Last night Andrey Arshavin showed us all a master class. Since yesterdays performance (where he literally carried the team) I can’t stop watching the goals because they were truly phenomenal.
If the finishing wasn’t impressive enough, the sheer desire in this guy is top class. Only a handful of players were actually bothered and make no mistake the Russian got us out of jail.
Don’t forget, we were playing a side who are fighting to win the league. And although there were a lot of negatives (including the poor defending and the lack of desire) the fact is we were leading the match 3 times with a patched up back five. With Gallas or Djourou alongside Kolo at the back I seriously doubt we would have conceded some of those sloppy goals.
But obviously the main positive was that man Andrey Arshavin.
Every goal had something special:
A nice ball wide from Song to Nasri plays the ball into the corner which Liverpool get back for Mascherano to lose to a Fabregas challenge. Nasri picks up the loose ball and plays a beautiful reverse pass into Cesc who looks up and picks out Arshavin to smash the ball into the net off the bar.
Despite having 7 Liverpool players in the box when Fabregas plays it square Arshavin cleverly waltzes in between central defenders Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher and has the quality to shoot first time and pick his spot in a crowded penalty area.
Fabianski’s goal kick is headed on by Arshavin which is headed towards Arbeloa by Jamie Carragher. Arshavin nips in front of Arbeloa, runs towards goal and fires the ball into the side netting.
When Carragher heads the ball forwards Arshavin is a good 7 yards behind Arbeloa and still manages to get the ball. The desire and ability to dispossess the defender is impressive enough but the finish was world class. He had 3 defenders charging him down but he still had the quality to rip the ball past Reina from the edge of the box.
Nasri has a little run in the middle and passes to Arshavin out on the left. He plays it back to Nasri who crosses first time and Aurellio ‘clears’ the ball which goes straight to the Russian who controls the ball with his first touch and scores with his second.
How many Arsenal players would have just slashed at the ball and missed? The only other player in the squad who would have the ability to control the ball in the crowded area and pick his spot would be Eduardo, which highlights how well the goal was taken. After playing in Nasri out wide he has the awareness to take up a position on the middle and the composure for the goal is breathtaking. Watch it again, he makes it look so easy it’s unreal.
Arsenal defend a corner from which Theo Walcott runs about 50 yards and plays in Arshavin who smashes the ball past Reina for his fourth.
It’s the last minute and yet Arshavin runs 80 yards to support Walcott on the break. To take the goal so well after busting a gut is sensational and he’s made all 4 goals look so easy. Fantastic desire, fantastic goal and fantastic energy so late in the game.
And if you didn’t love Arshavin already then here’s an interview on the Arsenal.com website. He plays down his contribution in the first half and talks about how he needs more time to settle in at Arsenal!