Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium by Barcelona and will have to earn their qualification to the knock-out stage next week in Germany as we also look forward to this weekend’s game.
Barcelona have already won the Group with 15 points in five games, while Arsenal have nine.
The remaining contender for the runners-up place, Hoffenheim, have six points.
It means a win or a draw would qualify the Gunners for the quarter-finals.
A defeat would also be sufficient, as long it is by less than five goals. This is due to the fact that head-to-head is used as the first tie-breaker if teams are level on points.
As Arsenal won the home leg 4-0, so Hoffenheim need to win at least by five.
On that basis, qualification is likely for the Gunners next week.
The Barcelona game at the Emirates had a fantastic attendance with more than 12,000 fans treated to a fantastic football display by the visitors.
There is no doubt that they are currently the best team in the world and Arsenal were not able to compete again them.
This is the golden standard Arsenal should aim for.
We saw the same problems as against Chelsea – there was no lack of effort from the Arsenal players but there was not enough quality on the night to counter the Blaugrana.
As mentioned by Jonas Eidevall in his post match press conference there was a tactical challenge that the Arsenal players were not able to solve.
Better players would certainly be needed to solve this problem.
A left-footed central midfielder with high accuracy on long balls would have certainly helped. Someone similar to Xhaka, but with a brain.
The biggest problem in those games is Barcelona are phenomenal with and without the ball unlike most teams that excel only in one of those departments.
When they have the ball, you spend your time chasing it like a headless chicken if you are not super disciplined. And once you manage to win it back, you are under such pressure due to their counter-pressing game that you are likely to give it away again.
Unfortunately, Arsenal gave away some cheap goals and there is no need to give an extra advantage to a world class team.
In the end, that’s the second defeat where a football lesson was given by Barcelona and it means some new lessons for the players and coach. This is certainly a less alarming defeat than the Chelsea one in the FA Women’s Cup. When you get beaten by a world class side, you have to take it on chin and prepare for the next game.
The next game is at home against bottom of the table Leicester. They have not won a single point this season and sacked their manager Jonathan Morgan. They have signed up Lydia Beford on a secondment from the FA.
Lydia is a coach I have known for many years since her U17 Middlesex management days. She has a tough task, but is lucky that is it is a two horse race for the relegation battle.
Chelsea’s surprise defeat away to Reading is a clear reminder that Leicester at home is not a gimme.
Having played two super high intensity games to come back to a potential banana slip in the League, Arsenal’s energy levels might be low and rotation might be needed, especially before the Champions League decider.
The downside of squad rotation is lack of understanding and sharpness for the players that come into the team having not played much in previous games.
Jonas Eidevall will surely rotate and hope that the players selected will perform tomorrow night, unlike the Chelsea players who ended up being subbed at half-time.
Arsenal have a huge opportunity to go four points clear of Chelsea on Sunday and finish a tough week on a positive note.