Monday, January 10, 2011

Emirates Enlightened!

Apologies for reviewing the game so late, nearly 48 hours after it ended. I wasn't really very sober on Saturday night and my internet server was down yesterday.

The game itself was very good. Looks like Simon Grayson has been reading my blog(Ha!), as he went for a 4-5-1 with Robert Snodgrass starting in a central attacking position, Leigh Bromby was preferred over Neil Collins for a substitute appearance and Davide Somma got his chance to come on for Luciano Becchio ahead of Ross McCormack and Billy Paynter. Everything just as I had hoped in my previous entry.

The game started off relatively slowly, Arsenal were unlucky to have not scored in the first half. Kasper Schmeichel did brilliantly to not go down easily and instead, stand up to Andrei Arshavin in a one-on-one situation. Most goalkeepers these days have a tendency to go down easily at such times but Schmeichel did very well. Jonny Howson did brilliantly to clear the ball off the line twice from the same corner and then Luciano Becchio had to clear off the line again immediately after Howson's heroics at the back.

Going in the break, I fell very proud of our defence, which had just kept Arsenal at bay for an entire half. Something I would have never imagined after the all the defensive problems we faced against Leicester City, Portsmouth and Cardiff City. But little did I know it was going to get even better after the break.

Max Gradel did very well to show the world Denilson's defensive liabilities and then Snodgrass slotted home the penalty(not the best you'll ever see bot good enough) to send 8,500 fans, most of who had made the trip south from Yorkshire, at the Emirates stadium to another planet.

Robert Snodgrass(R) scoring from the spot.
Arsene Wenger had no option but to throw on the big guns aka their WC winning captain Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott. Those two certainly made a big impact on the game. Walcott for his all his excellent runs in the game including the one which won them the penalty remains a disgrace for his diving antics. Some people are forgiving him for being honest post-match. But I'm quite sure if Arsenal were indeed awarded the penalty for that incident, he wouldn't have said a thing at that moment.

So close, yet so far is the feeling that went through everyone associated wit Leeds United at the club, but after reflecting on the game - I'm quite certain you won't find any fans who weren't satisfied with the result. Looking forward to game at the Elland Road, the atmosphere will be electric and Arsenal fans can learn a thing or two from the Elland Road faithful on how to support a team.

But before all that, three points against Scunny on Saturday is a must as promotion still remains our main focus.

Man of the Match : Alex Bruce. He was outstanding throughout the game. I don't think Marouane Chamakh will be forgetting who Bruce is for sometime now. Kasper deserves a mention for being as good through out the game, never felt this secure with Casper Ankergern or Shane Higgs. The save at the end from Denilson would have had even Gianlugi Buffon stand up and applaud.

Top Quote : "Schmeichel and Bruce..Maybe these two names want to make my life difficult forever." - Arsene Wenger.

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