Arsenal stun Porto / Injury worries / Great Dane delivers! Ratings + Review

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Almunia

Sagna Sol Vermaelen Clichy

Diaby Song Nasri

Rosicky Bendtner Arshavin

The pre-match commentary was spent mainly slagging Arsenal off. Almunia was too nice to be a captain, nice enough to date the daughter of Graham Souness.

Wenger was mainly concerned about counter attacking, hence the inclusion of Song. Adams interestingly said the players had asked Wenger to do a little more research on the opposition, something I have called for him to do for years. The hope was Wenger had got it right tonight. Ruud said the media criticise because they want us to win. He hopes his suggestions are taken on board.

Cheers Ruud.

Bendtner mis-timed his first chance of the match, failing to get on the end of a superb Clichy cross.

Not to be outdone, Sagna crossed excellently to Arshavin at the back post, the quick reflexes of Helton denying him.

The atmosphere was electric.

Arshavin won a header from a long ball against a defender twice his height, he cushioned it back to Nasri who set him loose, the keeper saved his shot but Bends was there to tap in the open goal!

Up the other end, Arsenal allowed a corner to bounce dangerously in the box. An early warning.

Arsenal continued to knock it around nicely.

Just as I spied Nasri collapsing in a heap, Arshavin intercepted a poor Porto pass, he beat three men on the edge of the box, broke free, cut back to Nik who held his line in a way Ade could never and buried the cross. Amazing turnaround from the big Dane.

Song made a vital interception on the edge of the box. Nasri continued to pull the strings in a very Cesc like manner.

Clichy had his customary howler when he handled a high ball keeping it in play allowing the Hulk to waltz into the box and nearly threaten us.

Bendtner forced a good helton save late in the half with a fizzing low shot. The keeper made a super save from the header Diaby powered off from the corner.

A great first half, but a lot of sloppy play mixed in. We would have to settle down in the second half if we wanted to make sure this night fizzled out without any drama. Arshavin, Clichy and Campbell particularly needed to straighten out their howler Tourette’s.

Almost the first thing that happened in the second half was an edge of the box cock up… Rosicky played a weak pass, Song missed it, the Hulk fluffed his chance (A common theme from a man whose name gets people more excited than Denilson’s stats).

Rodriguez beat Sagna to head a corner to the far post where Nasri was on hand the clear.

Arsenal were looking very dodgy, the nervousness was spreading through the ground as well.

The game needed some magic.

Nasri had the ball outwide, outside the box. He took on three defenders, cut in, turned out, broke free of his players and banged it across the far post and scored one of the best goals the Emirates has seen. That’s the Nasri we signed, that’s the Nasri we’ve been hoping to see for the last two years.

Clichy cleared a corner, Arshavin picked it up, rans 40 yards… Eboue sprinted past him, the through ball was sublime, Eboue took it round the keeper and slotted into the empty net! 19 seconds end to end… magic.

Song continued to play sloppy passes, but Arsenal calmed down and started imposing their game again. Diaby was controlling the midfield with Nasri and it was a joy to watch.

A Chorus of ‘Tottenham are watching eastenders’ rang round the ground, superb!

Just as the game was ebbing away,Β  Eboue went down in the box, Penalty! Nik stepped up, the worlds eyes on him, he banged it low and hard into the bottom corner. The clown prince turned in a Great Dane performance!

A message was sent out to Europe, Hull and the Premiership. We’re in this to win it and with a little luck, you never know!

Conclusion:

Whilst a 5-0 victory is something to cherish and savour, it would be irresponsible of me to ignore some extremely sloppy play and some poor defending. On another day, we could have been punished. If we want to win the Champions League, we have to concentrate for the full 90 minutes. Chelsea, Bayern, Madrid and Barca wont be so kind with our mistakes. Song, Clichy, Campbell and Arshavin were guilty tonight.

Now onto the good…

Arsenal turned over their first Euro deficit since the seventies, they proved they could handle the pressure and everyone delivered. We were clinical tonight, we worked hard for our win and we weren’t afraid to play. The belief the team showed was special to watch, the crowd finally sound like they are truly connecting with this team, you feel like heroes are developing in front of our eyes… I can’t wait for the next game! Being a Gooner feels pretty amazing right now!

Ratings:

Almunia: Some dodgy kicking and a few spilled shots, but overall, he did his job. 7

Sagna: Say what you like about his crossing, as a defender, he’s top notch. Tonight, he was very good. 7

Vermaelen: Superb. A rock. A legend in the making. He had a blinder tonight, shame about the yellow card.8

Campbell: A very sloppy first half from a very experienced player. He’ll sort that out though and he’ll be more critical of his game than anyone else. What can’t be denied is how he inspires the team. His encouragement of the youngsters and his team huddles are going down a dream! 6.5

Clichy: He played pretty well bar a crazy moment out wide where he let the Hulk in. 6.5

Song: I thought he had a good first half but he let himself down in the second half with some poor passing and bad decision making. He still did a top job closing down angles and breaking up play. He needed to be there tonight and the 5-0 score line proves that. Interestingly, Souness and co said Song was close to being the complete player, the only thing he lacked was the discipline to stay back (Like Gilberto did). 6.5

Nasri: His chance to shine, his chance to showcase his talent… and what a performance. I’ve been questioning him recently because he clearly has an abundance of talent that’s been going to waste… tonight he announced himself on the European scene with the performance we’ve all been waiting for. He was at the heart of everything; showed guts to play through an injury and showed incredible skill to get his goal. A world class performance. 9

Diaby: Honestly, that has to be the most professional performance I’ve seen from the young Frenchman. He passed fantastically, he was disciplined and he allowed Nasri to play the game he did. Don’t underestimate how important he was for us tonight. 7.5

Rosicky: Top game for our favourite Czech player. He plays so much better when he has a target man to play off. His tricky runs and unpredictable play cause alsorts of bother. I hope he’s not injured. 7

Arshavin: We saw the best and the worst of Arsh. His worst was the terribly shoddy passing and his extremely casual play. He needs to stop being so wasteful when he’s not attacking. His best was an inspirational performance up top. He set up the first two goals, bagged an additional assist and played a blinder for us. 8

Bendtner: I backed him 100% at the weekend and I was paid back treble! Nik scored 3 extremely important goals in a game that was worth Β£18million to the club. He had a terrible time in front of goal last weekend and tonight, he made amends. It wasn’t just the goals for me, it was having a striker who can nod on the long balls, hold up the ball and play with his back to goal. Not to mention how well he held the line for his second goal. He could be the proper centre forward we were looking for in January. He’s an intelligent footballer and he’ll be a top player for us. I hope the world noted how humble he was in the interview afterwards… he didn’t even know he was meant to keep the ball!

Thanks to Gambon for this comment:

Since returning from Birmingham, he has started 56 games for us. He has come on as a sub 57 times, so lets assume he averages 15 minutes when subbed on, this is 855 minutes.

Lets round that upp to 900 minutes, which is 10 games.

So that means 33 goals in 66 games, many of which he has played wide left & right.

1 in 2 Baby!

8

Subs:

Eboue: You know I’ve always loved Eboue so I was pleased as punch to see him come on and score a goal. On a serious note, he’s had a great season so far and it was fantastic to see him come on, roll about when we needed him to, stay on his feet when he had to and score when we demanded it! He got the penalty as well! 7

Denilson: Pretty solid cameo appearance. I want to see him do well and get the fans back on side! 6

Theo: Was trying very hard to replicate his goal from the weekend to no avail! His pace was a menace though. 6

Lets keep em’ crossed Diaby, Nasri and Rosicky are all ok for Hull this weekend!

812 Responses to “Arsenal stun Porto / Injury worries / Great Dane delivers! Ratings + Review”

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  1. David

    Ethan

    Ive been singing that song to no end…But im wearing blinkers…and its hatred.

    I just said Arshavin set up Sagna for a fucking tap-in.

    It couldve been gunnersaurus playing CF for Arsenal and he still wouldve got those goals.

  2. David

    And i dont get what the slatting is for the “sloppy” passes?

    Heh…everyone losses the ball…everyone. Nasri, Diaby, Arshavin and especially Bendtner…but fuck Arshavin doesnt do much does he?

  3. treze13

    i’d love to mate, REALLY WOULD! i’ll head to all the champo league matches too if someone wants to donate a season ticket, next game im seeing is arsenal fulham unless i can get a ticket to anything before that, i’ll check le-exchange regularly πŸ™‚

    SUUUPER, SUPER NIK, SUUUPER, SUPER NIK SUUUUUUUUPER SUPER NIK SUPER NICKLAS BENDTNER (and arshavin for settin him up for everything)

  4. Stu

    I dont get it. Bendtner was missing the tap ins on saturday and he was shit. But he scored them last night and he is still shit? What does he have to do to not be shit? He just got a fucking hattrick ffs…even VP doesnt have one of those.

  5. David

    Its like just because Denilson didnt lose the ball so the other team could score doesnt mean he still didnt play like he was shite.

    I have a new idea…How bout you have some balls…take the initiative and score some goals yourself!

  6. choy

    He’s ok stu, he’s been in terrific form lately, well apart from burnley, which we won anyway.

    Might even end up being arsenal’s top scorer this season!

  7. David

    Well you arent going to get em sitting around blogging all day thats for sure…you need to be out there were you can be seen/noticed.

  8. ethangunner

    david

    he definitely finished his chances so he does deserves some credit there …

    look at the other night he couldn’t hit the side of a world trade center with a Boeing 747 .. πŸ™‚ (better DDM ?)

    his finishing was the high point ..
    his positional sense improved ..

    and best of all he took just about all the chances he was given ! THE BIGGEST CHANGE OF ALL .

    AA23 definitely was the mastermind ..
    nasri was simply brilliant too !

    but unlike ade , nik B fits in well with the squad , and doesnt have the ego anymore ..

    david i didnt think id see Nik B look this good this season either ..

    but im glad someone has stepped up to bang them in ..

  9. treze13

    lol its 11pm and i have college tomorrow im hardly ‘blogging all day’ lol havent been a regular on here since summer hols tbh… uni is gonna be F’ing sexy time tho πŸ˜€

  10. David

    All im saying is its 1 game…and im not getting carried away. Those were tap-ins.

    And just like Ade…Nikki B was offsides for the second goal till Arshavin played him on.

    Just like Ade he’s found out wide doing only God knows what…I will gladly eat my words if there is consistency but the fact that Burnley happened again some 40 something first team starts later says….???

  11. treze13

    i shall try my best ethan πŸ˜€ if anyone wanted to donate a ticket for the sake of a 3+ goal margin let me know πŸ™‚

  12. ethangunner

    david
    if theres one thing i can tell you about me , im not frivolous with my praise without it being warranted.

    last night i think we saw a marked improvement ,
    it could be the fact that porto wasnt up for it .. SURE maybe .. but 5 nil ..

    that aint a fluke .. not that score line ..

    they are the best side weve beaten for a while.
    and that well !

    i think the players last night even eboue were all brilliant ..

  13. David

    Leonardo is in trouble…not sure why he played Ambrossini as a CB when he’s never played that before.

    yea choy

    i agree he had an off day…which is why he scored a hatrick! πŸ˜€

  14. treze13

    when nikki looked back after first goal was it because of the foul or because no one was celebrating with him, im still unsure lol

  15. Jaguar

    It was certainly not for being offside,Ethan.He came in from behind the line of the ball,may be because of the call for a foul.

  16. Doo Woop

    _http://www.maisfutebol.iol.pt/2009-videos/fc-porto-porto-maisfutebol-arsenal-walcott-arshavin/1145530-4775.html

    hah, too funny the arshavin-theo play in the corner

  17. gnarleygeorge9

    So is Eastenders popular viewing for spud fans? I actually heard that if you talk to a spud in April about football, he will tell you its cricket season πŸ˜†

  18. gnarleygeorge9

    sixx

    So jagsy thinks Wenger is better than an imported bottle of finest French wine. He must think Le Prof is good then πŸ˜›

  19. Jaguar

    I would never say that about the hypocrite Sixx pac. fuck’s sake.Even I have impersonators now.When did you see that mate?

  20. ethangunner

    GG

    that you love Wenger and that he is the best French import ever
    ——————-
    not true, Cointreau is the best French Import ever πŸ™‚

  21. ethangunner

    Cointreau with a high ball filled with ice . hmmmmmmmmmm,

    leave for 15 minutes , rotate and sip !

    it is very close to sex !!!.. without the nasty rubber taste πŸ™‚

  22. ethangunner

    luke

    it takes any team time too gel ,even talented players … but the learning curve can be totally avoided by buying class players to begin with ..

    RM or any team wont fire well on there 1st season too many leaving , changing of faces , stress in the dressing room …new ego’s …

    anyone whos been taken over by a merger company
    can tell you it affects performance in the short term .. everyone are afraid they are next to be sold , or worrying they are not preforming .. or not part of the current 11 …

    RM will bounce back faster than a team devoid of talent would … i can tell you that ..

    even the spuds seem more consistent now the team has settled , so spending money has helped every team that has spent it …

    tell the chev’s – man shitty or even the spuds money spending dont help πŸ™‚

    its just a question of time as to when they come together as a cohesive team ..
    but those odds are heavily reduced when you have quality as a base ..

  23. zeus

    @ ethan,
    Its not so simple with Madrid. Not with the musical chairs that they play with their managers. At season’s end you can bet your bottom that Pelegrini wil be sacked.

    And so the cycle begins again, having to get the players to learn the new managers tactics and learn how he wants them to play, until they go out in the R.O 16 again and the cycle continues.

  24. luke

    Ethan, I think you are making it more complicated than it is. Madrid’s situation is very simple: They spent 250 million on new players to win the ECL at home. They just lost to Lyon…ie, buying players did not work.

  25. luke

    RM will bounce back faster than a team devoid of talent would … i can tell you that ..

    ———————

    What does that have to do with anything. Obviously they will. A team devoid of talent wouldn’t be in the champions league anyway. Im not sure I understand your point.

  26. ethangunner

    luke

    losing 1 game to lyon doesnt mean buying players
    doesnt work either ..

    i think your missing the point also ..

    are you suggesting just because RM BUY’s players instead of being a tight ass like wenger and waiting 5 years for fruit is the better idea ?

  27. ethangunner

    zeus Says:
    March 11, 2010 at 03:37

    @ ethan,
    Its not so simple with Madrid. Not with the musical chairs that they play with their managers. At season’s end you can bet your bottom that Pelegrini wil be sacked.
    ———————————-
    yes the spuds were the same .. titting about with managers …
    but its not a case of the team then really, its more a case of management actually making matters worse …

  28. bnsb

    RM are top of the league on goal difference, made up bit of deficit to reach there. If they beat barca to win the league, good for them. Else?

  29. ethangunner

    weve seen that sort of thing before with the chev’s shuffle managers for 2 years ..

    pool considered it several times πŸ™‚

    the spuds – man shitty ….

    all these big spending teams demand results ..
    im a bit jealous really of their commitment for excellence .. i wished we had displayed that sort of fire from our management ..

  30. bnsb

    are you suggesting just because RM BUY’s players instead of being a tight ass like wenger and waiting 5 years for fruit is the better idea ?

    Money does not guarantee you CL quarter final berth. RM has not reached quarters last 5 years.

  31. ethangunner

    zeus

    why would you sack the RM manager when
    when your sitting 1st on the la liga table ?

    what more can you ask from the man ?

  32. ethangunner

    Standings P W D L F A Pts
    1 Real Madrid 25 20 2 3 67 20 62
    2 Barcelona 25 19 5 1 61 16 62
    3 Valencia 25 13 8 4 42 26 47
    ————————-
    4 Sevilla 25 13 4 8 38 28 43
    ————————-
    5 Real Mallorca 25 13 4 8 41 28 43
    6 Deportivo Coruna 25 12 5 8 29 27 41
    ————————-
    7 Athletic Bilbao 25 12 4 9 34 30 40
    ————————-
    8 Villarreal 25 9 6 10 36 37 33
    9 Getafe 25 10 3 12 31 32 33
    10 Atletico Madrid 25 8 7 10 38 38 31
    11 Osasuna 25 8 7 10 24 26 31
    12 Sporting Gijon 25 8 7 10 28 32 31

  33. ethangunner

    bnsb

    its a cup not science .

    you could get unlucky over 2 legs ..
    thats cup football ..

    we haven’t fared much better before us POTS ,start calling the kettle’s black ..

    only 1 team in the world can win this accolade every year .
    if you can make it to the final 16 after that its a matter of luck and form (injury free)…

    ok they haven’t won for 5 years so what ..?
    we’ve never won …
    —————————————–
    its like the elephant man calling john terry an ugly cunt πŸ™‚

    as they say its the luck of the draw …..

  34. ethangunner

    plus Lyon have won their respective League probably 8 times in the last decade .. 8 out of 10 aint bad …

    they certainly arent shite !

    cris – kallstrom .. 2 Argentinians and 3 or 4 Brazilian players ..

    they ain’t burnley FFS !

  35. Pat

    Brilliant analysis from the only person I like on American channels. He actually predicted that Arsenal would win the league this season. Lets hope it comes true!!

  36. ethangunner

    pat
    the point im making is stoke can beat us on the night so , Lyon Who has the winning mentality and a reasonable team could upset anyone on the night . just like stoke did to us .. and im not even saying they are even reasonable !..

    you cant judge a team on the C.L alone ..
    plus its tight in la Liga , you cant base everything around C.L success only ..
    RM’s focus might be the league ..
    my focus certainly would be ..

    but all the teams in the C.L are in differing stages of there own local comps too !
    not sure how that affects them but im sure it could affect a number of things . club resources being the main one .

  37. ethangunner

    also by barca still being in the c.l and playing those extra games that might give RM the momentum they need to produce a gap .

    i was thinking the same for wenger , we could almost be box seat for the EPL if we didnt worry about C-L stress !!

  38. ethangunner

    its a distraction for us to not winning the League … im still mixed about our C.L inclusion…

    also a bit distressed we saved our best performance for it …

    so wenger still is more geared up to win the unattainable then deal with reality ….

  39. luke

    Ethan, I was never talking about Wenger, more so just making fun of Madrid. Now that you mention it though:

    “are you suggesting just because RM BUY’s players instead of being a tight ass like wenger and waiting 5 years for fruit is the better idea ?”

    Yes. Madrid have now gone out at the round of 16 for 6 years in a row while weve been to a final, semis, and are currently still in a tournament that they are not. Im not defending Wenger, but we have done better than madrid in the champions league, without spending. Thats fact.

  40. iceman

    Nobody is asking Wenger to throw money at players like RM but to but what is NECESSARY!

    There’s a difference.

  41. gnarleygeorge9

    Pat

    I predicted The Arsenal would win the PL in the preseason, & that I would be @ Islington Town Hall for the parade. Unfortunately I doubt whether I’ll get to the Town Hall, I won’t know anyone.

  42. gnarleygeorge9

    gonner-pak

    Its the quint essential pommy soap filmed in South London, but based on Geoffs old stomp’in ground.

  43. ethangunner

    gooner-pak Says:
    March 11, 2010 at 08:42

    can some one tell me a bit of history of eastenders what is it
    ———————————–
    its like coronation street for baby boomers πŸ™‚

  44. charybdis1966

    Yeah it was Gnarley, you know that TA6’s nick name amongst the squad was β€œRodders” don’t you? There is some resemblance there.

  45. gazzap

    I just read this elsewhere. sometimes stats are great…
    “According to Bettorlogic Player Pro, over the last 50 games the Gunners have a win percentage of 52 per cent without Nicklas Bendtner.

    With him in the side, the win-rate rockets up to a whopping 76 per cent.

    To put that into perspective, over that same period just 66 per cent of the games Arshavin has played have been victories, 64 per cent for Fabregas and a miserable 52 per cent for Van Persie”

  46. charybdis1966

    Yes Boom Boom, I rather take on Lyon than RM. And who can’t help but laugh at the ex mank Greasinao crying at the final whistle, lovely stuff!

  47. Arsenal Tom

    no new post? standards are slipping!!

    great to see Real go out last night, higuain should watch eboue on how to go round a keeper and knock it into an empty net!!

    just needs the chavs out now

  48. Franchise

    yeah wives and mothers are complaining that their husbands and sons spend too much time on le-grove

    companies are complaining that the productivity and efficiency of their staff has dropped dramatically since le-grove started

    its a shame really πŸ™„

  49. charybdis1966

    LOL Gnarley – I see where you’re coming from. I think of Perry Groves as a bit like Mickey Pearce.

  50. iceman

    Lol.

    So what is Sabeel on about?

    Man this is weird.

    Almost as weird as Meelan being torn a new one to that extent.

  51. gnarleygeorge9

    Its funny you should say that Fran, I got it from Mrs GG jsyt last night that I hardly said boo to her. I betta not make it back to back, I’m off πŸ™

  52. t-buzz

    Morning all.
    Are the Writers guild on strike again…? Where the new post dem?
    Geoff …. Pedro…. where are you..?

    I’m starting to rock in a corner now….. πŸ™

    Is there a Peroni convension going on somewhere in London…?

  53. John A

    Maybe they were out of contract soon and as Arsene only offered them a 1 year deal, they decided to move to another more lucrative blog. πŸ˜‰

  54. Arsenal Tom

    milan were a joke last night they shouldn’t be allowed to enter the competition if they carry on like that. we thought ade or even arshavin was lazy compared to huntelaar boriello or even seedorf they make them 2 look like flamini & rooney!!

  55. chippy

    Hahahaha i love the fact people are still probably F5ing every couple of minutes till a new post arrives theyve been doing it since 8.45 πŸ™‚

  56. Bozin

    I hope our beloved hosts are okay!

    Its my first time not to witness a morning post.

    Maybe they are defending the Arsenal pride on some manc/spud blog. Let’s regroup and start the search!

  57. Clacko the gooner

    I am so happy that we didn’t go for Huntelaar now. He has the control of a wasp on speed and looked about as lazy as a sloth on valium.

    Chelsea to go out next week should make the comp a bit more exciting. Also Liverpool to lose 2-0 tonight to lille

  58. Arsenal Tom

    sabeel… yeah plenty of glimpses! the way the started the second half, was vintage arsenal! lol

    they were worse than porto

  59. chippy

    Arsenal Tom,
    Agree they are but a name nowadays as most Italian sides are the only one with vigour and young players is Fiorentina,

    And to think people really wanted us to sign Huntelaar hes the most overated foward to come out of Holland since Kuyt or that donkey Boro signed πŸ™‚ Ive got more pace than him and im a one legged dwarf,

  60. charybdis1966

    A Tom – did you notice those knobs at ITV tried to make last night all about Beckham. 3 times in their interview with ole 65% proof nose they tried to get him to comment on Beckham. But he was having none of it – he obviously has no truck with him, yet Beckham was saying the old alcky was like a father to him. By that reckoning Funguscum thinks of him as some bastard child of his.
    It was sickening to see how much air time was given to Beckham – Geoff would have loved that, no doubt.