Well what a complete waste of time that turned out to be. I didn't really expect us to win last night, at best I hoped we could hold on to an aggregate scoreline that would take us through, but to lose like that was complete crap. There is no doubt that van Persie's sending off changed the game. Yes we were being dominated before his dismissal, but trying to keep Barca at bay with 10 men is a lot harder than having all 11 out there. Robin's second yellow card was a complete joke, and the referee seemed to have some motive behind his decisions all night. What I don't understand is he gave RVP a yellow for something silly like kicking the ball away after the whistle, but what about when Messi controlled the ball with his arm later on in the game? The whistle was blown for the handball (despite it appearing to hit Messi's shoulder) but there was no yellow card for that was there? Another example is Abidal wrapping his hand around van Persie's throat. Did the French defender receive a caution for it? Of course not. I hate seeing games when the officials are so ridiculously inconsistent with their decisions - Busacca completely ruined any chance of last night being a great game.
Once RVP was off, Messi and co. took advantage of the extra space and carved open chance after chance. If it wasn't for Almunia, who played surprisingly well coming on early for the injured Szczesny , the scoreline would have been huge. I don't want to talk about the game too much, Arseblog has a fantastic summary of the match, but it's just frustrating to see us play so well in the first leg and then be completely dominated last night. I don't think we actually had a single attempt at goal the entire game, which is ridiculous. I don't know what Wenger's gameplan was, but it didn't work in the slightest. There was a moment of hope with minutes left in the game, when Wilshere stole the ball in midfield and played a perfect pass into the path of Bendtner, who typically took a heavy touch and wasted a fantastic opportunity to send us through to the quarter finals. Things just haven't been going our way lately.
Anyway, we must put the Champions League exit behind us now and focus fully on the prospect of going to Old Trafford on Saturday. United are still licking their wounds after losing to Chelsea and Liverpool in the league, so if we are to ever win against them, there is no better time to do it. The match is a later kickoff, so I should hopefully be able to make it home in time from work to watch it. The Premier League should be the team's focus from now on, but if we can dispatch United on Saturday we have a great chance to go far in the FA Cup. What will be will be I spose...
Thanks for reading.