If only two teams could both lose against each other, the weekend would have been 100% perfect.
Arsenal went into this weekend, the 5th of this League season, with all to do. The media had saved up drafts in tweets and prints to pile up the woes for us. The Dortmund incident had been blown to obese proportions, with many an ‘expert’ dismissing all hopes of achieving anything this season. By their words, this Aston Villa team, led by the conspicuously-bearded Lambert and Keane, would only make the matters worse.
Oh no, they were so wrong.
Four crazy minutes settled it all.
Of all the fixtures involving the clubs who had finished in the top 7 last season, Arsenal’s trip to Villa Park was actually, both on paper and form, anticipated to be the most difficult, bar City vs Chelsea. Everton were expected to have matured from the Crystal Palace game last season, Tottenham would breeze past West Brom at home, while both Manchester United and Liverpool should make light work of their road trips to Leicester and West Ham respectively.
Oh no, again, they were so wrong.
All four teams lost it all.
For us, it was about getting back to our best, without any real attention on what happened elsewhere. Thankfully, a change in tactics saw us play in a way very different from how we’ve been set up to play in previous games. Wenger opted to go for one of Wilshere and Ramsey, thereby providing the much yearned opportunity for our star playmaker, Mesut Ozil to thrive in his favorite role. And, boy, thrive he absolutely did!
Despite having to contain the Villans for much of the opening exchanges, our numbers 9 and 10 combined in an unforgettable 79 second spell that saw Paul Lamberts men not only deflated but defeated. Aly Cissokho must have thought Gibbs pass was too perfect to be wasted, and so increased the tally for us. After such a spell, you don’t really expect the boys to fire that much in the second period, wisely opting to keep the ball and let the clock tick. It was not as dull as you would imagine as there were still flashes of neat interplay and combinations, especially between Messrs Welbeck & Ozil. It was one of the highlights of the game, as aptly noted by the manager, one which can only make you expect both to retain (of course their places in the team, as well as) their positions.
Matters from other grounds brought into perspective the not-so-bad (and some, not-so-good) nature of our results in the previous games. As poor as we were in that first half at the Goodison, Crystal Palace showed we didn’t manage to nick a point on the day. It was a game we could have won had we played our way. We may have thrown away our lead at Leciester, but at least we got a point and did not get ripped apart by five. And as for Tottenham, they just never learn.
It was indeed classy of the Chelsea fans to cheer when Lampard got on to the field for City, why the cameras didn’t show them when he denied them 2 points was my disappointment of an otherwise perfect Arsenal weekend, never mind both teams not being able to lose that game.
Three points. A clean sheet. No Injuries. It was that perfect.
It might be just Week 5 and so too early to make merry, but we’re securing that fourth-place trophy already!
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