Champions League final Arsenal v Barcelona
The Arsenal team was as follows; Jens Lehmann in goal, in defence there was Emmanuel Eboue, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure.
A midfield five of Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Freddie Ljungberg, Aleksander Hleb and Robert Pires with Thierry Henry playing as a lone striker.
It was a quality starting line up with creation and pace coming from midfield to supply Henry with the chances.
Arsenal also had a bench that boasted world class players such as Dennis Bergkamp and Robin Van Persie that could be called upon if necessary.
Barcelona packed with pace and flair
Barcelona lined up with Victor Valdes in goal and a back four of Oleguer, Carles Puyol, Rafael Marquez and Gio Van Bronckhorst.
The midfield was Edmilson, Deco, Ludovic Giuly and Marc Van Bommel with Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o in attack.
There was no doubt this Barcelona team was packed with fantastic players, so much so in fact, they had Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Henrik Larsson on the bench as they couldn’t fit them all into the starting eleven.
Arsenal start on the front foot
Arsenal started the match with real intent and Henry came close twice in the first few minutes. He turned superbly in the box but just ran the ball too close to Valdes who was able to block his shot.
From the resulting corner Henry struck a shot from the edge of the box. Valdes again denied him though, beating his effort clear.
Lehmann red carded
Then came the big talking point of the match. Ronaldinho sent a lovely pass through to put Eto’o in on goal.
He attempted to go round Jens Lehmann but the goalkeeper caught him and brought him down. The loose ball ran into the path of Ludovic Giuly who passed the ball into the empty net.
Barcelona’s players started celebrating but the referee had already blown for the foul on Eto’o. The goal didn’t stand, Lehmann was sent off for a professional foul and Barcelona were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box.
It was a terrible shame for Arsenal and the match as a whole. Had the referee let the play go on for just seconds then Barcelona would be leading 1-0 but it would still be eleven against eleven.
Ten man Arsenal take a shock lead – Read more