Well Arsenal have started this seasons campaign in fantastic form.
And last night was our biggest test of the season so far. Before the Sevilla game, just like the Spurs match, I was tentative about the opposition.
Then Arsenal shattered any doubts I might of had last night by smashing 3 goals past them.
You can’t ask for more than that can you?
Maybe I should worry more!
It was an excellent result, considering how highly-regarded (and rightly so) Sevilla are in European Football. And it’s also a credit to them that many pundits are tipping Sevilla as outsiders for the Champions League.
But Arsenal just got on with their game and put in a good shift in the first group game of the competition. Fabregas was fortunate for his first goal, but how many times have Arsenal fans said over the years that ‘if you don’t shoot, you don’t score’. This Arsenal team scores goals from all over the park which was distinctly missing from our last few campaigns.
Another encouraging sign is that when we reach the 18-yard area, instead of passing the ball aimlessly around the box we aren’t afraid to have a pop at goal.
7 wins in 8 games. Can you ask for anything more?
Below are the player ratings:
Manuel Almunia: 7/10
Only really had one major save to make from Freddie Kanoute in the second half when his effory went through Clichy’s legs and did well to divert the ball away. Did fumble the game twice though in the second half from routine catches but TV pictures showed he was berating himself for those mistakes. At least he knows he made mistakes and the important thing was they didn’t cost Arsenal points or goals like Lehmann’s blunders seem to do.
Bacary Sagna: 9/10
Outstanding. Made some fantastic defensive headers and more importantly directs them well clear of danger, which under pressure is impressive. Very solid defensively, excellent going forward and has exceptional burst over the first 10 yards. Arguably his best game in an Arsenal shirt so far and his ability to hardly lose the ball is vital, especially in his position on the field. I can’t see Eboue getting back in the team. Flicked the ball on for Van Persie’s goal in the second half.
Kolo Toure: 7/10
Solid as always and kept Luis Fabiano quiet in the first half, and then Kerzhakov in the second. Almost scored a header in the first half from a corner and another win as Captain of Arsenal.
Philip Senderos: 6/10
Was given a torrid time by Kanoute, who floated all over the pitch. Looked shaky at times at the back with the movement of the Sevilla attack but kept a clean sheet.
Gael Clichy: 9/10
Another fantastic game for the young Frenchman. Like Sagna, looks to support the midfield and forwards at every opportunity and adds an extra dimension to the Arsenal attacks. Made some great tackles, hardly lost the ball and even managed to win a goal kick with a cheeky back heel in the second half. Looks twice the player Ashley Cole ever did.
Alexander Hleb: 7/10
Floated in and out of the game but was willing to drive forward with the ball which unsettled Sevilla. Did well to dispossess the Sevilla defender to help setup the third goal for Eduardo. Drifts inside a lot which puts Sevilla under pressure and kept the ball well for most parts of the game.
Mathieu Flamini: 8/10
This fella surprised me. Like Almunia, I never thought Flamini could push into the first team but recent performances have been impressive. Has so much energy to burn and it looks like Arsene might be giving him his chance. The one thing I like about him as opposed to Gilberto is that when a player shoots at the Arsenal goal he will charge it down instead of standing stationary like the Brazilian. Did well and threw himself in front of numerous shots outside the area.
Cesc Fabregas: 8/10
Might not have been his best performance for Arsenal, but is becoming more effective which is encouraging. Two assists (one with help from Sagna) and a goal is becoming the standard for Fabregas! Willing to shoot from every area of the pitch and his range has certainly improved. Delivery and passing was excellent as ever and the guy just keeps impressing me, even though we shouldn’t be surprised should we?
Tomas Rosicky: 6/10
Full of running but not really in full flow yet, and went off injured 5 minutes into the second half. Doesn’t look happy on the left.
Robin Van Persie: 6/10
Scored a real poachers goal from Fabregas’ freekick but was quiet for most of the game. Doesn’t seem to be in tune with the movement and passing of the other Arsenal players yet and sometimes chooses the wrong pass or holds on to the ball for that split second too long.
Emmanuel Adebayor: 8/10
Another good shift from the tall striker. Made runs all over the pitch, got in the face of the Sevilla defence and caused all sorts of problems. Came close in the second half with an excellent headed effort that just missed the post after great work from Sagna. Defenders hate playing against him and is improving all the time.
Abou Diaby: 6/10 (replaced Rosicky 50′)
Did okay and got into some good attacking positions. Struggled with Daniel Alves in the second half though when the Sevilla right-back got more and more influential in the visitors attacks.
Eduardo Da Silva: 7/10 (replaced Adebayor 83′)
Has a knack of scoring late in Champions League matches! Only played 7 minutes and managed to rack up another goal for Arsenal. Looks like he is settling in well now but will find it hard to dislodge Van Persie or Adebayor in the first team.
Lassana Diarra: 6/10 (replaced Van Persie 88′)
Came on for the last 3 minutes. Probably happy he’s at Arsenal instead of Chelsea though.