So, the much awaited second leg of the CL clash between Barcelona and Arsenal was set to happen at Nou Camp. Last season, it was a resouding 4-0 loss at Nou Camp for Arsenal which was preceded by a relatively decent 2-2 draw at the Emirates. This year at the Emirates they had gone one better and actually beaten the Catalans 2-1 and there were hopes that they may maybe manage a draw if not a win at Nou Camp.
With these high hopes the gunners reached Nou Camp only to be gunned down mercilessly in typical barca fashion. 67% possession, 10+ shots at goal, 5 corners and numerous close shaves at the goal drowned the gunners. They could not muster a single shot at goal, the one goal they did manage also needed to be scored by a barca player! What fabregas, what nasri, what wilshere... the midfield didnt belong to anyone but Xavi and Iniesta. Arsenal was dominated from the start and they never recovered. With this being the truth, the match still was marred by the controversial sending off of Robbie Van Persie. You would of course feel bad for RVP as it was a very very strict call. But that being said, he feigned ignorance to the whistle. Most have agreed to this being a possible reason, but I have a different take on it and its very circumstantial and hear me out.
RVP is one of those players who can do magic with his left leg and do very little with his right. Like Messi, like Mesut Ozil, like Ryan Giggs, like Van der vaart, RVPs left foot is just an awesome weapon, while his right foot is just a pale poor cousin in terms of skill and accuracy. This being the case, at every given chance all of the above players try to get the ball to their left foot to shoot at goal. In the particular attack that led to the sending off of RVP, he has sprung the off side trap. He was under no pressure to shoot as defenders were no where near him and he was possibly outside the D or very close to being outside the D, which meant he had enough space to change his orientation on the ball. He had already controlled the ball beautifully and he had all the time to get the ball to his left foot and then put the ball where he wanted to. But instead he chose to go for goal with his right foot, with no clear vision of the goal or where valdes was. Does that make sense to you? Is that logical having seen RVP all these years? I think he heard the whistle, he was frustrated coz that was possible the first chance he had got of any nature in the entire match and to know he was offside, was frustrated and lashed at the ball.
There you go... my take on the whole episode. :-) And please wenger, please... stop crying, stop depleting the rainforests. In many ways, this could be the best thing that could have happened to the brittle arsenal team. They dont have the Carling Cup to worry about, they dont have the Champions League to worry about, and they possibly wont have the FA cup to worry about. So all they need to do is concentrate on the league. While at the same time Man U has to still worry about many a silverware and mounting injuries.
Believe it or not wenger, you could actually win the league this year! Go for it!!