LONDON ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: The Arsenal team poses prior to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on February 16 2011 in London England. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Obviously, on the day after Arsenal beats the finest club side of the past five years, there are going to be a few stories floating around about it. Here are some links to a few picked out of the sea:
Arsenal Column interprets the action:
This was a match where every detailed seemed to matter just that bit more. Every pass was stressed. Every shot was scrutinised. Every contested challenge, dribble and interception was crucial. Every bounce of Lionel Messi’s hair. The timing of Theo Walcott’s runs. Refereeing decisions. Pep Guardiola’s catwalk struts down the touchline. Every unscrewing of Arsene Wenger’s bottle cap. Every inch Victor Valdes left exposed at his near post. Every substitution. Each moment of ascendancy had to be taken. Those were the margins and fortunately enough, a huge dose of Lady Luck went Arsenal’s way also.
Arseblog recaps the match and takes the media, and mainly ITV announcer Clive Tyldsley, to task for not properly describing the second Arsenal goal:
It was an Arsenal goal against Barcelona. It was a thing of beauty. A move started when Koscielny’s defending won the ball back, accurate passing from back to front, and a deadly finish...A really, really great goal, and one in the traditions of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, not some cheap Ramblas made Barcelona knock-off.
A Cultured Left Foot breaks down the match--the comments also have a lot of good nuggets of media dissection in them.
Futfanatico sums up the match on his blog:
Finally, for all the love sprinkled on Jack Wilshere, Andrei Arshavin did score the game winning goal. Yes, he had a comical defensive header, but at least he was defending, no? Time has finally caught up with the Russian, as his explosive first step now packs the punch of a blackcat. His lungs of steel have gotten rust, but class is eternal – his touch & timing on the first time strike were effortlessly wondrous.
Arsène Wenger points out the flaw in Joan LaPorta's reasoning for why Barcelona deserve to have Cesd Fabregas back in the Mirror:
"There's no reason for any bitterness, because we did nothing illegal. Everything was legal. We did not force a gun somewhere. We respected the rules. They could come and take our players, we accept that as well...They take their players from all over the world. Don't expect them only to get players from Catalonia."
The same outlet has David Villa saying Barca didn't deserve to lose. [We know the feeling, Dave, really, we do; it's just that we lose to giant monsters heading home free kicks rather than a laser at the near post and a counterattack straight out of a Muhammed Ali fight.]
There are no doubt about 1349 more links that could go up in the next few days, but for now, enjoy this video.