Daily Archives: February 27, 2012
“What better way to set things straight again than to beat Spurs. I would rather be playing them now than on any other day, and we know that a win is absolutely vital” – Robin van Persie
The stage was set for what seemed to be like a game of the season contender for Arsenal. The fans were rightly unhappy following the recent run of results that ensured that the club’s trophy hunt will continue next season and Arsene Wenger had added a wrinkle or two to his face thanks to the performance of his boys.
Arsenal’s defense was a lot more solid following the return of Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs but a few eyebrows were raised when Yossi Benayoun and Theo Walcott got the nod ahead of Gervinho and the Ox. Tottenham kicked off the game and went off to a flyer when the defense opened up allowing Emmanuel Adebawhore to tee up Louis Saha with a chance to put the visitors ahead. The Frenchman’s shot deflected off the Verm into Arsenal’s net just after four minutes.
Arsenal almost pegged Tottenham back when Robin van Persie received a drilled cross from Bacary Sagna but his effort was blocked. He had a second bite of the cherry but it fizzled wide off the mark. Tomas Rosicky also came very close with a header from van Persie’s corner but Brad Friedel in goal pulled up a magnificent save.
A bad start got a whole lot worse when Luka Modric sent in a through pass in behind the defense leaving Kieran Gibbs to contend with the world’s best left-footed Chimpanzee Gareth Bale for the ball. The Chimp got the better of Gibbsy and nicked the ball past Wojciech Szczesny in goal. Some may feel that the Chimp dived like a sack of potatoes but the ref pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Arsenal’s pantomime villain Emmanuel Adebawhore to dispatch the spot kick and he sent the visitors two up despite the fact that Szczesny followed the ball. The Togolese forward has a knack for scoring in the North London Derby but it was unfortunate to know that goal number nine went into Arsenal’s net.
Theo Walcott broke away before sending a pass to his captain, van Persie dallied on the ball and was robbed off possession. Van Persie had another shot late on that clipped the post, Gibbs ran onto the ball and fed Mikel Arteta who in turned dinked a cross into the danger area. Up stepped Bac the Man to head his effort past Friedel.
Sagna’s goal sparked a revival that saw the Gunners equalize in stunning fashion. Benoit Assou-Ekoto sent a panicky clearance that arrived at van Persie’s feet. Surrounded by Spuds, Arsenal’s talisman still managed to find some space before curling the ball sweetly past Friedel. When it seemed like a familiar story going into half-time, the Gunners stepped up the plate to give their fans something to cheer during the interval.
Twitchy ol’ ‘Arry made two halftime substitutions bringing on Rafael van der Fart for Louis Saha and that Brazilian bloke that mistakes a football field for a boxing ring as he keeps on wearing teeth guards. Maybe in his fantasy world, tackles on the ground are the equivalent of punches to his face.
The Gunners didn’t take their foot off the pedal and almost went three up when Arteta cannily guided a through ball to Benayoun with Gibbs as a decoy. The Isreali placed his effort to the far corner but Friedel rolled back the years to make another magnificent save.
Within minutes, Song and Gibbs worked well on the left hand side before delivering a cross-field ball to Rosicky. The Czech captain fed Sagna and continued his run to the box only to cap up the delightful attacking move with a deft finish that made Ledley King and Friedel look like buffoons.
In just 13 and half minutes, Arsenal had overturned a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 lead. It was fair to say that Theo Walcott was shite throughout the first half but he extended Arsenal’s lead with a finish that would have made his predecessor wearing the No. 14 jersey proud.
Benayoun won the ball from the Chimp in Arsenal’s box before launching a counterattack courtesy of a long pass to Rosicky. Rosicky gave Arsenal’s captain the ball and van Persie took on two Tottenham defenders before giving a well-cushioned pass to Walcott. The pacey winger mis-controlled the ball but he attempted an impudent chip past Friedel and Arsenal was four goals to the good.
While the Gooners were basking in euphoria following their team’s scintillating performance over Spurs, Walcott threw the final firework that ignited party mode at the Emirates. Alex Song noticed that he was in behind the defense and the African gem sent in a peach of a pass to Walcott who controlled the ball superbly and placed it past Friedel to make it five.
The boss brought on Carl Jenkinson to replace Kieran Gibbs and Walcott almost changed from scorer to provider when he executed a neat one-two with Tomas Rosicky but the Czech surprisingly used his left leg to shoot the ball wide. I actually thought that he’ll give us one of his Ricardo Quaresma “outside of the boot” moments.
Late on Wenger brought on Le Forehead and the Ox for his impressive first choice wingers but there was a dark moment when Scotty Parker lounged into Vermaelen to receive his marching orders for a second bookable offence. The sound of the final whistle was like music to everyone’s ears as the Gunners let out their recent frustrations against the old enemy.
Szczesny (7.5) hardly put a wrong foot all game long and was he was blameless for both goals conceded.
Sagna (8.0) nullified every threat Bale the Chimp posed and scored the goal that sparked a revival.
Gibbs (7.5) was brilliant in his role, making wonderful tackles and he was more than a handful in attack.
Vermaelen (8.0) was a colossus in defense, breaking up play and he showcased his aerial ability from time to time.
Koscielny (8.0) passed his fitness test to put up another confidence performance alongside the Belgian and was a far better selection than the disappointing Johan Djourou.
Song (8.5) was a standout performer in midfield and he crowned it up with that peach of a pass for Walcott.
Arteta (8.0) had a great game and showed off his defensive prowess with various tackles in the middle of the park.
Rosicky (8.5) joined the party when Arsenal needed him the most and is certainly looking like the Little Mozart purchased from Dortmund who’s renowned to be an orchestrator in midfield.
Walcott (8.5) had two shots on target, two goals, three key passes, 100% through ball accuracy but he was utter shite in the first half. 😛
Benayoun (8.0) was the “trump card” that worked perfectly well for Wenger. He helped his full back a lot but there were times he had a touch to many.
Van Persie (9.0) produced a goal that epitomized his class and outstanding quality and did well to lay on an assist for the goal that gave Arsenal some breathing space.
Jenkinson, Le Forehead and the Ox didn’t play long enough to have ratings.
I’ll end this post with post-match words culled from Twitchy ol’ ‘Arry himself:
“At 2-0, I didn’t feel comfortable and at 2-2 I felt even less comfortable and the momentum was with them at half-time. They came off to a standing ovation and you knew it was going to be a very tough second half”
“Van Persie with the second goal was amazing. He had a foot to aim in and he struck it in the top corner. They had a bit of quality about them today, they were busy in the middle of the park and it was one of those days for us”
Few skeptics like Roy Keane labeled this Arsenal side as Wenger’s worst in his 16-year tenure with the club. They just mauled Tottenham’s best side in 50 years.
A team that is currently having its best season since the world started witnessing Colored TV
Dear 5PUR2, North London is Red and White
Hi 5-2 all Arsenal fans out there
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