In a match watched by more than 300million people, Arsenal staged an incredible comeback to topple the Catalan giants in a football feast. Andrey Arshavin (Nike Superfly II) and Robin van Persie (adidas Predator X) gave Arsenal their first-ever victory over Barcelona in a Champions League encounter that didn't fail to live up to the pre-match hype. The final result will give Arsenal hope heading into the daunting second leg at the Nou Camp.
The Nike CTR360 boots were at the centre of a match that was played in a style both European heavyweights have become famous for. For all neutrals across the world tuning in to the biggest Champions League game of the week, both teams offered a brand of football that provided 90 minutes of top-class excitement.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona were as concise as ever with their passing and movement. Their one-touch passing carved Arsenal open more than once in the first half, presenting Messi with his greatest chance to end his English-soil goal drought. Despite squandering chances, it was Messi's adidas adizero partner David Villa who, in the blink of an eye, split the Arsenal defence to give the Catalan club a 0-1 advantage going into the break.
The second half saw Arsenal take greater control of the game. Nike CTR360 partners Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Alex Song put in second half mid-field displays that matched the Spanish trio of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.
The stand out midfield performance of the night arguably came from 19 year old CTR360 wearer Jack Wilshere who showed the world what it meant to 'Take Control'. Fabregas' young apprentice was un-fazed in the biggest match of his life and went toe-to-toe with some of the best mid-field maestros in the world.
The persistence of Arsenal eventually paid off and thanks to a powerful Van Persie (adidas Predator X) strike that found its way past Victor Valdes, Arsenal found themselves level 12 minutes from time. Fabregas then showed the awareness that made him the lead player of the Nike CTR360 boots with a stunning pass that found adiZero speedster Samir Nasri. The Frenchman was able to hold the ball up long enough for Andrei Arshavin's speedy arrival into the box who then passed the ball home beyond Valdes.
It wasn't just a victory for Arsenal last night, but for football in general. Both Barcelona and Arsenal gave footballing displays that did the occasion justice. The winning boots of the night, without question, were the Nike CTR360's. The boots lead players (Fabregas/Wilshere/Iniesta) were all in fine form, putting in performances that symbolised the fundamental concept of the CTR boots; 'Take Control'.
Arsenal's victory has set up an enthralling showdown at the Camp Nou in three weeks time on the 8th March.