Ultra Clinical 10-Man Arsenal Punish Blackburn


Arsenal Keep Going From Strength To Strength…

I pointed out yesterday that today’s game against Blackburn Rovers would be a real test for Arsenal and the fixture didn’t disappoint. The Gunners had most things go agains them this afternoon but they responded in fantastic fashion.

Only 12 minutes into the game the villian of Premiership football that is Robbie Savage clattered Gilberto hard from behind in a well over the top challenge which he had absolutely no intention of getting the ball.

The usually ice-cool Gilberto surprisingly reacted but kicking out at Savage with a little kick which resulted in Savage collapsing as if he had been shot. The Blackburn midfielder got what he wanted and the Brazilian was sent off.

Now you might think I’m biased (obviously) and it’s probably in the rules that if you retaliate you will be sent off. But the fact is the initial challenge was much worse and I can bet you that most referees would have given both players bookings.

Would Frank Lampard or Alan Shearer be sent off in the same situation?

Exactly.

Anyway, the fact was Gilberto was off and Arsenal were down to 10 men. Arsene decided to keep 2 men upfront in Van Persie and Henry, and having 3 in midfield with Hleb and Rosicky supporting Fabregas in the middle.

Arsenal were passing the ball nicely and it didn’t seem to bother the players on the pitch that we were playing with a man down. Chances for both teams were few and far between in the first half with Arsenal defending well against an in-form Blackburn side. But on 37 minutes that all changed.

Van Persie was played through and taken down by Lucas Neill who appeared to be the last man, but only received a booking when he was lucky not to receive a red! But Henry stepped up, clipped the free kick into the area and the only Arsenal player in the area – Kolo Toure – headed the ball into the net off the post.

Arsenal were leading with 10 men at Ewood Park!

Arsenal kept the same team and formation in the second half, with Henry and Van Persie rotating their responsibilities by dropping back to help the midfield.

The Gunners despite being a man down kept the ball fantastically well at times and in particular Hleb was brilliant – hardly losing the ball and creating space with some excellent skill. This guy has really settled into the team this season and is getting better and better. His ball retention is one of the best I have seen in the league.

Fabregas was running the midfield even though he didn’t have Gilberto in support Mokoena and Savage looked pedestrian in comparison. He played some great forward passes, made some great tackles and kept the ball moving in the middle. His fantastic interplay with Henry for the second goal was outstanding.

Toure did well at the back while Senderos made one or two mistakes from a lack of concentration but luckily didn’t pay the price – with Derbyshire and Nondo having great chances in the 6 yard area. Clichy was impressive, making some great runs down the left and showed his growing confidence by easily beating players and passing the ball well. Hoyte looked good as well never afraid to run forward and coped reasonably well against Pedersen.

Van Persie and Henry were always on the periphery of the match but on 71 minutes Henry turned it on like he can and got the ball deep in the Arsenal half. With 5 men around him the Frenchman drove down the line and evaded any tackles before clipping the ball to Cesc who made the supporting run. He darted to the edge of the area to receive the pass back and coolly stroking the ball into the top corner.

A simply outstanding goal from Henry!

Arsenal were 2-0 up and cruising with a man down and against a phyiscal Blackburn side.

Henry had a great opportunity to really pile on the misery for Blackburn 8 minutes later when Rosicky played a smart cross into Henry but the captain scruffed his shot over.

But the damage had been done and not even a dirty challenge from Tugay on Cesc in the closing minutes could ruin the day for us.

Arsenal might have lost the games at Anfield and Ewood Park in previous seasons buy they have passed the North West test with flying colours.

It’s amazing what a bit of confidence can do for you isn’t it?

The great thing I’ve noticed about Arsenal recently is that they have been so clinical it is scary. In the past Arsenal would create chance after chance and missed most of them but in recent weeks Arsenal’s finishing has been phenomenal – and that for me can only mean great things.

Next weeks game at the Emirates is going to be a belter!

15 thoughts on “Ultra Clinical 10-Man Arsenal Punish Blackburn

  1. Rovers had more than enough chances to win this game and we won’t be lectured about being physical by a club that made 1-0 its favourite chant under the dark days of the Scottish criminal.

  2. @PMG

    Arsenal had great chances which they missed too. In the end the scoreline 2-0 was a very deserved result.

    Also, there is a difference between pressing hard to win the ball and stopping the other team by any means neccesary.

    Blackburn were saints compared to what Sheffield got away with.

    They were tough but largely fair.

  3. Blackburn and Liverpool were poor lately. MANURE will be a real test, esp. without GS shielding the young back four. But fuck it. Maybe we will play 4-5-1? I do think, though that the clinical finishing (of Roskicky and Henry; not baptista b/c he doesn’t get off the bench) and the form of Henry makes us much more heavily favoured against Manure to get a result than even three weeks ago. Still, it will be the real test of whether we have a chance at silverware this season and next. Can Hoyte keep Ronaldo under control? This may be why we need the 4-5-1 more than any other reason. Invite Manure onto us.

    PMG – Arsene’s position would be: That it is time English football moved on from the dark days of the Scottish Criminal Genius that was GG, not revel in them a la Big Sam – can you imagine that plonker as head coach of the national team? How embarrassing would that be? But apart from Savage, Blackburn are due so much more respect than they were even two years ago, and Savage won’t be around much longer.

  4. oooh PMG. shouldn’t that be PMT?

    take it on the chin, Arsenal was pure class tonight.

    given the circumstances, against a blackburn side that has won a few games on the trot, i’d go as far as to say that was the best performance of the season. yes better than 6-2 at home and better than the 6-3 at Anfield though clearly its less spectacular and will get les press. these are the hardest types of games to win and Arsenal got everything spot on.

    in spells the way arsenal kept the ball while being surrounded by blue and white shirts was tremendous. they stayed composed and that was the key to it after gilberto was harshly sent off.

    Blackburn seemed to lack belief, especially in the box.

  5. Don’t make me laugh, Blackburn are a bunch of thugs that kick a ball! What the hell do you call the challenges on Gilberto by Savage and the one on Fabregas by Tugay? And Emerton pushed Fabregas late on in the game and got nothing!

    Robbie Savage is a fcuking idiot and acted like a pussy when Gilberto ‘kicked’ him – it wasn’t even a hard kick! But that’s Blackburn’s style.

    Thank God skill, organisation and footballing talent prevailed. Because Blackburn couldn’t bully Arsenal they had absolutely nothing!!

  6. Can any reader enlighten me on what happens to refs who underperform/give wrong decisions?
    Savage in the eyes of most neutrals shd have been sent off yet the ref gave him only a yellow.
    I think in the cl he would most probably have been sent off.

  7. With next week’s match agaginst the rd,don’t be sirprised GIl was provoked
    so he cld be sent off .You never know.Which brings me back to the the conspiracy theory in the 1999 season.
    Can the readers recall a number of key gunners were suspended.
    Now we have the som up north says the treble is for them. Bf he gets carried away consider the following;
    a) Berkgamk looked at the side side where he wld place his penalty kick

    b) in the cl final they were battered and bruised and if it were a boxing match BM would 99.% have won.

    Yes luck plays a significant part. I dare say the som’s luck will run out sooner or later.

  8. Rob Styles was terrible tonight and tried his best to gift Blackburn the game!

    Now Gilberto is suspended for some key games in the coming weeks for what was basically self defence!

    I hope Arsenal dispute the sending off but apparently Arsene Wenger isn’t going to bother, which is bad considering we’ve got United next week!

  9. It’s a shame that a great team like Arsenal is let down by the playground antics of Lehman and the like who wasted time from the outset and feigned injury each and every time a Rovers player went near him. The guy’s an even bigger plonker than Savage actually. And as for this physical stuff from Arsenal only being a feature of the GG era, what nonsense! Wenger’s teams have mixed it with the best and have had an appalling disciplinary record, something that Arsenal fans and the media like to forget. Berkamp for example struck Rovers players in two matches in the early 00′s and wasn’t even reprimanded.

    Don’t believe your own hype.

  10. I’ve got to admit that Arsenal were a class act. It’s not often that I’ve been moved to applaud a goal by the opposition and MOTD didn’t/couldn’t show the curl on the shot from Henry that took the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal. Any shot that beats Brad from outside the area must be good but that was perfection.

    The main thing about Arsenal’s performance was in defence. They aren’t as direct in their confrontational ways but their ability to unbalance the opposition (some may say fouling, not that I would) and their speed means that Blackburn were limited to very few chances.

    This coupled with the fact that we came up against a team that controlled and passed the ball better (no far better) than we did (and there aren’t many other teams in the Premiership that can) meant there was only going to be one outcome to the game.

  11. “an appalling disciplinary record…” PMG?

    If you actually knew anything about football mate, you’d know that last season we had the best disciplinary record in the Prem. & this season, we’re 2nd top… You’ve been reading the sun too much son…!

    I can’t believe a team at home, playing against 10 men, could look so fucking ordinary. Throughout most of the game, you’d never guess we had 10 men… The whole point of football mate is to kick the round object (Ball) into the goal (big thing with goal posts & net)… whether you have 8 chances or none… How many teams have come to the Emirates & had 1 attempt & scored from it, this season? You’ve gotta live with it son…

    Anyway, fuck off back to your bleak northern life, ya sad cunt… and & try n’ keep your sheepshagging twat, on a leash before someone gives him a right kicking (if there is a god…)

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