Gunners revived their hopes of posing a challenge to the top two with a victory over a resurgent Liverpool. Arsenal played poorly in the first half and scored the only goal of the match through a Diaby header in the second half. There was nothing great to talk about the match as there were chances at both ends.
The goal came through a wonderful cross from the fluent Rosicky on the right. This was probably the best cross from any Arsenal player this whole season. And Diaby was there to receive the ball with a wonderfully directed header. So good to see that we can deliver a goal through this route too.
With Chelsea losing against Everton and Manchester United drawing with Aston Villa, the season is set for a thrilling finish, atleast for Chelsea and United 🙂
If there was anything that Arsenal has not been the whole season, it was clinical finishing and water tight defending. Both were on display at Stamford Bridge by the team in blue. They capitalised on the mistakes and finished off chances as they came by in the first half and for the rest of the match showed how to defend. Arsenal have had two consecutive defeats in the league, I think after a long time. The only positive I can see after the two defeats is that probably we have finished our quota of defeats for this year and can look forward to easier games ahead, maybe excluding the wednesday night clash against Liverpool.
Before the match started, I was of the opinion that if Arsenal scored first then we have a chance. The moment we conceded and the manner in which we did that, I was only praying that we do not lose confidence and concede a dozen odd goals. The team recovered from the goal and put some pressure on the Chelsea team, but we just kept passing the ball outside of the Chelsea box and could not make any shot at goal which would trouble Cech. And when we did, Arshavin hit it straight at Cech. No point in saying that, if that that goal had gone in, things would have been different and the match would have finished differently. The fact of the matter is that, it didn’t and Chelsea took advantage again.
The second goal was an example of how not to defend. Vermaelen and Clichy both left Drogba alone and it was a bit late when Clichy realised that he was the one who should go behind Drogba as Vermaelen went left to protect the box. Drogba doesn’t mess up such golden opportunities, especially in big matches like this. He is a different animal when it comes to high-profile matches. He is one hell of a gifted player, with the skills and strength. Defensively we haven’t learnt our lessons from last week.
Till Bendtner came in we were not even winning headers and I seriously do not understand the purpose of crossing from any flank when you know that the Russian who was playing as the centre-forward will not even be able to out-jump the Terry’s and Carvalho’s of the world. He has his limitations. I wonder what Wenger is planning to do. And some of the crosses were atrocious. I mean here is a left back and a right back who have played for hundreds of matches at the top level in Europe and they can’t cross. Seeing Bentley make some telling crosses in the Spurs game, made me think if we should have retained him. I know he is not a full back , but he crosses from wherever he is.
So now we play Liverpool who seem to be on the ascendancy, having collected 17 points from 21 available in the last 7 matches. This should be an interesting match as we know that we need to win this to be clinging on to that 3rd spot. A Liverpool victory will bring them very close to us and I am sure Wenger would not like that happening.
All Gooners of the world must have had one of their worst Sunday nights ever, seeing old foes United thumping 3 goals and dominating the Gunners as if there was no tomorrow. We played very badly and United team showed the desire and hunger to win and take all the three points. No one showed that attitude more than Wayne Rooney, especially the way he ran from close to the United box till the Arsenal one and finished a first time shot placing it past Almunia.
Arsenal never looked like coming back and threatening the United goal that convincingly. Arshavin missed a host of chances to score as well as pass to his teammates who were in better position. Clichy has not yet got to the best of his fitness, which shows in the way he has been dominated by opposition players. Denilson is another played who has come in for a lot of criticism. With Song performing the way he has been doing this year I wonder if we are seeing the demise of the Brazilian. Goal keeping has been an outstanding problem for some time. Maybe Wenger needs to buy a good established keeper to replace Almunia. And where is the forward who is going to get us the goals in Van Persie’s absence? Bendtner does not seem to control the ball well, what do we expect from him other than getting back to complete fitness and winning the aerial challenges. But is he going to lead this team from the front? Then we need to get our eyes checked.
Next up is Chelsea and it definitely is not a easy match with the blues not having a lost for a long long time at Stamford Bridge. Even if we by luck win against Chelsea and Liverpool, we won’t become favourites to win the league. Lets admit it we are only the 3rd best team in this league and yes there is still some way to go. I am really scared of our challenge in Champions League now. We might beat our next opponents but what after that. Wenger has taken a big risk by fielding a weak team in the FA cup and not buying the January transfer window. It needs to be seen how things pan out for the rest of the season.