Wolves 0 Arsenal 3: The Gunners Tame the Relegation-Bound Canines
The English Premier League is widely regarded as the most viewed, most exciting and probably the best football league on Earth. Fans from all over the globe unite for a single cause offering their support to the 20 teams in the division.
However, the standard of officiating in recent times have become very shambolic. Week-in-week-out, some unfortunate teams are always on the end of some shocking decisions that change the shape of every game. I don’t want to start with the decisions that have gone against Arsenal, because the outlay is large enough to start up a new blog with.
Call me a hater, a beef-monger or whatever you must, but the refereeing decisions that have favored Manchester United this season has certainly left a bitter taste in the mouths of the lovers of the beautiful game.
On Sunday, Sir Alex Ferguson’s hordes hosted Queens Park Rangers but a contentious and appalling decision brandish a red card to Shaun Derry after a blatant piece of cheating from Ashley Young certainly changed the reflection of the match. Words can’t explain the decision to rule this goal out:
However, the picture can be epitomized by this tweet:
Moving over to more relevant news, Tottenham’s demise against Norwich City gave Arsenal a big incentive going into this stroll in the park against Wolves. Arsene Wenger shuffled things a bit, drafting in Andre Santos for Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou for Laurent Koscielny (suspended). Eyebrows were certainly raised when Aaron Ramsey was selected over the in-form Tomas Rosicky.
Arsenal got off to a flyer when a Robin van Persie incisive through ball put Theo Walcott through but the winger was denied a clear-cut goalscoring chance by Sebastien Bassong. According to the FIFA Rule Book, the ref was left with only one decision to make, thereby giving Bassong a chance for an early bath.
Arsenal’s captain stepped up to score one of the cheekiest penalties you’ll ever see. Thierry Henry showed such class against Leeds United in the yesteryear.
For those who like numbers, that effort was van Persie’s 45th goal in 50 Premier League games, and he became the fourth player in Premier League history to score against 17 different teams in a Premier League season (after Andrew Cole 1993/94, Alan Shearer 1994/95 and Ian Wright 1996/97).
Arsenal’s captain turned from scorer to provider when he executed a neat one-two with his telepathic partner Walcott, that placed his effort past Wayne Hennessey with consummate ease. Wolves threatened from a Chris Berra header but the first half plummeted into mediocrity after that.
Arsenal didn’t take its foot off the pedal and would have gone three up but Ramsey’s poor decision making left the score line the way it was. He was sent through by van Persie but he chose to feint his shot when he was meant to pull the trigger only to be blocked afterwards. The Isreali Rabbi, Yossi Benayoun made himself available for a pass but Ramsey’s pass was wayward to say the least.
Wolves enjoyed a brief spell of possession and some intricate passing in Arsenal’s danger area saw Matt Jarvis swing a cross that was headed goalwards by Kevin Doyle. Up stepped Wojciech Szczesny to add another spectacular save to his impressive collection.
That was certainly a telling moment because Arsenal gave themselves some breathing space after some great work from the captain. Van Persie lost the ball initially before slaving hard to win it back. He sent a pass to Alex Song who in turn found the Rabbi that blasted the ball on the keeper’s blind side to make it three.
Wenger withdrew Walcott for the Ox while Carl Jenkinson got some minutes under his belt when he replaced Bacary Sagna. There was still time for Ramsey to miss yet again but the last goalmouth action came from the hosts as Nenad Milijas’ stinging shot was saved by Szczesny.
At the sound of the ref’s whistle, the Gunners sealed a victory that has sent them five points clear off Tottenham as well as seven points off Newcastle and Chelsea. Who would have believed this in August?
Szczesny (8.0) produced to top-drawer saves to aid his team.
Sagna (7.0) put up another efficient performance.
Andre Santos (6.0) disappointed me a bit and was very sloppy with the ball.
Djourou (7.0) deputized well for Koscielny and made some decent blocks to break up play.
Vermaelen (7.5) was very agile and was more than a match for the Wolves forward line.
Song (7.5) assists when he wants.
Arteta (7.5) continued his imperial form in midfield with another stellar performance.
Ramsey (7.0) missed a few chances but he had a 90% pass completion and he put up a 100% effort. It’s high time we get off his back.
Walcott (7.5) scored a well-taken goal but eased out as the game progressed.
Benayoun (7.5) made a good account of himself and capped it up with a decent finish.
Van Persie (8.0) ended his goal drought with a finish that epitomized his confidence in front of goal.
Oxlade-Chamberlain (7.0) had a decent touches and he showcased his pace and dribbling skills.
Jenkinson didn’t play long enough to get a rating.
For a team that has recorded 12 losses in 17 home games, relegation will certainly be deserved. This is also coupled with the fact that Wigan and Queens Park Rangers secured vital wins to help their cause to beat the drop.
It’s fair to say that the Gunners tamed the relegation-bound canines.
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