Hard working Arsenal more than earned their point

A well earned point yesterday against Chelsea could have been even better but for Michael Essien’s amazing equaliser, his equally amazing miss and the woodwork.

When we took the lead through the hard-working Mathieu Flamini there were just over 10 minutes to go and you thought we could hang on but there was just no legislating for a goal as good as Essien’s. Sure, Hleb was fouled in the build up, and fouled by Cuntley Cunt, but these things happen. The goal sparked Chelsea into life and they could have won it twice in the last couple of minutes. First Essien hit the bar from less than 4 yards when a corner landed right at his feet and then Frank Lampard hit the post when Jens Lehmann spilled Robben’s tame shot. On TV they spoke about Flamini getting a touch but I couldn’t see that.

RvP celebrates with the FlamsterTo be fair we could have gone ahead after Essien’s goal when Alexander Hleb lashed the ball wildly over the bar from inside the box when a simple placed shot would have done. The Sun reports Arsene Wenger, who was furious at the miss, saying “He always does that!”.

Mourinho said afterwards that Arsenal showed no ambition to win the game but the man is on a wind up. Sure, we played a 4-5-1 but we’ve won big games with that formation before and given how young our team was it made sense. Adebayor was really good up front and worked very hard and in midfield we had to make up the numbers against quality like Essien, Makelele and Ballack. To have gone gung-ho to try and win would have been madness and Gilberto had an outstanding game providing the cover to the back four. For Mourinho to suggest there was some kind of co-operation between Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson to ensure Chelsea dropped points just shows how far removed from the real world he is.

Defensively we were a bit dodgy at times though. Philippe Senderos had the most nervy 20 minutes I’ve ever seen from him before settling into the game and when Arjen Robben was brought on he skinned Eboue at least three times. Actually, he didn’t have to do too much because Eboue was nowhere to be seen at least twice. He is a big worry defensively. Jens Lehmann could have cost us the game at the end and he seemed more interested in trying to wind up Didier Drogba.

I hope both of them, and remember they’re 14-15 stone men of 6’2″ or 6’3″, look back at the ridiculous incident in which they got booked and feel suitably ashamed. Drogba throwing himself to the ground from the slightest shove by Lehmann was pathetic and Lehmann’s leap when Drogba gave him a bit of a shoulder charge was just as bad. I worry a bit about Jens now. The World Cup was a massive motivational factor for him, he’s firmly ensconsed as Germany’s number one and although he’s a professional and a good one at that we’re starting to see things creep back into his game that I thought he’d cut out.

Of course the game was hyped up because of Ashley Cole, introduced by the Chelsea MC as ‘the best left back in world’. Good job he wasn’t trying to inflame an already tense situation, eh? Arsenal fans sang their songs about him and threw the fake £20 notes. Chelsea fans responded by singing about our manager wanting to have sex with children. Pure class and where is the condemnation in today’s newspapers or on the TV yesterday? Whatever you do don’t throw a small piece of paper and anyone who brings an inflatable mobile phone is likely to be arrested but 40,000 people can sing a despicable, vile song without so much as a word from anyone. It’s truly pathetic.

Hats off to Cesc Fabregas who refused to shake Cole’s hand which apparently sparked a bit of a ruckus in the tunnel in which Robin van Persie was also involved. Well done, lads. I wouldn’t shake that little cunt’s hand either. It’s good to see he’s gotten into the swing of things at Chelsea which means he’s always in the referee’s face moaning and complaining. John Terry is an absolute disgrace the way he tries to intimidate the officials week in week out. It was hilarious watching them moan when Cole was booked for scything down Hleb trying to say that Senderos should have been booked for a previous foul on Drogba. Senderos’ foul was a bit of obstruction, Cole chopped down Hleb in full flight, the little cunt. Hardly the same thing but Terry, obviously under instruction from his manager, objects to every decision the referee makes to try and gain some advantage later in the game. He is the perfect example of why football should follow the example of rugby when it comes to referees.

Afterwards Arsene Wenger said:

The quality of our performance and our team spirit was absolutely tremendous. When you look at their age, what they did today was sensational.

On the TV they mentioned the average age of Chelsea’s outfield players was 29. Arsenal’s was 23. That is a big gap in terms of experience and while Chelsea had chances so did we and we weren’t overawed in any way. As the manager rightly pointed out as well Chelsea had last weekend off as well so that is a factor. While it was a blow to concede an equaliser so late and we rode our luck a bit in the last few minutes a draw was no less than we deserved and overall it was a fair result.

Hopefully we can take that kind of spirit and performance to Wigan on Wednesday night. If we play like that, with the same spirit and character, we can get a result, no problem. Our problem this season though has not been games like Chelsea, it’s been games like Wigan, so this will be one to watch closely.

Not much else happening this morning. A quick congratulations to Theo Walcott who was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year last night.

And that’s that. More tomorrow.

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Fan of Arsenal, Robert Pires and most everything to do with rum and whiskey. Writer, podcaster, ace flintknapper, sluggish centre-half. Smiter of those that ought to be smote.