Monday, 9 December 2013

Arsenal Almost Make My Christmas Wish Come True

Arsenal faced Everton at home yesterday afternoon knowing that a win would put them seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and guarantee top spot on Christmas Day. If I still believed in Santa Claus my wish would have been for Arsenal to be on top of the pile for Christmas and they still have every chance to do so. Their next two games are against the two teams considered to be the most likely to win the league and it won't be easy for Arsenal to get points from them.

To be fair to Everton they deserved to take something from the game yesterday and I thought a draw was a fair result for both teams. It's never nice to concede a late goal to let the opposition back into a game, but the goal Everton scored was an absolute cracker. Gerard Deulofeu looks like he could become a very good player and he took his goal exceptionally well.

I was a little bit surprised with Arsene Wenger's team selection as a I thought he would have played both Mikael Arteta and Mathieu Flamini in defensive midfield roles to prevent Everton breaking forward. As it was only Arteta started of the two of them, but Everton actually got their equaliser when both players were on the pitch. Everton drive forward very quickly with the ball and it was easy to see why they have only lost one league game this season.

Everton completely dominated the first half and Arsenal struggled to get a foothold in the game until the final moments of the half when both Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud missed glorious chances to put them ahead. For all of Everton's dominance and possession they never actually opened the Arsenal defence up in the first half with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker playing starring roles in particular. Arsenal worked very hard to prevent Everton making chances, but a few of the players looked like the amount of games they have had to play is taking it's toll.

I thought Everton were very clever in how they stopped Arsenal playing in that first half and they made sure Arsenal didn't get a chance to break quickly themselves. It seemed as if every time Arsenal won the ball in the Everton half an Everton player was prepared to give a foul away rather than let a problem develop. It may be viewed as cynical but it worked very well for them and I wished for Flamini to be in the Arsenal team as a I knew he would have no hesitation to do likewise.

The second half was a much more even affair and there were chances at both ends before Arsenal for the breakthrough goal with 10 minutes remaining. Theo Walcott had come on as a sub and it was his header across the goal which Mesut Ozil finished into the roof of the net at the far post. I thought Giroud was going to score before Ozil got to the ball, but an Everton defender fouled him to stop him and the referee missed it.

Everton had played so well that I didn't expect them to lie down after Arsenal scored and they gave their all to get the equaliser. After the equalising goal they came close to scoring again, but it was Arsenal who came closest right at the very end. Giroud blasted a 25 yard shot which swerved viciously and came back off the woodwork with seconds remaining in the game and it would have won the game if it went in.

It would have been a fitting winner to any game but as I said already Everton thoroughly deserved a point from the game. It was a little disappointing not to win the game but considering how well Everton played it was a good point for Arsenal. There's two huge league games coming up as well as a Champions League game at Napoli and it promises to be a fascinating run up to Christmas for Arsenal.

My wish will come true if they beat either City or Chelsea or even if they avoid defeat against both of them. Of course I'd love Arsenal to win both games and show the rest of the league that they should be the favourites to win the title. The chances of them taking six points from those two games aren't very high, but as a fan I always believe they will win every game they play and always will continue to believe that.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. ...but as a fan I always believe they will win every game they play and always will continue to believe that...

    Love that shit!

  2. I feel your passion...