On February 21, 2006, Arsenal made history by Defeating Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid’s very own patch. No English side had beaten Madrid in their home ground before. It was a genius goal from Thierry Henry, just two minutes past the interval that was sufficient to lock down an illustrious victory.
The match was played between a young and quite injury laden team of Arsenal, but still it was no smash-and-grab foray. Arsenal possibly could have succeeded by more. They showcased enough passion and talent that I was seriously miffed whenever they wasted any chances to score. Regardless of the single goal win Arsenal’s younger side rose above a serious injury list to amend their poor performance from the last few games. And that they did it by beating Real Madrid on their own home field was just an added spice for us followers.
As I am an Arsenal follower and very rarely deter in my line-of-following, let me tell you that the single goal that Arsenal managed to score was not an easy feat. There were very brilliant attacks from Arsenal’s José Antonio Reyes, Fredrik Ljungberg and Henry, and all these happened in just the first 10 minutes into the game, what’s more they all came pretty close to scoring. A team that was already short in confidence as it’s facing a much more experienced opponent, and also missing a vital team member Dennis Bergkamp, could not have given a more astounding performance. I was completely blown away by the brilliance of my own team.
It will be a lie to say that I was not expecting Arsenal to win the game. But once the second half started, and Henry scored in the 47th minute, who struck just seconds after half-time, I dared to raise my hopes. This brilliant goal was enough to provide Arsenal with the dazzling Champions League triumph over Real Madrid.
Will it be too poetic to include all the details of one of the most brilliantly executed Goal of the century? I think not, so here it is. First let’s summarize it; Henry eluded four defenders to net past the Madrid’s world class, and Spain’s world cup holder team’s captain/goalie, Iker Casillas. Does it seem like I am boasting? It’s probably because I am!
Now it’s time to elaborate! Cesc Fabregas passed the ball to Henry in the centre circle, and then he managed to hold off Ronaldo and prance around Alvaro Mejia and Guti, then while entering into the area along with muscling away with Sergio Ramos, he struck. Henry placed an angled shot that flew right past Casillas, and hit the net in far corner. The goal was spectacular even when viewed by Henry’s standards.
Madrid on the other hand played a game that was a pure torture to watch, judging by the tortured faces of Madrid followers, standing beside me. Arsenal thoroughly deserved their victory, even when they missed quite a few other good chances. Madrid on the other hand obviously failed to take advantage of even one of the many chances that they had shoved upon them. The worst was David Beckham’s two wasted chances in the first half. From then on their performance went downhill, until not that I am complaining. Aresenal’s Aboud Diaby, a substitute, marked his entrance with an almost goal in the second half, and Beckham again almost scored an equalizer, in the last five minutes but it was not to be. And Arsenal got their victory. None the less it was a great game that made not so pleasant history for Real Madrid but a golden one for Arsenal.