Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Fabregas is our God + player ratings

Posted by James Dall on 22, January 2007

What a game yesterday. I am so happy…

The game was an incredible spectacle, I was on the edge of my seat throughout. A last minute winner made it even more gorgeous.

The starting line-up was as expected, Flamini in the centre of midfield with Fabregas and Adebayor up top with Thierry. Man U started the game better than us, pegging us back in the first ten minutes, we struggled to develop a rhythm. As the first half went on though we improved, getting the ball down and pushing it around nicely. Our first real chance came from a superb cross from Adebayor, which landed on the head of Thierry. The header was tame and fell straight into the keeper’s arms. Disappointing. Quickly after, Henry burst into the box and was caught by Neville, for me it was a penalty, Henry did make a little bit more of it than he should have done but none the less it was a pen. Not given.

Towards the end of the half Man U won a couple of corners, the first fell to Rooney on the edge, who hit a dipping shot which was excellently saved by Lehman. From the resulting corner Larsson had a free header which was saved bottom corner by Jens. A frantic end to a first half which had been a fantastic footballing spectacle. Such superb tempo, technique and movement.

The second half started well for us. Our tempo was faster and we seemed to have more urgency. I was sure we were in the driving seat, however of course I knew at any minute Man U could spring forward. That they did with a bursting run by Evra who surged forward and was slid in by Ronaldo. Evra whipped the ball across, it then took a nick of Toure’s head falling straight to Rooney who buried his header in the corner. I was gutted. We did not deserve to be behind.

We then continued to battle. Rosicky flashed a shot wide, followed by a scramble in the box, where Adebayor almost poked home. van Persie came on for the surprisingly below par Hleb, with Rosicky moving over to the right. Another attacking sub was made in the Bap for Flamini. We had four strikers on now and were really pushing United. Despite this they were standing firm.

Scholes lost the ball near the corner of the area, Fabregas and Rosicky brilliantly scrapped for it. Resulting in a weighted ball from Fabregas to Rosicky, who whipped it across goal. Henry flicked it on, and then back post van Persie smashed into the roof of the net. A very difficult finish, which sent The Emirates into pandemonium. I went crazy. We deserved the goal and I was absolutely buzzing. From then on Man U never really pushed to score a second, whereas we were a lot more positive. If I am honest I would have settled for a point, a loss was unthinkable.

Then came the moment which sent every Arsenal fan absolutely crazy. Eboue played a one two with Rosicky, and then delivered a fantastic cross into the box.A world class cross really. Then Henry smashed a header home. After missing a golden opportunity in the first half, he made no mistake this time. A bullet header. Get in there!!  We held out and gained three points. Putting us 12 points behind first. What a marvellous game. A fantastic weekend, especially as I passed my FA level 2 coaching badge on the Saturday! 

So player ratings…

Lehman – 8 – not so much regularly tested but when called upon was excellent.

Eboue – 8 – goodness what a frustrating player. Had a marvellous game marred by stupid play acting. Kept Ronaldo quiet though and got forward brilliantly.

Toure – 8 – Solid as usual, kept things sound at the back.

Senderos – 7 – a couple of errors and his passing was not great but defensively sound.  

Clichy – 7 – Strong showing, forced Ronaldo to switch to the other flank and was rarely troubled by Rooney.

Hleb – 5 – Unusually poor, he was superb in his defensive duties although going forward did not really offer much.

Flamini – 7 – worked hard, complimented Fabregas well.

Fabregas – 9 – star man once again, always looked dangerous.

Rosicky – 6 – improved when he was switched over to the right.

Adebayor – 7 – I admire his work rate, he is a player that is easy to love.

Henry – 7 – not involved much but delivered when needed.

Subs – van Persie – 7 – a vital goal, Baptista – 6 – not much time, Hoyte – 6 – late replacement for Eboue.

So there we have it. There is a sad bit of news with regards to van Persie who has broken his fifth metatarsal. He could be out for a while, we all wish him a speedy recovery. I am sure later today or tomorrow we shall hear more about the injury.

Arsene was rightly delighted

It was a test of character, resilience, togetherness, and qualities that are very important for the development of the team. And I believe that we went on until the end because we wanted to win, really to win until the last second, and in the last twenty minutes it was all us.

With regards to our title chances for me we really do need to take one game at a time. Personally I would still be happy to finish third and pick up a cup trophy. It would be a real sign of progress from last season. Beating Chelsea at home really would be a treat for every Gunner too.

Fabregas talks here about the victory. There is reaction from Flamini here and Henry here.

So there we have it. An unreal game, a brilliant weekend. Spurs next in the Carling Cup but for now at least we can savour every drop of this victory…


21 Responses to “Fabregas is our God + player ratings”

  1. norman said

    Loved it! Swore, groaned and cheared throughout. Great game to watch!!! Getting better week in and week out. The real test is every game now. We have match winners throughout this team. Big game players all over the pitch. Treat every game from here on in as the biggest of the season and these kids will rise to the occasion.

    The next 5 games are going to be huge for the top 4 and I predict come 15 points later, Arsenal can find themselves firmly back in this title race.

    Our next 5. Boro away. (I never said it would be easy.) Wigan home, Man City home, Villa away and Reading at home. Play the way we do and we should claim all 15 points.

    United 5. Watford home. (Lets see if they can recover from loosing in the final minute.) Spurs away. (Draw predicted) Charlton home, Fulham away and Liverpool away. (Another draw or Pool could do to them what they did to Chelsea)

    Chelski 5. Blackburn home. (this will be a draw) Charlton away, Boro home, Man City away, Portsmouth away. (Another draw)

    Pool 5. West Ham away, Everton home (Draw), Newcastle away, Sheffield U home, Man U home. (Draw)

    If my prediction are correct then United will be 6 points ahead of us and the $$$$boys will be 2 points ahead and we will be third.

  2. oz said

    Have you ever won the pools?

  3. smaakage said

    Well. Does’nt matter ’bout the game. We all know who’s best when United lift the trophy. Arsenal’s got no chance at all to win it.

    And yes. United deserved to win

  4. wilf said

    When Arsenal play at their best they play the finest football in the prem. Fabregas and Van Persie are awesome. Arsenal weren’t fluid against Utd and still snatched it – which as a ManCity fan is nice to see 😉
    I just wish there was an Englishman amongst Arsenal’s starting 11.

  5. buggy said

    What an awesome victory.

    I was so pleased to see Van Persie score the equalizer. I predict he’ll be an amazing player in the years to come. 🙂

    I’m a Liverpool fan, but I’m also a fan of beautiful football.

    Go you Gunners.

  6. Hussain said


    am one of ManUtd fans. It’s weired to be here, isn’t it? 🙂

    Anyway, Van Persie is a great player. Alway enjoyed his performance in many matches.

    ManUtd played very well that day (there’s no doubt about it :P). However, still don’t know what mistakes we made that shift the whole game against us!

  7. Tigere said

    This has to be one of the worst Sundays in a very long time for me,I’m a Red-Devil-for-Life, straight out of Harare, Zimbabwe. I suppose the only good thing that came out your smash-and-grab was the wake up call for our lads, and of course the sight of my Gunner-for-Life-Wife jumping up and down and our 4 month old daughter wondering what the hell has gotten into her mom… Good game but that wont stop us, Up the Devils!!!

  8. mayowa said

    stop ’em if u can


    Arsenal has the biggest fan base in Lagos, Nigeria. The city was jubilating when Igwe (henry)- that means King scored the winner.It was party till daybreak. I believe playing this way and the return of the big shield (gilberto) come the end of the season manU chelsea wuld be behind us.


  9. kpjayan said

    Oh man, what a match. one or two observations..

    a) There is a lack of a proper center back. Not sure Why Gallas is not playing ?

    b) Rosicky is becoming like ” Lampard during Worldcup”. So many shots over the cross bar and to the advt boards.

    c) Scholes was off colour. So was many of the stars.. Except for a momentory brilliance Henry too was not in form.

  10. MickeyBoy said

    Do we think gilberto will start tomorrow?

  11. wilf said

    Arsenal missed Gilberto. No wonder Utd could come at them so strong in the first half hour.

  12. GONER said

    complemented, not complimented.

    “Yo Cesc! You look good!”

  13. alan said

    Mickey Boy, Gilberto got a straight red. He’s suspended for two more matches so he’ll miss tomorrow, and the Bolton Cup game.

  14. nass said

    i’m a ManU fan, n I think the Gunners deserved to win the game that day. They fought hard till the end.

  15. sam said

    why do people like you insist on calling footballers the word you did to discribe fabregas, as a religous man and a diehard gooner i find that term offensive.

    A lover of you posts(generally)

  16. MickeyBoy said

    Wilf – I think you will find that Gilberto is ONLY suspended for PL games!

    Song to score the winner………..

  17. quophi said

    king henry has the biggest fan base in New Jersey here than any footballer in the world! visit us one of these vacations, TH14!

  18. CarlostheGooner said

    Mickey boy – Gilberto is suspended for spuds away and bolton at home. Back for second leg of ‘don’t care’ cup against spuds at home next wednesday

  19. quophi said

    this is one of the most painful defeats manchester ‘divided’ hav suffered. the will forever remember this with two reasons:
    1. they hav eaten their words up dat henry is not a big game player
    2. henry rarely scores with a header!

    they think they are sitting atop the table as ‘kings’ but now the ‘aces’ are back! who is the illest fellas?

  20. chandra said

    excellent stuff. fantastic win. manure paid heavily for their time-wasting tactic!

  21. tunde said

    The records states that whenever we beat a manu home and away we always win the league….. am so certain that we are winning the league… Quote me when this happens.

    Gunner forlife…
    tunde from nigeria

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