Wednesday, 21 October 09
Despite never being really too troubled for almost the entire match last night we managed to throw away a 1-0 lead in the last minute and snatch a draw from the arms of victory. In the long run it shouldn't make a difference to our qualification from the group with 2 home games coming next and Olympiacos as our only real challengers for top spot in the group. They managed a late winner last night to keep their 100% home record in the group and luckily for us we shouldn't need anything from our trip to Greece in December. You could always argue that we should have had a penalty only a few minutes before AZ scored as Vela was clearly taken down in the box but the referee chose not to give it despite being perfectly placed to see it.
Last night's game was never really a classic encounter but we were in control for almost the entire night and AZ showed very little for a home side in the Champions League. Our lead came when Arshavin pressurised a defender into a mistake and Arshavin then played the ball to RVP as he ran into a goal scoring position but he unselfishly squared it to Cesc to roll into an open goal. We had chances before and after that despite never really clicking on the night but we paid the price for not taking them at the death. AZ managed to get up a head of steam of sorts and when our centre forward, Arshavin, was caught offside they pumped a long ball into the box. It was headed back across goal by a player who should have been challenged by Diaby but wasn't and as our players had all switched off their player finished very well on the volley to send their fans into ecstacy. They had a couple of chances before that and I did get the feeling that their goal was coming as the clock ticked on, particularly when Vela didn't get his obvious penalty.
It means our 7 game winning streak has come to an end but at least it wasn't ended by a defeat and it's a perfectly acceptable result in the great scheme of things despite feeling like a defeat at first due to the time of the goal. Things could be a lot worse and we just have to look at Liverpool to see how bad they could be. After their home defeat to Lyon last night they need to get a result in the away game to them in 2 weeks or they or as good as out of the Champions league. Their fans are fed up with the manager's style of football and they only tolerated it when it was bringing success but after their worst run of defeats in something like 22 years the natives are getting restless. With Manure as their next league match on Sunday things could possibly get even worse althoough if Liverpool do get a result it opens the door for us a little more so it's a win/win situation for Arsenal.
Both Nasri and Fabianski made their long awaited returns from injury last night in a 2-2 draw for the reserves against Wolves away from home. Nasri got almost a 60 minute run out with Fabianski obviously playing the whole game. The goals were scored by Sunu & Watt with Nasri managing the assist on the first goal for Sunu. Jay Simpson scored for QPR yet again last night as they continued their march up the Championship table and he seems to be on a good run at the moment which won't do his price any harm if and when we decide to sell him. We are linked with a couple of players in the papers today but as it's October and the window doesn't open until January it's all mere speculation at best. The players mentioned are Cana of Sunderland(if we wanted him we would have signed him in the summer) and Ajax full back Gregory Van der Wiel. Stan Kroneke is rumoured to be about to purchase even more shares in the club as he gets even closer to the magic 29.9% mark he needs to make a bid for all shares. That's it for today. Sorry for the late post but it was unavoidable.
Here's the highlights from last night.
And to finish today's title track from UB4O. The current events at Liverpool are food for thought for all of us as things seem to go from bad to worse for them and their season is in danger of imploding.
See You Tomorrow.