Monday, 17 March 2014

Arsenal Win Ugly Against Spurs

Far too often it's been claimed Arsenal can't "win ugly" when they're not at their best and need to do all they can to take the three points against lesser teams. They have proved that theory wrong on quite a few occasions in the last year and they did so yet again away to Spurs yesterday. It took a strong defensive display for Arsenal to keep a clean sheet after Tomas Rosicky gave them the lead just 72 seconds into the game and that's just what they produced on the day.

Rosicky's goal was an absolute screamer as he latched on to the ball after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had miscontrolled it and he buried into the far corner from 20 yards out. Both of his feet were off the ground when he hit the ball and it was as sweet a strike as a player can hope for. With Liverpool and City already having won and Chelsea losing to Villa it was vital for Arsenal to take the three points.

Spurs played pretty well after that without really creating much in the way of chances in the first half and Arsenal spurned a few good chances on the break. Chamberlain missed the very best of them when he tried to be too clever when he was through one on one with the keeper. He tried to dink the ball with the outside of his foot but miscued itwhen he could have put Lukas Podolski in or chipped the keeper. 

With Spurs playing a high back line as they chased the game Arsenal were always going to get chances on the break, but they failed to make the most of them. Without a second goal it was very nervy for Arsenal and they dropped deeper and deeper as the game progressed. For all their possession though Spurs had very little creativity and their main tactic was to hoof the ball forward into Adebayor's direction. There were a few scary moments when he won headers but the Arsenal defence put him under enough pressure to insure he couldn't get any direction on them. 

Their one really good chance came when Wojciech Szczesny tried to catch a cross he probably should have punched and Nacer Chadli was presented with a glorious chance six yards out. With the keeper out of the picture it was left to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker to stop him and Koscielny got the block in to prevent him. Chadli really should have shown more composure and picked his spot but thankfully for Arsenal he didn't.

For all of Spurs possession it was Hugo Loris who made the save of the match when he showed fantastic reactions to stop a close range effort from Mertesacker. Without that second goal it went right to the wire but Arsenal's defence were so dominant that Spurs never looked like scoring again. Arsene Wenger brought more defensive players on as the game progressed and they helped to ease the pressure towards the end too.

Arsenal's inability to hold on to the ball was far from good, but the most important thing was the result and they took the three points to almost guarantee a top four finish with nine games to go. They are nine points clear of fourth placed Spurs and have a game in hand on them as well as vastly superior goal difference. It's surely only a matter of time now before St. Totteringham's Day is once again upon us. 

Of course Arsenal want a lot more than just fourth place and the win was enough to put them into third place. They're four points behind the leaders Chelsea with a game in hand and face them in their next game. It's an absolutely huge game for both clubs and a win for Arsenal would blow the title race wide open. It won't be an easy task though with so many of their best players on the injury list.

Back to yesterday though and the players celebrated with the fans afterwards with Szczesny even going so far as taking a selfie in front of those fans and posting it on Facebook. 

There was also a fabulous photo of Podolski celebrating with the Arsenal fans and it was clear how much the game meant to the players. 

They have played Spurs three times this season and won all three games with four goals scored and none conceded. Spurs spent a fortune on new players in the summer and for all the money they spent their team are worse than they were a year ago. 

Arsenal have a week to prepare for the Chelsea game and hopefully they can get those preparations just right in that time. Of the four teams still chasing the title they're the outsiders and the main reason for that is the injuries to some of their best players. Their games against Chelsea, City and Everton will be really tough without those players and they will have to show even more ressielence than they did yesterday to get the results they need. For now though we can celebrate being kings of North London and look forward to a thrilling end to the season hopefully.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. Arsene wenger used to moan about clubs thatbplayed a closed game and parked the bus in front of goal, almost saying that teams could only play Arsenal that way otherwise the'd lose, well I hope thecarsenal fans are proud of their team defendingva one goal lead for 90 minutes and being so scared of spurs they took off two attackers and shut up shop even more. That tactic worked fine over both matches this season but its hardly the all conquering sexy total football they all go on about, still got thrashed by city and loverpool and villa so not as good as you think you are, just better than us at beating the teams at the bottom for your points, boring negative football from arsestoke.

    1. We're still an awful lot better than Spurs and have beaten them 3 times this season. I hardly think Villa thrashed Arsenal in the manner of the trashings that have been handed out to Spurs time and again this season. For a team that parked the bus Arsenal scored once and should have had a few more unlike Spurs who just hoofed the ball towards Adebayor. Arsenal are 3rd in the table 4 points off the leaders with a game in hand and 9 points ahead of Spurs.

  2. It was such a refreshing change to see Rosicky shoot and score.If the gunners had indulge in their usual passing frenzy,I doubt they could have won. The reasons are obvious.
    Chelsea have not been beaten at home. If Arsenal aspire to win the epl,they shd administer a first defeat to the special one at home.Then and only then can the gunners be counted as genuine challengers.
    Same for Liverpool. The reds have 5 games in a row, I believe they are due a draw or defeat by the 8th game.I f Wenger doesn't want to bottle it up ,he must take advantage when the other 3 drop points. They will have to because of the law of averages. This is what is happening to MU.First you can't be winn ing game after game and trophy year and year out.
    Maybe the top teams in Spain,Italy and Germany can perpetuate their dominance.But not in England. That is why red face found it hard to replicate his success in the epl to the cl.
    I tell you what. He left because his days of dominance are over. Had he stayed,it would make no difference.This is the law of averages.