Birmingham 0 – 3 Arsenal report: A good start to the year

January 1, 2011

A good start to the year with a great win and a clean sheet.

That was some good football played by us out there. We played with good organization, good movement, on and off the ball, some great passing, which at times simply left Birmingham players rooted to the spot, and scored plenty of goals.

The first half overall was a bit scrappy but we did enough to hold on to the early goal. The start was better as we got our early goal thanks to a deflection. Van Persie was fouled just outside the box, and on the resulting free kick, on a deflection from Birmingham player, scored.

After the goal, Birmingham had some good time in attack. With plenty of free kicks going their way, they were delivering in balls after balls into our danger area. A couple of times they went close to scoring but we survived.

We, on the other hand, should have killed the game had we taken our chances. Nonetheless, we headed into the break with a goal advantage.  

The return from the break was when we started to control the game fully. Nasri, Fabregas and Van Persie got more and more into the game and our movement improved. The second goal was a treat to watch. Nasri and Fabregas exchanged one-two before Nasri coolly slotted the ball home.

From that time on, Birmingham never got hold of the ball. Fabregas and Nasri again combined well for the third, which was an own goal, turned in by Johnson when Fabregas’ shot was saved by the keeper.

With the game in our control, we started to toy with Birmingham as we looked for our fourth.

Arshavin and Denilson were brought on and Arshavin straight away brought about a save from the keeper. Van Persie still had time to miss one more goal before Birmingham, at our end, stuck the cross bar  near the finish.

We held onto the clean sheet as the game finished with the score three goals to nil in our favour.

Thoughts:

One thing I liked about the game was that we weren’t put off by the Birmingham tactics. We kept our focus and did what was our task. At times our movement was just awesome.

The other thing that I liked was the combination among Nasri and Fabregas. The moment they both connected with each other, Birmingham were shut out form the match. The way they shifted positions and passed the ball was awesome. Van Persie also did his part with excellent off-the-ball movement.

One thing of concern is that we missed a lot of chances. Thankfully we weren’t punished for it but we need to work on that.

In the end, I would just say that it is a great win and a great performance and hopefully we will continue with it in the games to come.


Player ratings: Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan

December 1, 2010

The match didn’t turn out to be difficult at all. Wigan were really poor as we made easy work of them without really getting out of second gear. The result although sends us into the semi finals of the Carling Cup which matters the most.

The performance as such wasn’t an eye catching one but the game had its moments. After a slow start we found our rhythm slowly and steadily. Van Persie, Vela and Wilshere produced some delightful balls yesterday. Had we been clinical in front of goal and had the ref seen two open handballs in the box we would have scored plenty of goals. A clean sheet is also a bonus.

The defencec overall was solid yesterday although they weren’t tested much. Eboue looked nervous but the other players helped him out. The midfield didn’t get a hold on the centre in the first half but had it controlled in the second. They helped out in the defence also. The forwards also had an on and off game. They missed plenty of chances but still there movement was good. Overall it was a satisfactory performance as there were  plenty of changes and most have not played many games.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny: He was a mere spectator yesterday. Did well when called upon. His distribution was also good 6.5

Eboue: Was not at ease against Moses and didn’t offer much going forward. 5.5

Djourou: He was excellent yesterday. Assisted Eboue a lot and never looked panicked. 7

Koscielny: Same as Djourou. Convincing performance and good in the air. Made some good interceptions and tackles. 7

Gibbs: Offensively contributed a lot. Defensively was okay barring a few mistakes. Need more games. 6.5

Denilson: Provided the balance yesterday. Kept the game ticking and linked the play nicely. He had some bad moments but worked hard. 7

Wilshere: Started slowly again and then made some excellent passes in the second half. An improved performance from last time. 7

Van Persie: Oh boy! I had forgotten what he can offer us. His vision, his movement, his eye for a pass and his execution were awesome. Still he is far from his best but what he did yesterday was a treat to watch. Needs game time and hopefully he will stay fit. 7.5

Walcott: Tried hard but yet again failed to make much of an impact. His crossing was not good at all although on set pieces he did better. His decision making was also not good. 6

Vela: If he had not missed the goals he would have had a perfect game. Still he was everywhere yesterday. Most of  the things happened through him and he never stopped despite missing the goals. Delivered some excellent balls upfront and even got an assist. 8  

Bendtner: Complete opposite of Vela. He was anonymous and poor in the first half. Somewhat improved in the second. He did score a goal though and that is important. Still needs to do a lot to prove his words. 6.5

Subs:

Nasri kept the ball moving. He did miss a scoring opportunity though. Eastmond did what was asked of him and JET had no time to impress. No ratings for them.

So as it stands, with Man Utd also kicked out of the tournament, Carling Cup is for ours to lose now. Hopefully we will win it, which will be the start of plenty trophies to come.