Archive for the ‘Kolo’ Category

Adebayor (48), Bendtner (75)

Berbatov (66)

Match Gunner: Manuel Almunia (The penalty save was vital for the win)

The old enemy came to town and we started without Van Persie who “picked up a knock”. Otherwise it was our season’s usual 4-4-1-1 lineup.

Arsenal Spurs 12-22-07

First half was frustrating. We were more or less played out of the game but somehow we managed more decent chances on goal then Spurs. For all their enterprise, I didn’t see any serious attempt at goal from them. The only danger was averted when Lennon’s cross was headed away in time by Sagna before it reached Keane. It was worrying that we lost possession much too easily and Spurs looked like the home side.

Let’s move on to the second half shall we?

We started with a bang. A nice backheel from Cesc found a charging Adebayor who finished it with style. Credit to Adebayor who started the move at the halfway line. We also had a good shout at a penalty when Kaboul missed the clearance from an Eboue cross and his follow through brought down Rosicky.

Adebayor opens the scoring

We grew slightly comfortable and tried to protect the lead. Spurs woke up and Keane’s shot hit the bar after a cross by Lennon. Soon after, Berbatov hit an absolute peach of a shot into the top of the net following a backheel by Keane. (It could have deflected of Kolo on the way in) In my opinion, Almunia had no chance of saving it even though it was at the near post. I’m sure Jens would disagree. 

Berbatov scores

Berbatov was at the heart of things again when some major scramble saw Kolo give away a penalty when he slid in to dispossess him but Berbatov turned just in time and Kolo caught him. Keane stepped up to take the penalty and our nerves were jangled. Luckily, Keane’s penalty attempt was a weak one to say the least and Almunia saved easily to his right. Cue relief and Spurs impetus was shot down in an instant. The game was ours to win.

In the 73rd minute, we got a corner and Bendtner was brought on for Eboue. Tall man=good idea. His first touch found the net as he lost his marker, rose regally and headed in a bullet(Majestic pic below) It was already in before Robinson could even raise his hand to block it. Cue mayhem. It’s the first Premiership goal for young Nicklas this season and what a time and opposition to score against. They were finished when a penalty appeal was turned down as Sagna brought down a Spurs player after he succesfully nutmegged the “hair extensioned one”.

What a goal!

Once again, a good result even though it wasn’t a vintage performance from the lads. Fabregas, Hleb and Flamini looked rusty after coming back from their recent injuries. Let’s hope that the fixture rush smiles kindly on their match sharpness.

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.

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

Eduardo (8, 50) Denilson (69)
Match Gunner: Eduardo Da Silva

The youngsters continue from where the senior players left off. A good win especially since our last match against them in Bramall Lane ended in a ugly 1-0 loss

Early on in the match and Dudu scored a beautiful drive from the edge of the box after a nice angled pass from Bendtner. This goal is the pick of the lot.

His second goal came a few minutes after halftime when a nice pass from Kieran Gibbs found him in the clear. Sheffield United defense was particularly shocking here. Dudu just composed himself and slid it past the keeper

In the 65th minute, Walcott got a great chance to add to his season tally when a mistake by the opposing team allowed him to round the keeper but his effort hit the post. To be fair, it was a narrow angle.

A few minutes later, Denilson was wide open and strode forward from midfield with no resistance and took his chance with a try that clipped the back of the big lump, Chris Morgan and went in.

A goal line clearance from Gilberto ensured a clean sheet for Fabianski.

This is how we lined up against Sheffield Utd

GK: Lukasz Fabianski
RB: Lassana Diarra
LB: Kieran Gibbs
CD: Justin Hoyte
CD: Alex Song
RM: Theo Walcott
LM: Abou Diaby
CM: Denilson
CM: Gilberto
F: Eduardo
F: Nicklas Bendtner

with Nacer Barazite, Gavin Hoyte, Vito Mannone, Fran Merida, Henri Lansbury as the subs (No love for Lehmann then)

With no surprises in the games last night, West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Blackburn, Man City, Everton and Spurs through too. Tough night for Chelsea though, as they struggled to a 4-3 win over Leicester. Lampard grabbing a hattrick there.

Again, fine win for the youngsters with all the starting 11 at Anfield all rested with an eye on the MU clash coming up in 3 days. The big win was deserved as we played wonderful flowing football with crisp passing and nice movement. We Arsenal fans are a spoilt lot and judging from the performance of the youngsters, we can be assured of many more years of witnessing the same under Wenger.

Toure(67), Rosicky(81)Match Gunner: Alexander  Hleb (Special mention to Theo Walcott)

As expected, Eduardo and Gallas came in to replace the injured Robin and Senderos. Eboue slotted into right midfield displacing Hleb to the left. Diaby was sacrificed to the bench. Sagna had his blonde hair extensions back. He looked really funny when he was without them the last time around against Sunderland. Kinda like a wide eyed kid.

Bolton started with a 4-5-1 formation with Kevin Davies spearheading the “attack” . Anelka had been scoring quite freely against us in the last few encounters so it was one less worry for us that he was still injured.

The first half was particularly frustrating. With the departure of Sammy Lee, whose downfall was really getting Bolton to play actual football. They were clueless under his management and with Sammy dispensed with, we finally see Bolton in their true colours. Campo was reinstated in the squad and he was one of the main antagonists together with Diouf. They scraped and fought for every ball. Committing niggly fouls that didn’t warrant a yellow card but frustrated the hell out of the Arsenal.

The midfield was jam packed and Fabregas had nowhere to go. Alex Hleb had his moments and Adebayor put in a lot of work but with nothing to show for it. He makes horrible decisions sometimes doesn’t he? Adebayor had at least one gilt edged chance when he headed straight to the keeper after good work from Eduardo. Elsewhere there was half chances everywhere with Gallas, Toure and Fabregas putting some shots in. Bolton pumped the occasional long ball to Davies and Flamini, Clichy and Gallas did well enough to cover him.

Second half started and immediately we had a chance. With the ball bouncing off McCann, it fell to the path of Eboue who always likes to take his chance in that type of position to the right of the goal. He was wide open but skewed his shot way off target. The worst miss so far.
Clichy was starting to impose himself and all good attacks seem to channel off him for a spell. Then came the chance everyone was waiting for. Off went Eboue and Eduardo and in came Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott.
The goal came via a free kick. Fabregas pushed the ball to Flamini who squared it for Toure to lash a grounder who evaded everyone and went into the bottom corner of the goal. 1-0 Arsenal and Kolo went bonkers as did everyone else.

The the game began to open up as Bolton had to finally move out of their own half to try and get a point. Theo made a jinking run past two defenders and evaded another one before crossing it to …. no one.His team mates included. He was too fast

Seems like the shoulder injury plaguing him last season is now gone and we are starting to see why Arsene recommended Sven to take him to the World Cup in Germany and rightly so as the second goal was all Walcott. Grabbing a through pass from Hleb. He still a lot to do. He held off Meite which was surprising to me as I thought he was all about the pace and found space to cross a ball to Rosicky who clipped the ball past Jaaskelainen on first touch. 2-0. He is blossoming into a first team player if you ask me. You couldn’t ask for a better goal to cap the win.

Everyone’s looking forward to the matches against Liverpool and Manchester United next. Are you?