‘We Beat The Best Side In History’ – Cesc Fabregas Revels In Barca Victory

Chris Wright

17th, February 2011


By Chris Wright

Of course, it’s only ‘half-time’. Yes, Arsenal have still got to face Barcelona on their own patch and, by jove, they’ll only be taking a precarious one-goal advantage to the Camp Nou in a fortnight’s time, but until then Cesc Fabregas and his minions can revel to their heart’s content in having beaten the ‘best side in football’s history’ at their own soddin’ game…well, sort of anyway.

Said Fabregas after the game:

“They don’t lose many games. They are the best side in football’s history in my opinion. This is 180 minutes. It’s a nice victory. It will give confidence to the team but that’s all.”

“The difference between this year and last? First of all we don’t have five or six injured players. Second, we are all one year older. We are mature enough to play big games.

“We showed it here but if we don’t show it (in the second leg), it counts for nothing.”

After a fairly tentative opening period, Arse fell behind to a David Villa goal of almost ‘surgical’ quality before rousing themselves to clinch the tie late in the second-half, thanks to an almost impossibly acute Robin van Persie finish (the first thing of any note he’d done all evening) and a plummy 83rd-minute cameo from Andrey Arshavin, who finished off a sweeping counter-attack with aplomb when the smart Rubles seemed to be on the wayward Russian careening the ball into the hospitality tier.

Great game, enthralling throughout and dripping with positives from an Arsenal perspective (i.e. Koscielny was up to task, Wilshere outshone Xavi in the middle, the fight-back only began once the great Nicklas Bendtner entered the fray, Barca looked absolutely cream-crackered in the second-half, err…they won).

Roll on March 8th.

Posted in Arsenal, Barcelona

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  1. gaptooth says:

    credit to the gunners
    was a great clinical display from them in the second half (and early first half)
    and bar Song they played to their highest levels.

    As a neutral the thing i took form this match (which is wrongly being described as a classic, the newcastle v gunners game was a real classic, this was nowhere near)
    is the complacency of barca in the second half. They totally took their foots off the gas and looked very tired and lethargic.
    Reports before the game mentioned their mounting fixture congestion plus the fact that they all played in the internationals (where as cesc, nasri and RVP did not). This aside i thought the gunners played to their strengths and walcott showed them how to hurt barcanwith pace and counter attacking. Also the key decisions all went their way (the messi offside and the arshavin penalty for hand ball)

    second half of the contest will be very interesting , if pep is wise he would apply some good squad rotation to allow players like villa and messi to be at their sharpest .i still fancy barca , only because i feel they played in 3rd gear whilst arsenal were in 5th

    Any injuries to key players between now and then could be catastrophic – here’s hoping for a real classic (and not a fake one)

    its not impossible to envisage a north london derby in the quarters or semi’s tho

  2. Mr. Angry says:

    fuck you fabregas you shithouse you didnt beat shit! yous will be hammered by barca in the nou camp you fucking dickface maricon!

  3. We have the Emirates says:

    A great game yesterday! Did you seehow magnificent the Emirates
    looked…OMG the spuds would have died!

    We beat a classy team, full of World Cup champions – just like Cesc!

    I am so proud of Arsenal, the ONLY Undefeated team won at whl 2004
    Emirates vs whl????
    13 titles to 2
    3 doubles to 1
    300 Million saw that game yesterday!
    Spuds, you will never ever be better than us so get over it.
    Olympic stadium…… Hahaha

  4. tapioca says:

    As much as would love to see Barca sent on their merry way, it’s just not going to happen, is it? They only have to win 1-0 at home!

  5. syndex says:

    I might be crazy but I was watching the match and thinking you know what I would fancy a team like stoke or bolton to beat barca. If someone takes away the center of the park then they look a little lost and start to try to pass it around their defence where maxwell looks a little suspect and valdez is a lightweight. I just don’t seem them surviving against hard direct play which was what arsenal did for the last 20 minutes if they do that in the second leg I fancy the arse to beat them at the nou camp.

  6. Michael D says:

    Fair play to Arsenal, they took advantage of Barca’s lethargy in the second half and should feel good about the first-leg win. That being said, I think if the Barca players had a bit more rest prior to this match AND had they Puyol I think it would’ve been a much different story. I think as commenter gaptooth said that Pep will certainly bear that in mind prior to the second leg match and they really missed Puyol out there, I think that would’ve made a difference as well. But that aside, hats off especially to Wilshire, he played a great game as did the rest of the team (except maybe Arsenal’s defenders…that’s going to be another thing to watch on the second leg)

  7. theirishembassy says:

    it’ll be a different game at the camp.
    something tells me they’ve only fired them up.

  8. Chris says:

    I’ll be very curious to see how or if Pep changes anything tactically. To see him replace Villa with Keita at the same time Wenger was taking off defensive players for strikers! That was the best part of the match for me- the belief, regardless of how foolhardy it may seem to the rest of the world with Pep actually BACKING DOWN. Now what if Puyol isn’t back yet with Pique still on a match ban? That would be something. The stars may align just right.

  9. newcassel says:

    Truth is football is a funny old game
    Barca should have been 4 up before RVP scored
    Valdes cannot cut it at this level
    Arsenal got all the “breaks” in the game
    2nd leg could be painful for you Gooners

  10. gunner express says:

    people keep harping on about “barca should’ve been up 3 or 4”. Why are you counting missed chances? They don’t win games. If that’s the case, then arsenal would’ve had the same amount. We had chances too.

    Barca had 2/3 attackers hanging offside for the first half, that moved just onside each time a ball was played through, arsenal sorted that at half time by moving a couple of yards further up the pitch.

    I think arsenal will go through in a high scoring game at the nou camp. We’ll have Sagna back and they are missing pique and possibly puyol again.

  11. The Yank says:

    Best side in history? Get off your knees, Fabregas. Yes, they are a great side, but the “best in history” is a big stretch. They aren’t almighty and certainly anything but perfect. Remember earlier in the season v Hercules? They got whipped 2-0 at home no less. They didn’t even make it to the Final of the Champions League last season. The Round of 16 was as far as they got in the Copa del Ray last season as well. This squad is good, but not that good.

    They won everything in ’09, but this is 2011. They need to start winning a whole lot more to be considered the best side in history. The Real Madrid side of the late 50’s/early 60’s was much better than this Barcelona side. Di Stefano, Kopa, Puskas, and all. They won 5 European Cups straight. And that is just one team who’s better than Barcelona, there are others.

    Right now, I’d say Barcelona is up there with the ’98-’99 Manchester United side, no greater. They won The Treble, that says it all.

    We all enjoy Barcelona’s style of play. Even the Real Madrid fans have to admit they enjoy watching them play, or else they aren’t telling the truth. They are good and have some of the best players around, but they need to prove themselves and get much more success in order to be considered for the title of “Best Side in History”.

  12. Mohammed says:

    Nothing is unbeaten. This is what we have seen at emirates stadium last Wednesday. Thus, we do not worry about Nou camp. The same players, the same ball, the same game and the same result.

  13. Mercia says:

    It was a great game and Barca is a great team. Arsenal surely tried their best and succeeded. Must say Alex Song had a great game, committing so many fouls on a yellow card against Messi and still managed to continue, O and might I add, Arsenal supporters even feel Song played at his best. Hope the young man goes with that same attitude to Camp Nou so he can be SEVERELY DISCIPLINED.

    Game on!! See you on 8 March 2011.

  14. Baggeess says:

    “The great Nicklas Bendtner” – mark these words ye mighty and despair..!

  15. mike says:


    Grow up and get a life!!!! You behave like an immature spoilt brat!!! You rant on about Arsenal! Well Barca got what was coming to them after their underhanded tactics in pursuing Fabregas!!! As for your language, somebody should wash your mouth out with soap… You’re so bitter!!! Do you even realise how childish your comment looks!! It would suprise me if you have any friends at all, or a social life for that matter!!!

  16. Mr.Angry says:

    @ mike

    pull you tongue out of fabregas’s arsehole and start licking mine!
    who the fuck do you think you are? a fuckin shrink! you dickhead!
    you say somebody should wash my mouth out with soap then maybe you should quit licking arsenal arse and get the fuck off fantasy island and be more realistic you sad fuck!

  17. yaletown says:

    Mr.Angry should be banned from this board.
    WE don’t need this type of comments from obvious idiots.
    People should be treated respectfully.
    What is the moderator doing – sleeping?

  18. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna says:

    Mr.Angry is actually what psychologists define as a passive aggressive with a severe borderline personality disorder, something like a blogsite voyeur who forgot to take his valium. He throws vulgarities into cyberspace and spouts racist, anti-Football offal as if it were rice at a wedding. He desperately needs to be reassured that someone is actually taking his rants seriously but he knows that he is actually a pathetically inadequate and impotent child with advanced adolescent delays.
    His language mirrors his internal image of himself, a sad, anally retentive and ignorant, scatologically-fixated juvenile in what passes for a man’s body. There are also symptoms of homosexual and homo-erotic fantasizing combined with pathological delusions of grandeur.
    All this to say he must be a Spuds fan!

  19. Steve says:

    didn’t they only really draw with Barca?

  20. Mr.Angry says:

    @ yaletown & domhuaille macmathghamhna

    you are a pair of pricks! what the fuck are yous two on about?
    you pair of cocksucking hypocrites!

    @ damhuaille macmathghamhna

    what the fuck is this name? are you a dickhead or something? are you describing youself? do you take it up the arse?

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