ESPN Soccernet: Captain Cesc Fabregas returned to help inspire Arsenal as two goals from Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor secured victory over Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
Telegraph.co.uk: Villarreal and Chelsea be warned. Arsenal may be running out of games to win the Premier League but, as displayed in domineering fashion in the sunshine of North London, their returning players are back and they are greedy for success in two cup competitions.
The Arsenalist, like fresh baked bread, best to get it while it’s hot, slather some butter on it and down it with a pint of bitter.
Man of the Match
Easy peasy today, Adebayor scored two goals and despite his chronic, maddening habit of being offside showed why he is the envy of some Italian clubs and being linked to a summer move.
Before the match I questioned which Adebayor would show up: the one who works hard or the one who can’t be arsed. Today we had the pleasure of watching the Adebayor who works hard. Savor the moment because we never know which one will show up on Tuesday at the Estadio El Madrigal.
I’m sure some people will point out the slack defending that let Ade put in a flat footed header but there can be no doubt about the pure class that was the second goal. Cesc played in a beautiful ball, Adebayor was accidentally onside, and when Given came out to stop the ball, Ade dribbled once, stepped over a prostrate Given, and side footed into the net. I realize this is a divisive thing to say and I like Bendtner, but I’m sorry, I’ve never seen Bendtner score a goal like that.
It was great to see Arsenal’s captain back on the pitch. He looked a bit sluggish in his 76 minute debut but that’s to be expected when a player doesn’t play for 3 1/2 months. Moreover it looked like he and Arshavin were having a bit of trouble adjusting to each other. But even after a long layoff and playing with new players around him all he did was notch an assist for each of the two goals that Adebayor scored. Amazing. It’s great to have him back.
I also want to credit Song and Denilson for their industry in the midfield. At the start they looked a bit shaky but they settled in and bossed the middle for the rest of the match. You could point to the fact that City was missing their midfield engine in Stephen Ireland and you’d be right, but they had a job to do regardless who was in front of them and they did it.
And finally, the defense kept a clean sheet, their 9th of the 17 game unbeaten run and I want to credit them with that. There were a couple moments where the two weeks off showed as the back four couldn’t keep their shape and nearly let in two goals, but City couldn’t crack them open and they deserve credit for their hard work. Mooney especially gets credit for his save on SWP’s deflected shot, his quick reflexes saved him on his nearly poor positioning. Nearly poor.
Kolo and Gallas do need to work on their communication at the back, because Villareal will punish them if they leave players wide open in the middle — why was Toure covering right back and center? — or if Clichy plays people on side again. It’s not an insurmountable problem and they did keep a clean sheet, but it’s just something that needs to be worked on.
Similarly, the formation was a bit strange and Arshavin looked a bit lost (could have been that he was tired) again, not the end of the world, just something that they need to work on in practice. Arshavin is an incredible player and he has nearly won me over from my Winter of discontent. Now, if we can get him and Cesc clicking at the same time we’ll have something really special.
Finally, Bentdner needs to work on… well… everything: his positioning was terrible, his touch was terrible, and his finishing was comical. Moreover, with Eboue playing so damn well lately Bendtner has taken the lead as Arsenal whipping boy. I’d like to see him be a star and maybe it’ll just take a word in the ear from Arsene. “Calm, down lad, picture what you want to do and just do it.”
If I never see Howard Webb referee an Arsenal match again, it will be too soon. I’ve been trying to lay off the word “cunt” but in this case the moniker fits. Howard Webb is a massive cunt. For example, Toure picked up a yellow card and Webb explained to him that it was for two bad tackles (one of which was a clear dive by Robin-ho). Webb gesticulated toward both spots, told Toure to clam up, and then showed him the yellow. Fair enough, he’s the ref and if two infractions are enough to earn a yellow, then that’s how it will be. The only thing I don’t understand is how Toure gets a yellow for two infractions and yet Zabaleta fouls the living shit out of Walcott half a dozen times before he gets a yellow? How many times was Theo pulled off the pitch and scanned by the medical staff? 6? And after the match, he was icing his knee, like an aging Michael Jordan.
The fact is that Webb basically let City walk all over, push Arsenal players to the ground, and intentionally foul Theo’s knee multiple times and just waved play on.
And speaking of huge cunts, it turns out that Phil Brown’s accusations of Cesc spitting and verbally abusing Hull’s assistant manager were not caught on tape. SHOCKING!!! That means that this is going to be a case of he said she said which means that the FA will probably suspend Cesc because, after all, a known lying cunt is more reliable than a foreigner.
But most bizarre is that Cesc is now defending himself against a YouTube video from when he was 17 years old. But he does so with aplomb:
It was four years ago and I lent over to Michael Ballack who was playing for Bayern Munich at the time and I shouted at him because I felt like I did not make a bad tackle and I felt that the contact was minimal. I did not spit at him. It happens during matches that sometimes you have heated exchanges with your opponents.
I am not proud of it but I was 17 years old. The referee saw it and gave me a yellow card. People can try to find as many video clips as they like from when I was 17 years old or when I was 12 playing for my school team but this does not change anything. The simple fact is that I did not spit at the assistant manager of Hull City.
Fuck Phil Brown and fuck Hull City. I actually hope they stay up in the Premier league, Arsenal need someone to run off the pitch. We haven’t had someone like that in the EPL since Charlton made the drop a few years ago. Honestly, I hope Phil Brown has a very long career in the EPL, getting his ass handed to him bi-annually by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal next travel to Villareal, Spain to play the Yellow Submarine in the Champions League. That happens on Tuesday which gives us 2 days to sort out some of the kinks that showed today. Plenty of time. I trust that the Arsenal will be in top form for that game.
We don’t know if RvP (doubtful), Eduardo (doubtful), Diaby (doubtful), Nasri (flu), and Theo (iced his knee after the match) will be available for the Villareal match and I’m guessing Wenger won’t tip his hand until Tuesday morning.
Anyway, it was a great win and I don’t want to go on too much so instead, let me just leave you with this quote from Arsene Wenger
We had a strongly balanced performance, offensively and defensively against a good Man City side, especially in the first half. In the second half we completely took over and maybe should have scored more goals. Overall I am pleased because there is a lightness back in the team and the way we play. Everybody looks to enjoy, and play without the handbrake or any restriction. That is good to see.
Yes indeed, Arsene, yes indeed.
Oh, and hey, Newcuntsle lost to Chelsea, puuting them one step closer to relegation. Now, we just need a draw between Villa and Man U tomorrow to cap off a great weekend!