Ahead of the big Emirates clash tonight, here is something to get Gunners fans in the mood.
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Arsenal take on Barcelona after an interesting Group stage which started an ended with success but also contained a blip that made some Gunners supporters nervous about qualification. The opening games seemed like a walk in the park and the opponents that Arsene Wenger’s side had drawn did appear to be as average as they first appeared to be.
Six goals were smashed in against Braga in the opener with Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Vela grabbing a brace each and then came the potential banana skin of a trip to Belgrade which was anything but a pushover. It took two goals in the last twenty minutes, from Marouane Chamakh and Sebastian Squillaci, to ease home against Partizan.
Next came Shakhtar Donetsk and the emotional return of former Arsenal man Eduardo. Again Arsenal poured forward and inspired by a great performance from Jack Wilshere the Emirates supporters were treated to a 5-1 romp. Next came the blip.
An under strength Arsenal side travelled to Ukraine without Cesc Fabregas and lost with Eduardo scoring his second in two games against his former side. The Gunners were rocked again by another defeat, this time against Braga where two late goals showed the club’s defensive frailties which left Wenger needing a win from their last match to be sure of progress.
That win duly came as Arsenal eased past Partizan thanks to goals from Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri with Cleo’s second half leveller making the home side very nervy indeed. Progress secured, no side scored more times in the group stages, so why not enjoy highlights of all those games below.
Arsenal 6-0 Braga September 2010
Partizan 1-3 Arsenal September 2010Arsenal 5-1 Shakhtar October 2010Shakhtar 2-1 Arsenal November 2010Braga 2-0 Arsenal November 2010
Arsenal 3-1 Partizan December 2010