Player Ratings: Arsenal 2 – 1 Barcelona

The joy of wining last night was out of this world; it was an amazing feeling as we did what most have failed to do, beating Barcelona at their game.

The belief, determination, spirit, effort and brilliant team work were the key to this result. We never looked awed by their good play and possession in the first half and continued with our game plan in the second half which eventually worked in our favor.

While Barcelona were mesmerizing as usual, we weren’t behind. We defended, we pressed, we passed, we created and we finally scored. The defence was amazing as they bravely played a high line and played the offside trap really well. Once we were caught up which led to a goal but you can expect that with Barcelona playing so well. Overall it was a phenomenal performance.

Coming to the player ratings:

Szczesny (8.5): Confident and brilliant as he made a couple of excellent saves that kept us in the game. His decision making along with distribution was excellent. Cannot be faulted for the goal.

Eboue (7): Defensively did well throughout the match. Upfront wasn’t that good in the first half as he was losing the ball very cheaply and falling over time and again. Improved his game in the second half and made some good runs.

Koscielny (9.5): He was just magnificent. He was strong, quick and intelligent in his play. Made his usual important interceptions and tackles and I don’t remember he did anything wrong. Didn’t give space to any of the Barcelona players. Was early to every ball and covered up well for Clichy and Djourou. Simply phenomenal!!

Djourou (7.5): He too was excellent but made some errors by misplacing some of his passes but thankfully we weren’t punished for it. Otherwise he was solid and partnered well with Koscielny. Covered up well for Eboue.

Clichy: He was decent at the back but the Barcelona players exploited his flank throughout match. Was caught on the wrong side of the offside-line as Villa scored the opener. Made some important interceptions in the second half as he did well to cope with the situation. His pass to Van Persie that led to the equalizer was perfect.

Wilshere (9.5): Wilshere has certainly grown in the last couple of weeks. Last Night he was magnificently outstanding (if it makes sense). The way he dueled in the middle of the park with Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets was amazing. He didn’t look intimidated by any of them as he played his game, looked confident, showed good work rate and linked up the play brilliantly. He also did well in breaking the play of Barcelona.

Fabregas (7.5): He wasn’t at his best yesterday yet he produced some amazing balls. His through ball that led to the second goal and his pass to Van Persie in the opening minutes was a delight to watch.  Combined really well with Wilshere, Nasri and Van Persie.

Song (7): He got booked early on in the game but still didn’t stay back and played his game. His work rate was good as he broke up Barcelona’s  play many times and distributed the ball around nicely.

Walcott (7.5): A continuous threat on the right as Barcelona players would always surround him whenever he would get the ball.

Van Persie (8.5): That goal he scored was one of its kinds. Forget that he missed a couple of good chances as he got the goal at the right time which matters the most. His movement was excellent and did his defensive duties well.

Nasri (8): His start was slow as he was returning from injury. Yet he was a threat and in the second half he was excellent. The way he coolly created the goal for Arshavin was impressive. His passing and movement was excellent and did his part in defense by helping Clichy on the right flank.

Subs:

Arshavin (8): He is getting back to his best as he made that goal look so simple. Looked confident and helped in defending when required. He made a mistake near the end but again thankfully we weren’t punished for it.

Bendtner (7): Did his job and looked good. He just needs to be quick in making his decisions.

To conclude, the whole team deserves a standing ovation for their efforts. And let’s continue with what we did last night in all the other competitions we are in. The second leg can wait for now….just enjoy this moment!!

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5 Responses to Player Ratings: Arsenal 2 – 1 Barcelona

  1. Jeremy Cox says:

    I am utterly overjoyed.This team came of age last night.Now watch barca try to buy ALL of them (“Jack,he has Barca DNA-the other day,we saw him eating tapas”!)

  2. MikE says:

    Koscielny is/ was truly awesome.

    When The Verminator is back next season, and considering how well Djourou has played this season, could Koscielny do a job as defensive midfielder if needs be? He has the instinct of a midfielder and can pass a ball too. He has far more of a football brain than Diaby and greater talent than Denilson. DM is the one place we need cover – when Song is injured / suspended? TBH I thought he was going to get red-carded last night (Song that is!) not for dirty play but just too many slightly fouls.

    Back to last night: wonderful performance. still a massive job to be done but we are very much in this tie.

    • vled says:

      @mike: Yes, Koscielny can play in the defensive midfield role if need arises. Or when Vermaelen returns, he may also be utilised in the DM role and Koscielny and Djourou can continue as their understanding is very good.

  3. Dr Ezeukwu Emmanuel says:

    Arsenal players impressed supporters and fans of Arsenal with a good result that will remain indelible in our minds.How I wish Van Persie(8.5) and Theo Walcott(7.5) were in their usual topmost excellent form we would had a festival of goals in arsenals favour to seal up the next round qualification.Van Persie should consider putting his shots on the ground rather than seeking for roof of the net goals except in Freekick situations.In the match the low drive shot he attempted resulted in the important goal that brought Arsenal back to the game.Walcott,s choice of runs to the right side affected his out put I think when his righthandsiide is blocked and covered by opponents he should run backwards then horizontally in his attempt to get closser to the opponents 18 yard box.

  4. Oto brown says:

    arsenal is fantastic at play

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