Puns are a nuisance. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. The visitors being of the Wolves’ kind, you will forgive my lack effort in creating a better title. However, let’s not focus on my creative abilities and focus more on the creative abilities of the players currently wearing the jersey of Arsenal Football Club.
In many ways, this was reminiscent of the Wigan game. We peppered their goal with numerous shots but final scoreline was far too kind to the opposition. Had we been more clinical, we could easily hit double figures. Not surprisingly, their keeper Wayne Hennessey was in inspired form and kept his side at the races. In some ways, this was also how we started against Newcastle, except that we did not drop the pace or lose our cool.
The return of Johan Djourou and Alex Song to the side was a very welcome sight to the Arsenal faithful. Because in the former, we have someone who’s been sort of our lucky charm. He has not tasted a league defeat since late 2008 for Arsenal. That run continued yesterday and he dealt with Kevin Doyle with consummate ease. There was a penalty shout when Adam Hammill went down under his challenge but replay will show that there was no contact.
Arsene Wenger wanted his team to forget about Barcelona and concentrate at the task at hand. We started with the right desire an motivation. One could say that the players wanted to wrap up the game early so that they can take their foot off the pedal later in the game and conserve some energy for the Champions League tie. Most importantly is that we achieve 3 points without suffering any injuries.
The closest we had to someone getting one was Robin Van Persie. A knee high studs up challenge from Ronald Zubar on RvP was the incident which provoked the furore of the home fans. As RvP lay on the ground, we were worried although that is more due to his history more than anything else. That happened on either side of his brace of goals that sealed the victory for us.
In the 16th minute, he opened the scoring for Arsenal. This was like watching the game using a mirror because then it will make sense. Cesc Fabregas crosses with his weaker left foot which found RvP inside the box. The Dutchman subsequently volleyed the ball home with his right foot. I’m sure you get what I’m saying now. Hennessey got his hand to the ball but the power was too much to prevent it from going inside the net. Not sure if RvP watched the Wayne Rooney goal but this is still spectacular in its own way.
RvP doubled the advantage in the 56th minute. Wolves had one of those rare possession period and committed more players forward than they should. Once Song won the back just outside of our penalty box, it took less than 10 seconds for the us to score at the other end. A quick release from Fabregas set Theo Walcott free on the right with pace and space to burn. Walcott then pass inside for RvP to finish with aplomb.
That goal shows the how accuracy of shot when in one-on-one situations with the keeper is vital. Andrey Arshavin had a couple of those situations but saw almost all of his shots go straight at the keeper. A chip or a curving shot would have ended in the back of the net on another day. Still, it was encouraging to see AA becoming more involved in our general play. Slowly but surely we are seeing him back to his level best. On the other hand, Fabregas was poor but there’s no need to dissect that today.
Manchester City’s failure to hold out for a draw in the Manchester derby meant that the gap remains at 4 points between us and Manchester United. Though for now, that will not be our primary concern. There is the more pressing matter of not Messi-ng things up next midweek.
More tomorrow, enjoy your Sunday.