Sunday was my annual pilgrimage to North Laarndon to watch Arsenal F.C. in action live. The first match was between last season's Champions League semi-finalists Olympique Lyonnais and 6 time winners AC Milan. The game took some time to pick up, but once the manlion Gennaro Gattuso came on the pace of the game increased and goals followed.
Borriello took a break from being useless to put Milan 1-0 up, and shortly after the very promising Jimmy Briand equalised. The major excitement apart from the goals was the breath-taking cameo from Milan's Brazilian Alex Pato. He caused no end of problems for the Lyon backline with his trickery.
Pictures from the Milan-Lyon game:
Next up was the headline game - Arsenal v Celtic. Having watched Arsenal play Rangers last year I had high expectations for the atmosphere. I was disappointed. Less in numbers and less in noise. No question which the bigger Glasgow team is..
Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshere were some of the names in Arsenal's starting 11. 2 of those players wasted no time in making an impact. Barely 2 minutes in and Walcott crossed for Vela to have an easy tap in. 1-0. Just before half time Bacary Sagna scored only his 2nd goal in a red and white shirt to make it 2-0 at the break.
Notable changes for the 2nd half were the appearances of Samir Nasri and Maruoane Chamakh. The former didn't take long to make it 3-0. Amusingly the Celtic fan behind me's cries of "C'mon the Hoops!" got more desperate with each goal we scored. Jack Wilshere marred his performance by giving away a stupid penalty. With Manuel Almunia in goal it'd take a shite striker to miss such a chance. Step forward Georgias Samaras. The stewards are still scouring the car park in search of the ball.
Sadly the defenders didn't learn their lesson, and two sloppy mistakes and 1 dodgy referee decision later Celtic made it 3-2. Arsenal managed to keep possession though and duly halted the "hoops" comeback. Here is a photo of the players celebrating with a green dinosaur.
All that was left was for me to pay homage to an Arsenal great.