Arsenal 2 – 1 Barcelona. Too happy to do headline puns.

February 17, 2011 33 Comments by Sian

We beat them. We bloody sodding flipping beat them. I’ve been sitting here in my pyjamas on my bed racking my brains for an opening sentence that will do tonight’s experience justice but it can’t be done. I’m completely drunk on Arsenal. My favourite poison of them all.

My flag, a few hours ago.

The Emirates rocked and rolled all night long. We didn’t need the flags, we brought the atmosphere with us. It was still fun waving them around though. Arsenal vs Barcelona, one of the most exciting fixtures in football. Arsenal, the team slated as not having enough heart or desire to beat a big team, versus Barcelona, the team heralded as the greatest of our generation.

Well, balls to all that. And before anyone points out that it’s really only technically half time right now, we can worry about that later. Let’s just talk about tonight for now. Because tonight was bloody beautiful.

The Arsenal versus the Minty-Fresh Men.

(My match report in this blog is rubbish because I’m still a bit dazed, so go here for the official, decent one.)

We started the match so much better than last year when, let’s face it, we were spectators. David Villa’s goal in the 26th minute was an absolute gutser because up until then I thought we’d been holding our own. And even though I had voices left, right and centre telling me we were going to lose, I hadn’t even allowed myself to consider that possibility really. So him scoring was totally not in the gameplan. No manners, that boy.

It's alllllll kicking off between Cescy and Rob!

After his goal, there was a visible drop and the same old murmurings (underneath all the singing, obvs) of ‘Oh, here we go again’. Half time was a welcome time and I think it made all the difference in the second half. Oh, and Messi sort-of scored. It was questionably offside. How many offsides were there tonight, by the way? It was like Barcelona were Adebayor!

Anyway, the goal didn’t stand and in the second half we came back stronger, we came back wanting the ball and we came back getting the ball. We were just better. The thing about Barcelona is that every single mistake their opposition make is capitalised on by them. They don’t miss a sodding trick.

They still led 0-1 and it seemed a bit unfair given that we were probably giving them the biggest run around they’ve had since the season started. But we were squandering chances. RvP’s shots were totally boss-eyed.

Until.

The angle of his 78th minute goal was really quite something. I mean, Valdes should have done better but how on earth he managed to squeeze the ball into that tiny little space was amazing. What a goal, and what an important moment for us. Andrei Arshavin had been brought on for the yellow-carded Alex Song ten minutes before and his presence was slowly but surely making itself felt.

In the 83rd, there was no doubting that the Russian had arrived. Nasri made a sublime pass to him and he buried it, leaving Valdes able to do nothing but sit down.

I might be wrong, but I think they're saying "WAHEY!"

Oh, how we screamed. My head is hurting, my throat is sore and I have a fat lip from being accidentally clocked in the face by my celebrating mother. Fair’s fair though, I had nearly chucked her camera off the upper tier while celebrating the first goal.

Time ticked by. The final whistle went. We roared. We danced. We waved our little flags. I’m shimmying away even as I write this.

Yes, it’s part one of two but booooo you. We beat Barcelona at home. And, regardless of the result at the Camp Nou, that comeback will stay in the boys’ minds. If they can do that, they can bloody well start dusting off that trophy cabinet soon.

So, let’s focus on the team. Szczesny was ace. If you haven’t seen a clip of his goal celebration for the second goal, you must hunt it down. His Prem debut was Manchester United and his Champions League debut was Barcelona. Blinkin’ hell.

The stars of the night were undoubtedly Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny though. I was SO hoping Jack would show them what he can do and he did it… at 19 years of age! He was immense! Meanwhile Laurent Koscielny was basically a wall back there in defence.

I’m so proud of them tonight. When the real Arsenal stands up, we succeed. It’s just that sometimes the real Arsenal gets too comfy lolling on the sofa. But not tonight. I mean, not that I ever doubted it of course. And did I not say tonight would be Arshavin’s night? Stick with me kid, you’ll go far.

Final whistle fun times!

Dazed, confused, headachey, happy. A brilliant start to the tie. Sure, the Camp Nou will be a difficult match for us but we couldn’t have asked for much more. Well, 2-0 would have been great but don’t be spoilt now. Besides, the fact we had to make a comeback just makes it better. An easy win would have been fine, but would have probably said more about Barcelona than us. Winning this way, though, was all about the guts displayed by the team tonight.

Well bloody played.

3/4 of the family post-win. Was brilliant, but we missed the missing 1/4! She knows who she is xx

We all walked out of the stadium ‘BUZZING’ as little Jacky Wilshere would say. And rightly so. It was one of my favourite nights I’ve ever had, watching Arsenal. I am so full of love and pride right now that it’s turning this blog to shit. So I should wrap it up. Ooh, finally, I wrote a piece for the Arsenal programme too. And it only appeared in today’s progey, didn’t it!

The picture on the page was taken in Barcelona. Apt.

Particularly pleased I’d spoken of Patrick Vieira as a God (never a truer word spoken) when I saw he was doing the punditry for ITV this evening. And that the programme was sitting in front of him on the table! I know it’s a long shot but I couldn’t help watching the highlights back looking at the programme and thinking “My printed name and Pats… in the same room together. We’re practically holding hands.”

I’m off to bed to dream nice dreams about how much I love the boys and how much a little belief pays off sometimes. What a harmoniously victorious evening! It’s almost as if that’s our motto.

Victoria Concordia Crescit. YEAH!

31 Comments

  1. Alex
    2437 days ago

    BRILLIANT. I’m here in Chicago, so its an early afternoon kick off, which makes a bit annoying since I hardly get anything done if there’s football on the tele.

    I’m still in the clouds, think my flatmates and neighbors think I’m a nutter.
    cried a bit actually.

    I dream of being in that atmosphere you get enjoy week in week out,
    was at upton park last month. simply dreadful

    Cheers to next month!

    Reply

  2. Gooby
    2437 days ago

    top top post

    what a performance from the lads last night

    Reply

  3. Izmir
    2437 days ago

    I’m from Malaysia and I woke up at 3.30 AM to watch the match, and bloody hell it was one hell of a game by the Arsenal lads!

    And when Arshavin scored that 2nd goal for us, I ran around the house celebrating like a complete nutter!

    Practically went to work today on a high eventhough I was dead sleepy. And I also wore my Arsenal jersey with utter pride today!

    Reply

  4. Elle
    2437 days ago

    Loved this post! It really did sound full of love and pride AND WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT!!

    Think of the SA fans who got to watch until almost midnight, then couldn’t get to sleep because of being too hyped up. And then think of my students this morning who were given countless examples from the game to explain the concepts we were discussing.

    p.s. PV4 is my best player of all time too. One of my few regrets in life is not seeing him play live.

    Reply

  5. Thera
    2437 days ago

    I’m from the Philippines, and I too had to wake up at 3:30 am for the game. It was all fucking worth it. The thing was, I never felt nervous watching the whole game. Sure Villa scored, but I’ve always believed that we would make a comeback. (Rohan Ricketts also helped, with his too good to be true, perfect prediction, right from the score to the goal scorers).

    Damn it Arshavin! What a goal. :) :) Smileys dedicated to AA23 haha

    Reply

  6. mick winnett
    2437 days ago

    enjoyed your report

    we have a good chance in Barca, Nasri was plainly not 100%, I was a bit worried that about our left flank, Wenger needs to make sure their RB doesn’t get forward so often in spain, I wonder if we might play Clichy and Gibbs, to close that gap, plus both of them are capable of rampaging down the left.

    Big shout to clichy for the ball that put VP in, that was class!

    Reply

  7. Readysteadyred
    2437 days ago

    Nice One Sian,

    We’re all “buzzing”!
    Pique out of return match could be pivotal.
    Puyol should be back but I would rather he played than Pique.
    Yes Barca will score in Nou Camp BUT if we get one they need 3 to win.
    We are capable of scoring TWO………..If that happens……hold on to your hats ’cause we could be on a whirlwind ride.
    I reckon I’ll still be smiling like a Cheshire cat when I go to the Emirates on Wednesday. ENJOY!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  8. Treez
    2437 days ago

    What a great blog! You captured the atmosphere so well. It was the best match at the Emirates so far. There were a few ‘heart-in -the-mouth’ moments but, in the second half, we were in charge. Congratulations on your piece in the programme. Let’s hope it’s the first of many – and that Pats red it!

    Reply

  9. @espaBi
    2437 days ago

    Loved your “we’ve got Cesc Fabregas” chats towards the end. And, of course, congratulations – great performance.

    Reply

  10. Kipp9
    2437 days ago

    Well said as always with a few purdy pictures to boot.

    Wilshere was unstoppable last night his assured presence really shone through as all about him lost their composure.

    The Camp Nou is often the graveyard of hope but with Nasri back to fitness and Pique out (surprised you didn’t mention that) I just might believe in Arsenal.

    Reply

  11. Daniel
    2437 days ago

    Oh what a night….. and that photo of you and your ma n pa is enough to make me weep again.

    I went ballistic, bloody ballistic. Though my heart was gonna explode and my arms drop off. Amazing!

    For a while I was convinced Song was gonna get himself sent off but then he got subbed off for Arsh. WHAT a move. Didn’t wanna see denilson out there last night (sorry Deni) as thought we had to go for it. And we did.

    The move leading up to the second goal, from Kos’s (what a ROCK) interception and then Jacky (looked like he’d been doing it for YEARS) to cesc and then that ball to Nasri…. God that was good. God. OK, I admit that the world froze as it went to that liitle sexy bastard AA23 and I imagined the ball arriving in either row Z or orbit (he has missed some identical chances lately) but deep down I knew it was gonna go straight in.

    WALLOP.

    bring on the second leg, but I’ll let the players worry about it for now. I’m enjoying this!!

    Bravo, Siany. Super Duper blog x

    Reply

  12. uncle K
    2437 days ago

    Well dones all round ! Ranting at the TV,scaring the cat and the worst post match headache since Engiand RU World Cup win.Great atmospheric blog and congrats on the program article, R kid

    Reply

  13. Ansgar
    2437 days ago

    Great blog, as always.

    I’m in Germany and during the match the TV commentator fell in love with Jack Wilshere. Who wouldn’t?
    It must’ve been crazy at the Emirates, would have loved to be there.
    I’m so happy for the whole team, especially for Szczesny, Koscielny, Wilshere and Arshavin. Mind you, 4 weeks back, Arshavin skied those chances, last night he scored. Brilliant.

    I hope it’s not unfair to somehow compare last nights result with the one of Bayern Munich against ManUnited last season in the last 8.
    Bayern came from behind to win 2-1 at home in the first leg.
    Then – this is where the prediction starts – United went 3-0 ahead in the return leg and everything seemed lost, but they pulled one back before half-time and scored a wonder goal to go through and leave United in tears at OT.

    I would love to see Arsenal do at least the same. It’s Arsenal.
    I’m so happy today. Thank you Arsenal.

    Reply

  14. M.Kirollos
    2437 days ago

    Congratulations from Egypt .. what a match and what a remarkable and historic victory .. what a night

    Wilshire was amazing really you have to wonder how he’s going to be when he’s 22 or 25 or 30 so is Scscsczney, what confidence he’s got .. all the team actually was brilliant, Koscielny, Djourou, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, RVP ..

    You’re lucky Sian you were at the Emirates, it’ll be a night to remember for a very, very long time.

    Still everything is possible at Camp Nou, but if we can keep the squad injury-free during these 3 weeks, I guess our chances can be superior with the confidence boost we’ve got today.

    It’s still important nonetheless to keep our concentration and focus in the upcoming league fixtures specially against “lesser” teams, I recall a disappointing draw with Wigan after beating Chelsea, we need to learn from our lessons ..

    Reply

  15. dan
    2437 days ago

    Wow, at the risk of sounding all ”Keysian”… you’re smokingly smashingly hot! Good job!

    Reply

    • Joss Bennett
      2437 days ago

      I agree with this..

      Anyhoo – Good job on getting in the programme, Sian! KUTGW

      Reply

  16. karki
    2437 days ago

    I m going to get a new Wilsre shirt.
    JACK WILSHERE
    19

    Reply

  17. Theo van Nasrigas
    2437 days ago

    Wow! I have an Arsenal hangover, and reading your blog was like getting drunk again.

    Another fantastic post, a fantastic win and a fantastic day to think back on a great match that actually lived up to its billing.

    Too early to think about the 2nd half at Camp Nou, Let’s enjoy the feel everyone – just go to the very top of the page again and start reading!

    Cheers,

    Theodora

    Reply

  18. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2437 days ago

    A post worthy of the game that was played. EXCELLENT.

    Already writing for the program, eh? You’re on your way – I just knew it.
    I blew up the photo of the page with your article and was so impressed reading it. Just the nicest little supporter piece for a match program. I’m sure you’re grandfather is up there smiling.

    Wilshire may be man of the match, but you’re writer of the match hands-down. Congratulations to you, to us and here’s to another great result at weekend in the F.A. cup.

    COYG

    1NTTA

    Reply

  19. Terry Patrick
    2437 days ago

    Great blog, really gives a feel of what it was like being there! It was exciting enough watching on tv, I am so jealous of anyone who was there!

    Reply

  20. zulu gooner
    2437 days ago

    excellent Blog. I will be back!! onwards and upwards you beauties!

    Reply

  21. Sebinho9
    2437 days ago

    So many strange tie ins with the programme last night! Look at the boys on the cover n all.

    Great post.

    Still excited today! Ears worryingly still ringing. not used to that volume! Hope we stay loud (knows we won’t :( )

    Reply

  22. Alan
    2437 days ago

    Well, I didn’t see that coming! Fantastic blog to match the game. Little Jack was glorious, Kosser magnificent and that lazy little git was anything but lazy. That sort of performance certainly makes me proud to be a Gooner (and to be associated with Miss Superblogger). So pleased to finally beat Barca especially as they were excellent on the night. Can’t wait for the Camp Nou.

    Reply

  23. irishgray
    2437 days ago

    Victory was never so sweet Sian, and never have I been so hungover!! Great post as per usual, loved the photos, especially those of you and your family :) you guys looked very happy and I must admit I was/am jealous you where there but I am sure it will pass!! The team was terrific and what a ballsy move by Arsene taking off Song for AA, brilliant!! The lads are walking on cloud 9 today I reckon and rightly so, I know I am. Ooooh to be a Goonah!!!

    Reply

  24. Tricia
    2437 days ago

    I don’t care if it’s technically only half time. We beat them. This win is huge.

    RvP’s goal was magnificent. This team is magnificent. You are magnificent. Loved this entry.

    Also, congrats on the article in the program.

    Reply

  25. Gunner Neilson
    2437 days ago

    Best blog ever. The opening line says it all! Every sentence I’ve read has given me a massive lump in my throat. ‘Oh to be a Gooner’. It can’t get any better than this…can it?? Here in NZ we managed to find a house with ESPN and watched the game in comfort. Did I say ‘comfort’?? The guys were immense and I agree with your comments about Jacky W. My man of the match. Sorry to hear about your fat lip, but that’s parents for you!
    Many congrats on getting your blog printed in the programme. Only fitting it should be in the Barca prog. I’ll bet it’s already framed and on the wall. Can I have your autograph please….

    Reply

  26. Owen
    2437 days ago

    I have watched the highlights of this game so many times in the last 24 hours. I can’t get enough!

    Great post… I’m so jealous of everyone who was at the Emirates yesterday. Sadly I had to root on the Arsenal from my living room in Boston, although I’m pretty sure my screams when Arshavin scored could be heard all the way across the pond.

    Reply

  27. Girl Gunner
    2436 days ago

    Nice blog sian! The boys really showed maturity and class! I’m so proud to be a gunner,went to school yesterday with pride,and couldn’t help but show off a few times to the kids at my school!! now we aren’t barcelona-lites anymore! Sorry about your fat lip and those were really nice pics!

    Reply

  28. Goonerinprovence
    2436 days ago

    This is an excellent blog, well done. I had to watch the match in a french bar, surrounded by frenchman and a few spaniards…… who all wanted to see Barca win. When we went 1-0 down I sensed them all thinking “allez Barcelona” but by the end of the game (I’d drunk several glasses of pastis) they were cheering along with me…… what a game, I could feel the atmosphere at the Emirates….. wish I could have been there. The Gunners could really do it this time. Can’t wait for the return match at the Nou Camp. I will be in the same bar……. perhaps the locals will be gunning for the gunners next time……..

    Reply

  29. El Greco
    2435 days ago

    Sian,
    I wish I was there but I think your blog and the attached pics represent a smashing, I mean smashing indicator of a…..smashing night!
    I watched the match live from this end of the world, and celebrated with another Gooner whose centre of the universe is the Arse.
    Adrenaline’s still pumping………..

    Reply

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    1599 days ago

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