So after a stalemate with Villa, two loses against Manchester United and Chelsea and a win against the worst team to come to The Emirates this season, Arsenal get four points out of twelve. Not really title winning form is it? However, last nights actions showed Chelsea lose and Manchester United rely on their second top goal scorer in Own Goals, it prompted me to think that maybe Arsenal shouldn’t be ready to give in. In fact they have every reason to be optimistic.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making excuses but when Manchester United came to The Emirates a couple of weeks ago, it was pretty obvious this game was their cup final. They clearly had put more passion into the game vs Arsenal than against Leeds and Liverpool combined. What can you do? No real striker up front; the worst player (Denilson) and goalkeeper (Almunia) in Arsene’s reign, along with a recovering left back gave The Gunners a mountainous task. A task which they failed.
It’s not very hard scoring against The Arsenal, but Didier Drogba finds it as natural as Gerrard does to diving. He had two chances. Chelsea had two chances and they won the game with both taken easily. I thought Arsenal were in control, and the addition of Diaby proved a real difference in the level of performance. A fantastic midfield tried to combine with the over passing of Nasri and Arshavin and the little boy from Southampton. Arsenal lost another game and subsequently, dumped out of the race. They looked to battle for third with Manchester City and Liverpool.
The game against Liverpool had that end of season feel to it. Arsenal looked they had lost confidence, but Liverpool had absolutely no excuse to play the way they did. No ambition and the day trippers set out to stifle the Gunners creativity. Liverpool are supposed to be a colossal club, not result to defending. Gerrard did his usual theatrics and I thought the referee didn’t help. He booked Maxi for no reason, and turned down both appeals from each side for a penalty. Shocking decisions. The results went in the way of Arsenal and the win thanks to Arsenal’s most skillful player, Diaby. A scrappy win for Arsenal, but quality performances are needed to push on.
What have we learned? Never rule out a team. Football changes every week and with United going to Everton next week, the gap could shorten further. Football is a funny old game!