Rarely can a football game be so very enjoyable. I think everyone was a bit twitchy before the game, there is just so much more for us to lose in these games, we are the big club there to be knocked down and if we win then everyone just says that that's what was expected. The atmosphere before the game was a bit special, I think all of us wanted to see all the spuds' pre match boasting rammed firmly up their arrogant behinds.
For once I was happy with the starting eleven. Almunia was back between the sticks, good decision and he went on to justify his position rather convincingly. Bendtner and RVP both started, a good move to have two strikers on against the spuds who often like to play on the counter and would have been much happier against one striker.
The first half was a little cagey, but overall I thought we were very disciplined and controlled the game nicely. Bentley was very fortunate to stay on the pitch after a shocking lunge early on. We were winning the midfield battle, Song was hoovering up nicely in front of the back four, Diaby was erratic but did work hard off the ball and Cesc was very much involved. I was particularly impressed with the centre backs, Crouch was beaten to a lot of ball and when he did win it we invariably swept up the second ball. The chances were all at Gomes' end. Arshavin had a few half chances, Cesc forced a great low save from Gomes and RVP also had a few decent openings.
The end of the first half saw the game turned away from the evil spuds. Of note Eduardo had come on for the injured Bendtner. First RVP clipped home brilliantly from a nice whipped Sagna centre, Gomes had no chance. Barely had everyone stopped going mental when Cesc nipped in, he beat one, two, then a third, he was through on goal, he finished in sublime fashion, 2-0, it was a sensational end to the half. It felt almost like flying in a dream combined with a massive adrenaline rush and a big thumb to one's chest, bloody hell that was a good feeling.
The second half saw us continue to dominate, the freakish Crouch was a lone figure up front and looked completely outclassed, in the end his frustration culminated in a petulant yellow card for dissent. The spuds looked beaten before the third goal but RVP's second after Gomes had made a dog's dinner of a cross made sure that justice would be done. We had several other great chances, the best was one which Eduardo missed when clean through. It really could have been five or six in the end, we had some great positions on the break but failed to grind the spuds' ugly mug into the pavement quite as violently as it could have been done.
There is a lot to say. I have to comment on the ref as always and Clattenberg was weak, he failed to book a couple of shocking tackles while his inconsistency in dealing with handballs was embarrassing. But overall the day belongs to Arsene and the lads. Collectively and individually we were better than the spuds in every single position, it made an absolute mockery of various comments in the media that were telling us just how close the gap between the two sides now was, it was as convincing a derby day win as I have seen in my lifetime. Almunia was rock solid, our defence outsanding, of note our midfield really worked really hard to help our defence in hoovering up the danger, while we always seemed to have the class and spark to be able to open up the opposition's defence when we needed. Well done Arsene and the lads.