Victoria Concordia Crescit!
I cannot seem to get enough of the highlights from last night’s game. I was close to tears after Mike Halsey blew the final whistle as I could finally sense the end of my wait for an Arsenal trophy. The players shared my sentiments too, evident in the lap of honour after the game. You could see what this win meant to the fans in the stadium. We finally have a chance to get those haters off our backs.
The first leg was an extremely poor performance from us and as such we had the task of overturning a lone goal deficit. This would have to come against a team who had no intention of attacking us in the second leg. We needed a big, big performance from the lads, one capable of taking us into our first final in 4 years, and boy what did we get?
Just three changes to the side that destroyed Wigan, Arshavin, Denilson and Nikky B coming in for Nasri, Song and Walcott respectively. These changes surprised me but they obviously paid lots of dividends.
The game in itself was one way traffic. Ipswich rarely ventured into our half not to talk of our box but one of their trademark long balls left Sagna with concussion and he had to be replaced with Eboue. That did not affect our play though as we set to rip them apart right from the first minute. I guess we were a bit too eager to score atimes and it was clear in the way we finished our chances in the first half. A little more calmness would have seen us lead at half time. But the writers of this particular script had other things in mind.
We picked up in the second half where we had left off earlier. But we just did not have the composure in the final third. I had been on the edge of my seat up till this point and I think I speak for majority of gooners if I say my heart was beating real hard when I saw 60 minutes on the clock but no Arsenal goal. How long did we have to wait? Just a minute, fellas! It was Nikky B’s voice!
His goal was pure class and this is the sort of attribute Bendtner believes will make him a world beater. That goal had composure written all over it, from the control, to the movement into the box, to the finish. I celebrated it as if we had won the Cup itself. You know why? It’s because, a goal was all this Arsenal team needed to get it firing. It would only be a matter of time before they got the other goals, I thought to myself.
The second and third goals came in the space of 15 minutes and I could breathe easy again. I could actually smell silver in the pub I saw the game. It wasn’t from the cutlery or anything in the pub or nearby, I bet it was all the way from Wembley!
In David Hytner’s words,
“The players have vowed to end the wait this season and, in the second half, the sheer force of their collective eventually wore Ipswich Town down and propelled Arsenal to their first final since 2007.”
A few positives before I close the post, Lil Jackie was astonishing last night. I was actually praying they passed the ball to him in midfield every time as he seemed to do something definitive with it each time my prayers were answered. He’s already stamped his authority on his position in this team and Arsene would be crazy to drop him for Diaby or anyone else for that matter. The performances of Arshavin and Bendtner were also encouraging as it showed that our bench players can deliver the goods. Arshavin, albeit a quiet performance, delivered two quality assists while Nikky got the goal of the night.
If you were looking for a perfect night, last night will surely fit that definition. The only blot was Man United’s win against Blackpool after going two goals down. There’s talk of Blackpool being denied a stone wall penalty early in the second half but I do not wish to be drawn into that. We all know how these things work, don’t we? And it will definitely take something special to beat them, won’t it? But hey, we are special!
It’s a bright day gooners, we have one trophy already IMO, and it would be an abomination if we did not destroy either of West Ham or Birmingham in the final. We are second in the League, with the leaders still to play Chelsea twice, and Man Citeh. They won’t win all of those, believe me. It is our duty to take advantage when they finally slip up. We are in the Champions League, and contrary to popular opinion, we are not out yet, irrespective of who the opposition is.
We have the FA Cup this weekend with Huddersfield paying us a visit. It’s a chance for some players to also show what they can bring to this team. Don’t expect anything other than an annihilation!
Oh to be a gooner!
From wherever you are reading this, it’s happening this season!
9jabred says so!
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