MaCinJay’s Musings

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Posts Tagged ‘FA Cup

Stalemate: Arsenal 0 – AC Milan 0

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After the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of old foes Manchester United in the FA Cup, Arsenal needed to raise their game in their home tie against AC Milan in the Champions League last night. It is a credit to the character of this young side that they were able to do this, and were indeed far more enterprising than the Italian giants.

Regrettably though they were unable to turn their dominance into a win, spurning several clear goal-scoring opportunities, although Adebayor came agonisingly close to stealing it in the dying moments of the game when he headed substitute Theo Walcott’s cross-ball onto the bar.

On the bright side Arsenal didn’t concede an away goal with Jens Lehman having a very quiet game. This means that Milan will have to win the next leg at the San Siro to go through; in the event of a draw the Gunners will progress if they manage to score at least one goal. It won’t be easy of course as Milan will be a different proposition playing at home. Hopefully they will be more charitable defensively than they were at the Emirates; Arsenal certainly have the resources to exploit any gaps left by Milan players pressing forward.

It should be a fascinating game to watch!

Written by macinjay

February 21, 2008 at 11:36 pm

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.