Freddie: Forget Me Not In The FA Cup (With Player Ratings)

Well Arsenal have done it again and contributed to one of the best matches this season with their unique attacking style which at times tonight was simply a pleasure to watch.

And it was Freddie’s Forget Me Not on Valentine’s Day that proved the difference in a game that Arsenal really should have won before the first 90 minutes were up. 

But they put us supporters it yet again with two goals in extra time to put the tie beyond doubt.

It was a match where Arsenal pretty much dominated from start to finish and if it was not for some poor finishing then the game would have been over before extra time.

The first half was fantastic to watch as Denilson, Adebayor, Hleb, Rosicky et al played some of the best football I’ve seen this campaign. The passing and movement from the entire team was just brilliant and Arsenal created several chances to open the scoring.

And on 14 minutes Hleb waltz past 3 players on the right touchline and nutmegged a Bolton player to play in Denilson. Then the little Brazilian pulled off a trick of his own to feed the ball into Adebayor who gave the ball to Rosicky on the edge of the area. The Czech then tried to setup up Baptista for a shot but the ball deflected off Campo and Adebayor took full advantage as ran through and smashed a left foot shot past the keeper.

And from then on Arsenal were playing excellent football, but they couldn’t get that important second goal that would have killed the game.

In the second half, Gilberto smashed his penalty over the bar and later on Adebayor missed an open goal as his effort hit the post.

And after all the great play and chances we had Bolton won a corner in the 92nd minute and the melee in the box resulted in Meite equalising to send the game into extra time.

But Arsenal showed that grit and determination that has seen them comeback from setbacks before and the lads still played with the same adventure and freedom as the put even more pressure on the Bolton defence.

The decisive moment came on 109 minutes when Arsenal carved out another fantastic goal from virtually nothing. The fresh Aliadiere ran 50 yards taking on 5 players before playing a smart through ball into the path of the spriting Freddie who controlled the ball and hit the ball so early right into the bottom corner.

What a fantastic finish!

Freddie showed us all that even with all the kids in the squad we shouldn’t forget about him and that typical clinical Freddie finish couldn’t have come at a better time.

The match that had everything had even more to come as Anelka fouled Adebayor in the Bolton area to concede a penalty – only for Baptista to hit over the bar like Gilberto!

But the Brazilian made amends a few minutes later as he setup Ade for Arsenal’s third and to put Arsenal into the next round of the FA Cup against Blackburn on Saturday.

Player Ratings

Manuel Almunia: 7/10
Made some important punches from a flurry of Bolton set-pieces but should have dealt with the corner for the goal was it was placed right under the bar. But did well to save Gary Speed’s header in extra time when the game was 1-1.

Johan Djourou: 8/10
Played out of position at right-back but did well with diagonal long balls Bolton played out wide. Contributed to a good defensive performance by the back four.

Kolo Toure: 8/10
Showed the heart of a lion and played excellently yet again. Organised the defence really well and got his head to everything.

Gilberto Silva (c): 8/10
Showed good composure at the back and coped well with Bolton’s aerial barrage in the second half. Should have really done better with the penalty though and lucky not to score an own goal when his touch from a Bolton cross hit the post.

Gael Clichy: 9/10
Was brilliant on the left and gave Rosicky some excellent support with darting runs and great passes. Did well against Diouf and limited his impact on the game.

Alexander Hleb: 9/10
Although he only lasted 77 minutes before having to come off he provided a threat all night and kept the ball brilliantly as we know he can. Defended well and was always there to help out Djourou.

Abou Diaby: 9/10
Ran all day in midfield and had a fantastic game. Great when defending set-pieces and kept the ball moving in the middle of the park – along with Denilson made Nolan and Speed look invisible.

Denilson: 10/10
Man of the Match. For an 18 year old he was simple outstanding and I cannot remember him losing the ball once. Does all the simple things right and amazed me all night with his composure on the ball, excellent passing and dribbling skills. Cannot praise him highly enough!

Tomas Rosicky: 8/10
Was lively all night and linked up well with the front two. Came close with a couple of opportunities and showed intelligence by exposing the space in behind the Bolton defence.

Julio Baptista: 7/10
Always looked on the periphery and couldn’t settle into the pace of the game. Had numerous clear chances to find the Bolton net but just wasn’t his day.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 9/10
He did miss a sitter but scored twice and never stopped running. Without the influencial Thierry Henry he took control of the game and showed his class. Fantastic performance.


Freddie Ljungberg: 8/10
Replaced Hleb on 77 minutes. Took a good 10 minutes to get into the pace of the game which wasn’t suprising with his lengthy injury but took his goal superbly.

Jeremie Aliadiere: 9/10
Replaced Rosicky on 90 minutes. Only played in extra time but was highly influencial – especially with the tired legs out there. Ran at the Bolton players like they didn’t exist and eased the pressure on Arsenal with his runs. His waltzing run that beat 5 or 6 Bolton players setup the decisive 2nd goal to put Arsenal into the next round. Unlucky not to start and finally looks settled in an Arsenal squad.


12 thoughts on “Freddie: Forget Me Not In The FA Cup (With Player Ratings)

  1. I am beginning to worry about the size of this team, we might just have too many players and Arsene might find it difficult to keep all of them. Arsene can play any formation ever played in the world of football with the variety of the players he has at his disposal. He can play 2-6-2 or 2-7-1 like one blogger said. Denilson was good. Cesc is still better as he has more experience but I think this will make the players better. Denilson, Diaby and Cesc will be a fantastic three in a 4-3-3 formation in the future.

    Eboue Toure Djourou Clichy
    Denilson Diaby Cesc
    Van Persie Theo Aliadere

    That team will beat most teams in the world and that is not even close to the first team. What about Henry Gallas Giberto Hleb Tomas Adebayor Baptista Freddy Hoyte Traore Nicholas Vela Maumba and so on…..

    RVP is injured but we have found Ali my god he looks like a top player who will challenge the top strikers now, I think Tomas might be rested and I expect him to play. Ali will not be sold not surely. What of Vela and Nicholas where will they play??

  2. Great performance by a young team tonight to beat our bogey team and without our big names like Gallas, Henry, Eboue, Fabregas & Lehmann.

    Dare I say we play better football without Henry?

    Anyway, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised with Freddie’s brilliant finish! Looks like we know why Wenger held on to him now!

  3. Fantastic win! We gave Bolton a footballing lesson. Rosicky and Hleb were fabulous. And, what can I say about Clichy? What a great left-back. Everyone played their heart-out, with a single mission – to beat Bolton at their own yard. What a way to do that.

  4. The squad is big and thats what Wenger always said. there were so many injuries that it always seemed short. With everyone available the strength in depth is significant. Wenger will need all of his squad to play Carling Cup, Fa cup, CL and League.

  5. Seems like we have 2 pretty good teams now.

    eboue toure gallas clichy
    hleb gilberto cesc rosicky
    henry rvp

    hoyte djourou senderos traore
    walcott denilson diaby ljungberg
    ade aliadiere

    and that’s not including bendtner, baptista, flamini etc..
    let’s see how blackburn get toasted on saturday!

  6. well, the fact is we cannot keep all of them. wenger will pick those out who he feels he cannot keep. they will be sold for god knows how much, and help fund other arrivals. this process will produce a great team.
    at the moment the ideal future team looks like:

    bendtner v. persie

    rosicky denilson fabregas walcott

    clichy senderos toure hoyte


    keeping in mind, on the bench are:
    2nd GK
    *nuri sahin?
    fran merida

    * – new signing
    this all without the likes of henry, gallas, gilberto, hleb, lehmann etc.

  7. Almunia better start having bad games after the Carling cup Final(without leading to an Arsenal lose obviously) or else he will convince Wenger to make him 1st choice when The Big German leaves because in the last few games he has played he has been consistent and most importantly solid.

  8. on clichy: last years best left-back was lahm. dare i say clichy has been the best at that position so far this season? cole: mediocre with chelsea at best, lahm: inconspicuous, heinze/evra: inconsistent.
    no further candidates. whilst clichy has been consistent, stunning, and strong.

  9. How high are your player ratings? Denilson 10? WTF? Diaby 9? He played well but 9? Ali 9? He didnt come on until extra time!!! And how does Baptista score a 7? He was atrocious. Try 4 at best.

  10. Hey, I’m glad you picked out Denilson, i thought he was by far the best player on the pitch in the first half. The beeb seemed to concentrate their praise on Hleb and my paper picked out Tommy (both of whom were good but…). He did put a couple of balls wrong and i was surpried Wenger did not take him off as he seemed pretty knackered after 70 minutes but he kept going and i guess it can only help his fitness levels. Great to see we’ve got some real backup for cesc and he seems to be a bit bigger as well, a good understanding with diaby would be a real bonus especially when the possible/inevitable/i don’t even want to think about it happens and cesc goes back to Barca.

  11. Baptista did try so I can’t believe you would give him a 4 spoon! I suppose everyone needs to be perfect in your eyes eh? I’d hate to mates with you!

    And Baptista did win the second penalty, and if Gilberto actually converted it then we’d be talking about Baptista.

  12. Top marks to beasty for effort but low marks for finesse. His touch and passing was too heavy 70% of the time. Fair dues to him for sticking at it though, he could have easily gone missing, but he was always available and putting the effort in. A lot more to come from him if he wants to stay with us. i think he would make a good addition to the squad as he as presence and can be a threat……just wasnt his night last night .

    The midfield ran the show. Denilson and Diaby were totally dominant over speed and nolan. And tommo and hleb always looked like they could make something happen.

    And i must say Ali looked good as a left winger. More of the same Wenger for Ali in my book.


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