Saint Nick to the rescue, again…
If the effects of Arsenal’s recent “behaviour” on gooners all over the world is taken into account, the club will be in a lot of debt because it will be responsible for the treatment of a lot of cases involving heart attacks. This team has suddenly developed an attitude of leaving it late before delivering the good stuff we fans crave for very early in the game. We have scored 3 goals in the final minute of 3 out of the our last 6 matches, add this to the fact that we’ve scored 22 goals in the final 15minutes in the league this season, and then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Arsene said in the build up to yesterday’s game that the main task was raising the spirit of the lads after the football lesson we were handed by Barcelona on Wednesday. Barcelona delivered a footballing masterclass but we also taught them a thing or two about mental strength. Wolverhampton was seen as a formality even though we had lost Cesc, Gallas and Andrei to long term injuries. The line up surprised a few people including myself but the decisions were understandable. Sol was back in defence, Rosicky and Eduardo back in the starting XI, and Theo was a definite starter following his blinder against Barca.
The match started the way everyone had predicted…all about Arsenal. We moved the ball around quite well and had reasonable opportunities to take the lead but we were confronted by an inspired goalkeeper in Marcus Hahnemann who made a string of saves under intense pressure. Bad touch and poor finishing also let us down a times too, with Eduardo and Walcott being the major culprits. We were clearly missing the leadership and calmness of Cesc in the middle and the genius and unpredictability of Arsha up front. Karl Henry’s dismissal in the 65th minute for a horrible tackle from behind on Rosicky made the traffic even more one-way in the final stages.
We kept on pushing but in truth the goal never looked like coming from anywhere. Nasri was already on the pitch now and pulling the stings to ensure maximum points, Bendtner had also come on too. But with time ticking away there was tension entering Arsenal’s play. That only got worse when a corner from Matt Jarvis was nodded towards the far post by Zubar and Rosicky chested the ball off the line before clearing the danger.
Just as everyone (myself inclusive) had resigned to a barren draw, the goal came and who was it? Saint Nick the great! Nasri threaded a ball to Walcott who on his first touch laid it to Sagna. At this moment I dropped my head because of Sagna “crossing profile”, but he surprised me this time and I’m extremely glad he did. He put in a perfect ball for Nikky B to head home and send the grove into madness. Even Arsene went crazy and ineffably happy. We had just secured a win from the jaws of a draw and it proved to be a vital win.
Some players were quite below par yesterday while some really stepped up their game. Eboue, Song and Dudu couldn’t have been happy with their respective performances as they were found wanting a times. On the brighter side though, Rosicky, Theo, Fish head( Yes, Silvestre) and Sagna were all quite impressive. Special mention has to go to Nikky B who saved our blushes again. The Dane has made it his habit to rescue us many times, and has made a habit of scoring late significant goals ever since he joined the senior team in 2007/08.
Earlier in the day, United had lost to Chelski at “very” old Trafford. A draw would have been ideal but anything other than a Man U win is not too bad, is it? I was even happier that the goal came off a very offside Drogba, it was time United were handed a dose of their own eh? So all in all, we are back in the race I suppose, two points behind United, three behind Chelski. We need to win all of our matches now to stand any chance and that’s really possible, even though more difficult without Cesc.
So, that was a close one, but we scaled through even though we toiled with disgrace. Yes, it’s a disgrace to draw at home to Wolves. We are the Arsenal lads! and if we don’t beat teams like Wolves we do not deserve to win anything, seriously. The trip to Spain is up next and what better way to prepare than a last minute winning goal. The boys will surely be boosted by the resolve they showed to beat Wolves. It looks like Ibrahimovic and Iniesta will miss the match, good news for us. I can see us nicking a goal considering that we’ll be probably up against the immobile Abidal and Milito in centre defence.
This match is going to be the most difficult of our season but if we get our acts together and show the same spirit we showed in the last 20mins of the first leg, we can have a chance. Anything other than that, and Barca will tear us apart and rip us into pieces. But we have time to prepare our strategies before we go to war, we are going to conquer, not be conquered!
From wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!