After being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Bayern Munich, the gunners traveled to Whit Hart Lane to take on wounded Tottenham Hotspurs. Spurs had been thrashed in the Europa League by Benfica and a week ago committed 4 errors to gift Chelsea a 4-0 win. They needed a response and behold their North London rivals: Arsenal.
It took less than 76 seconds for the gunners to finish of the tie. Chamberlain stole the ball from Sandro and exchanged passes with Rosicky who got the final and fired a thunderbolt pass Hloris to give Arsenal the lead. A rare goal for the Czech captain, his second against Spurs this season. He scored the second goal against Spurs in the FA cup.
Rosicky has always been my best Arsenal player and his recent contract extension shows the manager’s belief in him. In an earlier post i had dubbed him the active arsenal legend and he has been performing above expectations, defying his age, and has been the key man in all Arsenal big games. The Mozart drew eulogies from Wenger in the post match conference:
It(the goal) will go in my collection of great goals. I told Tomas that because first of all he’s not a typical goalscorer and he surprised everybody. He had not even time to realise what he was doing and it was in the back of the net. It was an unbelievable goal.
Hattrick of Ox Misses
It was good news to hear that January signing Kim Kallstrom is back to fitness and some circles expected the swede to be in the squad at the Lane. Wenger instead chose to play Oxlade-chamberlain in the middle partnering Arteta, relegating Flamini to the bench just like in Germany.
The Ox will impose himself in the middle creating an assist to the goal, getting 4 dribbles (according to whoscored), the highest on the pitch. But when it mattered most, his scoring boots deserted him. Thrice he had chances in the first half to kill off Spurs.
Rosicky fed Oxlade-Chamberlain in the right-hand channel. He skipped past his marker and raced half the length of the pitch before miscuing his chip horribly with Podolski screaming for the ball on the left-hand side. A glaring miss.
Oh Koscielny, What a Block
The missed opportunities aroused Spurs all through the game. They had the possession and had many shots blocked. One of which was crucial in the second half.
Szczesny spilled a high, hanging cross and Chadli collected. He beat the stranded keeper and a combination of Koscielny and Mertesacker blocked his shot with the goal gaping. Koscielny would go on to make tackles upon tackles, blocking Adebayor and any white shirt.
With that goal line block and other clearances, Koscielny choked up 9.2/10 on whoscored.com to grab the Man of the Match. Kos the Boss had a 96% pass accuracy, higher than anyone on the pitch. Even Micah Richards had to tweet
Arsenal did a lot of defensive work late on in the second half, with Flamini, Monreal and Vermaelen thrown on to fortify the fort and keep the clean sheet. They succeeded.
Arsenal are back to within 4 points of leaders Chelsea with a game in hand against Swansea. Aston Villa’s surprising victory over a poorly disciplined Chelsea side seems to have opened the doors again for the race to go down to the wire.
Manchester City with 10 men defeated Hull City and their neighbours were reduced to rumbles as Liverpool took all three points from three goals at Old Trafford.
It is a 4 horse race and Arsenal must break Mourinho’s jinx at the Bridge to get one foot closer.
Nigeria Professional Footbal League.
Week 2 games of the NPFL were played on Sunday. Kano Pillars had Gambo Mohammed to thank after his late strike preserved their over 10 years unbeaten home record after 173 games. The last time they lost was in Kano was a 2-1 defeat to Julius Berger in June 21, 2003. In aba, Enyimba finally conceded a goal at home after keeping 100% clean sheet last season. They defeated Rangers 2-1.
- Kaduna United 3-1 Taraba FC
- Sharks FC 1-0 Lobi Stars
- Kano Pillars 2-2 Sunshine Stars
- Nasarawa Utd 1-1 Akwa Utd
- Gombe Utd 0-0 Bayelsa Utd
- Crown 1-0 Heartland
- Enyimba 2-1 Rangers
What a weekend. A good one for a Nigerian gooner. I hear the last time Arsenal beat Spurs thrice in a season, they lost to Villa and won the league.