Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Same result against Barca please. Sunderland match report and Barcelona preview.

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0

I came away from this match disappointed but not too disheartened - as it happens, it was a point gained - but more to the point, an unlucky draw at home is part of football. We weren't brilliant, but we were far from terrible.

And we weren't victims of Dowd-esque incompetence - to be honest, I'm unconvinced the penalty which Arshavin wanted gets given a lot in the Premier Leauge. It was a penalty offence, but they're not given on the whole.

The offside goal clearly should have stood, and on balance we deserved to win the game, but if we look back at this season having missed out on the League by a couple of points, I won't be looking at this match - I'll be looking at losing at home to West Brom and Spurs, and drawing with Newcastle from 4-0 up. A couple of annoying draws at home are part and parcel of every football season.

We could have done more to win the game - and I would have preferred to see Diaby and Wilshere swap positions - but we weren't that far away, and there were no terrible performances. The return to a semblance of form from Marouane Chamakh is heartening, even if RVP may be ready to return sooner than first thought.

All eyes are now on tomorrow's game against Barcelona. I, for one, am particularly excited - I've always wanted to see Arsenal play (live) in the Camp Nou and now I'm going to get the chance to.

I think a lot of what has been said by the media in the build-up to this match is a little disingenuous - firstly, Wojciech Szczesny: I was delighted to see him make a great save on Saturday and show no adverse reaction to his error in the Carling Cup final, but nor did I expect him to - he's a confident player.

But more remarkable, is the suggestion that Arsenal are somehow struggling based on picking up a couple of injuries and some iffy results.

I mean, if Arsenal had won the Carling Cup final, would we be going into this fixture full of confidence? It makes no sense. It was a game we lost - no more, no less. We've also had good wins against Orient (apologies for the lack of a post) and Stoke which have been simply glossed over.

And the injuries are arguably a good thing: our two worst players in the first leg were Walcott and Song, and they won't play in Barcelona. I said it before the first leg, and I'll say it again - I have every faith in Denilson to come in and do well.

The title to this post was in jest - I predict we might just win again, although not too sure about the scoreline. That said, at 8/1, the Arsenal win is mighty tempting.

Any result which sees Arsenal progress will do me - vamos!

Keep the faith.

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