MaCinJay’s Musings

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Posts Tagged ‘Manchester United

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

Arsenal back on top

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I don’t get to see much English football these days but was privileged to catch Arsenal’s 4-1 rout of Everton away. This, coupled with last season’s champions Manchester United upset loss to the Hammers, was enough to send the Gunners back to the top of the Premiership with a two-point advantage.

Everton had the better of the first half though and led 1-0 via an opportunistic Tim Cahill goal following a defensive howler by Niklas Bendtner, who failed to clear an Everton corner-kick in the 19th minute. Arsenal needed to score early in the second half to get a foothold in the game and Eduardo duly obliged with an expertly-taken goal in the 47th minute after gathering a long ball played into Everton’s penalty area.

This effectively turned the tide of the match in the Gunners’ favour and Eduardo bagged another little gem ten minutes later. Bendtner however compounded his blunder in the first half by getting sent off for a second yellow card with about fifteen minutes left to play. Wenger wisely brought on the more-combative Adebayor in place of the unfortunate Eduardo (who certainly couldn’t have been too happy with Bendtner for denying him a possible hat-trick). Even Wenger though could not have expected the switch to lead to another Arsenal goal after the substitute seized on another lapse in Everton’s defence.

Things went from bad to worse for Everton in the closing stages of the game when Arteta was sent off for leaving his elbow high in a challenge on Fabregas. In normal circumstances this would have resulted in just a caution but the referee must have had the earlier sending off in the back of his mind. To add insult to injury Arsenal capped their performance with a another goal on the stroke of full-time after late-substitute Rosicky rounded off a trademark sequence of passes with a low shot to the left corner of the Everton net.

Hopefully the Gunners can replicate this performance in their next game against local rivals West Ham on New Year’s Day.