Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

A third game in the North-west results in a third victory

Posted by James Dall on 14, January 2007

Morning, a welcome 3 points away from home yesterday. In the north west as well. Superb stuff. That of course does not tell half the story, in a game which had plenty of incidents.

We did not start too well. Blackburn had most of the ball, winning a few set pieces. Then on the 13th minute Savage went in hard on Gilberto. It was a foul, he knew it but he thought he would have a bit of a snap at Gilberto while he was down. Foolishly Gilberto fell for the bait and kicked out at Savage. Now the kick was silly, and Gilberto should have known better. However Savage is a prat. He provokes opponents and in my opinion Styles, the referee, should have handed out a yellow card to both players. It was so early on in the game, common sense was needed. It looks like Wenger will not be appealing the decision though.  Gilberto now looks to be suspended for some big games ahead – Manchester United, Spurs and Bolton.

When Gilberto trudged off the pitch, I thought the worse. How wrong I was. Wenger did not make any subs. Leaving van Persie or Henry to wonder a bit. And then a player stepped up when he was most needed. In the centre of midfield on his own, Fabregas, simply ran it. He passed, moved, had so much of the ball. He was the catalyst. Blackburn were not creating and we were edging up the pitch. Then van Persie broke through and was chopped. Might have been a red card fro Neil on a different day. Henry floated a terrific ball into the box, and then Toure, the only man in there, powered a header off the up right and in. We deserved the goal. I was absolutely buzzing! Dancing round the living room. I knew how much of a big goal that could be.

In the second half we continued the game plan of sitting back and hitting Blackburn on the counter attack. Flamini came on for van Persie to give us some more energy. Blackburn won a free kick in a dangerous area on the 70th minute but wasted it. We then broke down the left. Henry carried the ball all the way down the line, with Fabregas moving all the time to try and give him an option. Henry rolled it into him, Fabregas passed it into his path and Henry curled one first time from the corner of the area into the top corner. A magnificent goal. Amazing! He really is a legend. 3 goals in 3 games since his return, he really is back. After that we rode the game out easily. A mention for a shocking challenge made by Tugay on Fabregas foot. At first I thought he had broken it. It looks like he should be ok –

It’s a bit painful, but I’ll be alright as I’ll have a week to rest. I’m sure I’ll be able to play. It won’t be a problem if the boss wants to play me.

That is a major relief, facing Manchester United without him and Gilberto actually would have been a disaster. More later on this week about our possible options and systems for the game a week today.

The whole team worked so hard. Especially Hleb and Rosicky. Special mentions should go to Toure and Senderos who dealt with everything Blackburn attempted to create. Henry for his moment of genius and of course once again for a truly memorable display – Fabregas.

Henry felt the red card was harsh too –

I didn’t it was a red card, but what can you do? Argue? I just wanted to make sure we focussed after the red card. Even Robbie Savage told me on the pitch it was not a red card. Is it fair? I don’t think so. It’s always the one who reacts who gets punished.

Arsene was obviously delighted with the display –

I wanted to see how we coped with the situation. After 10 minutes I decided to keep it going as I wanted to win the game. I think we controlled the game quite well. I feel it was a great combination of quality, talent and solidarity. It was very pleasing to see. The team is growing from game to game. I’ve felt for a while now we’ve grown in maturity at the back. We didn’t concede today and that’s very good. We played quality football mixed with great spirit.

So a deserved three points in a game I think most, including myself, were not particularly looking forward to. It was raining and windy but we dug in, with ten men also. Who would have thought our recent trip to the North West would leave us with 3 victories out of 3. A brilliant achievement. One that should be remembered with pride, what with the troubles we have had there recently. Unfortunately the rest of the top four won but if we are honest our match was the toughest of the lot.  Have a relaxing Sunday, more tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “A third game in the North-west results in a third victory”

  1. ClockendJim said

    I feel that Styles refereeing was deplorable at Blackburn. If Gilberto had to go by the letter of the law, then the perpetrator of the whole mess, Lilly-livered Savage, should have gone too. So early in the game, a yellow card for each would have been sensible though.
    Along with bottling out of sending Neill off for his trip on Van Persie, the most outrageous of all was Tugay’s cold and calculated attack on Fabregas right in front of him, causing actual bodily harm.
    No way should any referee get away with such an inept performance. I hope there is a system in place and honest men to implement it, that will judge Styles and downgrade him. If video evidence can be used to review events then all these matters should be considered.
    Savage committed enough crimes in one event to have got 3 yellow cards; two seperate attacks on Gilberto followed by simulation for his salmon leap in the air from little or no contact from Gilberto’s foot.

  2. amiripz said

    Well, these guys continue to impress as days go by.
    Another brilliant performance full of energy, spirit and smartness.

    Too bad we are missing Gilberto vs. ManUTD as he has played fantasticlly at Old Trafford.

  3. Anonymous said

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