Arsenal 1 – 0 Roma
Champions League Round of 16
First Leg (Emirates)
Finally something really good to write about, the showing of Arsenal last night was not one we have seen often, or at all, this season. Fast, slick, creative and solid at the back. The only thing lacking was a bunch of our best players and a clinical striker. Luckily, Robin Van Persie was at his imperious best. It was like watching Megan Fox strip, it was that good.
Ive been critical of a few players but nobody really put a foot wrong, its easy to say ‘Bendtner should have had six!’ or ‘Eboue will never score again’ but both of them played an important part in a fantastic performance. I was saying to Gooner Chris from Gooner Talk before the game that i hoped Eboue would not start as he is a disaster, Chris told me that would not be the case and so it turned out.
Nasri was a little magician all game, he created a hell of a lot and gave the Roma midfield and backline hell, Denilson was a brick wall in midfield and Diaby was, dare i even whisper it, actually i will whisper it,
in the middle of the park. Eboue also came to the party with a display of strength, mental strength too and pace. He nearly wrapped it up with a goal that he should have taken but his lack of confidence told, it was a good display from the ‘pass master’.
The backline was solid as a rock with Almunia, Gallas and Toure keeping up their good form, Clichy also showed signs of regaining his own form.
Cometh the game, cometh the hour, cometh the man with Van in his name. He won a penalty after putting himself in a terrific position totally bamboozling the Roma defence and won himself a deserved penalty, he slotted it away with consummate ease.
After that we bombarded Roma and despite them slightly growing in confidence and ambition we replied ourselves with chance after chance. Sadly we did not really kill them off but they never looked like scoring.
On the whole we are stronger away from home in Europe, on our run to the final a few years ago we beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeau and last season we beat AC Milan at the San Siro, i think it would be also helpful for Wenger to remind Roma of what we did to them, and what Thierry Henry did to them, in their own back yard a few years back. We have a capable of doing that in Van Persie.
The team will also be stronger with two of our players currently out due back by then, maybe three if Theo Walcott is back. Its looking up.
This side has shown what it is capable of and whilst Wenger will be disappointed we did not put the game practically beyond Roma with a couple more goals, he can be pleased with his side. I even saw him say ‘for fuck’s sake’ after a Bendtner miss!
He had this to say,
“That is the regret we have tonight. I am happy with our performance, but of course there was room to score more goals. From tonight we know we can create chances. You never know what a good result is in the European Cup. One of the positives is we didn’t concede a goal. It’s put us in a position where we know we need to attack over there. If we score once that should be enough.”
I think he is being a bit overly negative there for once, im sure he is a bit frustrated but this team has shown what he knows it can do and maybe he is just trying to keep their feet on the ground.
There will be negativity in the press later saying we will be punished for our lack of potency in front of goal, i doubt Man Utd will though and they did not even manage to score!
Five Live have already said they have the advantage now but do they really? One Inter goal could fudge it right up for them, whereas an away goal for us might just secure the tie.
An away goal is one of the most valuable things in games like this because it puts big pressure on the other team.
Right, thats your lot, cheers for reading.
Up The Gunners!