Gunners 3 Partizan 1: Qualification ensured despite an unconvincing performance
Phew! That was close.
At some point, I visualized Arsenal drawing with †нє whooping boys and 99Matheus scoring a late winner in Ukraine to ensure that we played Thursday Night Football.
Arsenal have played like champions this season. There are games you steamroll your opponents easily and there are games you grind out results.
Much credit must go to AW. Every good football manager knows when his team needs a lift. He also knows when to make substitutions.
I wasn’t impressed with 2 players yesternight. Marouane “ChiAmaka” Chamakh and Andrei “Hotty” Arshavin. ChiAmaka was very sloppy when he was in possession and he broke up so many fluid attacks that came his way. Hotty had one of his “off” games. He didn’t really show too much commitment. He was a mere shadow of †нє Hotty we saw at Villa Park and †нє Fulham game. AW did †нє right thing by replacing him with a “hungry” Theo “Wal Kuint” Walcott.
Wal Kuint said that he wants to score 15-20 goals, I believe he could also do it from †нє bench. We all know what OleGunnar “BabyFaced Assassin” Solskjaer was renowned for. It would be nice to bring Wal Kuint on when †нє left back is getting ragged but all his goals have come when he drifted into †нє central position.
†нє game wasn’t a bright affair but †нє first noteworthy act was a self inflicted injury by Kieran “Ogo Gibbsy” Gibbs. When it comes to injuries, Ogo Gibbsy is †нє “U” in unlucky. Its really sad to see him continue in this trend but let’s hope he gets a speedy recovery like our Farma and Kos100%tackle.
His replacement on †нє night, Emmanuel “Farma” Eboue was quite impressive. †нє quick two-footed move combined with †нє outside of †нє boot cross he did was a move CRo or Quaresma would have been proud of. He’ll have to settle for †нє bench when we go to Old Strafford because Gael “Flash” Clichy will take his place back.
†нє penalty awarded was somewhat fictitious but †нє execution by glassboned vP was spot on. I was scared with †нє way he celebrated his season opener. When footballers score a goal, a celebration style comes to †нє player’s head. Some footballers have unique celebrations which are used in Pro Evolution Soccer while others just have a thing for †нє corner flag. †нє preferred corner flag celebration is to slide with your knees for a certain distance before your teammates come close to you but glassboned vP ran towards †нє corner flag, JUMPED and landed on his knees. Its van Persie we are talking about here. One of †нє most fragile…… if not †нє most fragile footballer in Arsenal FC. Thank God his bones did not shatter.
So half time, One-Nil to †нє Arsenal on every fans mouth.
†нє second half didn’t even start with a flourish. All of a sudden, Partizan, a side that has scored only 1 goal (penalty) in †нє Champions League attacked our box for †нє first time and scored making Mr. Cleopatra †нє 5th player to score in †нє first attempt at †нє Emirates Stadium this season. It really was a disappointing sight.
We gained a little bit of momentum but ChiAmaka and Hotty were not in †нє contest. At some point, our man of †нє moment El-Rufai went to †нє left wing to get some action. That’s supposed to be Hotty’s wing. †нє next main highlight was a freekick at †нє edge of Partizan’s box, up stepped captain for †нє night, glassboned vP to curl it to †нє net. It was a nice effort but Serbia’s No. 1 had it covered. †нє last time our glassboned vP scored a freekick was in †нє 3-2 victory over †нє Red Striped Black Pussies way back in…..2007. †нє ball smashed †нє underside of †нє bar, Mr. Gordon had no chance in hell to save that ball because it was played in that semicircle outside †нє 18-yard box.
Wal Kuint’s introduction brought a glimmer of hope. His blistering pace was a problem Partizan could not handle effectively and his goal was a thing of beauty. Bacary “Timaya” Sagna crossed †нє ball into †нє heart of Partizan’s defence with †нє aim of getting one of his teammates to head home. †нє ball got to a Partizan chap who nodded it straight to Wal Kuint’s path. †нє main attribute that aided him with †нє well taken goal was his low centre of gravity, a taller player would have trapped it first but would be closed down before he pulls †нє trigger.
At that point we were 2-1 up and things were going back to normal. Nicklas “Wald Bezt” Bendtner came on for ChiAmaka and played a role in †нє match clincher. Alexandre “Sabinus” Song who was having one of his better games, did a neat 1-2 with Wald Bezt, waltzed past a Partizan lad then teed up Samir “El-Rufai” Nasri then ran forward expecting a return pass, instead El-Rufai used him as a decoy, did an unbelieveable move with his right leg then slotted home with his left. El-Rufai is simply on FIRE.
3-1 up. 12 points from a possible 18 and 2nd spot assured mean that †нє possible visitors to †нє Emirates Stadium in February are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Schalke or Bayern Munich.
I believe we stand a better chance of qualifying to †нє quarter finals if we are drawn with †нє german contingent but †нє spanish ones will do just fine.
In recent times that knockout stages have seen us lose to Valencia a couple of times and PSV in 07. In 05′, Igwe inspired a 1-0 win against Madrid, 08′ saw us brush †нє defending champions, Milan aside, in 09′ we scaled through after a penalty shootout with Roma, last season saw us demolish FC Porto 5-0 in our home ground. A Wald Bezt hattrick and a goal of †нє year contender by El-Rufai sent us to †нє quarter final before little wizard Messi unleash his wrath on our injury striken side.
†нє draws take place next Friday so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Flyin Fabbi (6.5) was unfortunate to concede †нє goal. Ogo Gibbsy (6.1) didn’t do anything noteworthy before injuring himself. Timaya (6.9) had a great game but got himself into trouble by getting a red card late on. Squisha (6.6) did okay but had a hand in Partizan’s goal. Kos100%tackle (6.6) was relatively untroubled by Mr. Cleopatra. Sabinus (6.8) had a good day at †нє office, provided an assist for El-Rufai. NwaSamba (6.7) did well in midfield but needs to grow his hair back. Hotty (6.2) wasn’t really in †нє game. El-Rufai (7.0) was on point like a needle, scored a brilliant goal that settled our nerves. Glassboned vP (7.2) was a joy to watch, his backpass to ChiAmaka was a stuff made of dreams. ChiAmaka (6.2) would want to forget today’s performance quickly. Farma (6.8) did well at an unfamiliar left back role. Wal Kuint (7.0) did well and took his goal well. Wald Bezt (6.5) was sharp but could have left that ball for RvP.
Finally, there are bigger fish to fry.
†нє trip to Old Strafford is next.
That’s all for now.
Arsenal FC thanks for ensuring that we don’t play Thursday Night Football.