Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal: Barca press and progress

March 9, 2011


La Batalla de San Romano, Paolo Uccello
“Arsenal didn’t manage a single shot, as Barcelona go through to the quarter-finals. Pep Guardiola chose Eric Abidal and Sergio Busquets at centre-back, as expected, though there was a surprise at left-back, where Adriano started over Maxwell. Both Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie were fit to start. Arsene Wenger decided to play Tomas Rosicky on the right, and Abou Diaby got the nod over Denilson.” Zonal Marking

Barcelona 3 – 1 Arsenal
“Arsenal were left with a sense of injustice after seeing Robin van Persie controversially sent off as they were knocked out of the Champions League again by Barcelona in the Camp Nou following a 3-1 loss. The Dutchman was a shock inclusion for the Gunners, who led 2-1 from the first leg, having recovered quicker than expected from the knee injury he sustained in the Carling Cup final.” ESPN

Barcelona sends Arsenal crashing back down to earth
“Arséne Wenger’s men are often too ready to accept their role as beautiful martyrs, highlighting the negativity of their opponents and bad refereeing as causes of their downfall. At Camp Nou, they may have been right to aggrieve the latter, never the former, although in football, much is about managing luck and that Arsenal escaped two penalty decisions has seemingly not registered with their arguments. Perhaps there is a saneness to that action because a penalty at 0-0 and subsequently at 1-0 when Pedro was brought down, wouldn’t have “killed the game” as Wenger exclaimed. When the harsh red-card was given, it certainly deprived the encounter of its competitive edge.” Arsenal Column

Arsene Wenger: From Dumbledore to dunce
“Until around 22.30 on Tuesday night, Arsene Wenger had a well-earned reputation in Spain for being a bit of an avuncular, Dumbledore type figure: unthreatening, cultured and a proper gent famous for relishing in the finer side of football. So much so, in fact, that Florentino Pérez – seeing the Frenchman’s name in a sticker album one afternoon – even tried to bring the Arsenal boss to the Bernabeu on his return to the Real Madrid presidency in 2009.” FourFourTwo

Envious of Arsenal.
“Humiliated in the manner of their League Cup Final defeat, and given an awe-inspiring runaround in Barcelona, it seems that Arsenal’s long wait for a trophy will endure. And yet, despite the heartbreak their fans must have suffered of late, as a Liverpool fan I remain envious.” Tomkins Times

FC Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Champions League
The 90th Minute

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Who’d Be A Sunday League Referee?

March 9, 2011

“Childhood is seemingly the defining factor in what position someone ends up spending the majority of their life playing the beautiful game in. The sprinter on the wing, the disciplinarian in the middle and the big lad will play at the back. These are formulaic standards that characterize most people’s earliest associations with football. For some people though there is a hole in this and it’s referee shaped.” In Bed With Mardona


Is Football’s Gravy Train Slowing Down?

March 9, 2011

“Last month Deloitte published the latest edition of the Football Money League, their annual ranking of European clubs by revenue. Once again, the Premier League featured prominently with seven English clubs listed in the top 20, though the two highest earning clubs were still the Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona. On the face of it, this was yet another demonstration of the Premier League’s ability to generate revenue, while defying the effects of the economic recession.” The Swiss Ramble


The Strange Case of Bojan Krkic

March 9, 2011

“I. The Fourth Foer Brother. Every so often, when I’m faced with a lonely hour, I like to wile away some time by inventing a career for a hypothetical fourth Foer brother. You know the Foer brothers, of course: there’s Franklin, the oldest, who edited The New Republic and wrote How Soccer Explains the World; Jonathan Safran, the next-oldest, the whimsical-melancholy (whimsicholy?) novelist who published Everything Is Illuminated at 25 and instantly became a darling among the brownstones; and Joshua, the youngest, a national Memory Champion (he memorized the order of a complete deck of cards in under two minutes), the author of a new book about the world of competitive remembering, the secretary of the Athanasius Kircher Society, and the co-founder of Atlas Obscura, ‘a Compendium of the World’s Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica.’” Run of Play