Late Arshavin Strike Stuns Barcelona

Arshavin on target for Arsenal

Arshavin on target for Arsenal

Andrey Arshavin came off the bench to score the winner, and give Arsenal a 2-1 advantage to take to the Nou Camp on March 8th.

Arsenal came from a goal down to mark a sensational second half fight back against the mighty Barcelona.

Barcelona started the game as you would imagine, stroking the ball around at lightning speed while looking to beat the Arsenal offside trap.

Arsene Wenger’s men coped well with Barcelona’s early pressure, and hit Guardiola’s men well on the counter attack, with Theo Walcott being their main threat.

However, the Arsenal defence were caught ball watching right before the half hour, and paid the ultimate price when David Villa put Barcelona 1-0 up.

It wasn’t long before Barca got a hold of the game, when world player of the year Lionel Messi, ran at the Arsenal defence , before playing a clever ball through to Villa, who slotted the ball home with ease.

Arsene Wenger’s men were looking for an offside flag, but the replay showed Villa was clearly onside.

Arsenal looked vulnerable following Villa’s strike, and Barcelona pressed on for the second with some silky passing in and around midfield.

The Gunner’s held on, and were thankful for the half time whistle, and a chance to catch their breath.

Arsenal came out a different side in the second half, and were full of energy right from the kick off.
The home side enjoyed a lot of the possession, with Van Persie and Fabregas linking up well, with Walcott and Eboue attacking on the wings.

Guardiola could clearly see that Arsenal were posing a threat, when he withdrew goal scorer Villa for the defensive Keita, while Arsene Wenger responded by bringing on Andrey Arshavin, and what a move that proved to be.

Arsenal continued to play the ball around well, and searched for the all important equaliser, and they got their reward on the 79th minute through Van Persie.

The Dutchman fired home with an audacious volley from the tightest of angles on the left, to beat the despairing Valdes at his near post.

The Emirates erupted and was once again full of voice, with the Barcelona fans stunned by Van Persie’s rockets.

Things got even worse for the travelling Spaniards, when they found themselves 2-1 down two minutes later, thanks to a scintillating move that even Barcelona would appreciate.

Arsenal Captain Fabregas unleashed Nasri down the right wing with a sublime through ball, for the little man to run onto, and break into the Barcelona box, before delivering a sublime cross for Arshavin to volley home and send The Emirates Stadium into meltdown.

Barcelona bombarded the Arsenal box for the remaining nine minutes, but the spirit of the Arsenal players was clear to see, and they held on for a historic victory that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Arsenal now travel to the Camp Nou on the 8th of March with a 2-1 aggregate advantage, game on.

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