Tonight at the Emirates, Arsenal take on Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League. In an attempt to channel the ups and downs of being a Gooner, I will write my thoughts at half-time and full-time.

It may seem incohesive and not be your normal match report, but it isn't meant to be. Just how many of my differing feelings throughout the game will mirror yours?

First-Half Thoughts

Arsenal get out of the traps really well. Play some neat passes and every loose ball seems to be ours in the opening minutes. On a couple of occasions we find ourselves with a man over against their defence but van Persie, Walcott and Fabregas all miss opportunities.

Then the inevitable happens; Barcelona take the lead. A simple ball through the middle of our defence finds David Villa who slots past Szczesny who hasn't much chance. The annoying part about this is that Barcelona had got through twice before the goal via the exact same method - a through ball. One of the occasions saw Messi shoot narrowly wide. Why haven't Arsenal tightened up at the back? Getting turned once should be a lesson, twice is bad, but a third time is inexcusable.

Straight after the goal on 26 minutes we get a chance up the other end but van Persie shoots wide from where he would normally hit the target. After that it is all Barcelona, they are keeping the ball for fun and could be another one up but for a fine save from Szczesny.

At half-time Wenger needs to have a big, loud word. Alex Song needs to calm down or he will get sent off - the Barcelona players will make sure of it. Emmanuel Eboue has been dreadful and needs to be fined £10,000 every time he gives the ball away for a silly reason. Cesc Fabregas needs to start leading the team more and treading balls to van Persie who needs to change into his shooting boots.

The referee needs to stop giving everything to the away side.

Lets see how the second half progresses.

Second Half Thoughts

It has now occured to me that I should have continued to write as opposed to leave all my thoughts until the final whistle. The two goals in the space of a few minutes have clouded out everything else that happened.

After blazing a few over, Robin van Persie scores from the most acute of angles after belting the ball past Valdes in the Barcelona goal. The stadium absloutely erupts and the Dutchman runs to celebrate with Wenger.

With the wind in our sails, Arsenal went looking for a second and it came! Having replaced Alex Song, Arshavin latched onto a breakaway ball from Samir Nasri and curled home. The stadium hit volcanic eruption status this time.

With over ten minutes to either score another or hold out, the fans stood up and willed the team to the end. It finished 2-1 and Arsenal go into the second leg with a lead. Score first and it will be very interesting.

 

Man of the Match: Jack Wilshere