THEORRIFIC PERFORMANCE. BRING ON PORTO!
In my match preview, I asked for 3 things from this match, a huge win, a clean sheet and a Fabregas goal. I got just one, but the style in which I got it is what makes me smile. It was a chance to start a run of 10 good games and did they take it well. The press was waiting eagerly for this match, waiting for an Arsenal horrible tackle, a tired performance or at best an Arsenal loss but the boys surely made them have a re-think with the kind of start they had to the game. The starting line up told a story of its own, Theo and Eboue on the right was a statement of intent from Le Boss. We were going to attack from the right and fast too. Theo had been shrouded in criticism prior to kick off with Arsene backing him to be a great, so he had a lot of questions to answer.
Arsenal controlled the entire 1st 45 minutes, playing some slick amazing football but they just couldn’t walk the ball into the net. They did “walk” it into the net, and it was none other than Cesc. The captain started the move with an amazingly floated pass to Tomas on the right, Tomas gave it back to him on the edge of the box, and he immediately passed back to Samir. Nasri delayed a bit but spotted Cesc’s untracked run into the box, made the pass and the rest was history. He had done it! 14 goals he has sored this season to equal Bobby’s record. However, Cesc looked like he tweaked his hamstring and came off for Diaby. It looked like a precautionary change to me but we’ll wait for news from Arsene. Arsenal kept making sweet passes and carving out chance after chance, but couldn’t add a second as the referee blew for half time.
The second half didn’t look like changing anything as Arsenal bossed possession and created great chances. Nikky B was most guilty, missing three crystal clear chances including a sitter given to him on a platter by Theo. One interesting thing about Nikky is that even when he’s missing, he still gets into good positions to get chances. Arsenal then paid for those missed chances when Emmanuel Eboue’s hoofed clearance was headed back into the danger area by Leon Cort, David Nugent ran in between two defenders and lifted the ball over Manuel Almunia. 1-1 and the Ems went quiet, Wenger was furious, the fans were shell-shocked. The players didn’t let their heads drop though, Theo who was having a game of his life got the ball on the right, took a few touches and curled in a delightful ball into the far post. Top class goal but I can’t say much about his celebration though, LOL.
We were clearly on the ascendancy now and a third goal was beckoning. It was a matter of when not if, and it finally came in injury time when from a short corner, Eduardo played it to Andrey Arshavin, who smashed a left-foot shot into the bottom corner. Game sealed, match over, all the players had to was wait for the final whistle which came in no time. It would have been a complete attacking performance had we taken half of our chances, the keeper was called into action almost every time we attacked. Special mention must go to Theo for a complete performance, arguably his best for us. He was everywhere, running past, dribbling defenders, and as if he read Escobar’s post, his final ball today was world class. He was named man-of-match and deserved his goal.
All in all, everyone was glad and 3 questions were answered today. Can Arsenal play when the spotlight is on them? YES! Is Walcott going to be a top player? DEFINITELY! Will Theo be on the plane to Madiba’s land in the summer? ABSOLUTELY!
So it’s Porto visiting on Tuesday, and I don’t expect anything other than a win for us. We have the away goal and the home advantage, need I mention a ravaging Theo and the fully rested Arshavin. The tie is ours to lose and Escobar provided the ratings and will be here to put you in the mood with his Porto pre-match post. It’s not really a bad thing being a gooner these days, is it?
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!
Big Al-6:COULD have made a better effort on the lob instead of waiting for it,that said, comfortable afternoon.
Eboue-7.5:Linked well with Walcott on the right as his probing runs often kept Burnley in their half.
TV5-6.5:Kept his composure and dealt with everything that came his way.
Fish Head-5:Caught flat footed while trying to play the offside trap,nervous defending at times.
Clichy-7:Uninvolved during midweek, so he was full of running and had it easy defending against Eagles.
Denilson-6.5:Good game,went about his job well and got forward when he could, covered well when Cesc went off.
Cesc-7-Unusually high rating despite playing less than a half.Took his goal well and almost got an assist for Nikky’s early miss.Sad to see him limp off.
Nasri-7.5-Did really well and supported the attack. Assumed d role of playmaker after Cesc’s withdrawal and did not disappoint, great pass for the opening goal.
Rosicky-6.5:Full of energy and used his quick feet to get out of trouble and draw out the defenders.Should have scored in the first half.
Walcott-8.5(MOM):What a way to answer your critics?Ran at the defence with real drive and scored a sweet goal with his weaker foot, should have had a hat-trick of assists.
Bendtner-6:Miss after miss after miss…probably left his shooting boots(and scoring head) in Denmark but good positioning throughout and credit on the assist for Theo’s goal. Good to see the fans applaud when he was withdrawn.
Diaby-6.5:Came in for Cesc and did a good job in winning countless aerial balls.
Andrei-6.5:Came on and got a goal.Could have had two.
Eduardo-6:On for the last 15 mins and should have got himself on the score sheet.