MaCinJay’s Musings

another case of inverse vandalism

Five points clear: Arsenal 2 – Blackburn Rovers 0

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Up to now the current English Premier League season has been a real nail-biter. But after both Manchester Utd and Chelsea dropped points over the weekend Arsenal had a chance to go five points clear by beating Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening. (United’s home defeat against local rivals City was certainly an unexpected boost; they had not lost to City at Old Trafford since 1974!)

Arsenal had the perfect start, going 1-0 up from a corner kick after Phillippe Senderos cut loose from his marker (the hapless Benni McCarthy, who looks a shadow of the player from last season) and scored with a rocket of a header. For a while after that it looked like Arsenal might go on to repeat the demolition of Rovers from last season, when they won 6-2. But while some of Arsenal’s passing movements were a joy to behold the final ball often let them down and too much possession was conceded, allowing Rovers to get a toehold in the game. Even so the deficit would have been a lot higher if it wasn’t for Brad Friedel, who made a series of crucial saves. Alexander Hleb – easily the best player on the night – also hit Friedel’s right post with a low shot in the second half. He had the last laugh though after setting up Adebayor in the dying seconds of the match for yet another goal in his incredible scoring streak that now stretches to nine games.

While the season is far from over the five-point cushion will provide a nice psychological boost for Arsenal before the FA Cup tie against Utd, who will surely be harbouring a few self-doubts now after the defeat against City.

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