FA Cup, Premier League Calling After Champions League Walks Past The Gunners




FA Cup

FA Cup

Arsenal’s Champions League hopes were gutted at Camp Nou nights ago. The fans now plead their heroes to save the FA Cup and the Premier league. With the injury list snapping the captain Fabregas, Arsenal’s hope for redemption seems to attenuate. Can Arsene Wenger hone in some confidence among his men and give the fans a reason to smile?

After a gripping encounter against Barcelona in the first leg, a sense of moral relief weighed down for the gunners as they swept past Barca’s defense to get a 2-1 aggregate. But such games simply bring the best of Barca and Josep Guardiola promised to feed his 99,000 fans well at the Camp Nou stadium. Arsenal would have fancied their chances of knocking down Barca and ending their juggernaut considering Carlos Puyol and Gerrard Pique were sidelined after picking up injuries. But with a team playing two thirds possession and having only two men in its half as defense one would expect them to choke the Gunners. A horrendous back pass from Fabregas brought out a fabulous through ball from Iniesta and a Messi magic as Barca struck first blood. The second half kicked off striking two calamities. The first one being Sergio Busqets heading the goal in his own net and the second turned out to be the decision of the night. A second yellow card for Van Persie for playing on even after the referee blew his whistle shattered Arsenal’s progress as they slumped back to ten men. But even before they could realize that Xavi and Messi plunge into action to make it 3-1 and winning 4-3 on aggregate.

Arsenal are now facing the heat and the FA Cup clash against their arch rivals Manchester United on Saturday spices things up. With the news breaking that Fabregas is going to miss Saturday’s match it leaves him alongside Theo Walcott, Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen. The quest for the Premier League starts from 19th when they have exactly 10 matches in hand trailing Manchester United by three points as of now. It is going to be a herculean task for the Gunners as Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs stand tall to spoil Arsenal’s party.

Arsenal need to leave their sad memories behind and dig in for positives to face the uphill task they have in hand. They will have to concentrate at one match at a time and gel together as a winning unit. The situation demands Arsenal to deliver and if they can remain as ‘invincibles’ for another two months from now then FA Cup and Premier League could be pocketed.

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Karthik Gopalan

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