You have the luxury of two match reports today as I was unaware that Blogger Geoff was back from injury and determined to make an appearance with a short and snappy article!
So here it is:
Happy Monday Grover’s! Did I tell you I met Ray Parlour? Oh, I already did…
Yesterdays game was probably one of the most important games in our latest run of matches. We needed a victory heading into the notoriously difficult winter period/Black Novemeber. It was supposed to be a banker and on recent form you can imagine why. I felt though, this could be a potential banana skin though. Bar Spurs, Sunderland hadn’t upset any of the big teams and I still harbour the memories of the problems we had against the lesser sides last year.
This would have had bore draw written all over it last year.
In the end the result was never in doubt though, was it…!?
What a ride! Diaby smashed home early on, only for it to be disallowed for a free kick. Van the man stepped up, you could feel something special was about to unfold…. BANG! He rifles it so hard into the top corner you could hardly see it. 10 goal keepers wouldn’t have got to that peach of a shot. The fact that Gordon was standing near enough under the shot said a lot about the power. He couldn’t have been better positioned.
10 minutes later big Phil somehow squeezed in an Ade cross using some interesting technique. Then Sunderland pulled a lucky one back. The second half arrived and 10 minutes in, Kenny J scored a header to equalise. Game on!
Queue bundles of missed chances, the entrance of the impressive Theo, another disallowed goal from Diaby and the eventual winner set up buy Theo and converted by RVP!
Thank the footballing gods; I don’t think I would have been to happy going into the international break on an anti climax!
Here is a player breakdown:
Big Al: Unlucky for the first goal after a good save from Jones and I think the same could be said about the second as well. Overall though, a solid performance from the new number one. He looked assured and I think the defence prefer playing with him.
Clichy: Made some good tackles, but a he was a little reckless with his passing today. He was marking Jones on the goal, can’t really fault him for being short though, can you?
Kolo: Brilliant all day, solid as a rock and unlucky with his 30 yard rocket which hit the post. One day Kolo, one day!
Senderos: Powerful and commanding today compared with normal, his passing was good and there was only one nervous moment - a dodgy headed clearance. He got on the end of a few corners, as well as getting the second goal, things are looking up for big Phil even though a few of the other sites didn’t seem to rate his play today.
Sagna: Up and down the wings all day, solid passing, solid tackling and a solid new hair cut.
Diaby: He needs to work on his left foot, but he is improving. It can’t be ideal playing out of position. Is Wenger playing him there to improve his left foot? He had two disallowed goals, which was unfortunate! At least he is hitting the target now.
Hleb: Troublesome all day, tricky with his feet and passing. The sign of a good player is how many bad tackles are made against you (See Ronaldo). For the second time in 2 weeks he was subjected to a horror tackle, this time the red was awarded.
Cesc: Bossed the game as usual.
The Flamster: A quiet and efficient performance from our new midfield general. Hard in the tackle, good in the pass! He’s still keeping Gilberto out, which says a lot about how far he has come this season.
Adebayor: Brilliant. He started many great moves and caused trouble for Sunderland’s back line all day. He set up Big Phil for the second. His control looked very good today, and the way he roasted the Sunderland back line in a Thierryesque like solo effort was a pleasure to watch. A fantastic post match interview as well, I can’t believe Match of the Day didn’t have subtitles!
RVP: Two fantastic goals. The first was a rocket of a free kick and the second was a beautiful bit of control and a great snap shot with the same foot! That’s 7 for the Season; who will score more this year, RVP or Ade?
Subs of note:
Theo: He missed an open goal, but other than that he looked much, much better! He gave the Arsenal team that extra bit of pace they needed in the second half and his control and turn to set up RVP was brilliant. He also hit the post late on with a great shot.
Arsene Wenger gave his views here and warned about complacency, Roy Keane thinks the Mancs will win the league and Wenger reassures Gilberto here. If you missed the goals, check them out on Soccer Blog here.
Yesterdays result was given more importance because Liverpool could only manage a draw with the ever impressive top4tottenham.
So we are top of the table having only dropped 2 points all season; we have a game in hand over Chelsea and the Manc’s, Le List is shrinking by the day and we are showing championship winning form. I am pleased, and I hope you are too!
Two weeks of boring football ahead, maybe the ruggers will make it go a little quicker?!