Winning Ugly Has Never Been So Beautiful

Arsenal (2) – (0) Blackburn Rovers
Senderos (3′), Adebayor (90’+1)
The Emirates Stadium, London

What a weekend!

Well I say weekend, it only really started on Sunday when Manchester United hosted neighbours City in the early kick off. City put in an impressive performance and did us a huge favour by winning at Old Trafford, meaning that we were still top with a game in hand.

And now Arsenal have extended that lead to 5 points, with 12 games remaining.

People will say that the season is far from over – and rightly so, especially still having to visit Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge – but the fact of the matter is Arsenal travel to those places not having to win. We can draw these games, and the great thing is that United and Chelsea will have to play to win and that is when Arsenal are at their most dangerous, when sides attack us.

But the same couldn’t be said about Blackburn.

Arsenal started excellently, with Senderos scoring from a cool Eduardo corner after only 3 minutes – and for the next 20 Arsenal moved the ball around well and caused the visitors all kinds of problems. Unfortunately though, we couldn’t grab that vital second and Blackburn eventually started to come out just before the half time interval.

The second half was hit and miss, with Arsenal creating a few half chances but with Blackburn content with having 10 men behind the ball and seemingly trying to keep the score down we found it tough to increase the lead. Most of the game was frustrating to watch, partly because of Blackburns hugely negative tactics, and partly because at only 1-0 a single set-piece or mistake could cost Arsenal vital points in the Championship race.

But with seconds of the game remaining, a great run from Alexander Hleb was finished off with style from the in-form Adebayor who smashed his shot into the net.

And that was pretty much the story of the game – an early goal, and a late goal sealed all the points and put Arsenal firmly in the drivers seat.

Arsene said after the match that despite the lack of usual fluency (not helped with Rosicky injured and Fabregas having to play wide) the team was sharp mentally, and it’s hard to argue with that because Lehmann (in for a poorly Almunia) hardly had anything to do over the 90 minutes. Although he did well when called upon.

It’s worth pointing out that Senderos also put in another excellent performance, and really has struck up a great understanding with William Gallas. Arsene really has a big problem coming into the coming weeks – who should start? Toure or Senderos?

Because after seeing the ACN game between the Ivory Coast and Egypt, it seems like Kolo could do with a rest for a couple of weeks to get his mind together.


7 thoughts on “Winning Ugly Has Never Been So Beautiful

  1. I was dissapointed with Eduardo tonight. Ade was through twice and he delayed playing the ball to him am just glad it didnt cost us at the end.

    We look solid at the back. Toure needs a rest but we play Milan next week, Kaka and Pato are very quick on the counter & we need Toure’s pace against them

  2. Stripped down as they were and confronted with Blackburn’s tactics, I thought the guys did everything asked of them.

    You always worry a little at 1-0 but honestly, Blackburn didn’t look they had a clue where a goal might come from and the fans WERE far more edgy than the players. These guys DO believe they can handle anything.

    We’ve got reinforcements coming back soon — surely before the head-to-head games with United and Chelsea, but…

    The only negative was a needless yellow — which wasn’t much, to be honest. Cesc now has 9 yellows and another one would mean a two-match ban.

    Hleb certainly can assume Fab’s role against most teams, but I wouldn’t fancy being without No. 4 against the big boys.

    Nonetheless, after all the pre-season criticism and “club in crisis” nonsense from various idiots, it most definitely now has become…

    Catch us if you can!

  3. Eduardo was not performing to his usual standard because as a left-footed player, he was played on the right while Hleb vice versa. Each time, both players had to make diagonal run into the box to shoot or cross, thus slowing down the attacking tempo. I am convinced that Wenger anticipated that Ade would be crowded out in the box and encourage more attempt on goal by the flank players instead of trying to find the centre forward

  4. I think big Phil has earned his chance. He’s not going to keep Toure out of the side forever, but he has earned our confidence. I wouldn’t be against a rotation policy with Toure and Senderos for a few games to let Toure recover.

  5. are you serious ? wenger has a problem regarding senderos and toure, you obviously haven’t been impressed with his performances at the anc and that’s fair enough, but to suggest there’s dilemma as who to play is well frankly ridiculous.

    do you honestly believe we could do without toure between now and the end of the season ? i’d be edgy playing senderos against utd and milan let alone until the end of the season.
    people can be so fickle sometimes, toure has been our best defender over the last five years, senderos is doing what most centre backs worth their sorts are supposed to do be disciplined and stay focused he’s done it for half a dozen games and now your suggesting he could replace toure.

    what senderos has done recently has shown us that at the present time if toure or gallas were injured he could come in and be an able deputy.

  6. That wasn’t ugly at all. We dominated the vast majority of the game and they had almost no chances in the entire game. Along the way we obviously scored one great goal from Ade and could have had 5 more, whilst dominating possession deep in their half with some quick and tidy passing.

    Besides the last 15 minutes of the first half that was as good a performance as they’ve put in all season.

    Win ugly? Whaaat?


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