Archive for May, 2006

Arsenal lost yesterday to Barcelona for the Champions League title, but they did not deserve to lose!

From the beginning of the match it was shrouding in contraversy as one of the linesmen were seen in a Barcelona shirt, but the head referee attended a presss conference to defend the linesman. That in my opinion should have been the end of the those officials and a new set brought in.

Then the match took place with the bias of the officials, it was clear that Arsenal were going to have to fight for this title and the fight was not just against Barcelona, but also their extra man in the form of the referee.

It was not going to be a fair fight when Jens Lehmann was sent off for a challenge on Samuel Eto’o. But that was not just an unfair sending off, but the Barcelona players held their hands up in a signal for the ref to give Lehmann a card. We have the officials on the pitch to inforce the law not be told the law and be bullied into making a decision.

Arsenal made an effort to try and win the match and was very fortunate when Eboue went down outside the box and was awarded a free-kick. And from this Sol Campbell who has had a very touch season headed home the hope for Arsenal who were now 10-men.

Barcelona were still the favourites as Arsenal were given yellow cards for good challenges or for being tackled by a Barcelona player. Arsenal held their lead into half-time, but it was not to go their way when the interval was over!

In the second half Arsenal tried to make breaks forward, but were taken down by a Barcelona player and not given a free-kick. After 70 minutes it was still looking good for Arsenal, but it was all to change when Henrik Larsson came on and fed a ball through to an offside Samuel Eto’o who put the ball past Almunia. The flag stayed down despite claims from Arsenal that Eto’o was offside.

It was ok as Arsenal pressed forward, but again the ref called for Barcelona to be given free-kicks despite it was the Barcelona players that were fouling the Arsenal players. This just added to the misery of Arsenal as Belletti was able to score the winner for Barcelona.

I would not be so critical if Barcelona and Arsenal were able to play a real game of football. With the poor calls from the ref it will not be a final to remember for the football but for the poor officials.

I remember the final last year because it was a great match and I do not really remeber the officials because they did their job well. Unfortunately for Arsenal it will be the officials and not the match that will be remembered because they did not do a good job.

I think that Arsenal players should be holding their heads up high, because they were the better team even though they were down a man they made Barcelona panic on many occasions!

I am still very proud to call myself a Gunner!!

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