Corporate Social Negligence!

Bouncing back ……..

Posted in Arsenal, English Premier League, Football, soccer, sports by clash on December 17, 2007

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If someone is interested in keeping track of Arsenal in a league season, i presume the current season is one of the best to do so. Though i made serious attempts at writing match previews and reviews, I barely could continue doing so due to various reasons. After couple of defeats and draws, it was not the right moment to take on Chelsea but Arsenal did it in style in their fortress at Ashburton Grove and proved that they mean business and are serious contenders in this title race. A power packed performance which was won 1-0 against an overhauled Chelsea side under the tutelage of Avram Grant has pushed Arsenal back in to the top spot of the league; one point ahead of Man U who managed to defeat Liverpool at Merseyside on a “Grand-slam Sunday”.

 

Chelsea were brimming with confidence when they came to Emirates stadium ; they were on a sort of bulldozing roll – 16 games undefeated, of which 13 were clean sheets, this proves that the victory was a hard fought one. Arsenal had their midfield trio Fab, Flam and Helb back in action of which Fab and Flam were stupendous; where as Hleb lacked a bit of touch – i felt. After a morose defeat at Riverside, this is a welcome break for everyone around the club and fans; restoring complete confidence in the team and a sense that this team is in serious contention for title win this season.

 

 

In the first half Arsenal produced some great football which was orchestrated by the 5 man midfield which included Rosicky and Eboue who were creating some serious troubles to the Chelsea side who lacked the towering presence of Essien in the midfield. Eboue’s tackle made Terry hobble off the pitch and eventually being replaced by BenTal-Haim. Almunia who was very instrumental in this win made couple of great saves off Wright-Phillips and Andriy Shevchenko. First half seemed to be unproductive, but a corner earned by Rosicky proved it wrong. Petr Cech reluctantly came out to handle the Fabergas corner which he failed to do and “captain” Gallas promptly out-jumped BenTal-Haim and headed the goal towards the empty net; 1-0 in the dying seconds of first half. Gallas walked away to the dressing room with a sheepish grin on his face, there would not have been a better way to take revenge against his former club which he quit quite acrimoniously to say the least.

Chelsea were back with renewed vigour in the second half. Almunia was back in action with a great save of John Obi Mikel and Wright-Phillips squandered the best chance for chelsea in the 75th minute. Joe cole lashed out on Eboue, probably a retribution for the same he did to Terry, he was taken off the field and in came Van Persie. He missed a chance and then was disallowed as his partner Rosicky was offside as the ball was played. In the last 10 minutes, it was more of a mayhem than a football match, chances propped up for both the teams. Almunia was instrumental again as he saved a Shevchenko header on the other end Fabregas and Van Persie were denied by a great double-save by Cech. The referee denied another Arsenal goal by Adebayor as he thought Ade fouled Ben-Haim during the build up; although re-play gave different picture about this incident. Substitute Gilberto Silva conceded a free kick in a dangerous area but Almunia came to the rescue once again – a splendid save off the Shevchenko free-kick. Arsenal again raced to Chelsea half and a Fabergas shot was blocked by the boo-boy of the day Cole. Fabregas retaliated with a scissor tackle from behind and Cole pushed him by the face.

 

The final whistle went off amidst the fracas and that was more than enough to secure a win over Chelsea which eluded Arsenal for 4 long years. Though Chelsea did not have some of the crucial players like Essien, Drogba and Carvalho they manged to disrupt Arsenal’s passing game to some extent and were in thick of action till the final whistle was blown but Arsenal were resolute enough and have bounced back from the slumber which had gripped them when they played Middlesborough. Arsenal are again leading the league table which had slipped away from them for an hour or so as Manchester United surpassed Liverpool . Now on to players : The midfield trio who returned after injury were very instrumental in the great first half display. Fabregas and Flamini had a terrific game where has Hleb displayed occasional brilliance. Tomas Rosicky had one of the best performances of the season and there are no words to describe the ever-shining Clichy (ha, Wright-Phillips couldn’t turn right or left!!) and Sagna. Almunia did make some splendid saves; he may not be a long term solution but his confidence is increasing. Last but not the least, some great words about our captain – he is a winner, he is the man who can guide this team to a league title and he is Gallas!!

 

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