MaCinJay’s Musings

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Posts Tagged ‘Premier League

Checkmate: AC Milan 0 – Arsenal 2

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It hasn’t been an easy time for Arsenal supporters. Two indifferent performances in the Premier League have seen the team’s lead whittled down to just one point. The game against Birmingham City was overshadowed by the horrendous injury early in the match to striker Eduardo, as the result of the sort of lunging, studs-first challenge that is all too common in the English game. Martin Taylor, the offending player, was rightfully sent off but Arsenal contrived to draw the game 2-2 after a lapse in concentration from Gaël Clichy gifted Birmingham a penalty in the dying moments of the match. After that came another draw against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium when Arsenal were lucky to score their only goal of the game deep in injury time.

So one would have expected a demoralised side to turn out against European Champions AC Milan at the San Siro.

Instead we were treated to a truly dominating performance from the Gunners, who completely outplayed their illustrious opponents – at one stage in the second half a stat was shown indicating that possession was 60-40 in Arsenal’s favour! Besides a spell early in the game when Milan caused problems for Arsenal’s defence with crosses from open play and set-pieces, and another in the second half when it looked like the Italian side were getting a foothold in the game, the Italians could do nothing but lay on a grim defence in the face of the Gunner’s irresistible passing game. As the match wore on it looked like that they had done enough to stymie the English side after weathering early threats from Adebayor (fingertip save by Kalac) and the sublime Fabregas (hit the crossbar), as well as a series of missed opportunities from the likes of Senderos and Walcott.

Then with seven minutes of normal time left Fabregas picked up the ball deep in Milan’s half, ghosted through their midfield and fired a long-range shot into the bottom-left corner of Kalac’s net. After that it was virtually game over, as Milan needed two goals to win the tie with time running out due to the away-goals rule. In fact it was Arsenal who scored again in injury time when Walcott made amends for his earlier profligacy by beating a tiring Milan defender to the ball and laying on a cross for Adebayor to score his first Champions League goal for the club – a fitting end to a great night of European football for Arsenal.

Hopefully this will be the fillip they need for their two-prong assault on the English Premier and Champions League titles!

Champions League

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Right now I am watching Arsenal playing Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League at their Emirates Stadium. (My wife Chantelle and son David are in bed.)

I’ve been supporting Arsenal since they won the then English First Division back in 1989. Since then they have had a few ups-and-downs. At the moment they are the surprise leaders of the Premier League, quite remarkable when you consider that they lost their best player Thierry Henry to Barcelona at the end of last season.

Which just proves the old cliche – no-one is irreplaceable. I just hope they can sustain it. In any event they are 1-0 up in this match with about thirty minutes to go.

Written by macinjay

September 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm