Arsenal v. Celtic; liveblogging the Champions League second leg (2-0 agg)

All right, folks, I’m in. I got a half a turkey sandwich in me and my Eduardo strip on, so I’m ready. Heard any good news today?

Oh hey, I figured out why all the Celtic fans threadshiat all over yesterday’s post; it turns out one of our regular readers accidentally mentioned Bougherra as a Celtic player, which was then repeated on a Hoops message board. That’s why they were saying things like “Rooney will come on and score” etc. It’s all in good fun, I’m sure we’d do the same if they mixed our players up.

Anyway,  that’s all past us now, let’s be friends!

Bobby MacMahon v. Warren Barton:


BM: (something unintelligible, likely in Scottish)

I’m going 1-0 to BM in that exchange, yes, sure it was unintelligible but at least it wasn’t the cringe-inducing “Englishmen at Arsenal” chestnut vomited up by WB.

Oh hey, well in Seannn, Matt, and WC.

Oh hey, it’s the GEICO caveman commercial. I was hoping that after the abortion that was “The Cavemans” that that series would die, but if anything they seem to have picked up in frequency.

I just looked at the lineup:

1 Manuel Almunia (G)
10 William Gallas (D)
27 Emmanuel Eboue (D)
22 Gaël Clichy (D)
3 Bacary Sagna (D)
5 Thomas Vermaelen (D)
17 Alexandre Song Billong (M)
2 Abou Diaby (M)
15 Denilson (M)
9 Eduardo (ST)
52 Nicklas Bendtner (ST)

Tell me that’s not a 4-4-2? I mean I know that FSC just claimed it was a 4-3-3, but there’s no way that Song is playing in Chesk’s slot.

11:45 — We’re off

5 min: Arsenal have picked up where they left off at Parkhead; pressing defense and precise passing. Dudu nearly picked off a pitiful Celtic back pass but was called back due to a Celtic foul on Sagna at the back.

6 — Denilson gives away a cheap foul in a dangerous area… Maloney into the wall

8 — SHOT! Clichy breaks down the left, passes to Eboue who slices to Bendtner who one touches off the outside of his foot, GREAT save and Eduardo can’t get on the end of the rebound.

11 — Corner to Arsenal, taken right side by Eduard… Bendtner fluffs the header under considerable pressure.

13 — Gooners are in great voice as Denilson makes a surge forward and is shoved out of a decent shot by tough Celtic defending.  The action is coming super fast now, Arsenal winning every ball in midfield and getting shots left and right!

18 — THIS IS CRAZY, there’s too much, too fast to even report, for the next three minutes imagine this: Arsenal break down Celtic’s midfield, move the ball outside and get in a good cross which is desperately defended by Celtic. You have to think one of these is going to end in a goal!

22 — Diaby is driving some people mad with his turnovers in poor positions. I don’t care about that, I just want him to move a bit more.

24 — Eboue puts a little air under the ball and has a crack at goal, not a bad shot really. Wish it had bothered the keeper though!

27 — Penalty: Eduardo goes down under what looks like the slightest of contact. Dudu converts and the tie looks pretty much over.  I do want to mention that Arsenal deserved a goal with their play so far and that Celtic never looked to score.

30 — McGeedy confronts Dudu after the ref blows for an obvious foul. Celtic feel harshly done by here and I’m just hoping that Celtic players don’t take it upon themselves to get revenge.

33 — Bougherra hauls down Eboue and gets a yellow card, this is followed by a hard foul on Sagna. It’s getting TETCHY.

39 — William Gallas, Arsenal’s leading scorer, goes on a mazy run and caps it with a thunderous shot which is blocked for a corner. Oh, and Dudu is taking all the right sided free kicks because he is the only left-footer on the pitch except Vermy.

40 — Goal for Celtic ruled offside, rightly.

45 — Eboue and Diaby both are acting like the game is over, not tracking back, not keeping their head in the game. 45 more minutes boys.

45 — Evidently Eboue has been saving his energy to play as striker as he carries 50 yards at high speed then dumps to Eduardo who’s brilliant curler is parried by Boruc. The resulting corner leads to a wide open header by Bendtner, who nods the ball wide and immediately grasps his head in shame.

Half Time: I haven’t seen much from Celtic to indicate that they are going to drag a goal back in this match though I feel like if they do it might prompt some of the coasters out there to kick back into high gear.

I disagree with the halftime pundits, Eduardo had the ball at feet and Boruc did clip Eduardo’s right leg. Maybe Dudu made a meal of the contact, but there was contact, AND the ball doesn’t go out until Eddy knocks it out on the way down.

And yes, I hate diving.

3rd half kickoff — And we’re under way, no changes for the Arsenal

48 — McGreedy has a shot, I can’t tell you how important it is to not let this Celtic team back into this with an early goal.

49 — Scuffed shot from Eduardo there, he had a wide open counter, beat the last man and then scuffed the shot. Too bad, that would have ended this.

52 — The midfield goal scoring glut continues, Bendtner back heels to Diaby who, instead of taking the shot scoots it to Eboue who dribbles right and powers in a right footer, low, left corner. THAT is Arsenal football.

57 — Matt asked “how much money does the group stage actually generate for a club?” It depends on the club, some clubs get more television revenue than others, and it depends on the wins. £20m for Arsenal, even if they didn’t qualify, would be a conservative estimate.

60 — I’m calling it, Arsenal are now playing a 4-5-1 with Bendtner and Eboue wide and Dudu the lone target.

61 — Diaby off, Rambo on.

65 — Vermaelen follows Gallas forward on a rampaging run and Wenger’s transformation into an all out attacking team is complete. Not only do we have wing-backs, we’ve now got forward minded center backs.

70 — UNOFFICIAL POSSESSION STATS: Arsenal 63%, Referee 7%, Celtic 30%

72 — Dudu/Eboue off, Arshavin/Wilshere on. Is Wilshere our youngest ever Champions League player?  Just a sec…

74 — Had to watch the replay there as Arshavin makes it 3-0 with an absolute class goal: he just dips and turns his marker and puts the goal away.

78 — At 17 years 238 days Wilshere misses out on youngest Arsenal player in Europe by 109 days. That honor goes to Theo Walcott at 17 years 129 days. Oh well, he can’t beat Cesc at youngest goalscorer either. Cesc did it at 17 years 217 days.  DRAT!

86 — Just under 60,000 in attendance, red level members could certainly have gotten tickets. Oh uhh, football, little jack Wilshere took the ball away from some big Celtic bully and then Rambo NEARLY picked out Arshavin for what easily could have been an Arsenal 4th.

90 — With the match all but over, Sagna sags off Donati who puts in Celtic’s only shot of the match, a left-footed volley from the left side, off the post, 3-1 to Arsenal. It took an absolute perfect goal to break Arsenal’s defense.

All right you cocksandwiches, Arsenal got the win and are through to the next stage. Don’t get too down about the PK and the goal conceded, we won! We’ll do a full analysis tomorrow.

See you then!


    1. @WC, Why can’t they wear their hoops? I mean, it is not like they are going to clash with Arsenal’s red and white?

      Yeah, I am sure it is just a scheme to sell a few more kits, but whatever. At least they are not as godawful ugly as those new Man U kits. Vomit!

      (Speaking of money, I still cannot believe UEFA let’s Heinekin (sp?) sponsor the CL, but won’t allow booze at CL matches…effing ridiculous.)

  1. Note: group stage draw is live on FSC tomorrow. Say what you will about Fox Sports coverage of the CL, but ESPN never in a million years would have broadcast the draw live in the states.

    1. @Matt, I’m going to have to back up the DVR at halftime (or half time as they say in England) to hear him say, “Chesk.” I never get tired of that.

        1. @Matt, There isn’t too much decisive creativity on the field if you ask me. We can pass the ball well but no one for that killer penetrating pass.

  2. wtf is Dudu taking corners? He was our clinical finisher, now he is giving assists and taking corners… Wenger needs to get his act together, RvP central sucks and so does Dudu as winger…

    1. @haho, I called it on Tim’s Pompey review – Diaby just isn’t that good. He looked good on a good team against terrible opposition. However, step up the game a bit and he’s a mediocre player with no real close control and below Arsenal average passing. Even his power is questionable on most days.

      1. Well, I might agree he is not a good player… But he has some of the best close control of anyone I have ever seen. I hear he has the best at Arsenal and in the French national team… But, his concentration is down so badly he never knows what he is doing…He has one of the best techniques of anyone I know.

      1. It was going down easy. Our clown Eboue may do so but we do not take him seriously. I always appreciated we were not the diving team, unlike Drogba, Torres, and the whole of Man U.

  3. Hold up is William Gallas a defender or Zidane? He’s pushing up and taking on other defenders with what looks like dribbling skill

  4. This is gonna sound weird. But of our entire team (the entire first team) i am happiest with our central defence area including the DM. Vermaelen, Gallas the BtB defender (lol) and Song are one great trio. They are playing excellently.

    1. @haho, No intelligent Arsenal fan can possibly be upset with our starting back four. It’s their cover that raises eyebrows, especially in the middle since there’s no real direct replacement for Vermaelen’s physicality and Djourou cannot read the game like Gallas and Silvestre is just average at best.

  5. I don’t believe in make up calls or anything, but Arsenal have had plenty of legitimate PKs waved off.

    Remember Kuyt hauling down Hleb in the CL quarterfinals two years back? That was a much bigger and tighter match than this shit.

    What Celtic fans need to remember is that the tie was basically over before the first kick of the second leg. Score a goal at home, Celtic, then you can complain.

  6. Disappointed in Eduardo and McGeady charming fellow that he is calls Eduardo a “f**king pr**k”. Does Eduardo even understand that vernacular.

    Now the satellite feed is down, sh*t.

  7. Yep, Tim, Bendtner was looking pretty lazy in the last few minutes there.

    If Celtic get a quick goal after the break, this is a match again.

  8. What have we learned? Dudu can fall, can shoot, can score, can’t take corners or free kicks, Diaby is huge and so is Bendtner but both get pushed off the ball easily, the entire defense is excellent, so is Song, Denilson and Eboue. Almunia is captain (why??) and we are 1-0 up. Go Gunners!!!

  9. Man, I hate that fucking Budweiser commercial, the one wear the bartender basically calls the two dudes talking about wine fags because they are not drinking beer.

    Seriously, the rampant anti-intellectualism in this country disgusts me. Don’t drink Bud and watch NASCAR? Then fuck you, homo, yer no American! Go back to fucking Princeton you lily livered bleeding heart east coast elitist!

    Seriously – when did education become un-American?

  10. Where are all of these back heels and flicks coming from!!!! This is like exhibition football from Arsenal

  11. Denilson is amazing. He is everywhere, covers everything, has all the energy, great creativity… fuck me, he is fantastic.

    1. @WC, This stat is exactly, EXACTLY, why we better not hear one single Celtic fan or TV pundit whining about that soft penalty.

  12. What’s with these lame consolation goals we keep giving up? They’re coming from balls in the air in the box too. Fergie will try to exploit that this weekend I bet.

  13. Ramsey goes off and the announcers fail to mention that Arsenal are playing w/ 10 men for like the last 10″. Celtic still look hopeless until that Donati goal, their only shot in the 2nd half.

    Celtic, do not cry about any injustice because you were totally outplayed, out shot, over matched and really didn’t have a clue.

  14. Hopefully Ramsey will be a go for Saturday and we’ve pick up no muscular injuries. Friday’s press conference is critical as to how we’ll shape up for Man U.

    I thought Bendtner when compared to the rest of the Team was not as good. Having said that he still had a very good game because everyone else had incredible games.

    I cannot say enough about the play of Denilson, he was 8.5 today.

    There was some great moments in this game: Arsenal chilling until 65″ when suddenly they were all over Celtic like a rash. Arshavin clever ‘self dummy’ to beat 2 Celtic players. Gallas leading a counter attack. Vermaelen’s numerous defensive stops. Vermaelen playing ‘striker’.

  15. if there was no dive it could i repeat COULD have been a more even game but the arses dont dive we hear !!!!! c’mon the man u ;-(

    1. @jimtim, Dive or no dive. PK or no PK. Coulda, woulda, shoulda been a more even match. You’re looking at this game w/ green-tinted glasses. There was, I repeat, there was never a chance that Celtic were going to get anything out of this even if you had Larsson and Nakamura in your side. People say McGeady looks ‘quality’, but my 17yo Wilshere was better in 15″ than McGeady in 170″.

  16. Non-Gunners can say what they will about Eduaro’s awarded penalty (and they already are), but they need to ask themselves if they’d be cautious when someone goes for their tibia? Of course they would. Well, multiply that by a billion for Eduardo. It was a poor penalty, but Eduardo did not dive and I resent supporters of other sides saying that.

    1. @Keith Barham,
      people talk about green tinted glasses but excactly were was he meant to be hit ? youre just making excuses because hes been injured before but as someone mentioned LARSSON look at his injury and he didnt s**t himself in tackles ! and im not a man u fan and hate ronaldo for all that he is a good player he is the biggest cheat ive seen but after youve been cheated you want the team no matter how much better than youre team they were to be beaten !

  17. Well, very happy with the result today. A few observations:
    1) I did not like the Eduardo penalty. It’s gone against us in the past and it evens out over time, but when it does happen against us like that, we’re none too pleased.
    2) Didn’t like how we were a little sloppy with our passing in the first half. Cesc’s absence was very evident.
    3) Continue to love the work of our back 4.
    4) Loved Eboue’s hustle out there and his great goal.
    5) Kudos to Song for continuing his strong physical work out there.

    On to Man U. I can see Arsene going 442 this Saturday, with RvP and Arshavin up front. I’ll say it now. Arsene, don’t be afraid to start Wilshere. He’s brilliant.

    1. @ArseChicago, I could see 4-4-2 against Man Utd simply because Cesc is out. The weakness of the formation is that if the playmaker is having an off day or not present then you’re in trouble. In the past 4-4-2 has been shown to be effective against the other big four. However I would have loved a 4-3-3 on Saturday just because Man Utd are weaker defensively without Ferdinand and I’d have liked to press Johnny Evans’ inexperience into making mistakes.

      1. @WC, Not only is Evans inexperience but he also has a bad ankle. Man U will look to bring in Wes Brown just back from injury.

  18. To the supporters of other clubs that somehow find their way here, please at least use halfway decent grammar and some semblance of punctuation. Jeebus.

        1. @WC,
          No matter how good youre football is you will STILL never win f##k all /?>.<,@';:!"~ Grammar o k or o.k for you now p.s there is still only One BBJ (John Hartson) god bless thank you and goodnight

  19. Please Tim, do something about your ‘table of names’. It is very difficult reading the names in your table above.

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