Wednesday evening arguably brought one of the European games of the season, Arsenal against Barcelon, a match which had everything from skills, goals and probably one of the best individual displays from Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas as he showed Barcelona and the world exactly what he can do.
With Fabregas and William Gallas narrowly passing fitness tests, it showed how much Wenger wanted to win and how badly those two key players wanted to play, it didn’t go to plan though as after 30mins the Gunners were rattled and forced into taking off Gallas and Samir Nasri.
In truth it was men vs. boys in the first half with the Gunners rarely threatening as Barcelona kept being denied in the first half by Manuel Almunia who put on a goalkeeping master piece.
Then came the second half and the Gunners looked a broken team, Fabregas didn’t look a 100% fit but his body language was enough to show how much he wanted to play, as the game went on he just seemed to be doing more damage to himself, then came the yellow card which effectively denies him a return to the Nou Camp.
Throughout the game the Gunners showed grit and refused to be taught a footballing lesson by Barcelona, with the score at 2-1 Arsenal had the momentum but had to be wary of Henry and co as one another day Barcelona could have easily scored about five or six goals.
Then come the decisive penalty which saw Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol sent off and Fabregas stepping up to strike the ball with venom to level the scores, he struck the ball so sweetly that he managed to injure himself in the process.
Fabregas hobbled back to the centre circle and even when club physio Gary Lewin brought him off, he still demanded to get back on the pitch and play his role, to me that shows great determination and underpins why he is the Arsenal captain, he lead from the front and just as Theo Walcott said “Cesc is a soldier.”
Tuesday at the Nou Camp will be a thriller, despite not having Fabregas, Van Persie, Arshavin, Gallas and Nasri, you just know that Arsenal will throw everything and the kitchen sink at Barcelona to get into the semi-finals of the prestigious Champions League.
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