Sunday, 30 November 2008

They might be giants


The roller coaster ride continues, I can't remember a season like it, you simply cannot predict which Arsenal side will turn up, fortunately today the Arsenal eleven showed a lot of courage to come from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 at the bridge, albeit with a little help from an excellent linesman (!).

I knew Arsene had given us as good a chance as possible by starting with the powerful Djourou and Gallas at centre back, it was also a great time to welcome back Nasri and Adebayor. The game started at a frenetic pace, even for a local derby match, good openings were squandered at both ends. Despite going in at the break a goal down, we had been well in the game and were a tad unfortunate to be behind at the half way mark. Gallas was inches away from a tap in as Nasri's shot was well saved by Cech, while RVP also tested the Chelsea keeper with a good low poke. The Chelsea goal was a bit disappointing because not only did Almunia give the ball away cheaply, but Nasri didn't track Bosingwa, who then put in a fantastic cross that the unlucky Djourou diverted past the annoyed Almunia.

They key moment was the equalising goal from RVP, as RVP was played in Bosingwa seemed to be playing him onside, however replays showed that he was marginally offside, however the finish with the right foot was emphatic. Chelsea did not respond, they seemed impotent and lacking in ideas, RVP struck an excellent second on the turn from a great downward header from Ade. The siege from Chelsea did not materialise, we defended well as a team, Song broke play up excellently throughout the second half, we really fought for the scraps in dogged fashion. The centre backs were solid throughout, Djourou has staked his claim, the full backs are quality, while the underrated Song and Denilson really worked their socks off for the cause. Having the power and holding up ability of Adebayor really helped, while RVP showed real commitment with a great performance.

Although the offside goal did affect the outcome of the game, it was rather poetic given that Drogba's clearly offside goal from last season was allowed to stand and scuppered out title chances. In reality Chelsea could have lost the game by more, with both the thuggish Terry and the clumsy Ivanovic extremely fortunate to remain on the pitch, while Denilson's touch let him down at the vital moment when clean through on Cech near the end. As RVP made clear in his interview afterwards, this was about 'us', it was a team performance, true, we got lucky, but you need a bit of luck in football, however there was a lot of fight and team work there today. Not only did our big names live up to their billing but a few of the lesser known and sometimes unfairly scapegoated players also showed that they do possess a hell of a lot of quality.

Today was very different to the Manu victory, we were a goal down away from home against top quality opposition, we needed to show a hell of a lot of character and fight to come away with the win. The centre back pairing finally looked solid, while the whole team showed more desire and more fight than I have seen at any other point this season, contrast this to the pathetic capitulation at home to the spuds. The attitude was more professional, in the second half there were more pragmatic safety first clearances into row Z, the stupid risks were not taken as in previous weeks. The corner certain appears to be in the process of being turned, I just hope that this new team under captain Cesc can continue to build itself some solid foundations upon which to base future success.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was nice to see the defenders have a good game, they all played well...it was one of the few games where each of the back four played well...reminiscent of last year....

I thought the midfielders got pushed around for the first 60 minutes, but they really turned it around the last 30 minutes. after RvP scored.

Anonymous said...

Encouraging result, but I don't think we were dominant on any level. Eventhough they were better in the middle of the park, we took our chances, they didn't.

Ted said...

Great result. I know RVP has won all the headlines and man-of-the-match awards, and the second goal was a quality finish, but I thought Ade made a massive impact on the game. Also well played Djourou, and Denilson kept Ashley Cole pretty quiet which is no mean feat.

We need to pick up three or four wins on the trot now to get back into it. Dropping points against Wigan is not an option...

Obsinho said...

Great result, and it's nice to see Chelsea fans moaning about refs (Terry & Ivanovic should have been off - but I'm sure the FA would have rescinded them), and that their squad is too small!! The stupidity of some fans is baffling.

It is all meaningless unless we go out and put in good match-wining performances in th next 3 games and maintainthe momentum going into Xmas.

And even then, unless Wenger does sign a midfielder/winger/centreback (2 from 3 is my preference from that) in January then we will suffer into the second half of the season.

Ted said...

On the subject of wingers, its interesting that Kranjar is having such a crap season at Portsmouth and has lost his place on the left wing to Armand Traore.

Do you still sign Kranjar, or wait for Traore to come back at the end of the season.

I also think Vela could do no worse than Nasri on the left wing. Its not as if Nasri does much defensive work....

NicklasB said...

Thought we deserved to win, and Scolari's wingeing was in bad taste.

kamrul hasan said...

Game is all out fun and entertainment. In game, anyone will have to accept their defeat. As it is football game so, any weak foe can beat any strong opponent in any time. It is all about uncertainty. The only one player who clinched the win was RVP (Robin van Persie). His two early goals helped to beat Chelsea. I hope Arsenal should try to continue their performance. On the other hand, Chelsea will try hard to come back in the competition.

Anonymous said...

as good a defensive performance as I can remember
Chelsea only had one shot on goal from inside the box.

Obsinho said...

Cryptic words Kamrul, but there seems to be wisdom in there.

Are the first two sentences from the themetune to Big Break?

Obsinho said...

I wouldn't sign Krancjar. I don't think I ever would have said we should, unless it was in August when all logice goes out the window and I'd sign anyone just to make a signing.

And I am not sure that Traore is really doing a great deal - I've seen Pompy a few times, and he looks solid, but not extraordinary.

And Vela is a striker - this winger role may work for Theo, but I want to see Carlos playing centrally sooner rather than later.

K man said...

Excellent result and really good second half performance. Chelsea looked clueless as soon as we got the equaliser. Defence were excellent - Gallas and Djourou may well be the centre back pairing we've been waiting for. Song did well 2nd half and I thought Ade worked his socks off all game - he really is the first line of defence.

Need to keep up the momentum now - 3 points against Wigan please.

TC said...

Arsenal seem to like playing well against big teams. Well done!

http://idoitforfootball.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/the-arsenal-debate/

do you agree?

Si said...

It was better than watching re-runs of the Dukes of Hazard that's for sure. I mean having to watch Boss Hogg eat fried chicken every ten minutes followed by some gypsy slag called Daisy rubbing her tits against a motor even 5 Star wouldn't be seen dead in, while she's being oggled by a reatrded policeman called Roscoe. I mean come on, what the fuck?
Oh I thought this was the Bring Back Street Hawk blog, my apologies.

Ted said...

Very good.

Street Hawk? Fucking hell that was shit.

Airwolf til i die.