the right that it turned into a Barcelona counter attack. The rest is Messi scores and makes Cech look bad who by far was playing the best game of his life. Barca gets confident and play their usual tiki-taka which was smooth counter to the nervous passing from them in the first half. A silly mistake from Mertesacker earns a penalty and a goal for Barcelona la Messi.
Could Arsenal have done better? Well they were until the first half. A sloppy attacking move was an error enough to put their hopes of a quarter final game disappear AGAIN. It’s just stupid of Arsenal players to take the ball into the attacking third and not make an attacking move. A cross or a move to the left instead of a back makes sense. I for one blame Ramsey who could have moved the ball to the huge space on the left instead of pulling up Coquelin and leaving space behind. But fretting makes no sense either I guess after all this is Barcelona. Another note of significance would be that Barcelona is dangerous not when they tiki-taka but it’s the counter attacks that make them lethal.