Daily Archives: September 18, 2011
For what its worth, I’m happy its Sunday.
I’ll have the chance to go to church and spend some happy time with my God without thinking about Arsenal or anything related to the club.
After the shocking performance at Old Trafford, the boys produced an unconvincing performance against Swansea. This was followed by a valiant defensive performance against Dortmund in Germany so the spirits were lifted again.
Yesterday, Arsenal came up against a side that had secured three losses in quick succession. A club whose manager was more or less in a pot of hot boiling soup and he was really walking on a thin thread.
Arsenal also had in the back of its mind that the two big guns were going to lock horns with each other so a victory was paramount.
Enough with the intro, here comes the detailed match review.
Arsène Wenger’s lineup was good enough to decimate a team that was at the foot of the table when they kicked off.
My pre-match line prediction was torn to bits because Wenger put up three players that I didn’t expect to start.
Andre Santos made his first start ahead of Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey was fit enough to get the nod ahead of Yossi Benayoun and Andrey Arshavin’s rejuvenated form earned him a starting berth ahead of Theo Walcott.
Blackburn’s Hoilett suffered a nasty concussion last week but he didn’t show any signs of it when he took Bacary Sagna on the run before sending a near post cross that was intercepted by Wojciech Szczesny.
Barcelona reject Ruben Rochina evaded Alex Song in midfield but his effort went wide. Gervinho was back in the squad after his three-match ban and he connected well with Sagna on the right who swung in a cross for van Persie but his control let him down.
Sagna also sent in another cross that was headed into the danger area by RVP but no player in Red and White was in the same wavelength with its captain.
Arsenal looked more lively as the game went on so it was no surprise when the Gunners broke the deadlock through newbie Gervinho. Song sent a through ball behind Scott Dann and Gervinho did well to get around the ball before lashing it home even though there was some aid from Chris Samba’s deflection.
Arshavin was also coming into the party and he had two shots that were parried away by Robinson. The first was from a van Persie pass while the other was from a ball in mid-air.
Gervinho also showed some good movement to evade a marker but his shot was parried again by Robinson. Blackburn hit Arsenal on the counter but Andre Santos made a very good tackle that made him seem like a bus stop.
Arsenal attacked again from the right with Gervinho and Sagna on the thick of things. Sagna ran with the ball and cut it back but the Ivorian sent the ball into orbit.
So much has been said about Arsenal’s defensive frailties and it was exploited again by the hosts. There seemed to be no danger when Hoilett was with the ball in midfield but everything turned upside down for the Gunners when his through ball found Yakubu. The defense was keeping a high line but Andre Santos knew nothing about that so he kept the Nigerian onside.
Yakubu saw the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny but his finish was as cool and collected as ever. A simple toe poke that rolled into the goal.
The equalizer raised Blackburn’s spirits and they almost got the lead when Szczesny was caught in No Man’s Land from a deep free kick from Robinson. He had Sagna to thank when the looping goal-bound header was intercepted by the full back.
Sagna then suffered a nasty collision and it turned out to be another turning point for Arsenal defensively. However the offense were doing their bit and Arsenal went 2 up thanks to another new boy. A player that had scored in Ewood Park last month, Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard smashed the ball to the roof after a lovely cut back from Ramsey.
Van Persie had another chance to punish Blackburn but he decided to enter his silky mode and Samba was having none of that so he cleared it for a corner.
Blackburn sent in a corner but they were exposed on the counter by Arsenal. Ramsey won the ball in Arsenal’s box before feeding Gervinho. Arshavin made the kind of off the ball run he made against Liverpool in April 2009 for Arsenal’s 4th goal but unlike Walcott who fed Arshavin for the goal, Gervinho’s execution of a pass was really poor so that chance was squandered.
Andre Santos sent in a good cross from the left but it evaded everyone in Blackburn’s box. Koscielny managed to get on the end of it but he failed to get it under control.
The match was to have more turning points from an Arsenal perspective and the biggest of them all was the unwanted selfish nature shown by Gervinho.
Arshavin worked really had to get in behind the full back from midfield before sending a inch-perfect ball to Gervinho. Gervinho had a defender to challenge but van Persie was the F in free on the right hand side.
Instead of supplying a through ball to his clinical captain, Gervinho dallied on the ball before smashing it on the center back’s leg for a corner. Van Persie was very cross and it was evidenced by the stern look he give the foreheaded one.
That scene reminded me of a football movie I watched eons ago called goal. The hispanic Santiago played for Newcastle and had a chance to feed another striker but he chose to be selfish and the chance went begging.
Shortly afterwards, he went to his gaffer but the disappointed manager said:
“The other striker was free on your right hand side. If you were sure that you were going to score, you would have scored. If not you pass it to the man that’s in a better position to score.”
This might not be the exact quotes from the manager because I watched the movie light years ago but I’m sure that you get the friggin’ message.
If Gervinho supplied the pass, Arsenal might have been 3 up and the game would have been done and dusted but 2-1 at half time gave Blackburn some hope.
At halftime, I’d already gotten the title for today’s post:
Blackburn 1 Arsenal 2: The new boys show ’em how its done
But I didn’t get that chance because the second half turned out to be something else.
To be frank, I didn’t see Blackburn’s equalizer because the light was taken by NEPA but when restored the electricity back I saw a 2-2 score line on the EA Sports board and I went to Live Scores and I saw 50′ Song o.g. there.
So Song scored an own goal, big deal. The match was still fresh so I believed that my Arsenal will still create more chances to win the game.
The next highlight I witnessed was a good save from Szczesny after Mertesacker’s pace was exploited yet again.
The final turning point that destroyed Arsenal was the introduction of Johan Djourou for the injured Sagna.
Shortly after his arrival, Blackburn won a corner kick. The ball was swung in and it arrived at N’ Zonzi’s feet after a poor header from Koscielny. N’ Zonzi blasted the ball goalwards and Yakubu was on hand to score his second goal on his Blackburn debut.
Many people might point to the fact that Yakubu was a fraction offside but it doesn’t matter because the goal stood. Wenger replaced Arshavin with Walcott to add some steam to the attack.
Walcott used his pace to great effect when he faced Dann but the defender fouled him and earned himself a booking. Van Persie wasted the resulting free kick though.
With Arsenal pressing for an equalizer, they were bound to be exposed at the back and this led to the match clincher for Blackburn.
A counter attack emanated from the right hand side and Djourou mistimed his anticipated tackle so he was left for dead by Olsson. The winger reached Szczesny’s near post and drilled in a cross for a teammate to slam home but it wasn’t necessary because Koscielny bestowed the honor on himself to gift Blackburn with an own goal to kill the tie off at 4-2.
Van Persie had two headers from point-blank range that were sent over the top by an inspired Paul Robinson. Wenger’s last ♠ on the deck was Marouane Chamakh and he brought in the Moroccan for Song as he went gung ho for broke.
Chamakh almost had an immediate impact from a corner but he was adjudged to have pushed the defender in the ƒølløώ up to his header.
Walcott and Ramsey combined well to win a corner but Robinson made another fine stop from another RVP header.
Djourou was having a torrid time as Arsenal’s right back but he compounded it all when he sent a simple cross out for a goal kick.
Arsenal scored their 5th goal of the game when RVP sent in a brilliant cross that was nodded home by the headmaster himself, Marouane Chamakh.
That was his first league goal in almost a year (November 2010) and his first goal since March.
As expected, Arsenal had a late rally but Blackburn’s resolute defending and more Robinson heroics kept the score line intact.
Van Persie had another shot that was saved at point blank range while Mertesacker’s header was a whisker away from goal. Chamakh had the last header that went wide.
At the sound of the ref’s whistle, the frustration from Wenger was glaring while a previously frustrated Steve Kean was basking in euphoria as his team won the match despite the fact that the opposition scored 5 goals.
Szczesny (5.5) wasn’t as commanding as he always is and could have done better to anticipate the final balls that led to goals.
Sagna (7.0) had a good run at right back before getting injured.
Andre Santos (5.0) made his first start on a poor note. He kept Blackburn onside twice and was caught napping a few times.
Koscielny (5.5) had a bad day in the office and compounded it with Blackburn’s match winner.
Mertesacker (6.0) his pace was exploited to full effect by Blackburn.
Song (6.5) destroyed all the good he had done on the pitch by gifting Blackburn their equalizer.
Ramsey (7.0) had a solid game evidenced by his assist.
Arteta (7.5) broke his Arsenal duck in stunning fashion.
Arshavin (7.0) put up a solid performance that justified his start ahead of Walcott.
Gervinho (7.0) had a well taken goal but should have fed RVP at the end of the first half.
Van Persie (6.5) was very profligate in attack.
Djourou (5.0) had a stinker.
Walcott (6.5) threatened well with his pace.
Chamakh (7.0) scored his first goal since the days King Arthur ruled Britain.
Judging from last season, Arsenal has won just three matches in their last 16 but if you want to judge with this season only, Arsenal has lost three of his first five matches in the Premier League.
If that’s not woeful, then I don’t know what the word means.
Despite all the sadness in the air, there was still time for some humor from gooners and football fans alike so I’m going to end today’s post with my quotes of the day.
“Arsenal has been dealing with the 8 – 2 massacre 4 – 3 weeks now and I really 8-2 admit that 4-3 weeks I’ve been laughing at Arsenal.”
@Antonioovoke: “When I love a girl the way I love Arsenal, then I truly know that she’s the one I’m to marry”
WAEC Mathematics past question,
1a) In a football match team A scores 5 goals while their opponents, team B, score 2 goals. Team B wins the match. How is this possible?
1b) what is the final score for this game?
Note: if u don’t know question 1b come back next year.
I always publish quotes of the day from my followers and friends alike but the final one was quoted by me,
@goonerdaily: “RT if you’re used to heartbreak, despair, disappointment and frustration from your football club :)”
I got more retweets than the goals scored by Messi and Ronaldo put together.
Speaking of Messi, he scored a hattrick when Barcelona gazumped Osasuna with 8 unreplied goals,
And yes, Cesc Fabregas scored 🙁
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