A festive performance from the lads yesterday as they stuck 6 past a tricky Blackburn side. After the odious David Bentley had won a penalty to put the visitors one up in the first couple of minutes we hit back with goals from Gilberto, who really is having a storming season, Alexander Hleb and an Adebayor penalty.
3-1 at half time and in the second half we tore them to pieces at will. Cesc had a couple of chances to score, Rosicky had an effort headed onto the bar and it was just typical that it was Rovers who scored to make it 3-2 and a bit nervy for 5 or 10 minutes. Jens Lehmann saved well to stop them getting it back to 3-3 then Robin van Persie finally got on the scoresheet to make it 4-2. Moments later he got his second after great football and the icing on the cake was Cesc nutmegging Robbie Savage, making him look like the chump he is, getting into the box and after his shot was saved by Friedel Mathieu Flamini lashed it home to make it 6-2. The boys celebrating and laughing at what Cesc did to Savage was just deadly to watch.
Although the goals came late and Rovers might complain the scoreline didn’t reflect the game when you look back on the number of chances we had I don’t see how they can argue too much. It was one of those performances that makes it easy to understand why Arsene Wenger has so much faith in this squad. Some of the football was just outstanding to watch and really the only thing they lack is consistency, something the boss is aware of.
Although we were a little shaky at the back at times the midfield four were excellent. The returning Rosicky will be a massively important player for us if he stays fit. His enthusiasm and energy seems to be infectious. Gilberto got his 7th goal of the season with a fine header, Hleb got on the scoresheet, Cesc was everywhere and probably should have had a couple of goals himself. Up front Adebayor was brilliant again. He never stops and he’s now adding some classy touches to his game. The little pass to Cesc to set up van Persie’s second was fantastic. And van Persie himself got a couple. How typical is it of him that minutes after skying a relatively simple chance over the bar he cut in from the right hand side, sold the defender a dummy, turning him inside out and curling the goal he really needed into the far corner?
Afterwards Arsene Wenger said:
You see that there’s a great spirit in the team, they enjoy to play. Not only do they enjoy to play together, they enjoy to play at a high tempo. That’s something amazing and very interesting to watch.
I watched the game on a stream and later the highlights on RTE where both Eamonn Dunphy and Johnny Giles couldn’t praise the type of football we play enough. They said that Cesc nutmegging Savage was like a metaphor for the game – Beauty and Beast stuff. heh. If you haven’t seen the goals yet here you go.
As I said above though it’s days like yesterday that make you understand the boss’s belief in the team and I suppose it’s what makes days when we don’t perform so frustrating. Perhaps though we need to just be a bit more patient with this team. The lack of consistency is probably down to youth but they’re learning, getting more experienced and if the core of this squad stays together then there’s no question they could go onto to be a great side.
Anyway, it’s a couple of days rest before Watford on St Stephen’s Day but the Christmas schedule has gotten off to a good start.
In a quick round-up of the other stories around Theo Walcott talks to the Sunday People about the year he’s just had while there’s an interesting interview with one of Arsene Wenger’s first Arsenal signings, Remi Garde, in the Telegraph.
And that’s about that. I’ll be here with a brief Christmas greeting tomorrow but I hope you all have your shopping done and can relax and take it easy now.
For those of you not around for a few days I’d like to just wish you a very merry Christmas and all the best for the new year. Thank you for visiting Arseblog, it wouldn’t be half the fun it is without you lot.