Pep Guardiola hails brilliant Barcelona

Miracle of the Cross at the Bridge of San Lorenzo, Gentile Bellini
“Pep Guardiola described Barcelona’s supremely dominant first-half performance against Arsenal as “the best 45 minutes” the Catalans have produced during his reign. A thrilling encounter ended 2-2 at Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, but Manuel Almunia had to be at his best in the first half to deny, amongst others, Xavi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Barcelona enjoyed 71% possession and produced a succession of excellent chances.” (ESPN)

Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona: Wenger’s side utterly outclassed, but somehow rescue a draw
“A crazy game of football to watch, a difficult one to analyse. Two open, attacking sides produced a wonderful game for the neutral, but one that will probably leave both managers absolutely fuming – Wenger because his side were awful and conceded poor goals, Guardiola because his side threw away a 0-2 lead.” (Zonal Marking)

Theo Walcott’s dazzling introduction gives Arsenal hope to take to Barcelona
“Theo Walcott’s introduction to the fray switched Arsenal’s flow to the dynamic and the direct to give the Gunners hope in the second leg at the Nou Camp. Barely twenty minutes had registered on the clock but those watching the game were in unified agreement that already, they were witnessing something spectacular. Arsenal had just survived the most relentless onslaught you are likely to see in world football this season but yet, somehow, came out of the early exchange with no goals conceded.” (Arsenal Column)

Fantasy Football Comes Alive
“Tonight, the game gets beautiful again. As Arsenal and Barcelona prepare to meet at London’s Emirates Stadium in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, this is fantasy football come to life: a showdown between arguably the two most attractive teams in Europe today. Here are two sides linked by a philosophy of flair, a shared vision that prizes creativity and fast, free-flowing, one-touch football above all else. It’s what the Spanish call tiki-taka, what the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, describes as ‘football that is like art’.” (WSJ)

School’s Out – 8 things I noticed from Arsenal vs Barca
“Before we start, I should probably preface this article by saying I’m going to be writing it in the style of the game itself. Which is to say, it will be overwhelmingly a Barca love in for the first 2/3rds before finally rallying to the Arsenal cause in the final stretch. So any over sensitive Gooners should probably skip to the end. You have been warned.” (FootballFanCast)

Arsenal 2-2 FC Barcelona – Recap and Video Highlights – UEFA Champions League – Wednesday, March 31, 2010
“Arsenal hosted FC Barcelona in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. The two teams are known for playing very attacking and open styles that could provide a very entertaining match. Barcelona remain one of the favorites to win the tournament while Arsenal need a good result with the second leg at the Camp Nou.” (The 90th Minute)

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