14 Seconds, 10 Touches – Arsenal’s Second Goal A Dress Rehearsal For Barcelona

When Bacary Sagna intercepted the ball at 55:17 on the clock in the game against Wolves, the Frenchman was facing his own goal and Wolves had 9 outfield players pressing inside the Arsenal half.

From that point the Gunners took 10 touches in just 14 seconds as the ball was moved by 7 players. At 55:31 the back of the Wolves net was rippling.

We can get a decent overall picture of the movement of the ball and the players from the following graphic created using the Guardian Chalkboards.

An even better perspective comes from the following screenshot taken at the moment Cesc was playing the through ball for Theo.

As you can see, Wolves had 8 players (underlined) pressing deep in the Arsenal half. They also had two defenders around the halfway line.

This is the kind of pressing Arsenal are going to encounter for 180 minutes in the Champions League. In fact, we can be pretty certain the quality of Barcelona’s pressing will be much better than what Wolves did.

Nevertheless, if Arsenal can maintain the shape as they did in this case and move the ball at the speed they did, we can be sure the Gunners will create clear cut chances against the favourites.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this will be enough to win.  But if the movie lives up to this trailer it will be one hell of a game.

More thoughts on the game in the next couple of days.


22 Responses to 14 Seconds, 10 Touches – Arsenal’s Second Goal A Dress Rehearsal For Barcelona

  1. Messi's dad says:

    that’s exactly what i was thinking when I saw the goal, Desi.

    Theo to get ready to burst free from the wing and outpace the entire Barca team camped in our half. ANY of our players have the ability to release him with a nice straight lofted or through pass down the middle (RvP, Arshavin, Cesc, Rosicky, Wilshere, Nasri, Denilson, even Clichy, Koscielny, Djorou…). He needs to be canny about off-side, and hopefully draw (and survive!) a yellow card foul from Puyol / Mascherano early in the game.

    • Prabal Rakshit says:

      Puyol is out for the first leg at least. Most likely Abidal would move to CB and Maxwell will be at LB.

      • Hong_gunner says:

        while Puyol being out could be a good thing, Pique and Abidal in the center is a good combination. and we have Sagna and Vermaelen absent. so, we’re equal on the terms. Maxwell starting will get me(and walcott) licking lips. Walcott ran Maxwell ragged last year, and this time around, Walcott will most certainly feature for a large duration than his cameo last year. we’ll see how that battle turns out. Wilshere is the man I’m looking at if we want to win the midfield battle(which will win the game, imo). how we win back the ball and how well we keep it and use it will be crucial. and how Jack plays against Xavi and Busquets in midfield. will be interesting to watch. we are underdogs, no doubt, but that’s when we perform well mostly, don’t we?

  2. pkgooner says:

    first..?

    • AnonymousGun says:

      Go somewhere if you wanna just post those .. >.>

      A bit half on topic, I find i funny a lot of paper (even the British press, bigging up Barcelona, conveniently ignoring the draw result with Gijon, while slacking on Arsenal)

      One could be mistaken to think that Barcelona is English club representing EPL and Arsenal .. a Spain club… or rather, French club.

      • MSL says:

        Guardian has a full blown article on the draw with Gijon. I prefer not having any attention to us at all as it easier to deal with and there is less of a pressure on us.

  3. DKD says:

    brilliant sir, I put a link on my post to show the guys this article..Thanks for the analysis.

  4. […] much pressing we have to endure for Barcelona via the second goal against Wolves. Its a brilliant article […]

  5. fajrin says:

    Lets beat barca with our god damn fast winger, walcott and arshavin. Now lets hope eboue inform and be hard on villa

  6. golds73 says:

    Hi desi, I’ve posted a link in your prevoius article. What do you say about that? I think Arsenal have to consider using this tactic as Barca are gonna use a very high defensive line and press from the front.

    Ok, I’m putting down the link again:
    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/12/15/offside-goal/

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah I had talked about this tactic in the preview to the Chelsea game. It is always an option when playing a team that pushes forward to such an extent. But it’s not easy to execute as it needs a functional approach to the game rather than the fluid, flexible one that we have.

  7. Ole Gunner says:

    They weren’t pressing. In the picture they were retreating after sending men forward for a corner kick

  8. Henry XIV says:

    Hello

  9. Henry XIV says:

    Sorry
    I meant to say: hello desi, hello everyone

    I think the pressing game and taking of chances will be key in this game.
    I’ve seen glimpses of good pressing game on our parts in recent weeks, but we will have to do a lot more when we come up against the best pressing side in the world.

    We must not panick and misplace passes, players have to always make themselves available for a pass, and we should avoid back passes to the goalkeeper, because punting it upfield will probably result in us losing possession.

    Let’s Rey to keep the ball better, take our chances abd avoid ball watching in defence!

    We can do this .

    Come on you gunners! 😀

  10. Gooner92 says:

    I have a good felling about this game and we can’t just rely on the players we need to do what the Newcastle fans did to Newcastle and be that extra man! So I ask all our fans that will be at the game to please stand up and sing loud and proud and show Barcelona that coming to the emirates is a scary place to be and make there life hell for the whole 90 mins and make arsenals lifes heaven for 90 mins! If the fans get behind the players we can do this! Come on arsenal!!!

  11. tmoney says:

    why is sanga out? injured? suspended?

  12. […] 14 Seconds, 10 Touches – Arsenal’s Second Goal A Dress Rehearsal For Barcelona When Bacary Sagna intercepted the ball at 55:17 on the clock in the game against Wolves, the Frenchman was facing his […] […]

  13. Claver says:

    Arsenal have zero fear. Nothing to lose, nothing to fear.

    Barcelona have a lot riding on the outcome of this match. A draw will not do Barca any favours.

    If Wilshere plays, Barca will use the Everton model on him. I hope Song is fully recovered after his knock.

    Quite frankly, if we are to challenge on all fronts Wenger has to use Denilson and Diaby, maybe not together but certainly more frequently. There is no point asking them to show up when you are desperate.

    For my part, I’d go with Diaby and Song in this one. At least Diaby can shoulder some of the responsibility to defending. Diaby has to find some teeth, tenacity and poise in his play. There’s no better place for him to start than in defending.

    If we want to win, I expect Diaby and Song. If Wenger is more interested in showing off his silverware, I expect Wilshere.

    Perhaps Almunia can pass on his knowledge of the Barca attack to Chezney (sp).

  14. basil says:

    And so it came to pass.

    Kos, Bendtner, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, bulge.

    Nice.

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