One thing that made being home sick yesterday a lot more bearable, was getting to see the Arsenal v Barcelona Champions League Match, yesterday, won, in an upset, by Arsenal 2-1. And yes, I was sick.
I’m a fan of both teams, although I was a little more inclined to pull for Arsenal as they have never won this competition, nor have they ever beaten Barcelona. Notwithstanding Barcelona controlling 66% of the possession in the game, Arsenal had more shots then Barcelona (13 v 11) and matched them with shots on target (5).
I believe the key to the game were the coaches. I like Barcelona’s coach Pep Guardiola, but his substitution for David Villa with a one goal lead was key to the loss as the substitution of Andrei Arshavin for Alex Song (virtually a mirror image of the Barcelona substitution) by Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger was literally key to their win as Arshavin scored the winner.
The first goal for Arsenal was squarely on Victor Valdes. The otherwise solid goalkeeper made an inexcusable error, leaving much too much room at the near post for the ball to careen through.
The smart money is still probably on Barcelona. The Nou Camp is a tough venue for visitors and Arsenal will have to, at minimum, prevent Barcelona from scoring, or tie Barcelona as a 1-0 home win by Barcelona will see them through on the away goals rule.
There is some good FA Cup action taking place in England (go Crawley Town!) and I hope to have a breakdown tomorrow as to who is playing, when and what channel(s).
PS: I neglected to mention the terrific play of Jack Wilshire. This bodes well for England as well.