Match Talk: AC Roma vs Arsenal


Summary & Opinion

Going to Italy to face Roma was never going to be easy. We went there tonight with a one goal advantage from our home victory, we was always going to be the favourites, but it took us a whole one hundred and twenty minutes plus a penalty shoot out to do the business.

We played faily poor tonight, not much was created at all. Arsenal had a total of four shots with Roma totaling five. Not much was created either way but it still seems we lack the creativity to produce when needing to finish a game off nice and early.

Baptista was denied a penalty earlier on in the game which could have ended our game because it seemed clear after that we wouldn’t have scored. Although i believe he shouldn’t have been given it anyhow. It would have been hard on the Arsenal defender.

I still can’t figure out why Arsene Wenger leaves out two class players when needed, Theo Walcott came on late in the game to give us abit of spark in the game and that extra boost, Eduardo also was brought on several minutes after the Walcott substitution. I just don’t know why he doesn’t give them the full ninety minutes, they’re fit enough. It is bad enough as it is that all Arsenal players take longer to return from injuries then any other team in the league. This is also probably down to Arsene Wenger again and his ways.

We have made it to the Quarter Finals and we are fortunate that this fixture will be along way from now once the draw is made on the 20th of March. I hope we have a full solid squad by then as our team now is simply not good enough to face the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

I must admit we looked quite confident going into the penalty shoot out, the experience of Kolo Toure was definately vital before it took place, he calmed them down and gave them a word of advice. It was excellent to see that.

Every player took there shot brilliantly, and it is ashame to have seen Eduardo miss but nevertheless we can’t blame him it was well struck and a good save by the Roma keeper. I feel Almunia could of done better, seemed a bit wary in goal but he made a important save and if he made a second to save us in the shoot out it would have been good for his confidence and experience in the future.

Player Ratings:

Almunia (6)
Sagna (6.5)
Clichy (6.5)
Toure (6.5)
Gallas (6)
Nasri (7)
Denilson (7)
Eboue (6)
Diaby (6.5)
Bendtner (6)
Van Persie (6.5)

Walcott (6.5)
Eduardo (6)

The whole team was average tonight, no one deserved to be mentioned for anything outstanding to be fair.


Highlights from the penalty shoot out, enjoy.

Well done Arsenal, you did us proud in the end. We can now progress further in the competition and it surely will not bring us down in other competitions so that’s the positive thing.

Gooner of the Goonerforum

4 Responses to Match Talk: AC Roma vs Arsenal

  1. sasha says:

    Good to see the luck went our way for a change. It was a clear penalty foul by Clichy. The Hleb and Babel penalties against Liverpool last year were wrong so I guess it all evens out in the end. As most people have noted the performance last night was poor and on that form no team would be worried about drawing us in the quarters. Hopefully with our injured players fit we will be a better unit. We shouldn’t have to rely on hope though. I am surprised that some people have said that Almunia’s performance was good last night. I for one was previously surprised that some sections of this board were slagging him off, but after his performance last night I must admit the jury is out on him in my mind. He lacked composure when it came down to penalties. He was still in shock during the interview and admitted that he was unsettled. His attempts at saves during the pens were woeful. His attempted save for the first goal reminded me of the 2nd goal in the CL final. It doesn’t look like he is a big game player. There is no way Crazy Jens would have bottled it. He would have been whispering sweet nothings about eating their children as they walked up to take their spot kick.

  2. Gapuchi says:

    We had more possession and loads more corners due to our pressure in the return leg and yet still couldn’t finish it. Had Eduardo and Walcott been two weeks further on with their fitness then I reckon we would have taken them in both matches. Italian teams are living on the past reputations of just two or three of their clubs but as I recall in the past we’ve seen off Juventus in European competition on three occasions and also Inter Milan, A C Milan, Sampdoria, Lazio, Roma (twice now), Torino and Parma. In fact the only Italian team to beat us on aggregate I believe are Fiorentina but that was only in the group stages. So why all the fuss about Italian clubs? They are all clearly just a load of pussycats – and are there for the taking as Manure, Arsenal and the Chavs have all just shown. Sure we were tad lucky that Baptista is a useless lump of lard and had the miss of the game, but we already knew that he was useless didn’t we? But if you really think about it one of Van Persie’s misses was almost as bad. They were also very lucky that Adebayor, Fabregas and Rosicky were not fit and that both Eduardo and Walcott are still a fair way off being fully fit. That will change. At the end of the day it matters not a jot how you win – only that you do so. And we are now in the last eight. We also know that on our day, assuming we can ever get a full team back, we can beat any of them. This includes Barca whose defence is seriously iffy and who have little or no real competition in their league. This means that whichever way you look at it, even for the most ardent of pessimists, we are just five matches away from the big one. No wonder that both the anti-English prat Platini and that dunderhead Blatter are both out to stop the English clubs any way they can. English clubs are so far ahead of the rest of the competition that it is almost embarrassing for the rest of Europe

  3. Alex Phelan, Manchester says:

    How on God’s green earth were Arsenal lucky?? We beat Roma, one of the top sides in Italy, on our home turf and then after a poor start in Rome managed to dominate the game on their turf.

    We then went on to beat them on penalties despite the inexperience of our side; there are few things harder in such an intense atmosphere with such a young team and I, as well as most other Gunners I’ll wager, thought we were done for by the time it got to that stage.

    They proved me wrong and I am hugely proud. We are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League now.

    It’s totally messed up that you heap praise on United who were for the most part awful against Inter (although it’s right that they should recieve praise for qualifying) and yet make out that Arsenal fluked it.

    And if there’s even a glimmer of a chance that you could somehow be referring to the decision not to grant Roma a penalty after Clichy’s tackle…well I would bring your attention to all the shocking decisions that went against us last season and suggest that we had to accept that it was all part of the game…and such is the situation in this instance. A decision goes against you? Tough, try again.

    And that is what Arsenal do, doggedly continue in the face of media sniping and cynicism

  4. SuperBobbyPires says:

    Alex, totaly agree with you mate. I must say, even though I am a very biased Arsenal fan, to see our victory on pens described as ‘lucky’ is very suprising. I’ll be the first to admit that we weren’t great on that night, far from it. However, we were head and shoulders the best team in the first leg and first half aside, we dictated the game for the following 75 minutes tonight – despite Roma morphing into Bolton. Okay, so we didn’t create many clear-cut chances and we were effectively broken down on the edge of the area time and time again, but surely Roma’s ‘everyone behind the ball except Totti’ tactic is testiment to the threat we possess if given time and space. From the second half onwards, we rarely found ourselves with backs against the wall and in fact, throughout the whole match, Almunia was seldom tested. The way I see it, to look comfortable in a situation where Chelsea were thumped earlier on in the season should surely be looked upon positively?

    Should Liverpool or Utd have gone through in the same way, I’m sure it would be described as a ‘gritty’ performance where their players showed ‘nerves of steel’ all the way through to the penalty shoot-out. Arsenal get the result and it’s lucky. Either way, we’re through and if you insist on it being lucky, let there be more to come.

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