Daily Archives: March 5, 2012
Feel free to describe Arsenal’s victory over Liverpool with the terms best known to you.
Fictitious. Lucky. Enthralling.
Arsenal kept their impressive record at Anfield that stretches for five years intact thanks to a sumptuous volley from Robin van Persie right at the death. Liverpool basically ran the show all day long but Arsenal took their chances thanks to one of the most clinical strikers in the business.
Arsenal transferred their usual “demons” of profligacy to their illustrious hosts and Liverpool obliged with a penalty miss, two shots that hit Wojciech Szczesny’s post, a few shots aimed at the goalie and no attacking threat whatsoever from 13 corner kicks.
Despite the breath-taking spectacle of football that was witnessed in Anfield, the game was marred by an off-the-ball incident involving Jordan Henderson and Mikel Arteta. Some might say it was accidental while others would say it was intentional, but Arteta was on the end of a nasty whack from the England Under-21 International and he spent a considerable length of time receiving treatment.
He was diagnosed to have suffered a concussion and he was quickly taken to a hospital for further treatment.Despite the fact that the Spaniard has strong links with Liverpool’s arch-rival Everton, he still received a rousing reception from the Anfield faithful. Arteta has taken some time out to give some good news:
“I have suffered the biggest fear of my life. I only remember the fall by the blow and nothing after. It was terrifying but now I am better.”
“Sincerely, I do not remember too much apart from the impact. I have heard people applauded me as I left the field and I am grateful for this reception.”
Reports are emerging that Arteta could be in line to make a swift comeback with a possible starting berth against AC Milan on Tuesday on the cards. With the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal’s medical student, Abou Diaby still out, Arteta doesn’t really leave his manager with much any choice.
Moving over to the other section of this article, here’s my take on five positives taken from Arsenal’s win in Anfield:
Arsene Wenger’s Starting Line Up
It has always been a football norm to stick with a “winning team” and in my opinion, Arsene Wenger did very well to stick with the same squad that mauled Tottenham Hotspurs a week earlier. Wenger didn’t have much options to tweak his defense and midfield thanks to the large outlay of players nursing injuries, but he must have gotten some headache over selecting the wingers to support Robin van Persie.
Gervinho has been synonymous with the first team this season and he recently endured a gruelling adventure in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea as the Elephants of Ivory Coast coasted all the way to the finals only to lose to Zambia courtesy of a penalty miss from Le Forehead. The Ox on the other hand has been riding high recently but its fair to say that he has levelled down a bit, especially after his crushing own goal that drove the nail in Arsenal’s FA Cup coffin.
Yossi Benayoun and Theo Walcott were largely impressive against Tottenham but they failed to replicate that form in Anfield. In my opinion, they merited their starting berth but I expect Wenger to tweak things a bit against AC Milan.
Stellar Performances From the Full Backs
Bacary Sagna is a player that’s renowned for his weird hairstyle, amazing fitness levels, perfect balance between his attacking and defensive play and of course, his consistency. Defensively, Sagna turned into a dragon-like guardian of the right flank and he was quick to lock Stewart Downing in a cage before swallowing the keys. Offensively, Theo Walcott became a peripheral figure thereby causing Sagna to do his “job” by supplying an inch-perfect cross to Robin van Persie; they rest was history.
Kieran Gibbs’ career has been blighted so badly by injuries, that Arsenal fans give special offerings in church when he manages to play week in week out. Gibbs put up a great shift against Tottenham but there were doubts on his fitness for the game against Liverpool. The Englishman passed his fitness test and added a lot of depth to Arsenal’s wing play.
Wojciech Szczesny Colossal Performance
Lukasz Fabianski can whine all he wants about not getting enough playing time at Arsenal but I’m pretty sure he was a bit content with his place in the dugout after watching Szczesny on Saturday. The Pole was wrongly adjudged to foul Luis Suarez in the box but the art of karma was on full display when Szczesny made two brilliant stops to keep Liverpool at bay.
The double saves were so good that they looked better with each passing replay.
Szczesny was left flat-footed when Laurent Koscielny miscued his clearance to gift the hosts the lead but he picked up the Frenchman from the ground and made several vital saves that restored belief and instill some confidence on his team mates. He has even taking some time out to speak about the penalty save.
Goals, Goals and Goals from Robin van Persie
Arsenal was outplayed, outrun and outclassed by Liverpool all game long but Arsenal’s first goal came through a peach of a cross from Sagna and the predatory instincts on Robin van Persie. Clearly aware that he was going to beat the aging Jamie Carragher for pace, the Dutchman nicked away from the old hag to head in Arsenal’s equalizer.
The match-winning goal in the dying minutes of the game was reminiscent of that wonder strike against Everton in December and van Persie has now increased his scintillating goal tally to 31 goals with 25 of them scored in the Barclay’s Premier League. He recently paid tributes to his team mates for their immense contribution to his amazing goal scoring form.
Newly-found Resurgent Fighting Spirit
Arsenal started this campaign on an all-time low following that demoralising 8-2 defeat to Manchester United but Arsene Wenger steadied the ship with the injection of his new signings and Arsenal went on to end 2011 with a bang with a consistent run of results that saw the Gunners amass 21 points from a possible 24.
The Gunners took their foot off the pedal in the start of 2012 and three straight Premier League defeats in January made the fans ask for Arsene Wenger’s head on a plate. February saw the Gunners crash out of the FA Cup and you have to be one hell of an optimist if you believe that they can achieve the impossible against AC Milan in the second leg coming up soon.
With a 4th place position labelled as a trophy, Arsenal was faced with a daunting task to get victories in key matches against Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle. Arsenal has excelled in flying colors against the first two teams mentioned in this list and its worth noting that the Gunners came from behind to seal victories in these fixtures.
In a weekend where Arsenal needed an all important win against Liverpool, a good Saturday got a whole lot better when West Brom inflicted more damage to Chelsea causing Andres Villas-Boa Constrictor his job in the process. Here’s an article giving 5 reasons why Chelsea was right to sack him.
Arsenal fans will begin this week with childish grins on their faces as Manchester United continued their spanking trend against Tottenham with a resounding 3-0 victory.
Two weeks ago, Twitchy Ol’ ‘Arry was a king on the throne knowing that he was 10 points above Arsenal. Following his team’s back to back defeats, St, Totteringham’s day might just come after all.
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