Gunners Come Up Short At The Nou Camp

In the first 45 minutes of this 2nd leg encounter Barcelona enjoyed majority of the possession but were once again failing to capitalize on any of their chances. The Spanish champions were all over Arsenal and were doing most the damage on the wings causing all sorts of problems for the Gunners fullbacks.

In the 34th minute David Villa struck the post after being sent through on the wing. One of Barcelona’s best chance of the first half came when Lionel Messi cut across the box but fired the ball straight into the grateful hands of Manuel Almunia who was subbed on for the injured Wojciech Szczęsny.

The Gunners defense was shaky throughout the entire first half and were finally beaten in first half stoppage time. Cesc Fàbregas gave the ball away cheaply with a back pass which Andres Iniesta picked off and sent Messi through on goal and the little Argentine popped the ball up over Almunia and volleyed it into the the wide open goal.

After 45 mins – (BAR) 68%-32% (ARS). (BAR) 6 attempts-0 attempts (ARS).

Arsenal got leveled in the 52nd minute after Arsenal had won a corner which Samir Nasir took and Sergio Busquets inadvertently headed it into his own goal, moments later and Barcelona were almost on the scoresheet again when David Villa was sent through but Almunia came rushing off his line to block the Spaniard.

56th minute Robin van Persie was issued a second yellow card after kicking the ball away and was sent off to add more drama to the match.

The Catalan Giants went on the attack and almost restored their lead after some nice build up play which saw the final ball played to a wide open Daniel Alves who skied it over the crossbar. Almunia was called into action in the 67th minute and answered the call as he stopped David Villa who broke through on goal.

Almunia couldn’t keep the Spanish champions out for too long and in the 69th minute he was beaten after Iniesta dribbled through the Arsenal defense and passed it off to Xavi who slotted the ball past Almunia with a slight deflection off Bacary Sagna.

Things got worse for the Gunners as Laurent Koiscelny clumsily brought down Pedro Rodríguez in the box giving the home side a penalty which Lionel Messi calmly slotted home to give his side a 3-1 lead in the match and a 4-3 lead on aggregrate. The game wasn’t completely over and the Spaniards were swarming the Arsenal defense but were unable to get a fourth goal due to poor finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Manuel Almunia.

Arsenal almost goat a second goal that would’ve sent them through to the next round as they had a counter-attack as the ball fell to substitue Nicolas Bendtner but the striker was poor in his decisions and allowed Victo Valdes to come and cover the ball, that was the final chance for the Gunners who were unable to get a second and for a second straight season exited the UEFA Champions League with a loss at the Camp Nou.


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