So, yesterday’s game saw all results going Arsenal’s way. The day’s earlier games saw Fulham defeat United 2-0 with United having two men, deservedly, sent off. Scholes, went for a deliberate handball on the line and in the 90th minute Rooney was sent off for a second yellow which he got as much for stupidity as anything else. The Spuds also did us a favour by defeating the Chavs 1-0. Everton, potential rivals for fourth place, were dispatched 2-1 by Portsmouth.
That meant that it was more vital than ever that Arsenal get all three points in the day’s late kick-off away to Newcastle. Credit should be given to Newcastle as they started quite brightly and created some decent chances in the first half with Martins and Lovenkrands lively for the home side. Steven Taylor was in inspired form at the back making some crucial blocks for the home side although he should have seen red for a blatant, and deliberate, forearm smash into the face of Arshavin. To make it worse, the commentator on TV said that it looked worse ‘cos Arshavin is small and that if it was a taller player he wouldn’t have been hit in the face. Yeah, right. Fuck off, cunt.
Almunia made a bit of a hash at trying to come and claim a ball into the box and gave away a soft enough penalty, which he then redeemed himself for by diving to his left to save the resulting Martins taken spot-kick. It must be said that it was a poor penalty, more like a back-pass than one struck with any real vigour.
Arsenal did up their game and created some chances and after Cichy was what can only be described as assaulted twice in quick succession by Ryan Taylor. Arshavin took the resulting free-kick and Bendtner rose to guide the ball into the net for a very well taken goal. Let’s hope he can get a few more goals over the remainder of the season.
Almost immediately Newcastle hit back due to some truly shambolic defending by Gallas when he really should have been putting his foot through the ball and hoofing it clear, he fluffed at it and allowed Martins to get his foot on it with some quick thinking and stick it in the back of the net for 1-1 within a minute of Arsenal having taken the lead. Frustratin and infuriating stuff, especially when you have sat up well past 3am to watch the game live.
Arsenal though were finding their groove and a neat one-two between Diaby and Van Persie saw Diaby steaming through to finish with aplomb. Not quite sure what an aplomb is, but Diaby did it. To make the goal even sweeter, GBH Taylor had been off the field receiving treatment when Diaby steamed through to score from the space that Taylor would otherwise have been occupying. A sweet, sweet moment which prompted me to shout, a la Roy Keane, “Take that you cunt!” at the TV. Hehe.
The three points were basically in the bag at that stage but things were cemented when Van Persie played in Nasri to make it 3-1. Diaby was somewhat unlucky not to get a second with a sweet shot that struck the post. But, all in all, it was a more than fair result though things may have been very different had Martins struck his first-half penalty with more conviction.
But, a result is a result and it gives us a glimmer of hope of catching Chelsea for third spot. We can still dream that maybe, just maybe, we can still have a go at a late title charge but I think we all know that the title is a bit beyond us this season. Too many points dropped against teams that we really should have done much better against. Let’s hope that the players learn from this season that you can’t take the games against so-called weaker opposition as forgone conclusions and that it actually takes concentration and graft to get a result against every team in the league, not just the top six sides.
As I sit here writing this, it has just gone half-time in the Liverpool v Villa game with the ‘pool holding a healthy 3-0 lead. With Villa in such a poor run of form and their next game being against United and ours against Man City it really is a great opportunity to make the gap between fourth and fifth a healthy six points. It’s just a shame that those games won’t be played until after the international break.
On the plus side, the international break allows time for us to get Cesc and Adebayor back fit, along with Eduardo and possibly Walcott for the City game. If we can get those four back, fit and in form then it really could be an interesting and exciting end of season for The Arsenal.
Right, that’ll do for today. It’s just gone 2am and I am off to bed.
PS: Great to see that Wigan beat Hull today to heap more pressure on their piece of shit manager. A fantastic weekend all-round, I think you’ll agree!