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David Healy: Arsene must unleash Theo’s pace to give Gunners a prayer

I told you it was a game not to be missed. Arsenal v Barcelona really was something else.

I’ve looked forward to many a match over the years only to feel a bit let down at the end of it.

Not this time. No-one was short-changed by this Champions League clash.

The first 20 minutes were incredible. Barcelona basically camped in Arsenal’s penalty area and passed all round them.

It was amazing that the scoreline was 0-0 at the break.

Put it down to good goalkeeping from Manuel Almunia but also Barcelona wasted numerous opportunities to score.

It didn’t bother them one bit though because they kept coming in the second half and deservedly took complete control of the tie with a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

I doubt anyone in the stadium saw a way back for Arsenal and that’s why Arsene Wenger’s men warrant so much credit.

They showed tremendous fighting spirit to earn a 2-2 draw and stay alive in the quarter-final. They will need much more of the same, especially without Cesc Fabregas, in the return leg at the Nou Camp.

I would estimate that Barcelona will have between 60 and 70 per cent possession next week, so Arsenal will have to defend brilliantly. They must also attack and score to go through and that’s where Theo Walcott (pictured) comes in.

As a substitute he scared Barca to bits with his pace on Wednesday and he can do so again in the Nou Camp. Arsene Wenger must unleash Theo from the first whistle to give the Gunners any chance of glory.

Belfast Telegraph