So a 2-0 win to the Arse in a match we didn’t exactly dominate. Always lovely.
A very sparse blog today, as I have all sorts of hell to get through. Finding houses, moving houses, all that. The first half remained at 0-0 with Sparta – backed by a rather animated crowd – being well organised, and hitting the post in one attack.
Very briefly, there were a number of solid performances from players that needed to perform. I list: Lehmann, Gallas and Toure in particular. Both defenders were very much up to the physical challenge this morning, and Lehmann produced two or three really, really solid saves to keep us in the game. Later on in the second half, our attacking impetus became more apparent, with van Persie wriggling around to squirm out a shot, which was then followed by Clichy’s run – in which he beat two defenders brilliantly – to set up Fabregas for a teed shot outside the area. 1-0, and suddenly things got frantic. Sparta were appealing for penalties, there were goal mouth scrambles…that sort of nonsense. Toure, Gallas and Sagna (a really good buy, so far) remained strong and ferm in their tackles, though. A ball sent towards Lehmann saw the goalie – under close scrutiny after his ‘worst blunder ever’ on the weekend – dished out the ball very quickly to Sagna, whose foward run eventually found Hleb. Hleb balanced himself, then promptly unbalanced himself, before sliding the ball into the back of the net, in injury time per usual. 2-0, 2 away goals, and we have to do it all over again against Blackburn on the weekend.
A bit of a worry was Clichy’s anonymity throughout the match until his barnstorming run (his runs are always barnstorming, it seems). After that, he was quite fine, but you do get the feeling there’re still one or two growing pains in this team. Hleb’s on fire at the moment, though even then, he was playing a bit too deep to be effective with van Persie, who was promptly isolated for most of the evening. Things to work out on the training field, but the fact we’re getting results is very, very good.
And that’s all we have time for today, Im afraid. House hunting awaits.
Stay well, except to all those that insisted Wenger splash out like Fergie: To you, I say ‘Get Stuffed‘.