It was an open game, end to end and Arsenal had 60% possession.
People always say it’s not the amount of possession you have but what you do with it (well, teams that play negatively anyway) and Arsenal were punished for playing an attacking game.
Sp*rs, at home, played like the away team.
They have a small club mentality, which was summed up when Gareth Bale tried to waste time by the corner flag with 10 minutes to go.
The frustrating thing for me is the better team lost. Our play was more ambitious, but we didn’t have the cutting edge. We had the majority of possession, had the same amount of shots (as the away team), more blocked shots, more shots inside the area, won more tackles, won more balls in the air and had more corners. We made almost 200 more passes than they did and almost has twice as many crosses.
What lost it for us was some shambolic defending and no cutting edge.
When Ramsey was played in by Rosicky, he had so much time to pick his spot and score what would have been a well-deserved equaliser. But clinical finishing was never Ramsey’s game.
I thought Arsenal were excellent for most of the game, and showed a hell of a lot more ambition than the “home” team.
But Arsene made big mistakes with the important decisions. Jenkinson was excellent today and why he was taken off is anyone’s guess. His defending was top class and his attacking play was fantastic too – his delivery from the wide-right position is top drawer and he should have stayed on. Jenkinson would have had a better chance of converting the opportunity Ramsey squandered.
And Podolski should have started wide on the left with Giroud up top and Walcott on the right. Podolski is no good when chasing a game and he is more effective when there’s a chance of playing on the break (which was not that often in the first half and then impossible when we went behind).
I think the best way to describe today’s game is that form is temporary, but class is permanent. The way they acted on the touchline and after the game was of a side which won a cup final and you could even see William Gallas was a bit embarrassed when he was coming on and Steffen Freund was giving “encouragement” as if they were about to win the world cup.
Gareth Bale was nowhere near this ridiculous “third best player in the world” tag every man and his dog have been harping on about for the last few months. He was hugely ineffective apart from the goal and didn’t contribute anything else. He didn’t give the Arsenal defence any problems and Wilshere was a far bigger influence than him. Before the game Bale had only scored 4 goals at home and 11 away, typifying the fact that Sp*rs play a negative football most effective on the break.
In the end, our defending was the reason we lost. Not our desire, effort or possession play. We gave it our best shot but gave ourselves a mountain to climb with a crazy 3 minutes where we lost our heads. But for the rest of the game we were the better side.