It is very rare that two top teams go out on the pitch with a positive attitude and you don’t get to see any clear chances over 90 minutes. This is not to criticize either team at all. In fact, if anything, both teams were excellent.
Celtic gave their all. Sadly for them, they didn’t have the quality in the final third to break a resolute Arsenal defence. Song, Gallas and Vermaelen were excellent. The Hoops got into promising positions but were always snuffed out. Even Bendtner and Fabregas put in decent defensive performances. Mowbray might have missed a trick in starting with Samaras over Fortune.
The gunners were not as clinical as on Saturday. The passing in the final third was a bit casual. It is also likely that the players are not fully used to the new formation. Arshavin, especially, has been strangely missing for large parts in both the games. But the game was always in control and I got a feeling that the level would have been raised if Celtic had scored.
The fact that both teams defended well without parking the bus in their own penalty area highlights the beauty of defending, not with numbers, but with continuous pressing and positional sense. There were hardly any defence splitting passes or great goals but the game was enjoyable for the technical battle in the middle of the park.
If this were last season, both the goals might have been in the other net. Such was our luck a few months ago. The way the team is playing and with the rub of the green going our way, I am wondering whether we can win all our fixtures in August. Won’t that be a statement!
The spine is a tingling…