Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Barcelona are Champions of Europe

Barcelona 2 - 1 Arsenal

In what was billed as a dream match-up of two European superpowers, the final in Paris really was a different type of match than hoped for. It was a match were history was set by the first Red Card sending off in a Champions League Final, with Jens Lehman being sent off in the 19th minute. In the end, Barcelona emerged victorious over Arsenal, 2-1.

Arsenal could have just crumbled under the pressure of the Spanish Champions with only 10 men on the field, in reality they did just the opposite. They weathered a storm and earned my respect. Sol Campbell scored on a beautiful header in the 37th minute to take the lead against a very, very poor looking Barcelona. Arsenal's defense took one helluva beating, but Barcalona looked less like the free flowing, inspired Spanish Champions. The two deciders of this match were the Red Card and the important changes that Barcalona made in the second half.

The Referee made a very odd decision when he gave Lehmann the Red Card, considering the magnitude of the match and the call, which he could have allowed for the possesion, which would have lead to a Barcelona goal. Instead he sends Lehmann off and disallowes the goal. In my opinion, he made the wrong call in this type of match.

Overall it was a very good match, Ronaldinho did not look like the guy in all of the ESPN promo's for the match and such. I have seen him play better, as will we all see in Germany this World Cup. Henry looked very dangerous, he just couldn't finish as he normally can. Based on what looked like him being very upset with the way Arsene Wenger handled the second half, Henry should be on his way out, Barcelona the likely place he lands.


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