Like a blogging version of the messiah, I have come again. But I don’t come bearing gifts, or multitudes of bread and fish, I come simply to take a last look at Wednesday’s defeat in the Nou Camp.
All things said and done, I wasn’t too disappointed with it. I wanted desperately to avoid humiliation, and I think we did. Given that the difference between the sides over the two legs was ruthlessness in front of goal, the aggregate score (5-1) seemed a little harsh on the Arsenal.
Arsene told the official website: “We could not take our chances to [find] a second goal that would put us in a strong position tonight but after they scored and it was 2-1, our belief was less than when it was 1-1. We had chances and Barcelona are an exceptional side.”
And he hits the nail on the head. We had chances. In fact, a quick look at the statistics tells you we created more chances than the hosts, 20 attempts on goal would you believe. Crucially, however, we simply couldn’t convert with the efficiency required at this level.
It just really grinds my gears, though, when I see Suarez shin one in from close range. It just felt like the sort of luck we are desperately short of at the moment.
Overall, what we should really take from the game is that we can work as a cohesive unit. We are capable of holding to an organised game plan. It just needs to be maintained for the full 90 minutes, week-in, and week-out.
Ultimately, there is little that can be done about the profligacy in front of goal. No amount of practice is going to change that in the short term. It must be hoped that, between now and the end of the season, our luck holds enough that a few more chances get over the line, instead of cannoning off the bastard woodwork!
I’ll return tomorrow with a quick take on Saturday’s trip to Everton.