Daily Archives: November 18, 2012
The 151st North London Derby kicked off in grand style with both teams needing a victory to kick-start their somewhat stuttering campaigns.
Arsene Wenger went into his 39th North London derby with ex-Gunner legends like King Thierry Henry and Big Sol Campbell spotted in the stands. We all know that the manager hasn’t finished below Spurs since taking over the helm of affairs at Arsenal.
Tottenham began the game on a brighter note as Thomas Vermaelen fouled Aaron Lennon to win a free kick for the visitors in a promising position. Tom Huddlestone swung in the dead ball and after a goalmouth scramble, Mercenary William Gallas blasted a shot into Arsenal’s goal but it was ruled offside.
With Arsenal slowly coming out of the blocks, the home side suffered a setback when Jan Vertonghen lofted a through ball over the top to Jermaine Defoe’s path. The elf picked his spot and placed the ball goalwards but Wojciech Szczesny was on hand to make a fine stop. With no Gunner failing to deal with the ball, the perdatory Emmanuel Greedybayor stepped up to pounce the rebound.
Shortly afterwards, Lennon made one of his trademark one-dimensional runs before blasting his shot wide.
The turning point of the game arrived when Adebayor was given a chance to have an early bath courtesy of a very reckless challenge on Santi Cazorla.
Arsenal capitalized on their numerical advantage and got a well-deserved equalizer when the impressive Theo Walcott jinxed past Naughton before crossing a ball that was headed to perfection by Per Mertesacker.
The Big Friendly German had waited an eternity to get his first Arsenal goal and scoring in the derby was truly special. Despite probably being two times Walcott’s height, BFG ran to his assist provider to give him one hell of a cuddle.
The equalizer instilled some confidence into the home side and the free-flowing football began in earnest. Jack Wilshere dinked a cross to the box that was headed by Olivier Giroud but his French compatriot in goal, Hugo Lloris, had other ideas, making a spectacular save.
Cazorla was the next player to get into the act but his superb swerving shot missed the bar by a lick of paint. Cazorla went on another mazy run before lofting a cross into Tottenham’s danger area but Giroud’s header was straight at Lloris.
Arsenal took the lead with a goal that showed that Lady Luck probably liked the Gunners. After a neat one-two between Mikel Arteta and Wilshere, Lukas Podolski stole the ball off Arteta to fire a shot that ricocheted off Mercenary Gallas before creeping slowly into Lloris’ net.
Arsenal ended the half on a high when Cazorla showed amazing footwork and balance on the edge of the area before feeding Giroud with a low drive. The French hitman wasted no time in blasting home Arsenal’s third goal. That was his fifth goal in his last five games for the Gunners.
A shell-shocked and baffled Andre Villas-Boa Constrictor made two quick changes at half time bringing on his captain, Michael Dawson to sure up the defense as well as that American soccer-playing clitoris, “Clit” Dempsey.
Arsenal’s fourth goal epitomized what the club stood for; technique, precision and class. A route one pass from Szczesny was flicked on by Giroud to Walcott’s path. The winger in a somewhat unfamiliar central position cushioned a lovely ball for Podolski that saw Cazorla making a darting run in his far post. The German machine drilled an inch-perfect pass to the Spanish hobbit and the Gunners were four goals to the good.
I could have sworn that players like Gervinho, Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey would have held onto the ball in a similar situation and that chance would have gone begging.
It was party time at the Emirates and after toying with the Tottenham backline, Wilshere teed up Giroud but the Frenchie killed a bird in the sky with his attempt on goal.
Tottenham reduced the deficit when the world’s best left-footed Chimpanzee, Gareth Bale, darted into the heart of Arsenal’s defense to blast a right-footed drive to Szczesny’s bottom corner.
At 4 – 2, scenes of Twitchy Ol’ ‘Arry Redknappin’s first North London derby appeared in my head but I was confident that Tottenham’s Boa Constrictor of a coach wasn’t tactically astute enough to make the changes to level the contest. Besides, the numerical disadvantage of his team ensured that the scum from White Shite Lane struggled all game long.
Wenger took off Wilshere for Ramsey and it was a welcome move as Wilshere was still working on that lonely road to full fitness.
The chimp had a glorious chance to make it 4 – 3 but he blasted his shot wide while Defoe had positioned himself well to receive a pass. That miss irked Defoe but we the Gunners didn’t give two fledgling fucks.
Ramsey provided a delicious through ball to Walcott but his first touch was too heavy, allowing Lloris to smother the ball.
The moment of inevitability arrived when Lukas Podolski was substituted for the cuddly maverick, Andre Santos. Playing as a left winger was hugely appreciated by Andre Santos because he really stinks as a left back. Let’s just say that defending was never his forte.
With minutes dying out, Wenger replaced Giroud with the Ox, giving Walcott a chance to play in his coveted center forward position.
With pace, dribbling skills and obvioudly fitness on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s side, the young speedster ran at a tired Tottenham defense before supplying a carefully-weighted pass to Walcott. The Englishman picked his spot and placed it pass Lloris to make it 5 – 2.
The last Tottenham visited the Emirates, Walcott was the player that put the icing on a well-baked cake with a placed shot past Brad Friedel.
A classic case of deja fucking vu.
Szczesny (6.5) was relatively untroubled all game long but could have been better with Bale’s shot.
Sagna (7.0) worked so hard down the right and supported the attack well.
Vermaelen (7.0) put up a very decent shift on the left.
Mertesacker (7.5) finally broke his Arsenal goalscoring duck.
Koscielny (7.0) made some vital interceptions in the course of the game.
Arteta (7.5) was back to his consistent best after that appaling display against Fulham.
Cazorla (8.5) capped a great day at the office with a goal and assist.
Wilshere (7.0) balanced the attack and midfield admirably.
Walcott (9.0) was a constant threat down the right and scored a goal he truly deserved.
Podolski (8.0) scored a fortunate goal and supplied a peach of a pass for the fourth goal.
Giroud (8.0) continues to prove his critics wrong with his brilliant performances. Now its five goals in five games.
Ramsey (7.0) did well in Wilshere’s stead.
Andre Santos (7.0) didn’t put a foot wrong since his introduction.
Ox (7.5) showed off his amazing dribbling skills and reserves of pace.
It took a win against Tottenham in February to begin a late surge that saw the Gunners end the campaign in third place. Arsene Wenger’s men were a goal shy of creating history in the second leg against Milan but it was not to be.
However, the Gunners are in a tight situation in the Champions League this season, and a solid performance against Giroud’s former employers, Montpellier, will continue to build up the confidence of the lads.
That’s all for now and Happy Sunday to every Gooner out there.
Lest I forget, the results for the 2012 Nigerian Blog Awards will be announced *fingers crossed*. I want to use this medium to express my profound gratitude to everyone that voted for this blog.