Thursday, May 18, 2006

FC Barcelona won the Champions League Final last night beating Arsenal 2-1. By all accounts the match referee Terje Hauge had a terrible night, disallowing a Barcelona goal and awarding free kicks where there were none.

Personally speaking I found Thierry Heney’s post match interview disappointing. Henry accused the referee of favouring Barcelona. No Thierry I don’t think so. Lets have a quick look at the facts.

In the first half Eto’o broke through the Arsenal defence he goes by Lehmann, the Arsenal goalkeeper and last man back, and is brought down. The ball breaks to his teammate Giuly who whacks the ball into an empty net to score a legitimate goal. The referee fails to play the advantage, disallows the goal, awards Barcelona a free and quite rightly sends Lehmann off. Looked at objectively Arsenal were the ones favoured on this occasion.

The Arsenal goal in the first half came about from poorly defended free kick awarded when an Arsenal player dived. I was left wondering what Wenger, the Arsenal manager, thought of divers then.

In the second half Henry has some cause for complaint his yellow card was unjust. He won a clear ball from Barcelona’s Van Bommel fair and square. Van Bommel dived clutching his leg. In a later incident Henry shouldered Barcelona captain Puyol over the end line and won a corner. I don’t think the referee was favouring Barcelona there.

Eto’o’s equalising goal for Barcelona was not offside. It was well taken and well worked and Larsson’s touches, which lead to this goal and Belletti’s winner, were magnificent.

Before this Henry had two chances to wrap things up for Arsenal. On both occasions Valdes, the Barcelona goalkeeper denied him.

Henry quoted Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, and his views on referees’ favouring Barcelona. Again I couldn’t help but wonder what Wenger thought that statement. In the same situation would a Manchester United or Liverpool player quoted Mourinho? Somehow I don’t think so.

The match last night was Thierry Henry’s final game for Arsenal, in his hometown. Of course for these reasons and more he wants to win. He’s top score at Arsenal and has participated in a side renowned for its free flowing champagne football. His contract at Arsenal is finished.

Puyol, the Barcelona captain, lifted the Champions League title for his team. The celebrations began. Ronaldihno, will be going for the treble this summer. Thierry Henry maybe playing for Barcelona in September.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Technorati Profile