Archive for the ‘League Cup’ Category

Jenas (37)
Walcott (78)

Match Gunner: Sagna (even if he only came on at halftime. He was as solid as ever)

We came in with major changes as expected in the League Cup. Only four changes from the previous FA Cup game against Burnley with Van Perise, Walcott, Hoyte and Djourou coming in. It was quite a surprise that Robin started instead of Eduardo. What with him just back from injury and Eduardo’s goalscoring form.

Goal: Fabianski

Defense: Hoyte, Traore, Djourou, Senderos

Midfield: Diaby, Denilson, Gilberto, Walcott

Forward: Van Persie, Bendtner

We started the game well enough. Walcott had a decent run before being crowded out by the committed Spurs defense. Ramos and King’s return has bolstered this side of tehir squad. Even had a decent shot on goal via Bendtner’s header but it fell too close to the Spurs keeper. From then on, it was practically all Spurs. They had one or two decent chances before their goal. Malbranque miscued with the net wide open and was the culprit again wide a header wide.

Their goal was scored after a great Berbatov pass. Slight suspicions of offside but the recipient of the pass; Keane rolled the ball to Jenas who just guided it into the net. Things were not looking good for us. As the half went on, we were pressed more and more by Spurs. We were clearly rattled with no answer.

Halftime and Robin as well as Djourou were replaced by Eduardo and Sagna. Hoyte slotted into the centreback position. He did an excellent job there. Sagna was also a welcome change as his clearances at least amounted to something. His forward runs are wonderful as well. We began to gel a bit in the second half but Spurs were still running the show. Fabianski failed to hang on to a shot and was assisted on the line by Denilson. Keane miscontrolled a takedown as he was clear on goal and Fabianski recovered.

We began to get some chances. Diaby made amends for his poor first half with a much better showing and created a chance which was blocked. Then Traore inexplicably wasted a good freekick with a shot that went to the farthest corners of the Emirates. Our 20 derbies with Spurs without a loss seemed as good as gone. Up popped up Eduardo with a through pass which nearly found Walcott. Lee Young Pyo timed the tackle to a tee just as Walcott was shooting but the ball rebounded off Walcott’s chest into the goal. What a lucky goal and I’m as pleased as can be.

Walcott was brought out later on. It looked like he twisted his ankle trying to chase down O’Hara on the defense. Hope it’s not too serious. Late on and Defoe missed a great chance after being set up by Lennon. Haha. Our North London derby record is now 21 games and counting. Congratulations to the lads who never stopped working hard even as the result seemed to have eluded us. Second leg will be held in White Hart Lane on the 22nd(23rd morning for Asians) of January.

* It seems like we lost more than we bargained for with Senderos, Djourou and Van Persie all casualties of this tie.

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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.

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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.