By Walter Broeckx
In a cup game where winning is the only important thing we didn’t achieve what we deserved. I think apart from those who support Blackburn and those who hate Arsenal there will be no really neutral football lovers out there who think that Blackburn deserved to win. But they scored and we didn’t and that is what will go in to the record books. Now you could say that I as an Arsenal supporter am biased in this but this was the same conclusion that was said by my match commentator when they scored and at the end of the 90 minutes.
And I think also the stats are telling what my match commentator saw and what I have seen.
What I try to remember is that we played a game where we had a possession number 71%-29%. And yet we couldn’t score.
We had the shot numbers 28-7. And yet we couldn’t score.
We couldn’t break down the Blackburn wall. Football is about scoring goals and we couldn’t score a goal. Their keeper Kean was the best player on the pitch. In the first half he made a couple of great saves and he just kept on doing that in the second half.
A keeper playing the game of his life against Arsenal is something that we have seen before. But this is the way it goes sometimes. In such a game you sometimes need a lucky break. We didn’t get one. Two headers were somehow clawed out of goal and Gervinho missed the chance just before the interval when he was put through on goal by Rosicky.
In the second half we again produced enough chances to score a goal. But again each ball just seemed to end up in his arms. And when he got beaten by a thunderous strike from Rosicky he got the help of his crossbar. I feared it wouldn’t be our day from last Monday. When that ball came out I just felt it surely wasn’t to be our day.
We were trying to break the 11 player wall but it just wasn’t good enough. In a way our triple substitution might have cost us a bit. Up to then Blackburn could hardly get close to Sczesny and suddenly they turned up in front of goal. Szczesny parried the shot but right in to the feet of Kazim who in fact scuffed his shot but was lucky to see the ball bounce up and against the post and then in the net.
Maybe the new players not really taken up the positions the other players had taken and those positions seemed good enough to keep them away from our goal. Making Szczesny almost a spectator and maybe he wasn’t really awake when their shot on goal came in.
When the football gods turn away from your team you get such games. Possession, shots, and then one bad taken shot from the opposition that went in. Football can be a cruel game.
Full Time Stats
Arsenal v Blackburn
On target 7-2,
Duels Won 48%-52%,
Pass Accuracy 87%-63%,
And yet we lost. Sometimes it isn’t your day.
We can talk about it for days and we probably will but we just should have won the game. In a way I am glad that the result was determined by Kean and not Dean. Yes he did a few of his usual tricks but it was the performance of Kean that decided the final score. And when a player has an exceptional game I can accept a defeat. That is football and the way it can go. A defeat caused by the ref is more difficult to accept. I’m not happy about the result but well their keeper did his best and had a great game and had the luck of the good. (Das Gluck der Tuchtigen as the German expression is)
The most disappointing thing about this game was the fact that some of the players who got a chance to impress didn’t take the opportunity with both hands. And I think from now on we will mostly see the 7 players we took off before the game will be in the starting line up when fit.
People can argue about not starting with the best 11. But if we would have done this and would have got an injury to one of those players we would be telling that Wenger was wrong in playing them. It was up to the backup players to perform. But it didn’t work. Well the scoring thing didn’t work.
That is the way it goes sometimes. Time to lick our wounds. But better keep it short. Next Tuesday is another game. I don’t think Bayern Munich will play the same Blackburn tactics and will be more open in their game. They don’t have the habit to play 11 man in front of their keeper. And we can hope that with our best 11 out there we can have a better game and certainly score when the chances present themselves.
Come on Gunners lets ziehen die Bayern die Lederhosen aus. (Lets pull out those Lederhosen from Bayern).