Arsenal’s Title Challenge Well and Truly Over
Playing against West Ham away was never going to be an easy task, bearing in mind that their last loss at home was away to Bournemouth as far back as August. Arsene Wenger stuck to his guns by sticking with the same team that had been victorious against Everton and Watford so a lot was expected of them.
Everything seemed to go according to when some Alex Iwobi magic allowed the Gunners to run away with a two goal lead. The first goal was from Mesut Ozil after he was located by a sumptuous pass from the young Nigerian. The German still had to maintain his composure before placing the ball past the onrushing Adrian.
Iwobi was instrumental in the second goal as he dinked the ball to the Chilean maverick that scored his second goal in two games.
2-0 up, everything seemed right but in typical Arsenal fashion, the lads capitulated just minutes before halftime. We’ve always known that Andy Carroll can be a handful and his aerial threat was always going to be a problem but sadly, the team didn’t have a game plan for the English bulky forward. Carroll got his first on the night when he headed a lofted cross past a hapless David Ospina. The defense went to sleep again as Carroll had two bites at the cherry to level the contest.
Going into the break level on goals with West Ham was highly disappointing but conceding a third from the same predictable format was disheartening. The Gunners probed for an equalizer and finally got through Laurent Koscielny but the injection of Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott did nothing to aid Arsenal’s attacking cause. The Welsh Jesus had the one chance on the edge of the area that was blocked by Winston Reid.
At the end, the spoils were shared in the last London derby at the Boleyn Ground but from an Arsenal perspective, the title race is well and truly over. As it stands, Arsenal’s only ambition would be to celebrate St. Totteringham’s day and they would be hoping that Tottenham gets a bad result against Manchester United today.
A valid argument was raised over the selection of David Ospina over a fit-again Petr Cech, but Arsene Wenger shared his thoughts on that issue,
The thinking [behind choosing Ospina] was that he has had some outstanding performances. With Petr Cech or David Ospina, we have exactly the same problem in the air. We didn’t concede in the last two games. Since the beginning of the season, we have had exactly the same problem, no matter who plays.
This is quite disappointing from the boss if you ask me. Cech has a more dominant presence than Ospina and I believe that he would anticipated a couple of crosses before they reached its intended target, Carroll, but Ospina, like many times in the past, always chooses to remain on his line and times without number, he’s always beaten.
It’s really sad to see what the season that promised so much has turned into and I’m really disappointed with the way everything has panned out. Enough ranting for one morning though.
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