‘Oh, it was just the Carling Cup’. – Many would argue. If the same team had lost to their fiercest rivals, the same people would have pointed fingers at Arsene Wenger for his ‘misplaced policies’. Arsene was a little cautious and he stated the reason for the same –
“We got a few reproaches that we didn’t take the competition seriously. Also it was a derby. And to go out straight away would not be good for us. We have momentum and we didn’t want to disrupt it.”
Arsenal, picked up their biggest win in 32 years at The White Hart Lane against their illustrious neighbors, and the win gave them a huge boost as far as ‘keeping the momentum at this point of the season’ is concerned. Arsenal ‘owned’ the first half, with the quality of the team clearly better than a second-string Spurs line-up. An array of fantastic passes later, Jack’s drive-in from the left gave Henri Lansbury a sliding-Freddiesque-tap-in and his first Arsenal goal. The second half was closely contested with ‘experience’ added to the ‘scheme of things’ for Spurs. Robbie Keane and Fabianski’s paper wrists equalized for the Lilywhites, though the goal looked like a clear offside from replays.
The match went into Extra-time and Arsenal dominated those 30 minutes like they did in the first half. Two Penalties conversion by Samir Nasri and a goal from Arshavin later, Arsenal had wrapped up a victory and a possible revenge with a delightful 4-1 scoreline.
Jack of all trades
“Jack Wilshere was the pick of the bunch, always on the ball, always looking to create something and their only answer was to kick him again, and again, and again. Each time his reaction was to simply get up, get back on the ball and keep playing. He provided the final ball for the opening goal but the build-up was fantastic.”
In the absence of Cesc, the 18-year old Englishman ran the show for Arsenal in the middle of the park. He was immense, dictating the play exactly like his club captain does. The only way Spurs’ player stopped him, was by fouling him. With a little bit of maturity and lot of big-match experience, the lad has a big part to play in Arsenal’s future plans.
When Arsene Wenger bought Koscielny this summer, almost the entire Arsenal fraternity was flabbergasted with the decision. A man who had just one year experience in the first tier of French football was to replace the massively experienced William Gallas. Not jumping the gun too soon, but Koscielny has been fantastic for Arsenal so far. He was incredible with his aerial as well as ground tackles last night. The one tackle on the dangerously placed Aaron Lennon, was easily the ‘moment of the match’ for Arsenal.
Samir…from the penalty spot
Thomas Rosicky had mentioned earlier in the week that Samir Nasri had responded in the negative when asked to take a penalty against Sunderland due to a certain superstition. Rosicky had taken up the responsibility, failing to convert from the spot and losing 2 points to Sunderland.
“He had a superstition to think that when the penalty is made on you, not to take it,”
– stated Arsene Wenger
This time, Samir Nasri took both the penalties with composure intact, one on either sides of the net and took Arsenal to the next round of the competition. The Frenchman took over the captain’s arm-band when Rosicky left the field on the hour-mark. He was elegant with his touches, like always, and protected the ball like he would shield his own son from enemies. Jack, Samir and Rosicky formed a formidable trio in the absence of Cesc, and they would want to continue with that till the captain is back.
Gibbs…breathing down Gael’s neck….
Kieran Gibbs put up another sterling performance for Arsenal – he was focused and compact. He didn’t let Aaron Lennon, one of the most lethal wingers in the league, to have an iota of space to launch crosses into the box. Gibbs, at the moment, is breathing down the neck of the only member of ‘The Invincibles’ in the Arsenal team. He delivers inch-perfect crosses, he doesn’t make mistakes, he is young and fresh, and he doesn’t look nervous at all. Ironically, Clichy can actually breathe a sigh of relief with the young Englishman hobbling off the pitch with an injury concern.
Flapianski at it again?…
Keane’s shot could have been blocked if Fabianski had wrists that were strong enough for the cause. Szczesny has a very valid reason to complain about first-team opportunities. Who can be worse than Flapianski, anyways?