In the preview I had a simple question. Will the Arsenal players raise their game? Important football matches are often decided by individual moments. That is exactly what we got.
How often have we seen United play poorly and sneak a 1-0 with a quality moment from their big players? How often have we seen Arsenal dominate the game for the best part of ninety minutes and drop points to a moment of madness? It is games like this one that tell you how far the team has come. We will always dominate majority of the games that we play. But when the opposition asks some questions like the tots did in the first 40 minutes, the stars have to shine.
It was a little disappointing to hear pundits talk about mistakes by the Spuds defence for the twin goals. The Flying Dutchman showed great control with his chocolate leg at an awkward height and there was little Gomes could have done about it. He has a thing going with Sagna there and it just might be something they have worked on in training.
The second goal is easily the goal of the season so far. It will take an extra special effort to dislodge it from that spot. We normally don’t associate a dribbling run with Fabregas. It just highlights the wonders of footballing intelligence. Every single touch in that run was perfect. Some might think I am getting carried away, but I am sure El Capitan is the best player in the league by a mile and right up there with the likes of Messi on the world stage. The change in position has made a staggering difference and I can bet my life on him getting better as the season progresses.
The ref didn’t have a great game but he did a good job allowing play to continue for our third goal. With someone like Gomes in goal, a mistake was bound to happen at some point. It’s good to see Van Persie collecting some center forwardish goals. He was a bit edgy to start with, but played a great role when he dropped deep and let Eduardo play up front.
Alex Song is now up there with all the big players we have. Duracell, Energizer, etc. can change all their advertisements and just show a picture of Song instead. If anyone still questions the quality of the Cameroonian, that person is just saying, “I am an idiot, please ignore me.”
We all knew the second ball was going to be important today and Song did an excellent job of tracking the runners. He also had a commanding presence in the center and put in some important tackles. The 22-year-old hard man formed a great link between the defenders and the attacking players. What more can you ask for from a player in his position!?
Even Almunia had a decent game and collected most of the good balls played into the area. The back four dealt with Crouch and Co effectively. These are the kind of games that tell you why Harry Redknapp can never be a great manager. He might be a great man manager and motivator. He might put his team out for a physical battle. But the Spuds manager has no clue about the beauty of the game. The visitors didn’t have a plan B and hardly drew a decent save from our No 1. I just loved the look on his face, especially after all the talk about how weak our defence is. Arsene must have enjoyed stuffing a clean sheet up his arse!
You could see how badly Wenger wanted it. It’s not everyday that you see a manager hurl his coat when his team are leading by three goals! I think he was agitated because there was a little bit of panic in our game. We are at our worst when we stop passing the ball and lose control of the tempo of the game. That little outburst brought the players back to their senses and the door was firmly shut.
I hate to talk about anything negative on such a day, but someone has to hang Diaby upside down for a few minutes every day. His brain cells are dying and there is an urgent need for some blood flow in his head. Even by his standards the lanky Frenchman had a horrible day. The end result was achieved in spite of Diaby. Arsene has to give someone like Ramsey a chance.
We have seen two different rivals dispatched with different kinds of performances as this young squad grows in confidence. Now can we do something about our away form please!