Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Charlton 1 Arsenal 2

I must try not to gush too much about this. I'm not used to this kind of quality. But Arsenal were very good. I heard on the radio Arsenal had something like 70% of possession, which I could well believe. On the day it seemed like they had the ball all the time. Charlton just couldn't keep it for more than three passes.

So for the first 20 minutes Arsenal basically just passed it around, and created one chance when Henry juggled the ball across for Fabregas to head over. Out of nothing though, Charlton punted one forward and Hasselbaink, looking clearly offside to me but post-match reports suggest it was "marginal", ran clear and squared to Bent for a tap-in. This woke Arsenal up and for about 15 minutes they tore Charlton to ribbons. Somehow it took them that long before Hleb danced around three defenders and, just as I was saying "penalty spot", pulled it back to that very place for Van Persie to control expertly and drive home. From then until half-time Clattenburg tried his very best to spoil the game with constant whistling and cards, managing to enrage both sets of fans in the process, which usually takes some doing.

Two minutes into the second half Van Persie scored probably as good a goal as I've ever seen, in 18 years, and I was there when Trevor Sinclair scored that overhead kick. Hleb sent Eboue off down the right wing yet again, only for the latter to realise when he reached the byeline that everyone else was 30 yards behind him. So he belted the ball in the general direction of the onrushing Van Persie and Henry. Without breaking stride the Dutchman somehow blasted the ball, on the volley, from 3 feet off the ground, straight into the top corner. It was a literally unbelievable goal, I'm sitting here typing this and I still cannot believe that he scored it.

Arsenal created a bunch more chances after that but Carson saved well from Henry, Fabregas and Henry again. Despite his one mistake against Portsmouth, I've seen enough of Carson to wonder why Liverpool have let him go on loan, especially looking at some of the goals Reina has conceded lately. What I wondered at this point, though, was whether Arsenal really had the killer instinct to finish the game off. Maybe players as good as these look casual whatever they do, but one or two mistakes allowed Charlton a sniff of a draw. Lehmann saved from Reid, a decent penalty shout was turned down and Hasselbaink lived up to my comment yesterday by missing a free header.

In the end though, anything other than an away win would have been an utter travesty, whatever bollocks Charlton fans have been coming out with on the radio this evening. They need to smell the coffee, or should that be the deep shit they're in. Just to finish it off, there were four minutes of injury time and I think Charlton had the ball for about 10 seconds of it.

Elsewhere an awesome result for Rangers against Southampton, John Gregory is clearly a football genius, 10 days is plenty long enough for that to be stated with complete statistical certainty :-)


  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Stevie Bennett said…

    Wish I had read the blog last week Andy. I was looking for a ticket for Saturday's game and could not get one. Doh!

    I did watch it live on the pc and I agree we played some really good stuff again.

    However the big worry again was our finishing. Had it even been mediocre this season, instead of just plain appalling, we would still have a 100% league record. I am worried that this may be our achilles heel this season. Maybe we will sort it out. Titi has missed at least 6 one on ones this year already and that won't last.

    Oh and I am afraid the goal was very definitely onside thanks to a total lack of awareness by our left back. Another rick, in the ever increasing number, by the truly awful Justin Hoyte.

    It seems as one Cygan closes a Hoyte opens.

    Shame you did not get to see more of Rosicky though. I fully agree with Dom he really is a 'proper' player. Another coup by Le Boss


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