I’m still reeling from the fantastic performance Arsenal put in last night. Say what you want about Porto, winning 5-0 in the second round of the Champions League is some achievement -especially after being 2-1 down in humiliating fashion in the first leg.
Arshavin provided a lot of the key moments in the game, setting up three goals. Overall I think everyone put in a good performance, and gave a good account of the team.
Arsenal played some fantastic football at times yesterday, but we were undone again by defensive problems. As soon as we pushed for the winner at 1-1 the defence was left open, and City scored 3 goals in 7 minutes to make it 4-1. Rosicky’s goal was deserved, and we came close to another in the last few minutes – but overall a disappointing game.
Worst of all was Adebayor’s attitude. For the whole game he played like a man who was desperate to prove a point. The fact that he never played like that last season shows just how disloyal he is.
I know that he did get some stick last season – but that is to be expected when you hold the club to ransom over a transfer and get a massive new contract out of it. All that fans wanted to see was Ade get his head down and work for the team – he didn’t. In any case Adebayor did not get that much trouble from Arsenal fans last season.
In his mind though he is a persecuted induvidual with a point to prove – and yesterday it got too much for him.
Cesc’s ankle was almost broken, then he stamped on Van Persie cutting his face with his studs – an event that RVP has spoken out against. As well as that was the celebration which was utterly disgraceful, and left a steward unconcious after causing pandemonium in the away end.
Kolo did the right thing and chased Ade the length of the pitch to pick him up, that is a real player there. Apology or no apology Adebayor is in big trouble, and it’s only right that the FA are investigating the matter.
Apart from that it was great to see Rosicky back – he added real attacking flair with an assist and a goal.
Sadly it was defence that cost us, 3 times we were exposed on the left as Clichy came forward – and City exploited the space.
Alan Hansen said on MOTD last night that Arsenal are the only team who can play so well and not win, and he is right. It is all down to defence. On the left the cover from Diaby was poor, and Song filled in on one occasion, but his tackle was non-existent.
The only hope I can take from this game is that Arsene will be determined not to let this happen again.
There is a shakiness about Arsenal, a lack of confidence, that means even when we play our best football we still don’t pick up the points. We need to correct these problems as soon as possible, the defensive balance is something we have struggled with for 4 years now. We rarely keep a clean sheet and that doesn’t win you titles.
If Wenger can re-address the problems within the team then we could be title-challengers, until then we will continue to play good football with little to show for it.
Arsenal dominated Celtic yesterday to reach the finals of the Champions League, with a good display of passing football. Sadly the headlines today focus solely on the dubious penalty Eduardo won for the first goal.
There was little or no contact, and if it had been given against us I would be upset about it. The fact is though that this happens in football. As Wenger said Babel blatently dived in the CL QF at Anfield 2 years ago which knocked us out of the competition. I have no idea why Eduardo went down like that, but he isn’t the sort of player you expect that of, and it seems to be a one off.
The press seem to be having a field day over Eduardo’s actions, in a qualifier where we were always going to go through. Players like Drogba have a reputation for diving and never seem to get this sort of reaction. That is what I don’t understand. Eduardo wasn’t right, but there are much worse offenders in English football.
Aside from that the game was a straightforward affair, we passed the ball around neatly, and Eboue’s performance was a highlight! He made several nice turns and passes, and his goal topped it off. He was playing in the front three and often was playing as centre forward which was interesting.
Arshavin, Ramsey and Wilshere came on in the second half and all looked impressive. Arshavin showed why he is one of the best players in Europe at the moment, scoring a goal and making an impact within minutes of coming on. Denilson also performed well.
Most pleasingly the central defensive partnership of Vermaelen and Gallas was again solid last night. Vermaelen didn’t miss a header, and made several interceptions as did Gallas, and both made excellent forays going forward.
A good performance, now we need to see the draw this afternoon for the group stages. As well as that we have the small matter of a league tie at Old Trafford on saturday afternoon.
Comfortable is what you could call this result, and the 3 points have now secured 4th place in the league, and Champions League qualifiers next year. We are now unbeaten in 21 league games, and have equalled a club record scoring at least 3 goals in the last 5 away games.
Arsenal’s youngsters dominated for most of the game, although Portsmouth did have their chances to even the scores. Wenger rested most of the first team, including Almunia, opting for Djourou and Song in central defence – Vela and Ramsey also got starts, whilst Arshavin captained the side.
“We were sharp, composed and mobile with a great attitude.”
The changes were obviously made in order to give as many players as possible a rest before the crucial Champions League game on Tuesday. Walcott and Bendtner were both taken off in the second half – Sagna and Song were the only players from Wednesday’s team to play 90 minutes.
Randall, Bischoff and Merida got their chances in the second half as subs and the team looked impressive, by the end of the game we were in complete control.
Bendtner’s first goal was a header from Arshavin’s cross which David James dropped and let itno the back of the net. That will add more weight to the fans calling for Almunia to get his chance in the England squad.
Then Arshavin was brought down just before half time in the box, and a penalty was given although Arsh himself thought it was a clean tackle. Bendtner slotted home, and then in the second half Vela added another.
The only other event of note was Portsmouth’s red card – Arshavin was through on goal and Pamarot the last defender took him down. The resulting free kick came to nothing, but Pompey were down to 10 men with little chance of getting anything from this game.
The visiting Arsenal support was in high spirits, there is a little hope that we can beat Man Utd on Tuesday, and now that the league position is secured, the Champions League is what will make or break this season. It’s going to take a more composed performance than the first leg to go through, but we still have an outside chance of making it.
A scorcher of a game at Anfield produced eight goals, and four came from none other than Andrey Arshavin.The game was nearly ours when Arshavin scored his 4th in the 89th minute. Anfield must have been thinking it was 1989 all over again, but Benayoun grabbed a point for Liverpool in injury time.
Arsenal defended abysmally, and because of that we conceded easily – the left side got mauled – Liverpool were pounding away at us and we found it hard to pass the ball. Gibbs and Silvestre looked weak at times and that is to be expected, and Sagna was at fault for Liverpool’s first equaliser.
On the other hand we were clinical in attack – 4 shots on target and 4 goals.
Arshavin took his first goal, slotting in a Fabregas cross in the first half, after Nasri played him through. Benayoun then equalised early in the second half after Sagna cleared the ball across his own penalty area to Kuyt.
Torres made it 2 – 1 and it seemed that the game was lost! However, Arshavin then capitalised on slack Liverpool defending to make it 2-2, and then made it 3-2!
Torres made it three all after fooling Silvestre to gain more space. But in the 89th minute Walcott countered from a corner as Liverpool committed men forward. He took the ball forward and played Arshavin through on goal and he coolly took his 4th, making it 4-3.
When Arshavin made it 4-3 on the 89th minute I thought the game was ours, 1989 style. Up for Grabs now moment, Kenny Dalglish vacant stare moment. It wasn’t to be. I don’t know how the 4th assistant found 5 minutes added time, but it was inevitable the way Liverpool were pressing our shaky defence that they would get another goal.
Benayoun headed home after shambolic clearing from Arsenal allowed Liverpool to get a cross in injury time.
In any case it was a great game, highly entertaining, although I was disappointed that we never really got going. Arshavin more than made up for it with his performance – he really is a very, very special player.
This keeps the unbeaten run going. Wenger said that 3 points would have been better than one but in all fairness we were very lucky to come away with a point. It was the induvidual brilliance of Arshavin that got us the point.
The first time that 4 goals have been scored at Anfield in the league since the 1940s and who else could do it? What a rollercoaster of a game! How I’m wishing that Arshavin could play in the Champions League.
Arsenal came back from a goal down against Wigan to claim all three points in front of 22000 at the JJB Stadium.
Mido’s early goal gave Wigan the lead, but Walcott equalised after 60 minutes, thanks to Arshavin’s skill in the box. Then Arshavin played a through ball to Fabregas who set up Silvestre to score on the edge of the 6 yard line. 2-1!
Arsenal countered for their 3rd goal – Arshavin picking up a poor clearance on the edge of the box to slot home, and Alex Song of all people dribbled past two Wigan players and into the box before shooting to make it four!
A fantastic result for us – just a pity that Man Utd and Chelsea both scraped wins against Sunderland and Bolton.
We also lost Djourou to injury which worries me. We are already suffering after losing Gallas and Clichy. Today we ended up with Gibbs and Silvestre playing in defence – as long as we keep winning it isn’t a problem – but defensive instability was the reason we leaked so many goals earlier this season.
Champions League Qualification
Wenger said before the game that the league was the priority for the future, the Champions League and the FA Cup the immediate priority. This victory took us a step closer to Champions League qualification, as well as keeping us on the tails of the top three.
We will miss Arshavin on Wednesday, he showed today how much he has brought to the team, he creates chances and scores goals – but he can still help us in the league and the FA Cup.
Oh and also, Happy St. Totteringham’s Day to you all; Spurs can no longer finish above us in the League, haha.
Arsenal came away with a valuble away goal against Villarreal last night, which places us well for the Quarter final second leg at home next week.
Adebayor scored an amazing bicycle kick in the second half to equalise after Senna had scored a long range goal in the fist half. The fact that we got the goal is most important – I will take the result, even though we could have finished them off in the second half.
The Fabregas/Adebayor partnership again provided crucial goals – making it 3 in 2 games for Ade, with Fabregas providing every assist!
I didn’t see the game, I downloaded highlights after the match – and I was disappointed to see us go a goal down. It hurt to lose Gallas and Almunia, and as Wenger said – this meant he couldn’t change things around at half time.
Gallas has knee ligament damage – so he may be out for the rest of the season – a blow seeing as our defence has been very stable since December. Almunia is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury – so we will have Fabianski in goal for the next few games which will define our season.
I think Fabianski will do good – but he has made rash decisions at times during games this season – this is his chance to prove himself – he made some good saves last night.
Overall a good result – some annoying injuries – but this looks promising. The fact that Porto got two away goals at Old Trafford means that they have a good chance of going through – no British team has ever won at Porto – and they have the advantage!
What do you think Arsenal’s chances are? Leave a comment below.
Arsenal 4 – 0 Cardiff City: Eduardo 20, Bendtner 34, Eduardo 60 pen, Van Persie 89. Goal highlights.
After a short hiatus Arsenal were back in form last night at the Emirates, against a poor Cardiff side. It was the first game in ages that I haven’t seen, I was travelling, but reports, highlights and the word on the street all point to it being a pleasurable game to watch.
I can’t say that much about the game obviously, you can find extended ITV highlights here though. I would like to congratulate Eduardo on a fantastic return game, two goals is a great start and it will lessen the pressure on him considerably, we won’t be waiting for his first goal after a lengthy injury spell!
Wenger on Eduardo:
“He had a good game for his first game back. When you have such a long time out, it’s difficult to be patient, to come in every day and see everyone else play. He had to deal with a lot of frustrations.
“I believe – as any striker – he can contribute and help us to win games. He has the perfect spirit, he is talented and is intelligent.”
Well said Mr. Wenger.
I don’t know when our game against Burnley in the 5th Round is scheduled, but hopefully we can get it out of the way as soon as possible, avoiding any fixture pile ups, what with the Champions League games coming up.
So a good night for Arsenal, bring on Sunderland this Saturday, and hopefully a glimpse of Arshavin!
Here’s the new Nike advert, Arsenal vs. Mancs. I think you will agree it is pretty good, but what happens next??
Take what you will from the match today. With 10 men for an hour and Adebayor taking a hamstring injury at the same time, we still managed to take a point and kept a clean sheet, which is positive with our defence.
The downside is that we gave away the chance to go 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th place. This was a great opportunity, Spurs took no advantage of their extra man, and with 11 we should have taken 3 points.
The sending off was inevitable, Eboue is a liability. I have defended him before on ArseSpeak, but today his actions were unprofessional in the extreme. I hope that Wenger has serious words with him, and I hope Arshavin takes his spot on the right.
Before any Wenger bashers start going off on one, the only reason Eboue is plaing is because Rosicky and Walcott are injured as well as several other midfielders, he is not Wenger’s first choice, but our injury woes have forced the choice upon him.
In any case, I was happy with the defensive display, but Eboue’s sending off cost us the match, putting us on the back foot.
Arsenal went to Ninian Park with a reasonably strong line up yesterday and came away with a draw from a match that we could have won.
I missed the first 20 minutes, but it seemed to be a reasonably even first half. Cardiff spurred on by their fans at Ninian Park, and trying their best to close Arsenal down. They had some good chances but I don’t think they ever looked like winning.
After half time Arsenal came out with renewed vigour and we dominated possession and chances as Cardiff tired.
There were good performances from Gibbs and Song, but Ramsey looked off colour on his return to his old club.
In the end after having many good chances to score the game ended 0-0. Bendtner, RVP and Adebayor all had good opportunities, and I thought we were good going forward, it’s just a pity we couldn’t finish Cardiff off.
Wenger said after the game:
“We could do without the replay, 100%, but let’s not complain because we play football.
“It’s one more game to play. If that’s the price we have to pay to stay in the hat, we’re happy to do it.
“We are short at the moment and cannot rotate much. I could rest a few players in this game but not as many as I had wanted.”
Hopefully we can do the job on 3rd Feb at home now.