Well, that was fun last night, eh? Arsenal qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League after what was probably the dullest game of football I’ve seen in a long time.
It was quite obvious both sides were playing to not lose rather than to win. Porto were slightly more adventurous as you’d expect from the home side and Quasimodo hit the post twice so we can think ourselves slightly fortunate in that respect. However, by about the 75th minute both sides knew the 0-0 was more than enough and it became an exercise of passing it across the back. It got to the last minute and Robin van Persie decided he’d go chasing the ball down prompting an exasperated Arsene Wenger to turn to Pat Rice on the bench and say “What’s he doing that for?!”
The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough and both sets of players and fans could celebrate qualification. To my mind there’s no point going over the game in any greater detail. Our performance was nothing to write home about but at the end of the day the job was done and that’s about as much as anyone needs to say about that game. One to wipe from the memories asap.
Afterwards Arsene Wenger acknowledged the performance wasn’t great but said we’d be better for Sunday against Chelsea. I hope so. Freddie Ljungberg says the hurt of losing the final in May is a great motivation for the team.
The draw for the second round takes place next Friday and we’re going to play one of Barcelona, Celtic, Inter, Roma, Real Madrid, PSV or Lille with the first leg away. Fun times!
The only real downside of the trip was the fact that Johann Djourou picking up a hamstring strain which could see him miss Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge. With William Gallas only rated at 20% to play and Kolo suspended it means Philippe Senderos could be our only available centre-half. We’ll find out more on that soon enough.
And speaking of Sunday no doubt you’ve all seen the Cuntley Cunt banknotes which are going around. If you’re going to the match on Sunday and you want to do a bit of cut out and keep you can download them from here. I have no idea how they got on my server though. Cuntley’s first encounter with the Arsenal since his move will be something I’ll be discussing with Goodplaya on tomorrow’s Arsecast.
And that’s about it. I’m still bored senseless from last night.
Update: That’s not it at all. I totally forgot to announce the winners of the scarves from Savile Rogue. I set the RNG in motion after what was the highest ever number of entries for any competition on Arseblog and the three winners are: Joanne Utalia, Scott Roney and Spargo L (hahaha!). Congrats to you, I’ll be in touch for address details at some stage this morning.
Thanks for all your entries and we’ll have more giveaways between now and Christmas.