Archive for the ‘Eduardo’ Category

Diaby (8), Bendtner (42) 

Zaharia(69)

Match Gunner: Robin Van Persie-Still brilliant after the long lay-Off. (special mention to Theo)

  

We came into this match needing to win and Sevilla to lose to Sparta in order to top the group. Wenger had a touchline ban for this match due to the altercation in the Sevilla game.
Before the game, Wenger hinted on his team for this match by announcing that Arsenal is not afraid of “big” teams. Lehmann got his start and Wenger suggested that Jens would be off sooner than later.

Surprisingly, Van Persie, after that bone crunching injury sustained during international duty, was named on the starting line up. Diaby was another surprising inclusion after his injury. Everyone’s favourite, Song was also named in the starting 11.

This is how we started

GK-Lehmann
DL-Traore
DR-Sagna
DC-Gallas
DC-Senderos
ML-Diaby
MR-Walcott
MC-Song
MC-Denilson
ST-Van Persie
ST-Bendtner

We were expected to stroll to a victory here and for once in recent games, the expectations were realized, although the scoreline failed to reflect that.

2nd minute and a good chance arrived when Robin’s pass found Theo on the right and he pulled his shot just wide. Minutes later, his ran past a few defenders but skied his shot.8th minute and the goal arrived. Robin started the move with a smart turn and found Sagna. Sagna’s cross was brought down by Diaby under immense pressure . His first touch took a lucky bounce off the pitch forward and his second touch found the top corner of the net. 1-0 and we were looking nice and comfortable with a second Diaby goal only denied by a nice save by the Steaua keeper.

We were looking threatening and the outstanding players were Theo and Robin. Theo’s pace on the right wing was causing problems and Robin’s excellent technique and turns were a joy to behold. It didn’t seem like his first game back. He was directly involved in the second. An exquisite goal. He made a bewildering turn that left the defense for dead and angled a pass to Bendtner on the right. Bendtner had all to do then but took his goal like a seasoned pro. He went pass the closing defender and slide in the shot pass the onrushing keeper. 2-0 up.

 

Second half came and there were a few chances here and there.
Suddenly Steaua were looking dangerous and it was our turn to do some defending
Robin was brought and Dudu in. Steaua made a few changes of their own and both their subs were involved in their goal. A looping header which left Jens with no chance.

Diarra and Eboue were brought in for Diaby and Sagna. Theo, Bendtner and Dudu had a few chances between them but failed to convert and the game finished 2-1. Nice. The 3-0 win from Sevilla meant that we finish second in Group H and will meet another group’s winner in the knock out phase. I say, bring them on. That is what Champions League is all about. Champions against Champions.

Moving on to the match against Chelsea. Wenger had some thoughts on the players available paricularly Hleb,Flamini and Cesc. I would suspect Flamini and Hleb/Cesc to be involved.

Advertisements

Downing(4, pen), Tuncay(74)

Rosicky(90) 

Match Gunner: Arsene Wenger?

Fourth away game on the trot after Sevilla, Villa and Newcastle and we lost our first Premier League game of the season. All thoughts were on us getting the three points againt a mediocre Boro side who was in relegation zone. Funny how it turned out. We crashed to a resounding defeat after maintaining a 15 match lose-less streak in the Premiership.

Did not watch the game but by the sounds of it, we were not at the races at all. Boro played well and won. We started with Diarra and Gilberto in midfield. Eduardo started as well. It seemed like Dudu had a dud and was quickly replaced by Bendtner at half time. You have to wonder why Arsene insists on putting him on the wing when the Crozillian is obviously very good as a finisher as is evident in his contributions to the Croatian national side. Wenger threw Walcott and Denilson for Diarra and Eboue to add extra impetus to the side but it was ultimately unsuccesful. Again we were outplayed and rarely had a shot on goal. Very untypical.

Wenger,

We lost the game because we deserved to lose it. Middlesbrough were sharper in the fight. They were a team who lacked confidence and we missed something at the start of the game because we gave them too much room and that caused the penalty. After that it was down to us

Boro had an early penalty when Kolo brought down former boy Aliadiere.

 

Downing completed the formality

 

Tuncay finished up an Almunia block from O’Neill to make it 2-0

Tomas provided a consolation goal for us in the final minute and that’s about the gist of it.

 

We were well beaten and we can hope that the boys will bounce back stronger and better after this. First up is our last group Champions League match against Steau Bucharest. I would expect the team to stay the same as Wenger has dismissed individuality and saying our form was due to the team as a whole as:

I don’t like to speak about the players who are not here, I always have confidence in the players who play. When you go into a season you know you will miss some players at some stage. 

Quite right. Losing players to injury is not an excuse. Long term injuries have hit all the top teams. Man Utd is missing Scholes. Chelsea is missing Drogba. Liverpool have been without Agger and Alonso.

Particularly looking at how we can bounce back as the next Premierdhip match is against Chelsea match as Fab and Hleb might miss that one too. Van Persie and Flamini have a good chance of making it though with Robin probably starting on the bench due to the lack of fitness.

Adebayor(4)

Taylor(60)

Match Gunner: Manuel Almunia

A midweek game which is the second in a series of three away games for us in the Premier League. The team were without Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini and of course, Van Persie. Four of our first team players. Nonetheless, the team facing Newcastle still looked solid enough. Diarra and Gilberto in the middle with Eduardo slotting in the left and Eboue on the right, Rosicky playing in the hole and Adebayor playing as the lone forward. Backline has been consistent all season long with Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy. Newcastle were coming into the game with demoralizing defeats against Portsmouth and Liverpool and were on a 4 games out of 5 losing streak.

The game certainly started brightly. We were ahead on the fourth minute with a stunning goal by Adebayor right off Henry’s books. In between two defenders; ball brought down on chest via a Eboue cross and bam, it hit the back of the net with conviction; the ball that is.

After that, the game slowly turned in Newcastle’s favour. They were certainly bossing the game with relentless pressure and grit. Only some good saves from Almunia especially the one from Geremi kept us in the game. Their goal came from a failure to clear our lines. Ade had the ball at the back, decided to pass it to Dudu and ran forward waiting for the one-two. It never arrived as it was intercepted on Dudu’s pass back to him and straight away a cross found Taylor who turned it in off the post. No one was to blame for this goal as it is the way we always play. Swift counter attacking motion which is often praised when it works which is more often than not.

After the game, Sam Allardyce had the balls to call us conmen. Papers have picked it up to refer to Sagna’s clutching and rolling around after a follow through after an attempted clearance hit Smith. It indeed looked exaggerated and a yellow was given. Fair enough. Allardyce knew what he was doing when he gave this comment. It will make referee’s think twice before giving a foul against them the next time around. What a thick typical English manager’s mind games. Oh and I’m sure that when Newcastle meet Man Utd, they will just roll over and wait to be demolished.

Just wanted to mention the two very dodgy calls late on in the game. One involving Beye and another Taylor. Nothing was given. The second foul by Taylor was especially obvious but you certainly always get the rub of the green when at home. I understand that. Anyway, here’s a video link of Taylor for you. Totally out of topic but just for a little fun after the way he scored a goal and got away with murder(Unlike the clumsy fouls that Senderos commits once or twice per season) courtesy of arseblog

Taking nothing away from Newcastle. They deserved something from the game. They have it. A point. Nice point for them and a nice point for us. Some people are making this draw seem like a loss. It was an away game against the person who has the best record against Arsenal under Wenger. A draw after being dominated for the majority of the game? Sure, why not?

We are still unbeaten and 4 points clear of Manchester United. Next up is an away game to Boro. Fingers crossed, our creative force of Fabregas and Hleb will be back in this one. Flamini too. *Edit. Wenger has ruled this out

No Fabregas, no Hleb, no Van Persie, no Flamini will be back for the weekend

Unless No means Mr. in some language, we will have to be satisfied with Gilberto and Diarra in midfield again. Maybe Dudu and Ade up front together for once?

The good news is that Van Persie will be back in training next week

Van Persie and [Abou] Diaby are not far, From next week they will be back in normal training.We have to see how he [Van Persie] responds to contact training, don’t forget he has been out for seven or eight weeks and has had no contact until now so we might have to be a little bit patient.
We have no-one coming back for Sunday, and to put a date on that is very difficult. If you ask me who will be the first to come back then I think it could be Mathieu Flamini. Cesc and Alexander Hleb are on the same line but whether they come back next week or in two weeks I don’t know

Knowing Wenger, it will be no surprise if the quartet of Fab,Flam,Hleb and Robin is up and playing against Chelsea. Till the next post.

Eduardo (11)

Keita (24), Luis Fabiano (34), Kanoute 89 (pen)

Match Gunner: Nicklas Bendtner

We went into this match without Adebayor, Gallas (both rested) and Clichy (injured).

All in all, the only regular first teamers on the field were Cesc, Kolo, Rosicky, Eboue and Almunia.

Bendner started up top

Gilberto, Rosicky, Cesc, Eboue, Eduardo in the middle

Hoyte, Traore, Senderos, Kolo at the back with Almunia rounding it up.

I didn’t catch this one as I had a late night. It seems like I missed an exciting match. Dudu’s goal was perhaps the highlight for us as Cesc had an off night and we were more or less WELL BEATEN. It seems like Cesc might have picked up an injury though.

Their goals came via Keita, a header from Luis Fabiano via an Alves set piece and a penalty by ex-Spurs player Kanoute

Sevilla played well and deserved their win. This is testified by both Wenger and captain Toure. It would have been even worse if the penalty against Senderos was not recalled by the referee.

This blip ends our “unbeaten in all competitions tag” and it is well worth it. Many might judge Wenger for sending such a radically changed team to Sevilla. I say why not. We have qualified. Sevilla is a top team and would benefit our reserve players greatly to play a competitive game against them. Our December EPL fixtures are crazy(Look below for details). Wenger thinks so too.

We had to make a decision because we have a very heavy programme. You could see some players who played all the games got injured. We have a very important December. I knew we had to make choice in the different competitions and, to me, December is based on the Premier League

Coming up in December, we have these fixtures. A mind boggling 9 matches with 6 of them away.

As Wenger says.

I don’t regret that. I wanted some players exposed to the top level and I am happy having done it

Gallas (83) , Rosicky (86)

Match Gunner: William Gallas

The match started with a virtually indistinguishable Arsenal central midfield. Denilson and Diarra coming in for the suspended Cesc and the injured Flamini. Fab-Flam had been so dominant as a pairing this season that the change really made us look like a different side altogether.

Wigan had new boss Steve Bruce looking on in the stands. They duly performed what all sides come to the Emirates and do. Damage limitation and relying on counter thrusts and setpieces as their only attacking options.

They did well, in fact; good enough until the 83rd minute where once again, our propensity to produce late goals which have been a revelation this season emerged yet again. Gallas; my man of the match on this day finished with a textbook glancing header to end the frustration.

Before that, the starting pair of Walcott and Adebayor provided some highlights but no goals. At least three last ditch tackles from Bramble of all people, Granqvist and Boyce saw to this. Walcott again looked lively and useful but still lacking confidence as is expected of one so young.

It was quite a dull match but sort of sparked to life in the 72nd minute when Bent made a crude tackle from behind on Denilson. One that looked like Henry’s red card tackle against Uruguay in WC 2002. Bent was only given a yellow card though and in the aftermath Heskey and Gallas were yellow carded too.

The yellow on Gallas was particularly puzzling as he was standing up for his player as a captain does and was pushed away by Heskey. All I can say is that England players have learnt nothing from their European Cup qualifying failure. Their goonish mentality is encouraged by the plaudits for getting stuck in and giving 110% on the tackle. Just look at what Lampard did in last years League Cup final. No wonder Wenger doesn’t field many Englishmen. He wouldn’t want the tag of being the worse behaved side in the Premiership again.

Later on, this view was augmented by another bad challenge, this time from Heskey on our only Englishman on the field; Walcott. Theo needed a stretcher to bring him out of the pitch and was subbed with Bendtner. Heskey really should have been sent off as he was on a yellow following the aforementioned shoving with Gallas. The commentator really pissed me off by defending both Bent’s and Heskey’s tackle as being clumsy rather than bad. They are well paid professionals for god’s sake. They should not be clumsy!!!

The goal came after Gallas passed it to Bendtner. He layed it off to Sagna who was charging in on the right wing. Sagna produced a brilliant pinpoint cross and Gallas finished with aplomb.

Rosicky closed the game off after a fine pass by Bendtner three minutes later with a shot that went in off the post.

Thoughts after seeing the match? Bendtner gave a fine 10 min cameo as he was directly involved in the two goals. Walcott is young and is the potential star. Sagna and Clichy are fine fine French wingbacks. Diarra produced another solid performance. This time in his preferred central midfied role instead of the rightback slot. Man Utd’s loss at Bolton means that we are three clear with a game in hand heading into the busy Dec period. Goal clips here

Well, it’s done and dusted. England are out of Euro 2008. McLaren’s boast didn’t help and he was duly sacked

We’re there, we’re in the driving seat. It’s us to us to make sure we finish the job off

Not that it makes much difference for our players anyway. But the direct impact of the qualifying did. We are left without 3 midfielders in the immediate aftermath. Hleb(3 weeks), Flamini(1 week) , Gilberto(1 game)

Diaby(3 weeks) and Fabregas(one match) will also be missing.

As it stands, against Wigan, we might be seeing Diarra and Denilson as our midfield pairing with Rosicky and Eboue running the wings. I think that we will have Dudu up in front with Ade unless Wenger wants to go with a 4-5 -1 with Diarra holding up the line.

Gallas(og 45) , C.Ronaldo (83)
Fabregas (48), Gallas (91)

Match Gunner: Cesc Fabregas

The match started with everyone anticipating a renewal of the rivalries of years before. Both sides have gone through a period of transition since then, most noticeably Arsenal. The miss from the Horse Faced One showed you the amount of passion evident in those games.

But, there can be no denying that the fire has gone down somewhat on this fixture over the past two years. This game was different as both teams are currently 1st and 2nd in the league and a win here might translate to a virtual 6 point gain in the premiership race.

There was almost nothing worth mentioning in the first half. Anderson’s constant moaning and playacting in the middle was a laugh though. He must have realized that he had to do something to avoid the second yellow and decided to pin the blame on the Arsenal players from then on. Hate players who wave the imaginary card to the ref too. Would love to have the pic of Cesc imitating his moaning gestures at his face.

We DID concede the goal though. Ronaldo’s pass found Rooney at the near post and he tried to flick it through to the middle but Gallas’ late sliding tackle to prevent that saw him putting it in our own net via his his shins and finally his hands.Bad scoreline at halftime.

Second half began and we immediately took it up a notch. Bacary Sagna latched on to a block from Van Der Sar off Adebayor’s shot and slid it to Cesc who made no mistake in putting it in an almost empty net. Ferdinand on the line could do nothing about it.

Second half was way open after that. Both teams had their own half chances. Rooney heading off target when he was very open. Hleb miscuing a shot he made room for.

Man Utd’s second goal came after Saha was subbed in for Tevez. He made a nice through pass to Evra. Almunia made the decision to come out and left the goal vulnerable to the cut back from Evra to Ronaldo who slid it in an empty net. Cue mass celebrations from all the Man Utd supporters in the world. They were all congratulating each other and gloating over the Arsenal fans as if they had already won it. Typical. They were to regret it soon enough though 🙂

Fate would have it that there was still a twist in the plot. Evra very nearly conceded an own goal when Eduardo’s cross was mis cleared. Eduardo also had a half chance when he volleyed from the left. It was a good shot but unfortunately, too high. Then in injury time, the moment of truth arrived when Clichy charged through the left wing and made a delicious cross which evaded Gallas and found Walcott. He duly chipped it to Gallas who side footed it. Van Der Say palmed it away to Walcott who tried to shoot it again once or twice but it didn’t matter. Cesc ran and told him so as the goal had already been given. It had been ruled in by the linesman(definitely in from the replays) from our captain’s shot. Van Der Sar’s save had occured way inside the goal line. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

Catch the breathtaking equaliser before copyright cops remove it. (first 10 seconds are blank)

If you can’t access flash videos, have a look here for the aftermath: courtesy of Arseblogger from Arseblog.In all fairness, nobody deserved to win the game as both sides showed an unusual timidness and the lack of the usual crisp passing movement usually associated with both teams. However, whenever a goal is scored at injury time. it always elicits delight or heartache. Depending on whose side you’re on . Van Perise vs Southampton anybody?? click on the more button for vid.

Even though it finished as a draw, there can be no doubt who was the happier side at the end.

This is reflected in the post match interviews:

Wenger: “Our character was tested, we were twice down, one time just before half time, that’s usually mentally difficult, then with eight minutes to go. Twice we managed to come back.”

Ferguson: “I can’t believe it. We have thrown it away. It was a lack of concentration, particularly for their first goal. We should have cleared it towards the corner flag, but didn’t. I thought we had done it, but this is football.

Good resilience from our side too as I grudgingly admit, the captain has brought in steel to the side.

We had to fight. We said if we had to die we would die together on that field

Would have been happier with 4 points from these two games but it is better than losing. We just need to keep this tempo up and avoid what we have been doing in the past years. Losing to the “weaker” teams. Coming up, the away fixture to Slavia Prague on Wednesday.

The draw for the League Cup quarterfinals is also out. We will be scheduled to travel to Ewood Park to meet Blackburn on the 19th of December.

(more…)