Arsenal failing to take their chances and losing a lead late in the game? That feels a little more Arsenal. That feels like a weird kind of progress.
Last night’s game against Brendan Rodgers excellent Leicester team marked a step forward in attacking football under Arteta. We dominated the first half, utterly. We were given far more space than we were against Wolves and we fully exploited it bar the finish. This wasn’t purposeless possession.
Auba opened the scoring after Saka killed a career with a one-two shuffle and a pinpoint cross.
Leicester had a goal disallowed after Kola was down in an attacking scrum with Iheanacho. A good call in my opinion.
Our second half wasn’t that pretty, Leicester came to play and we didn’t react particularly well.
The msot contentious issue was our sending off. Eddie was subbed on and made a very clumsy challenge and to my mind, was rightly sent home for an early shower. What didn’t quite compute was Jamie Vardy kicked Mustafi in the head in what looked like a professional ‘accident’, and he didn’t even land a card. One was sly, one was dim.
Our confidence and game collapsed around that decision, then Jamie V broke our line and sneaked a goal at the back post. It looked offside on the VAR, it took the customary 8 minutes to decide, and it stood.
We was robbed.
We fluffed our lines in the first half, witnessed a worldy from Kaspar, and conceded late on.
The point was a disappointment. I’ll take it regardless. After the Wolves game, the ghouls were writing us off against a ‘proper’ team, and really, we should have taken the game. That first half, under normal circumstances, would have seen us 3 goals up.
I’d bitch about the reffing, but you have to cost it in. Leicester made 14 fouls and didn’t get a booking, we had a booking and sending off on 10.
The night wasn’t to be.
Champions League football is no longer a prize.
Though a scalp in the NLD certainly is.
You can say whatever you want about the red card (Arteta’s 4th), you can pretend Matteo was making a difference, you can bitch that taking Auba off was a bad move… the reality is we are now competing with good teams.
The football was almost sexy in the first half. The defending for the most part was solid. We do not look like uncoachables these days.
There is still a lot of work to do, but coming away from a game against a top 3 game feeling robbed is part of the journey.
I don’t want to feel like that on Sunday. Mikel’s first NLD in the dugout will hopefully be special. Let’s see what we have there.
I will take a better kind of disappointment.
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