The first few minutes saw us start with a drive and tempo that we had so sorely lacked at Old Trafford, the noise and atmosphere showed that there was still some hope, unfortunately when Gibbs slipped and Park slotted home, one got the feeling that everyone knew that was it. A moment of bad luck killed us, sometimes that's all it takes. Ronaldo's dive that was bought by the referee a few minutes later saw the second goal confirm our worst fears, the tie was indeed over.
We paid the price for sitting back at Old Trafford and not even trying to score an away goal. This left United in pole position, there are a side that loves to play on the counter, coming to the Emirates with a one goal advantage knowing they could play on the break was their dream ticket. Maybe if we had attacked them more at Old Trafford we would have lost by more, but you don't get to semis just to keep the score down, I think we paid for a tragic lack of ambition and desire with our tactics on that night.
Having said that United showed they are the far superior side at the moment. They have a great centre back pairing in Vidic and Ferdinand that is always tough to break down. They had more attacking threat with the pace and skill of Rooney and Ronaldo in particular. This was in stark contrast to our striker Emmanuel Adebayor who looked lethargic and average in both games, he did very little to justify his reputation as a top centre forward. Adebayor was not our only big name not to have delivered, a certain young Spaniard has done very little to justify his huge reputation in these two games.
Some of our players can hold their heads higher than others. Over the two legs Almunia and Song have both performed admirably in my opinion. Nasri showed a real desire to be on the ball in the second leg, while RVP fought hard for the team. Anyway this isn't about blame, over the two legs we were simply beaten by the better side, a side with more experience, more power and more solidity at the back. It bloody well hurts to lose to the mancs like this, but we might as well take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and learn from it.
Andrei Arshavin would probably not have won us the tie, however his presence has certainly dynamised the side of late, surely this has been a great example of how that extra bit of experience and class can make a massive difference. It is obvious that for us to compete with the likes of Manu and Chelsea next season we need to invest in at least a couple of top drawer talents, of note our starting eleven cost not much different to Dimitar Berbatov, this starkly demonstrates our relative lack of spending.
Just to finish on some positive stuff, our young players have done remarkably this season to achieve what they have done, getting to the semis of the Champions League is not easy by any means. I also would rather see Arsenal end up in the mighty Blue Square Premiership than become like Manchester United. They really are a bunch of arrogant obnoxious chavs, this is perfectly epitomised by Cristiano Ronaldo. No one can doubt his ability, but his behaviour is embarrassing, I'd be ashamed of my 3 year old son if he behaved like Ronaldo does at times. At least we don't have players who look like Shrek that shag middle aged scouse prostitutes. I am very glad that our manager doesn't chew gum with his mouth open and support Gordon Brown's Labour party. I'm still proud to be a Gunner. The one hope left for this season is that we can muster something to derail the mancs title bid at Old Trafford, I won't hold my breath.