Arsenal 2 : Nasri 41, Chamakh 47
Birmingham 1: Zigic 33
Arsenal secures a win despite going down a goal and then a man near the end.
Not one of the convincing performances by us in the first half but we managed to control the game in the second which was enough to get the three points.
The match started brightly for us as we had a few good scoring chances but could not find the net. Arshavin and Chamakh both tested Foster. Squillaci found the net but was given offside. Replays showed that he was onside. We were enjoying most of the possession but it was Birmingham who got the goal first against the run of play. Zigic rose higher than all the Arsenal defenders and headed in the ball, unstoppable. Some poor marking by us on that occasion.
We were having problems dealing with the long balls down the middle as again Birmingham came close to scoring a goal.
The equalizer for Arsenal came in the shape of a debatable penalty. There was some good movement by Wilshere as Chamakh got the ball. He went down with the slightest of touches in the penalty box, but fairly he was already falling down, and Atkinson took some time before awarding the penalty. Nasri stood up to take the penalty and he sent the keeper the wrong way to level the scores.
The match heated up a bit after this as Nasri was booked for a foul and Chamakh got sandwiched between two Birmingham players. The break arrived at the right moment for us.
We returned in the second half with a bang. Wilshere and Song combined to set up Chamakh for the second goal. The final ball was delivered by Wilshere as chamakh rounded of the keeper for a simple tap in. We controlled on the game from there.
We dominated the possession and there was some good passing. Still we weren’t taking our chances in front of goal. Arshavin was again doing his flashy tricks but to no avail. We would start a counter but finish it off poorly with some frustrating sideways passing.
Rosicky came on for Arshavin and was the only one taking his shots. Bendtner came on in the final minutes and nearly got a goal. Eboue was lucky to only get a yellow for his scissor tackle.
Then the Wilshere moment arrived. A straight red card given for a reckless tackle, correct decision. Still I would like to see all such tackles dealt in the same way. Wilshere’s tackle is surely going to be publicized much as this was done by an Arsenal player.
Fabianski made some good clearances near the end as it ended in a win for Arsenal.
Over all it was nice deserved win but still we need to kill matches. It was frustrating at times. We need to score goals to show for our dominance in possession. Today we would have had plenty if we were decisive in front of goal. As for Jack Wilshere, he had an awesome game except that tackle. He should be careful because this incident is going to be very much highlighted by the media now.
Three points in the bag and we go second in the league.
Detailed Analysis and Player ratings to follow.