36 hours on from the Champions League Final, and all that the English-language media can talk about is how Henry blasted everyone on the Barcelona team except Larsson and especially took out his frustrations on the ref.
Forget the fact that 2 major decisions went in Arsenal’s favor – three if you think that Arsenal were better off being a man down than a goal down (I’m probably the only one who thinks that). Shocking as it may sound, Arsenal lost to a better team (unlike Milan last year, who lost to their own incompetency).
So let’s stop the complaining, and look at the reality:
Lehmann’s red card was harsh considering the occasion – the goal should have stood and the keeper should have gotten a yellow card instead. Having said that, it is surprising how Wenger and Henry “accept” that decision – to me it seemed that Arsenal were better off a man down then being a goal down, and it looked as if Arsenal players were arguing for a yellow while the Barca players were arguing that the goal should stand.
Most people will think that this decision favored Barca, but I believe it helped Arsenal more. It fired them up, forced them to be defensive and rely on the break rather then go forward and expose themselves at the back. In short, it helped them tighten up ship and wait it out.
Ebouh’s thigh-high tackle – one that received a yellow-card, would have and should have received a red if this was not a CL final. He got away with a yellow – lucky Arsenal.
Eboue’s dive has not even been talked about by the media, and that is shocking. Here’s a man, who just after a serious foul, tumbles to the ground outside the D in the hope of winning a free kick. He does so, and as luck would have it, Henry and Campbell combine to score Arsenal’s first goal.
The dive deserved another yellow – and this time, final or no final, it should have been given.
Three big decisions going Arsenal’s way.
Was Henry being kicked around by Puyol and Marquez? Yes – they marked him aggressively and put in crunching tackles. At least one of them would have deserved a yellow card. But seeing the drama on the other end, I think things evened out pretty well.
Henry’s blast on Ronaldinho and Eto ignored one thing – that in the first half, these two were making all the moves. The Lehmann red card happened because Eto raced on to a Ronny pass, while that half-chance at the end of the first half, where Eto’s shot went off Almunia into the post, was started with a brilliant pass from Ronny.
To call these two men invisible to say that Henry went missing in Villareal and in the second half on Wednesday. Nothing of that sort happened. They created chances, took chances, and at the end of the day they didnt score like expected – but then again, neither did the Gunner trump card, Mr Henry.
It’s disappointing to see one of the best footballers in the world resort to bitching about the ref and the opposition when the fact is that they should have been 1-0 at the 18th minute and down by 2 men at the 35th, and not 1-0 up at the 35th.
Henry’s “I’m with Mourinho” comment cracked me up. I suppose he was referring to one of two things – that Barca are cheaters and the refs side with them, or that Barca couldnt beat Chelsea (or Arsenal in this case) in an 11-11 matchup.
Corrections on the second account – Barca beat Chelsea 1-0 – and if you say that that last penalty converted by Lampard was fairly given, you probably think that Eboue didnt dive either, or that Lehmann didnt touch Eto.
On the first account? The final saw a bad ref make bad calls, but that in no way makes Barca cheaters. They fought hard, they tackled hard, and at the end of the day, they won when it mattered.
Can Arsenal say that? No.
So can they please stop crying and move the F on?