Daily Archives: February 2, 2011
Everton at the Emirates is always an easy fixture for us, but of recent it has become a bruising battle, one laden with controversy, late goals, drama, and as of yesterday, poor officiating and injuries. This should have been an easy 3 points but it became an uphill task after Saha tucked the ball low into the bottom corner despite being more than 2 yards offside.
Le Boss recalled the big guns to his starting Line-up and the only notable absentee being Nasri. Everton came with a line up that would choke play and hopefully work for them on counters and they dominated the first five minutes which saw Wilshere pick up a booking in that period. It was as if Arteta had offended the Arsenal players as he was on the wrong end of some ill timed tackles.
We had just started to settle with Fab culprit of missing some chances and Theo as well when a long ball from Coleman saw Saha in an offside position but due to Kozzer’s attempt at a clearance, the officials deemed Saha onside and he made no mistake. Uproar from the fans and Arsenal players as the surrounded the ref and linesman, claiming Saha should have been flagged offside. The goal stood.
It only seemed to galvanise the boys as they continued to press, Fabregas in the thick of the action but Fellaini was eager to walk home with the man-of-the-match as he repeatedly broke down our play, and this wasn’t helped by Wilshere’s booking. The next chance fell to Everton as Sagna misjudged a long ball and Bilyaletdinov came in behind him but Chezzer came out and blocked a certain goal.
A splitting through ball by Wilshere saw Fabregas and Theo clean through on goal but the skipper’s first touch let him down and his shot failed to trouble anyone. In all that time, a flurry of yellow cards followed and despite Rodwell and Arteta guilty of rough housing, they both escaped any booking. Half Time
AW made a change bringing on Diaby for the injured song. And from then it was Arsenal all over the Everton players. Rosicky was still having a poor game and you could sense the frustrations among the fans. Chance after chance went begging with the Everton defence holding firm.
Le Boss had seen enough, he took off Rosicky for Arshavin to which I said he was going to score and it dint take long for that as Fab chipped a ball over the top and Rodwell flicked it behind only for Arsha to pounce and side foot the ball beyond Howard. GAME ON. At this point Arsenal smelt blood and decided to go for the jugular. Bendtner was thrown on for Wilshere so as to play 4-4-2 and trouble their defence.
A Van Persie free-kick was palmed away by Howard and from the resulting corner, an unmarked Koscielny buried a header past Howard for his 3rd goal of the season. His celebration and that of his fellow players said it all. Relief. I was hoping we would go on and grab two more goals but we showed enough grit to hold on and claim a vital victory.
It was no easy task and the referee and his assistant did us no favours whatsoever. In the end we came off worse with injuries to Song and Walcott. Let’s hope they are not serious injuries and that they will come back into the line-up come this weekend.
Questions were asked of us yesterday and we answered in the best way possible. It was good to see Cesc and Van Persie in particular giving their all into ensuring we got what we deserved. Arshavin reminded us all why Arsene kept faith with him, and Koscielny is turning into a Vermaelen of some sort, complemeting fantastic defensive performances with vital goals. At the end of the day, it’s another 3 points secured, albeit through pain. But do we really care how they come?
Have fun wherever you read from, this might be our year.
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