It was one way traffic in the first half. Two nil flattered the spuds. Nasri with a brilliant finish having rounded Gomes, then Chamakh with a neat finish after an excellent centre from Arshavin on the left. There were some other excellent clear cut chances too, Cesc dragged a shot rather wide with the goal at his mercy, Chamakh clean through but he dawdled, allowing Kaboul the chance to intercept, there were other chances too.
Goals change games and that's precisely what Bale's opening spuds goal did, some rather poor hesitant Arsenal defending allowed the ball to bounce, something that should not happen in one's central defensive area, Van der Vaart had too much time and space, he played in Bale, who did finish magnificently well. Still, after this goal, we continued to look the better side and threaten more than the spuds, Chamakh went through again but dawdled, the chance again lost.
The second spuds goal came after a non free kick given as Song fairly eased Modric of the ball, the over exaggeration of fouls was something that Modric and Bale did all afternoon long to win some very soft free kicks. Cesc was then stupid, he raised his arm and the free kick struck it, penalty given and scored by Van der Vaart. The spuds were somehow level in a game in which they had not really taken part.
The good chances then fell on our side of the fence, Cesc forced an excellent save from Gomes, Koscielny headed over with the goal at his mercy, Walcott was wasteful with some excellent positions, Song should also have had a penalty when he was cleared barged from behind in the box. Kaboul glanced in the third for the spuds and that way it stayed despite yet more sustained pressure on their goal.
Overall a very weird north London derby game, we managed to lose despite controlling the vast majority of the game against a side that so rarely threatened our goal, it rather reminiscent of the 4-4 game when the spuds got a completely undeserved draw against the run of play. It was strange because the spuds never really made my heart pound by putting us under much pressure, they rarely looked like scoring, a funny game football can be.
Having said that despite our incisive attacking play we gifted the spuds two of their goals. The first resulted from allowing a ball to bounce in a region of the pitch where this should never happen, the second came from a moment of rank stupidity from Cesc Fabregas. It was this sloppiness and stupidity that allowed the spuds to steal there points from game in which they were blatantly second best.
We were also guilty of failing to kill the game off at 2-0, Chamakh was particularly cuplable, it almost cost us at Everton, today it has most definitely cost us the points. We simply cannot expect to win the title when gifting goals like this, we need to defend better and grind out more clean sheets. It appeared that we were turning this defensive corner, today is yet another example of this false dawn, just when we thought we were achieving some kind of consistency, our dreams are shattered. It is also so very disappointing that this happened against a spuds side that were distinctly average and second best today.