Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Champion's league is back

The Champions league came out of its winter hibernation with Arsenal scoring an unexpected win over 9 time champions Real Madrid in the Bernebeau which ended Real's record of having never lost to an English team at home.

For the first hour, both teams engaged in exciting end to end action as the chances came fast and aplenty.
Despite arsenal's youngteam, the young Gunners displayed a maturity that defied their age.
The gunners created numerous chances due to their superb usage of the through ball tactic.
Within the first 90 seconds, Reyes was already free on goal, with only Cassilas' outstretched left hand denying him a goal.
The Real defence was unable to cope with the guile and precise balls that the likes of Henry, Ljungberg and Fabregas were threading forward.
Reyes especially seemed to be a huge pain in the arse, with Cicinho unable to cope with him.
The situation seemed to get worse as Woodgate was substituted early in the half, clutching his thigh.

The first half ended scoreless with neither of the two teams able to break the deadlock.
But the scoreline did not tel the whole story as many chances were being created, just that neither teams forward's were able to capitalise on them.
Both teams seemed to lack the cutting edge as the keepers too played their part.

In the second half, Arsenal took just 2 mins to acheive what they had unsuccessfully tried to do the whole of the first half, with Henry netting what turned out to be the winning goal.

The Arsenal captain showed his true ability two minutes after the restart when he collected a pass from Cesc Fabregas on the halfway line and turned purposefully towards goal. Henry displayed great strength to ride challenges from Guti and Álvaro before sliding a left-foot shot perfectly across Casillas and into the far corner of the net despite Ramos's desperate lunge.

The introduction of Raul, making his 100th Champion's league appearance, seemed to jolt the Galacticos back to life as Arsenal seemed content to have men behind the ball.

But all that to no avail as Arsenal hung on for a famous victory to defy their critics.
The performance put up by them did nothing to reflect the poor position in England they were in.


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