By Walter Broeckx
Sometimes you think in a game after some 40 seconds: this is going to be a walk in the park. A Queens Park even. And then some 90 minutes later you give a big sigh in relieve and are glad you got the 3 points.
It is the difficult time of the season. The time of the season where only one things matter: take 3 points. When Manchester United does this they are applauded for it and people say: this is the mark of champions. I bet the usual suspects will come and say how lucky we were and how shit we are and how… oh well you know the usual stuff.
We had a rather decent start to the game one could say. Theo opening the score in the first seconds of the game. As Tony predicted in his double anniversary game. 20 goals in total and 200 PL games.
We then dominated the game with ease. QPR came nowhere close in the first half hour. We didn’t create much either but just controlled the game and dominated the proceedings. Theo had the best chance to put us 2-0 up. He would have done it if it wasn’t for the goal post who didn’t want to co-operate this time. QPR hardly came in the neighbourhood and tried to launch a few long distance missiles but they were well off target.
More of that in the second half was the general thought. I wanted us to score that second goal. But in the second half QPR came out and wanted to have a go. And the first 20 minutes we let them have a go. We defended well but we gave away the ball too much to my likings. We couldn’t keep the ball as we did in the first half. I noticed the ref being as the other refs in the last games. Good in the first half but gradually leaning over to the other side in the second half.
And that didn’t help our game at all. Slightest contacts were given against us but the other way round not. You could see Wenger getting more and more agitated about the way we played. But the good news is that our back four was solid and gave not much away. And even when there was something dangerous we had Sczcesny who stopped the few attempts from QPR. We just played too slow and not with enough precision.
I suddenly saw Wenger and Bould both furiously shouting in their technical area and after that the team more or less won back their composure. But a 1-0 lead is a risky thing. You only need one deflection or one mistake and you lose the lead. But the defenders didn’t make any mistakes. Or not fatal mistakes. Per and Kos, whom we might call KosPer from now on were much in control.
After some 70 minutes we took the control back and that resulted in a few chances with again Theo the most dangerous man up front. But this time the keeper could push his shot in corner.
Of course in the last minutes QPR tried to threw all they had left to us but it wasn’t really enough to trouble us. But still very much a nervous end to the game as it usually is when you only lead 1-0.
The bad things are things I leave for the usual suspects. If focus on the good things. Another clean sheet. And in a way it reminds me of the 1-0 to the Arsenal era. Are we going back to this? With some more goals if possible from our side but you have to admit it even if you think we don’t do defending and our defenders are shit: we do have found a nice defensive balance these last weeks.
And that is something to build on for the next 2 games that will be very difficult as both teams (Wigan and Newcastle) are in a battle to avoid the drop to the championship. But if we can do what we did today and get two 1-0 wins I would take it right here and now. Of course would like us to beat them well with us scoring a lot of goals. But at this time of the season goals don’t come on demand.
And I also would like to ask those Gooner-pretenders if they are still happy with the 3 match ban of Giroud. I do think we miss him as he is more used to that central forward role and his aerial power is better than what Podolski can offer. And when defending corners he also is very useful.
At the end of the day 3 important points against a team only playing for pride in front of their home crowd. Two more games to go for Arsenal. Chelsea still have to go to MU tomorrow and I just hope that the traitor does us a favour tomorrow.
And then in midweek we will have to clash between Chelsea and the spuds. And after that we can see how they do next weekend while we sit and wait for Wigan to come to the Emirates. But whatever the results will be I think it will go to the final day with 3 teams fighting for 2 CL spots.