Celtic 0 – 2 Arsenal – 18th August – Wengers boys have one foot in the Group stages
Football can be a cruel sport sometimes and it was certainly cruel tonight under the floodlights on a warm evening in Glasgow. Two strokes of luck have almost ensured Arsenals progress to the group stages of the Champions League as they overcame a stubborn Celtic side 2-0.
Celtic had started brightly enough; playing a 4-5-1 they restricted Arsene Wenger’s fluid passing and movement and, while not creating much in the way of chances themselves, they contained Arsenal as best they could. However just before half-time the footballing gods decided that it wasn’t to be and a fierce Fabregas free-kick took a wicked deflection of William Gallas, who appeared to be trying to duck out of the way, landed in the back of Arthur Boruc’s net. It was a cruel blow for Tony Mowbrays side who had done well in the first half.
After the break Celtic seemed still in a state of shock from Arsenal’s opener and continually lost possession in their own half. However it was the second cruel blow to Celtic that has more or less finished this tie off. Diaby, who had just replaced the surprisingly quiet Arshavin, produce a brilliant piece of footwork and pass to Clichy on the left who’s drilled cross came off the unfortunate Gary Caldwell and straight into the Celtic net. Game over.
While we may put this down to bad luck, the truth is that Celtic rarely threatened Alumnia in the Arsenal goal and failed to create much in the way of clear cut chances. That being said, their strategy was working right up until Gallas’ freak deflection and now it seems that Tony Mowbray and co will have to be content with a season in the Europa League.