Thursday, April 16, 2009
Arsenal 1-1 Villareal, Thrilling Tie at El Madrigal
It was a tense affair but Arsenal earned their draw against Villareal. Things immediately took a turn for the worse in the 10th minute as Villareal captain Marcos Senna put the Yellow Submaire ahead of their visitors. The goal caught the Gunners by suprise as they efficiently outpaced by their opponents. A collision early on in the match resulted in the 27th minute substitution of Manuel Almunia for Lukasz Fabianski in goal for Arsenal. To his credit, the young Pole performed exceptionally well for having no previous Champions League experience. In strange turn of events, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas netted the ball from a free kick but it was deemed too soon by the referee and the Spaniard was promptly booked for the offense. Fortunately, Arsenal emerged a new side from the break and the Gunners proceeded to take the offensive. In what may be one of greatest goals I have ever seen, Adebayor shocked El Madrigal with a stunning equalizer. In the same style as the league match days before, Fabregas supplied the perfect assist. The Togolese striker received the ball on his chest and befuddled the keeper with his acrobatic shot. Arsenal produced a number of chances at the death but in the end were happy to be headed for the second leg at Emirates with an away goal and an important draw.