Letís talk about the game in London. Was it the best first half under Guardiola? The best first half ever? Comparisons are free but are always hated. They donít fix the problems that you might have. And this dynamic, fast, aggressive, united Barca
closes a lot of doors but there is still one left: the one that denies the possibility of a rival surprising you when youíre ahead on the scoreboard. How? The ball should move forward as much as possible and only back when absolutely necessary. Itís what I call defending while going forward. What does that get you? The ball is only lost in the other half of the pitch. That way you have half the team behind the ball. A lot of players to help you and a long way to go for the other team. To err with a horizontal pass, prohibited. But because errors are always possible, it can be a fatal one if it happens on your side of the pitch.
Football is everything but mathematics. In the Emirates you played very well during the first half, but you didnít score a single goal. Something went wrong. And that is also part of the sport. You can play an amazing game but not score and therefore not win. You can have the best footballer in the world but itís still a team sport. This is the foundation of a team. Besides that, one player can always have a better day than another. And when it turns out that everyone is playing their best you have a game like in London. A great performance even though the result doesnít show it. The proof, 2-2.
A good result to take to the return leg but nothing definitive. And careful with thinking that their injuries (Cesc, Arshavin, Gallas) will make them worse. Thatíll only happen if you play your best. Whoever plays for Arsenal, this team has a philosophy that goes beyond just the players. A style similar to that of Barca, but with a big difference: the blaugrana
can and do apply pressure when not in possession of the ball. The objective is to steal it and the closer to the goal the better. The English donít [do this]. And if they try itís because they are losing the game. They gamble with a new strategy because they have nothing to lose.