So the Champions League draw has been for the first round of the knockout stages. I suppose it was too much to hope to get Shalke! Instead, we got the next best thing ... Barcelona !
I still vividly remember the game last year at the Emirates (click for my blog on that day). We were totally outplayed and outclassed in the first half, to a level I have never seen before, but Barca didnt make the most of that and we were still (barely) holding on at 2-0 at half time.
The Arsenal team that emerged for the second half was a rejuvinated, Fabregas inspired team of heros. We fought back and got that memorable last gasp equaliser. Fabregas scoring a penalty with a broken leg (a hindi movie couldnt have made it more dramatic!).
Unfortunately, a fortnight later on the return leg, we took a beating. Lional Messi was at his brilliant best and Barca tore us apart with a 4-1 win (despite Arsenal taking a first half lead).
So last year remains fresh and the 2006 final is still a painful memory, but again we have the chance for revenge. It promises to be a classic game again ... the BIG draws of the round. Will this Arsenal team show they have come of age and do us all proud? I am away skiing for the first leg at the Emirates, but I'm booking my tickets for Barcelona now and looking forward to the chance to visit the Nou Camp and see us break free of our demons!