By the time that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players jump on a plane to Spain and prepare to play the away leg of our Champions League knockout tie, we will hopefully all be feeling a bit better about life and a bit more confident in the team, but even if the Gunners do win the three games before that, I feel that we would be wasting our time in putting everything we have into that game in Spain.
Even the Arsenal boss all but conceded defeat after that late double from Lionel Messi condemned us to a 2-0 home defeat and that left us needing a miracle of sorts. Maybe not a miracle but we would need to see the very best of Arsenal and at the same time our opponents would have to have a bit of a nightmare.
As unlikely as you might think it is for Arsenal to hit top form in that game, it looks even less likely that the Spanish La Liga champions will falter. Last night they smashed five goals past Rayo Vallecano and set a Spanish record of 35 games unbeaten in all competitions. Even on an off day they are alright if Messi is in form and three of their five goals last night came from the little man.
In those 35 games they have conceded just 20 goals while scoring a massive 107. If you want a glimmer of hope, though, maybe the fact that the two games they did lose this season, right at the start, were both by scorelines that would see Arsenal go through. Celta Vigo shocked them 4-1 in the league and Atletic Bilbao beat them 4-0 in the first leg of the Spanish super cup.
But Barca were away in both of these matches and the last time they lost a match at home by a scoreline enough to see Arsenal stay in the UCL was back in May of 2013 when Bayern Munich beat them 3-0 on the way to their own treble. Barca are much better than that these days and last night’s five goals should just reinforce the fact that Arsenal will be leaving the Champions League very soon so we might as well save our effort for the competitions we still have a chance of winning don’t you think?