Does World's Best Team Really Need 12 Men?
I think it's safe to say that that was the expected result wasn't it?
I hoped that we could sneak through, but I always felt we didn't have enough to get through. The team to knock us out two seasons running is quite simply, in my opinion, the best team I've ever seen in my life.
With and without the ball, they are immense, all of their players are comfortable with the ball and work horses without it, was there any chance we could get the result we needed?
Well despite losing our keeper in the first half, and then suffering one of the most outrageous refereeing decisions I've ever seen, we surprisingly almost 'Nick'ed it right at the death when Jack Wilshere fed in Nicklas Bendtner. Sadly it was not to be and Bendtner's control let him down.
Our lads were thoroughly out played, we never got a look-in, but there will always be that niggling 'what-if' had van Persie had not have been sent off for for taking a shot on goal after the whistle had been blown.
Sky sports reported the timing between whistle and shot was a mere second. 1 second for Robin to hear an un-hearable whistle and stop himself from pulling the trigger. It just wasn't possible.
I don't want to come across as a whiner, I know I'm a whiner, but when you have Villa fans, Chelsea fans, and even Spurs fans coming to our site and saying we'd been ripped off then you know something is amiss.
I'm under no delusions that it's most likely we probably would still have lost, but when you see Nicklas Bendtner's chance right at the end, I look on in despair at what could have been if it were Robin van Persie in that position.
The only chance we've had to face Barcelona in a fair fight, whether it be down to injury or red cards (justified or otherwise) was three weeks ago, and we won. As I said, it probably wouldn't have been the same this time ..... but at least give us a fighting chance.
10 men against the 12 men of the best team in world? I'm proud we only lost on aggregate by one goal.