Sunday, November 21, 2010

A sad day (captured by my Sony Alpha 55) !

Not since the Barcelona game earlier this year was I so looking forward to a match.

what a match !

Today, Arsenal vs Tottenham. It's a big game in any case, but this time, it was our chance to top the table with a victory and also the first chance to use my season tickets.

perfect use of the excellent panoramic feature on my Alpha ... and how about these seats !

We arrived just a few minutes before kick off and the atmosphere was electric. I hate to admit it, but compared to many other grounds, the Emirates does usually have subdued atmosphere. But not at this game ... it was loud, and there was optimism and excitement in the air.
The first half, it all came together. 10 minutes in and Samir Nasri put us ahead with a mixture of grit, determination and skill, and 10 minutes later, we had another! Chamakh put us in a very comfortable position after a fine run from Fabregas down the middle who played the ball wide to Arshavin who slid an inch perfect cross to Chamakh and it was 2! It was all looking so sweet. Fabragas was controlling the play, looking sharper than he has been for the past 2 games. Nasri continued his brilliance, Arshavin was starting to show a bit more effort, Chamakh was getting into dangerous positions, and the defensive line was holding well, with Bale and Van De Vaart not being allowed to get into the game. The only problem was, we didn't kill it off when we should have!

Fabregas in control.

But then it all turned sour. The second half started off poorly. Jermaine Defoe was on for Tottenham and Arsenal appeared to be over confident with their lead and lost focus. Fabregas was off his best. Tackling late and letting passes go astray. The team were too happy to pass backwards when they had the ball and didn't appear to have the drive to go for a bigger win, and we paid the price. Sloppy defending and weak goalkeeping allowed Gareth Bale to bring Spurs back into the game. An unnecessary handball by Fabregas gave Spurs a penalty and their equaliser, and classic Arsenal weakness on set pieces allowed Spurs their winner with a free kick floated in to the area and a clean header to beat Fabanski ! Arsenal didn't show the spirit required to come back into it, and towards the end too many long balls were being pumped up the field. Van Persie and Walcott arriving was too little too late.

It could have (should have) been so sweet !

We had our chances to finish it. A fine solo effort by Fabregas was miraculously tipped around the post by Gomes, Koscielny put an open header over the bar, and a well taken set piece led to a disallowed goal.

It was a sad and disappointing end to an afternoon that started so well, but there is some consolation that Chelsea also lost today, but we needed to have done more to take advantage of that.

Anyway, it ain't over till the fat lady sings, and she hasn't even drawn an intake of breath yet. We are still in with a chance to take the title ... but Rednapp thinking that Tottenham have a chance ! The man is delusional.

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