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Welcome to the Headers & Volleys Bucket List. World football is a big place and sometimes there seems almost too much to see. In this series we will be looking at the top things to see and do, before you pop your clogs. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section below, or contact us here and we will feature the best entries on the site.
Ryan Leverton of SportsLeviathan.com concludes his journey through his own Bucket List with today’s final instalment. Here, Ryan looks at one of the world’s most prestigious club competitions, the Champions League.
UEFA Champions League Group-Stage Draw 2011/12
To see who the English are up against, who defending champions Barca have drawn and where minnows Otelul Galati will travel to for the trip of a lifetime, have a look here!
Tonight at Stamford Bridge last season’s Premier League Champions and runners-up go head to head in the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg, in a re-run of the 2008 final. That night in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium United edged out their compatriots in a nervy penalty shoot-out, Chelsea captain John Terry’s miss handing the Red Devils the victory and securing Sir Alex Ferguson his second crown as Champion of Europe.
It has been billed as the match - for two consecutive seasons - between the two teams that play the beautiful game, the way it should be played. Barcelona with their famed tiki-taka, versus Arsenal, with their Wenger/Fabregas inspired intricate and measured style of play. In a pulsating first leg, Barca looked to be just too good for a hard-working Arsenal team, who somehow contrived to secure a 2-1 victory with which to approach the ominous second leg at Camp Nou. Last night’s return leg however, turned out to be more one-sided than many we have seen before, with Arsenal seemingly abandoning their quick passing attacking game plan that has seen many a team swept aside in the past and opted instead, to “park a bus”.
As the ball broke to him at the far post, Robin van Persie looked up to survey the options for a cross into the heart of the Barcelona penalty area. As so often the case throughout their Champions League first knockout match last night, Arsenal were lacking bodies in support. With a cursory glance telling him his team-mates were again nowhere to be seen and a further flick of the eye at Victor Valdes’ positioning designed to cut out the expected cross, van Persie drilled the ball from an almost impossible angle, inside Valdes’ near post and into the inside of the side-netting in the far side of the Barcelona goal. So started Arsenal’s comeback from one goal down, to win their first-leg home tie 2-1, thanks to Andrei Arshavin’s winning goal.