Messi(45,71), Xavi (69)
3 - 1
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We can go on about the referee, we can lament the last minute chance that went awry, what we cannot deny is that we were beaten by a much, much, better team and there is no disgrace on that.
We defended heroically –as heroically as you can with that infamous backline–but barça simply was too good for The Arsenal last night.
It was always going to an uphill task, and when Robin van Persie got sent off that task went from uphill to monumental. The referee was well within his rights to book van Persie, but having the right to do so doesn’t preclude him from having some common sense and using that right in a more deserving situation.
Without the services of the flying dutchman we a left to rue what might have been. Yet, barça was always going to score and the remit was to restrict them to as little as possible while getting a sneaky way goal. A remit that Arsenal came close to fulfilling.
At 3-1 Barca still had to be wary of another Arsenal goal, and had it not been for a great tackle from Mascherano–or a poor first touch from Bendtner–it might have been Arsenal in the next round and that would have been a travesty.
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As it stands we have to completely disregard last might amd get ourselves on the correct frame of mind for Saturday. I don’t subscribe to the notion that going out last night will be detrimental to the team. More than anything it should concentrate our energies to achieving the two remaining targets.
United ain’t no Barcelona.
Recent history has pointed to a week or two where Arsenal go from possibly winning everything to likely winning nought. The fear is that we are in the middle of repeating that history. I’m sure that just as we are aware of it the players are doubly so, and the are good enough to get past United.
Just as they are aware of the past they should learn from it, and I am still confident that this team is on the path to lifting silverware this season.
The champions league might have been great but the FA cup still has allure, winning the league and cup double is nothing to sniff at. So forget about the past and look forward to a double winning season. We can do this