Arsenal-Barcelona: Undeserved yet Entertaining

Adi-Oula SebastianCorrespondent IIMarch 31, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 31:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) of Barcelona celebrates as he runs towards Pep Guardiola the Barcelona manager after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between Arsenal and FC Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on March 31, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The most anticipated game of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals maybe of all Champions League fixtures, bar the Final, lived up to its billing. A 2-2 contested by two of the most entertaining sides in Europe.

The scoreline might have indicated that it was an even match but it really wasn't. Inside the first six or seven minutes FC Barcelona could've easily put two past a nervous looking Arsenal defense. If it wasn't for wasteful finishing of which Ibra is very much guilty, this match would've been over by the end of the first half.

The statistics speak volumes of the gulf in class. In the first 45 minutes FC Barcelona enjoyed a whopping 70 percent of the possession. One might wonder if Barcelona were the actual home team. In that area these two sides cannot be compared. While Arsenal are superior in that aspect to any other team in the EPL as well as Europe they are simply no match for the Catalans—who played away.

Shots on Target  

Arsenal 3, FC Barcelona 11

Shots Wide

Arsenal 3, FC Barcelona 6

Taking all into account Arsenal just shot six times as opposed to Barcelona's 17 times.

At the end of the game Barcelona retained 62 percent of the possession.

If FC Barcelona hadn't been so wasteful, particularly in the opening 20 minutes, Arsenal would've been in serious trouble if they aren't already. To even suggest Arsenal is on par with FC Barcelona is an outrage. The only thing in favor of Arsenal is the simple and undeniable fact that on this night they took their chances well or better than Barcelona.

But on the positive side, I guess we can put the debate to bed that Ibrahimovic doesn't show up in the big matches especially against an English opposition. He took his goals well and it should do wonders for his confidence.