Sunday 1 May 2011
Arsenal teach cheating United a lesson
Frankly it is days like today that make supporting a football team worthwhile, these kind of moments are so very precious and enjoyable, in fact strange as it may seem to say, grinding out a thoroughly deserved one nil win against such an odious United side produces that kind of feeling that it is almost impossible to better. It makes winning trophies seem unimportant, it is these kind of highs that must be savoured and that is precisely what I am going to do.
The victory was catalysed by our midfield's excellent performance and a big part of that was a very hard working show from Aaron Ramsey that was capped by a fantastic goal. The first half was one way traffic, United were simply outplayed in the midfield. United held on thanks in part to some poor finishing, some excellent defending and some pathetic cheating.
Wilshere had a great chance to open the scoring when the ball fell to him just inside the box, he rushed his shot and hooked it just wide. Evra had to be alert when Walcott was thundering in to tap in a precise Clichy centre. Then the first moment of controversy, Wilshere broke through, Vidic clattered into him and missed the ball by a mile, he was probably the last man, Foy was well placed, nothing done. Then the second moment, a fantastic whipped cross from the right flank by Theo, it seemed destined for RVP's head, Vidic batted the ball away with his arm, a quite deliberate handball to deprive a goalscoring opportunity, arguably a red card and a definite penalty, the linesman was perfectly placed, nothing doing again.
So United survived until half time, Foy had been instrumental in this, not forgetting the three defensive interceptions of the ball he made, largely because he was too slow and cumbersome to do his job and get out of the way of the ball. Rooney was also lucky to still be on the field, he was booked by Foy for a late hauling down, he then told the ref to 'eff off' and kicked the ball away, Wayne got his typical one yellow card for the price of three. This was something we were to see time and time again in the second half, the weak referee Foy let several United players get away with blatant acts of dissent time and time again.
Our midfield trio Wilshere/Ramsey/Song were working like lions. Song was an immovable beast who was simply too strong for United players time and time again. Wilshere and Ramsey scuttled around like beavers, pressing, forcing errors, making vital tackles and then importantly having the ability to drive past players when they broke forward at pace. The goal came when Song intercepted in midfield and fed Ramsey, he then slotted the ball through to RVP, he then jinked this way and that in the box, looked up and saw Ramsey arriving late into the box, he cut it back, Ramsey sorted his legs out and side footed the ball home clinically into the bottom corner past Van der Saar's despairing dive, great goal all round and more importantly a deserved one nil to the Arsenal.
United huffed and puffed, and most of their chances came from soft free kicks on the edge of our box, Nani does frequently give in to gravity, Szczesny producing a top save from one of these Rooney free kicks. Vidic had a good chance with a header from a corner, having shoved Djourou out of the way with a cynical two handed push. Generally we defended well and restricted United to very few clear openings. We could have made the game safe on more than one occasion as we counter attacked at pace, a little more precision would have seen United buried by more than the single goal.
The final critical moment in many United games consists of a theatrical fall in the penalty box and Michael Owen provided us with this. He was touched by Clichy, but the contact was minimal, the consequent dive then made Owen appear as if he were parachuting out of an aeroplane, the knees bent and the ankles cocked back, it is not the first time that this dull little man has been caught trying to cheat a referee and it won't be the last, penalty my arse.
What a cracking win. Not surprising that the bacon faced bully is claiming that United are the victims of terrible refereeing errors yet again, he is just taking out the aggression he feels because he knows this United side isn't really that good and they were well beaten today. He would do well to look closer to home to see some of the terrible cheats he has in his side, the diving Nani and the cynical Vidic being the prime examples, players who get away with cheating week in week out.
The team played their hearts out today and showed a lot of bottle in holding out for all three points when it would have been easy to surrender the lead again. The balance of the side was better, it was proven just how important it is to have everyone competing for every ball, nothing demonstrated this better than Andrei Arshavin's cameo role as the maverick slide tacking defensive midfielder, awesome. We need talent and skill, obviously this is true, but we also need eleven 100% committed and motivated players on the field every week, this is the mentality and steel we need to win the league. Aaron Ramsey showed a lot of people today just how important commitment and fight are, I just hope a certain young man who watched this from the stands will have taken note.