What a game! I’m not going to lie I didn’t get much sleep the night before. This had something to do with a certain trio.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar are enough to make any team or person scared and are they the best forward line ever?
So for another year we had reached the last 16 of the competition and once again we faced a very tough test for finishing second in the group. We haven’t got to the quarter finals since 2010 and it couldn’t get much harder than the current holders.
I for once wasn’t expecting much from the game but anything can happen in football and I thought we had a chance at home. We did beat them the last time we played them at home so hopefully history would repeat itself.
Wenger made 9 changes from the FA Cup draw against Hull welcoming back our better players including Özil, Sanchez and Cech.
We started really brightly and had a few chances but we weren’t clinical enough. Barcelona didn’t have many chances but had a lot of the possession as expected. We had to defend well and I think in the first half we went toe to toe with them. Chamberlain had the best chance of the half for us but he lacked the end product once again.
Barcelona showed their quality just before the break as MSN combined well before Suarez headed just wide.
So it was 0-0 at half time and I thought we had enough to win as Barcelona weren’t at their best as shown by them not having a single shot on target. The referee did however give many strange decisions for them against us.
The second half was a different story though as they came out fighting. Cech had to pull off a good save to deny Neymar showing his importance to us once again.
We were still creating chances though when Giroud had a header saved and it was all to play for as both sides went for it a bit more. In the end though we committed too much.
It took until the 71st minute and we did the thing that you really can’t do against Barcelona and MSN in particular. We gave them too much time and space to counter and they punished us as a result.
It was their star man and best player in the world Lionel Messi who finished it and he finally beat Cech for the first time in 8 games. This was then followed by the trio combining again but this time we got lucky as Suarez hit the post when he should have scored.
Then came the moment which I still don’t understand and am annoyed about even now. Wenger took off Coquelin who had played really well and is so important for us and brought on Flamini for some reason!
This turned out to be the worst substitution possibly of all time. He didn’t even touch the ball before he brought down Messi in the box to give away a penalty.
Messi obviously didn’t miss and Barcelona now had two crucial away goals almost certainly putting the tie beyond reach.
Cech made another save to deny Neymar near the end to give us some hope but if it wasn’t hard enough already it is almost impossible now to progress as we have to go to Barcelona and score at least 2 goals.
Stranger things have happened but I doubt we will and I think Barcelona are too strong for us at the moment and we should concentrate on the league this season. We don’t have their quality up front and this needs to be addressed. I expect Barcelona to be in the final again and probably win it and hopefully one day we can really compete with them.
Next up is another massive game against Man United and this is definitely the best chance we have had to beat them away in the league since 2006. Hopefully we can put this defeat by Barcelona behind us and be the best team in England for now at least!