This Tuesday sees the return leg of the Champions League Quarter Final between FC Barcelona and Arsenal. Tipped to be favourites to retain the title this year, Barcelona looked well on the way to cruisuing into the semis after two relatively easy goals from the gunners point of view put the Catalans ahead. The statistics from the game made grim reading for the Londoners with Arsenal only mustering up 30% posession over the 90 minutes and 6 shots on goal, compared to Barcelona's 17 shots and almost 70% posession.
However, a spirited second half display and some inspirational substitutes in the form of Theo Walcott saw Arsenal draw level for a magnificent 2-2 game of football. It was a real spectacle and I watched the game on TV3 (local channel here) where the commentaters were literally drooling over the first half performance (Pep Guardiola later claimed it was the best his team has performed).
Local lad Cesc Fabregas - who was a doubt before the game after bruising in the Premiership match against Birmingham (which they drew) won a last-gasp penalty, and as a result Carles Puyol was given his marching orders. Cesc slammed in the penalty to draw level, but it was bitter sweet, as he is now out for the rest of the season after breaking his fibula (not sure at this stage if it was already broken, and the match has further aggravated the injury). It matters little, as Fabregas had earlier received a yellow card in the match, meaning he would have missed the return trip to Camp Nou anyway, through suspension. Arsenal also have another few injury worries, with Arshavin limping off with a calf strain, and William Gallas also strechered off.
So it all makes for a thrilling night this coming Tuesday. While Barça have the home advantage and still look favourites, you can't help but think them taking their foot off the gas a little on Wednesday made them a little complacent, and anything can happen in football, right? What do you think? Are Barça untsoppable or can Arsenal cause an upset? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
And if you're looking for accommodation for the Barcelona Arsenal match ? BCN Rentals still has some central properties available for the dates, and can offer some great last-minute deals.