From Russia With Luck Essay

1067 words - 4 pages

"From Russia With Luck" It was a case of: "˜From Russia With Luck' as Arsenal qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in their history.Instead of elation on the faces of the Arsenal contingent, it was a look of a last minute reprieve by a "˜get out of jail' card from Moscow.Bayern Munich outclassed Arsenal for much of the game; they made them look like a group of lightweights "" as if they had turned up at the wrong ground. Fortunately for Arsenal, in the depths of Moscow, Lyons could not overwhelm the Spartak defence. Consequently Arsenal qualified because of their away win against Lyons earlier in the tournament.The scene was set for much hyped game; the ostentatious 58,000 capacity Olympic stadium in Munich rising to the occasion, with names such as Franz Beckenbauer, and singer Robbie Williams awaiting for the battle to commence.The game seemed to be in the balance, and had the credentials for a superb game, however this degenerated into an anti-climax.Arsenal lacked all the creative aptitude, which the Arsenal faithful are all so accustomed to. And as the final whistle blew, trepidation arose among the Arsenal team and travelling supporters, as their destiny now could not be controlled by themselves but had reverted into the hands of Spartak Moscow.Arséne Wenger, the Arsenal manager, paced the touchline on the final whistle like an expectant father, ready to take himself and his second family into the unknown. After a three-minute wait the result he was waiting, hoping, anticipating for arrived: Spartak Moscow 1-1 Lyons. Wenger said that the experience of relying on a result from the other side of Europe was "like the 90 minutes all over again." Wenger strongly upheld that he wasn't going to pay attention to the score in Moscow, because they were in control of their own fate, but never has ignorance been so blissful in light of defeat.By finishing behind Bayern in group C, it guarantees Arsenal a trip to Spain facing Real Madrid, Deportiva La Coruna or Valencia. In doing so it also ensures that the other English teams (Manchester United & Leeds) will not face each other as they all finished as runners up as well. Three English teams in the last eight goes to show how the English game is bridging the gap between the rest of Europe.Victory was the ultimate goal in the game; this would prove to rest of Europe that they deserved their place amongst the elite. It seemed as if it was all going to plan from as soon as the fourth minute, when news filtered through that Spartak had converted a penalty.However, 9 minutes later they fell behind with a deserved goal to merit Bayern's dominance over Arsenal up until that point.The goal itself was worked meticulously, against the surprisingly flat-footed back four. It started from the ever-elusive Mehmet Scholl who played the ball to the middle of the Arsenal half to Fink. Where he swung the ball with the outside of his right boot to the left...

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