By Walter Broeckx
I can imagine that Tony at the moment I move my trembling fingers over the keyboard will be signing in full voice in the Emirates, that Arsenal are top of the league.
After our loss earlier this week in the league cup I said that maybe we didn’t give our all in that game. If we would have won it fine, if not….no big deal as it only would put more games on the calendar. And if you have read carefully the words of Kroenke, Gazidis and Wenger the most important thing is the Premier League. All the rest is detail, as most certainly is the league cup.
But it gave the opportunity for some to finally come out of the place they had been hiding for a few months. About how useless we are and were and will be. I can imagine that some will now keep their mouth shut. Till the next defeat. Here is some hoping that we will not see them again this season.
On to the game. Arsenal had the better of the game in the opening stages. A first safe from Mignolet on a low shot from Rosicky was the first important thing. A run from Henderson and a terrible shot was the Liverpool answer and then they had a few minutes with a bit more balanced play on the field.
And then Arsenal stepped it up after some 15 minutes. Sagna who played his 250th game for Arsenal (CONGRATULATIONS BAC!!!!) was released on the right and he cut his cross a bit back behind Giroud. OOOOOOHHHH SANTI CAZORLA came rushing on and headed the ball from the penalty point against the goal post. The ball bounced back infield and Santi was there and oh my god how happy I am that he is really two footed and he blasted the ball in the net. 1-0 to the Arsenal. And what about keeping calm. In such a situation most players blast the rebound over the bar but Santi kept his composure.
From then on Arsenal changed their tactics and went on a ball hunt. Great pressure in midfield and it kept the dangerous front duo of Suarez and Sturridge away from the Arsenal goal. A terrible dive from Sturridge should have resulted in a yellow card but the ref let it go. Ramsey with a low shot but a good save from Mignolet.
In the second half Liverpool started better. And it resulted in two dangerous situations with the shot from Henderson going close. But after some 10 minutes we took over once again. Twice Giroud had the chance to put us 2-0 up.
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First time he intercepted a poor defensive pass and his lob went over Mignolet but flew against the bad side of the net. Minutes later his low shot was well stopped by Mignolet.
But it was the sign of Arsenal going for the second goal. And what a goal it was. Özil held the ball on the right wing and instead of the easy option he went for a delicate lofted pass over a Liverpool defender in to the path of Ramsey. Aaron controlled it, let it bounce and released a thunderous shot that went in right under the crossbar passed the desperately diving Mignolet. Nothing he could do about that shot. One of the best strikes of the season by one of the best players of the season.
2-0 and still half an hour to go. And you could see that the team was having only one thing in their mind: we will not let this slip away. And we could have added another goal on the counter but it wasn’t to be.
But Liverpool tried to get a goal back on us. And Szczesny showed once again what a great keeper he is at the moment. Even though that we all had our heart in our mouths when his attempted clearance hit Sturridge and he could pick up the ball. Please Wojciech, no more if you don’t mind. I can imagine he was the most relieved man in the ground.
It would have put a big shadow over an almost perfect performance from the Polish keeper.
We became a bit sloppy and too casual at the back in the last minutes and almost gave Liverpool a lifeline. Something we should not do next time around.
But all in all this was a well deserved victory from a team that put lots and lots of effort in their game. All players worked hard to make sure we won. So it is difficult to pick a man of the match. Feel free to make your pick but I will go for the whole team for their effort.
Only negative point is that Gibbs went off with an injury, looked like a muscle injury. So I think Monreal will have to step up in the next weeks but he has shown that he is more than capable in the short moments he has played.
The only thing I want now is to have a draw between Everton and the spuds. But for now we are 5 points clear from the rest.
Who said we can’t win top games? We have done it in the past and today we did it again. 5 points clear. Who predicted that after the first day of the season? Well I admit not even I. And I am known as an optimist. By the way this is the second win we got against a team from the top 6 this season.
Not that bad don’t you think?