Saturday, May 09, 2009

London out, Manchester and Barcelona in

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United
Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona

Both London clubs exited the Champions League this week in different circumstances. Arsenal were lucky to have been only 1-0 down going into the second leg. But it seems lady luck decided to turn her back on Arsenal and within 11 minutes of the second game, Arsenal's season was over. Two goals by Man Utd in 3 minutes (8 & 11 min) ensured that the remaining 80 minutes of the game were rendered useless. Still, Man Utd got a third and Arsenal got a lucky penalty, via an incorrect decision, to atleast get on the score-sheet. Chelsea on the other hand were on their way to the final after a beautiful 9th minute strike by Essien. But as the game entered stoppage time Andrés Iniesta scored a beauty to take Barca into the final.

Unfortunately, all the talk surrounding the game was around the number of penalties that the referee didn't give Chelsea. Although, Barca were a bit unfortunate with their sending off as well.

Overall, both games featured quite a poor level of officiating. Both games had incorrect red cards handed out and in the Arsenal game, a non-existent penalty was given while in the Chelsea game, existent penalties were not given.

In the end, this season's two best European teams will meet in Rome for the Champions League final:

Barcelona vs Manchester United

Hopefully the final will be decided by good football and not by the ref's whistle!

note: all pics, ©Getty Images, from

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