Hurrah! Three points on the road again and a performance that will instill some confidence ahead of Wednesday’s kickabout with some ex-pat team from Madrid.
It started slowly enough but then Abou Diaby played a nice ball to Thierry Henry who did what he always does to ex-Gunner Moritz Volz. He nicked it past him, accelerated like some kind of cheetah and then hammered a left footed shot past Warner in the Fulham goal. A couple of minutes later Freddie Ljungerg, having his best game of the season by a long shot, played a beatiful ball through to Adebayor whose first time left footed shot made it 2-0 and that’s the way it stayed at half-time.
In the second half we saw Arsenal play the way we know they can. Full of confidence, good movement, good passing and with Thierry Henry on fire. He was awesome. He made a chance for Adebayor who took a touch too many instead of hitting it first time, he made a chance for Hleb who forced a great save from Warner, he made a chance for Freddie who really deserved a goal and he skidded one across the goal mouth before getting his second after being played in by Freddie.
In the dying minutes we got a fourth when Mathieu Flamini went overlapping, Freddie played him through, he crossed it, José dummied it and Cesc was on hand to make it 4-0. When you consider how strong Fulham have been at home lately this was a very promising result by any standards.
Afterwards Thierry was interviewed and put the performance down to the fact that the team defended well from back to front and that was obvious. We looked calm and everybody worked hard. It sounds almost too simple but we were solid at the back, solid in midfield and the forwards were able to make the most of that. As well as Thierry there were some good individual performances as well. Freddie was so like the Freddie of old, I thought Hleb looked much, much better and in Abou Diaby we look to have found a very good player. He got on the ball a few times and ran with it to good effect, he had one shot from the edge of the area and after good work between Hleb and Eboue had a great chance in the area but Warner again made an excellent save.
Of course one swallow does not make a summer and it would be silly to suggest all our problems are behind us but at the same time we have to take heart from the result and performace and build on it. The biggest problem this season has been consistency and putting together a run of good results. Fingers crossed we can take confidence from this and start the ball rolling, so to speak. We were very good yesterday but Fulham were also very poor. Real will be a much sterner test after their 2-1 derby win last night.
Ahead of the game on Wednesday Arsene Wenger has accused Real Madrid of ‘low level behaviour‘ for using their mouthpiece Marca to declare their interest in signing Cesc Fabregas. It is total gamesmanship, of course. They know there’s no chance of Catalan Cesc going there and the manager says “I feel it is unfair before a big game to behave like that, as they have by coming out and saying they want to buy Fabregas. There is nothing less classy than that“, although he may want to take a look at Jose Mourinho’s histrionics yesterday.
So a happy Sunday after an away day, breakfast and the Sunday papers will be a pleasure and not a chore. Thanks lads! Enjoy your Sunday. Till tomorrow.