A goal conceded in each half eased Arsenal’s fixture congestion problems by ushering them out of a Cup competition which many will say was our fourth priority of the season. The first goal due to a defensive howler and slightly fortunate ricochet/shot and the second half goal an inevitable result of the home team pushing up for an equaliser and being open enough for the petro-dollar team to launch a counter, which Mata expertly finished.
After the hard fought league victory against Palace at the previous weekend the attention was on the starting XI to see who would be rested for the visit of the Bin dippers for the next league game. A cold night at the Emirates saw Rambo surprisingly start with the rest of the team, Kozzer aside, being as we’d expect with BFG, Gibbs, Sagna, Giroud and Özzy left out.
The first unwelcome surprise of the night was the 4-5 block allocation given to the West London plastics.
For League games 2-3 blocks seems to be the allocation yet this time the blue hordes had spread, like vermin, beyond this and made the extra noise commensurate with their larger allocation.
Two main features of the away support was the persistent shout of “Show us your European Cup” – to which the home support countered with “Where were you when you were shit ?” and, secondly, an almost prepubescent style gushing worship of Abramovich’s (current) favourite eye gouger Jose, the Specious one, Mourinho.
The Justin Bieber-like worship of Eye Gouger by the Chavs made me think it would only be a matter of time before soiled Y fronts would be hurled at their beloved José from the away end as a sign of their devotion.
Initially the possession and play was fairly even and with the onus on arsenal at home to attack so they pressed more, however as with all Mourinho teams the defence was packed and every time the good guys attacked the Chavski penalty area was packed with the blue-kitted Mourinho automatons.
Chavski were happy to counter attack while staying solid/turgid, but it was one of these counterattacks that was partially cleared but led to a looping ball just outside the Arsenal penalty area.
This was not dealt with by Jenks properly and his attempted headed return to Fabianski in goal failed to reach him and fell invitingly for a Chav player to rifle through his legs for the first CSKA Fulham bus stop goal.
To the home crowds credit there was still the will to urge the team on to equalise and while Rambo played his usual for this year, sterling effort in midfield and Santi showed touches of genius, surprisingly Nacho man Monreal seemed quite an attacking threat on our left flank. The first half finished with Arsenal still pushing forward and the mood fairly optimistic amongst the home support.
The second half began and the away support were even more obnoxious than before with various snide and crude chants directed at Arsenal and Wenger, with a lot of finger provocative finger wagging at the home support going unchecked by the stewards whilst at least three Gooners ejected for responding to the provocation or just for standing up to respond.
Of the non-first team players Nacho man seemed to impress the most especially attacking wise suggesting he is a possible option on the left side of midfield.
Sadly, however, Ryo looked far from ready and the way in which he was constantly shrugged off the ball reminded me of watching Carlos Vela in Cup competitions in years past where it appears he’s not up to the physical side of playing in England.
With time ticking away Wenger brought on Özzy to create a way pass the solid wall of blue defending Schwarzer’s goal.
Within minutes of that, as Arsenal pushed forward ever more desperately the inevitable sucker punch was duly applied as our two centre backs for the day left a huge gap between them which Mata ran into and volleyed in a superb second goal.
This sent the already raucous away support into further paroxysms of delight and I noticed many Arsenal players shoulders sag at this point.
Giroud was then brought on to replace a largely ineffective Bendtner however despite finally getting some shots on target the feeling that there was going to be no arsenal goals intensified as shots went just wide and Arsenal’s forward players couldn’t find a way through the Chavski robots who were happy to sit back given their two goal lead.
The game wound down as predictably Mourinho used his subs to break up the rhythm of the last few minutes play and allowed Mata to be applauded off; a smattering of applause from the home support showed we have the class to appreciate a good player.
Demba Ba to me seemed just like a clumsy battering ram who barged his abut the final third with little intent on doing anything with the ball.
The final whistle went with swathes of empty seats on show and a chill wind starting to whip up from the concourses. To me there seemed an inevitability about the remorseless progress of the Chavski team through the game and in the competition as a whole and as much as I find Mourinho to be a despicable so and so and the ultimate personification of preening narcissism he does build an air of invincibility about his teams, whatever the personnel he uses.
On the up side we have one less competition in which we have to stretch the resources of our injury ravaged squad for yet I hope this defeat won’t damage the morale and confidence of a team on top of the league.
By ChärybdÏß1966 (on Twitter @charybdis1966)