Arsenal 1 Swansea 0: New signings on song, Lady Luck shines too
A decade has gone by since the terrible event that happened in New York city and it will only be befitting to give a moment of silence to the souls that were lost in the World Trade Center.
Yesterday, Arsenal had the chance to kickstart its season by eating some roast duck…..Swans but the club had it all to do because it wasn’t a stroll in the park that everybody expected.
I predicted a lineup in yesterday’s post and it seemed as if Wenger read Gooner Daily with his BlackBerry because the 11 players he put out on the pitch was no different to what was written here.
Arteta was shown putting on his shoe laces and the gel on his hair was enough to make Cristiano Ronaldo feel left out in the hair gel biz.
Arsene Wenger expected Arteta to make an immediate impact and with just 60 seconds into his Arsenal career, he gave Ramsey a through pass in the box but Ramsey sent the ball sky-high.
Arteta continued to impress by winning a free kick at the edge of the area. With Arsenal’s favorite bird killer RVP at one side and Arteta on the other, it seemed like a confusing affair for the goalie and his wall but Arteta’s free kick smashed a bloke’s face and he hit the deck afterwards.
Per Mertesacker was having a solid debut at the back but his only flaw (lack of pace) was put to the test.
From absolutely nothing, a Swan lofted the ball into the box and a striker got the ball before Per but Szczesny was on hand to make a superb stop before smothering the ball on the second attempt.
Walcott connected well with Sagna on the right but he failed to control Sagna’s drilled cross so it was easy pickings for the goalie.
Swansea continued the over the top route 1 tactic but Szczesny turned into a sweeper to clear the danger.
Arsenal had the chance to break the deadlock when Arshavin (who was having one of his better games) fed Walcott with a lovely through pass. Walcott controlled the ball well but his shot lost its sting when the onrushing goalie met him. With the ball creeping in slowly to the net, a defender made a last-ditch goal line clearance but hit his knee on the post.
That was a nasty blow but he stood up and shrugged it off. A player like van Persie would have been out for a month or two if he was faced in a similar situation.
Ramsey had a shot that went wide but Frimpong’s overzealous attitude on the pitch created a free kick for Swansea at the edge of Arsenal’s box. The taker sent it over the bar.
Frimpong then atoned for that by winning the ball in the midfield before sending it to Arshavin. The little Russian gave RVP the ball and he took it on his stride before attempting a lob that went over.
Arshavin had another chance to run with the ball and Koscielny charged forward like a bull that had left its cage. He provided a good decoy for Arshavin but the Russian lost the ball then applied pressure on Swansea’s goalie to concede a corner kick.
Swansea got a chance to get in behind Sagna and their left winger sent a teasing cross into Arsenal’s danger area. Mertesacker, Szczesny and the Swan striker all missed out on the ball but it went to Gibbs who conceded a corner.
An air of frustration was creeping in at the Emirates but the match opener came in the most acrimonious circumstance.
After some tentative play, Walcott showed some quick feet to evade his markers but his shot sailed helplessly to the goalie. He grabbed the ball, looked around then decided to throw it to a defender that knew nothing about it.
The ball hit the bloke on his heel and appeared on a plate for Arshavin who showed good technique to send the ball home to score his first goal since March 2011.
His celebration showed it all. Hands behind his back instead of the normal fingers on lips that the gooners are familiar with.
RVP attempted a neat one-two with Arteta but his shot was blocked. Mr. Stuart Attwell blew his whistle for half time and Arsenal seemed to have the game under control.
Arsenal took its foot of the pedal a bit at the start of the second half and it was almost exploited by Swansea. A bloke sent in a cross from the right but it was intercepted by Koscielny.
Walcott got himself into trouble by getting a yellow for dissent. The full back was all over him all game long so Arsenal’s winger expected a yellow to be dashed out to the player but the referee was having none of it so he took out his frustration of the linesman.
Arteta and Arshavin linked up well before the Russian sent another cross into the box. Van Persie attempted the kind of scissors kick that got him a goal against Wolves but he wasn’t positioned well.
Scott Sinclair is one of the fastest footballers in the galaxy and used his pace to good effect in the game. He also used that pace to create a birthday present for Laurent Koscielny; a yellow card from the ref.
Sinclair took the free kick himself and smashed Szczesny’s bar. Szczesny showed good awareness again to anticipate a ball coming close to Swansea’s attacker.
Arsenal had a chance to go 2 up when RVP went past two players before lashing out a shot with his choco leg that hit the post and went away.
Walcott used his pace to great effect to make a jinking run put Ramsey wasn’t in the same wavelength. Ramsey did well to fashion a chance for RVP but the striker flashed his shot over.
Arteta and Sagna showed good understanding before the full back floated one into the box. There was a communication error between the keeper and his defender but van Persie didn’t show good awareness as the ball sailed helplessly past him.
That would have been mince meat for van Nistelrooy, Inzaghi or Crespo.
Coquelin came in for Frimpong and Yossi Benayoun made his Arsenal debut shortly after replacing Arshavin.
New boys Arteta and Benayoun connected well but Arteta’s shot hit a defender before going out but the ref gave Swansea a goal kick.
With Arsenal’s Champions League clash against Dortmund in mind, Wenger took off his captain to be replaced by Marouane Chamakh. Chamakh took the band off van Persie’s hands and was looking like a lost chap when he was waiting for who will take the band from his hands.
Arsenal had the best passing move of the day that almost resulted in a goal made of dreams.
Arteta passed the ball all the way back to Szczesny who fed Koscielny. Koscielny floated one in and the ball was cushioned well by Chamakh to Arteta. Arteta sent Gibbs through on the left hand side and the full back lofted in a delightful cross that went straight to Chamakh’s head but the keeper made a good save.
Like Arshavin, Chamakh’s last goal for Arsenal was in the 5-0 drubbing of Leyton Orient in March while his last Premier League goal was that toe poke at Villa Park in November.
Swansea put up a late surge but Arsenal held on to see the game off.
At the sound of the final whistle, Wenger was shown clenching his fist while making the kind of expression that would show relief.
Szczesny (8.0) was very commanding and dominated his box well.
Sagna (7.0) did his thing down the right.
Gibbs (6.5) had a fair game by his standards.
Koscielny (7.0) put up a solid performance on his birthday.
Mertesacker (7.0) was very composed at the back.
Frimpong (6.5) was very alert but conceded a free kick that almost put Arsenal under pressure.
Arteta (7.5) always wanted the ball and was very impressive on his Arsenal debut.
Ramsey (7.0) showed good movement off the ball and was heavily involved in the action.
Walcott (6.5) had some issues with his decision making but did very well on the right hand side.
Arshavin (8.0) looked like the Arshavin that was bought in 2008 with a well taken goal as well as passes and good movement with the ball.
Van Persie (6.5) was unlucky not to score yesterday.
Coquelin (6.5) steadied the ship at the middle.
Benayoun (7.0) showed his sultry skills and almost created an assist for Gibbs.
In a weekend where the Manchester clubs continued their dominance, a win was essential for Arsenal to raise the confidence levels of the players and also to bring the gooners back to Wenger’s trust circle.
After last week’s humili8tion at Old Trafford, a response was needed and everybody got it.
Three players made their debuts yesterday and the quality in Wenger’s bench was another pleasing sight. Just last week, it was filled with reserve team players that had never started for Arsenal.
Champions League football is around the corner and it’s good to know that there’ll be something to look forward to in midweek.
I’ll like to use this medium to send my birthday wishes to my pal and a Gooner Daily pioneer, Victor Eziyi.
All I can say is, Ɣu!!!!!!!
He’ll understand better 🙂
The quote of the day goes to ChiEbuka Nworah,
TOP GOAL SCORING TEAMS IN THE PREMIERSHIP AFTER 4 MATCHES:
1.Manchester United……………18 goals
2.Manchester City……………….15 goals
3.Wayne Rooney………………..8 goals
6. Arsenal………………………..3 goals
Seriously, somebody needs to stop Wayne Rooney.
He has more goals than Chelsea, Liverpool and of course Arsenal.
It’s also painful to know that we contributed to his tally by conceding a hattrick from three set pieces. 🙁
It’s time to go to church.
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