Arsenal started on fire & Barça goalie Valdes needed to do a "miracle" save early. However, Barça settled & dominated completely the midfield & made Arsenal run behind them as the Spanish team made the home side dance. Eventually the Barça goal had to come & DAVID VILLA slipped a ball under the Arsenal goalkeeper from a Messi pass that opened up proceedings in the 25th min. From here two factors to note 1) Barça could have opened up more the scoreline but missed their chances & they would pay later 2) Arsenal looked sloppy & inaccurate in their final play that they would fix later in the game.
|Arsenal forward Van Persie|
The second half started as the first with a fiery Arsenal that was watered down by Barça who took control & created chances. Then the moment of the whole match when Barça Coach Guardiola substituted forward David Villa for defensive midfielder Keita in the 68th min. In my opinion, Guardiola sent our a "message" that Barça would be content with a 0 - 1 victory, to which this stimulated Arsenal to risk & go all out for the victory. The "Old Fox" Arsenal Coach Wenger then reacted with "double" offensive power change putting on Bendner & Arshavin. With Barça missing Villa upfront & Arsenal attacking the equalizer came via VAN PERSIE when he surprised on via the protected post Barça goalie Valdes in the 77th min.
|Arshavin scores the winner|
Barça was rattled as they could contain the Arsenal offensive play & were surprised in a rapid counter-attack that ARSHAVIN finished in majestic style in the 83rd min to score the second for Arsenal. Barça as true Champions reacted & nearly managed to equalize in the last minutes via Alves but it was not meant to be.
Great victory for Arsenal that should lift their confidence for the away clash & wonderful strategy by Wenger who "slipped one in " on Guardiola that will be remember. Said this, FC Barcelona with their hurt pride will be more dangerous than ever on the home turf, which assures a wonderful away leg match for all Football lovers.