Posted on Wednesday, 9th March 2011 by Tony Merakli
Arsenal went into last night’s game with a 2-1 lead over Barcelona, which certainly breathed hope and confidence into the Premier League side of pulling off a major upset. Unfortunately it never transpired.
Wenger’s men were simply out-played and were made to look very ordinary (sorry guys but it’s the truth). Arsenal tried their best to withstand Barcelona’s constant bombardment, but eventually slumped to a 3-1 defeat, which ended the Gunners Champions League dreams for another season.
However, Fabregas believes it was his first-half mistake which changed the complexion of the entire game. After the match, the 23-year-old midfielder expressed his apologies on Twitter. He said:
‘Great support from the arsenal fans. I take full blame for the result tonight. One of the worst moments of my life. I apologise.’
Undeniably, Cesc is a talented footballer, and has proved to be an intricate part of the Arsenal set-up over the past couple of years, but personally, I think he had a shocker last night. I know he wasn’t 100% fit, and maybe this contributed to his poor performance, but at times I was sitting on my couch asking ‘is Cesc even on the pitch?’
The midfielder may blame himself for Arsenal’s Champions League exit, but ultimately, the finger must be pointed at the Swiss official Massimo Busacca.
From start to finish, Busacca’s decision making was atrocious. He constantly awarded Barcelona free-kicks (19 to be exact, to Arsenal’s 8), booked only players in yellow, and of course sent off Robin Van Persie for not hearing the whistle. I mean come on, is this guy for real?
Van Persie was clearly not happy with Busacca’s performance, and branded the Swiss official a ‘joke’ in his post match interview. The Dutchman also used his Twitter account to express his feelings on last night’s events. The striker said:
‘Thanks all AFC fans 4 tonight played vs a great team and a even better ref. He had a absolute shocker tonight think we all agree on this 1’
Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere also ‘tweeted’ his disapproval of Busacca’s officiating, but wished Pep Guardiola’s side luck:
‘Arsenal fans great as always! Sorry about the result,good luck to Barca,great team! Oh yeah and the ref was good aswell….’
Even though the referee played a huge role in our defeat, in truth, we never performed like we did at the Emirates Stadium 3 weeks ago. The Gunners were passed off the field, rarely touched the ball, and unbelievably, had no attempts on goal throughout the 90 minutes…just not good enough.
Although Wenger and co. will feel aggrieved, they must swiftly get this result out their heads, and concentrate on challenges that lie ahead. Fabregas especially needs to keep his chin up as he is the Arsenal captain and must lead by example.
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