Arsenal raced five points clear at the top of the Premiership table after taking care of Blackburn 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium. The scoring was opened as early as the 4th minute when Philippe Senderos powered home Eduardo da Silva’s in-swinging corner. Although they dominated most of the possession and chances for the rest of the match Arsenal had to wait until the 90th minute until Emmanuel Adebayor made the game safe with a token goal, cleverly controlling Alexander Hleb’s pass and smashing home beyond Brad Freidel.
Somewhat surprisingly, both Mathieu Flamini and the goalscorer Senderos recovered from their respective injuries to start the match, while Gilberto Silva’s inclusion meant that Cesc Fabregas was pushed across into a right-midfield role. The rest of the team set up as expected with Jens Lehmann in goals behind Bacary Sagna, William Gallas, Gael Clichy and the aforementioned Senderos while Alexander Hleb featured on the left and Adebayor and Eduardo took up the two striking possessions.
Frustratingly, I did not get to see this match. I got up at the uncomfortably early time of 5.30am in Brisbane to try and find a stream and to my dismay I could not do so. As such, there’s little I can say about the performance other than what I have read, and what I have read suggested that while Blackburn put up quite a decent fight they caused no real problems for the Arsenal defence.
What I can comment on is the excellent position the club has now got themselves into. Arsene Wenger’s side are now five points clear at the top with just twelve games remaining, a remarkable achievement given the predictions that were made about Arsenal’s downfall at the start of the season. As an optimistic person I always try my best not to get carried away with positive situations but I have to say that for the very first time this season I can actually see Arsenal winning the Premiership.
It’s not a prediction, it’s not me getting carried away, it’s just a feeling that this might actually be Arsenal’s season. You can tell from Wenger’s post-match comments that he’s starting to see things the same way but thankfully it’s also blatantly clear that he realises there is still a great deal of football still to be played.
“I don’t want my team to focus on the difference between us and the rest, I want them to focus on strengthening our lead and going to every game to keep that momentum going and assert our authority and to win every game, play like real challengers.”
It’s an excellent attitude to have and if the players in the squad can echo it out on the pitch then the Arsenal Football Club are going to go very close to winning the Premiership this season. Absolutely amazing stuff, isn’t it?
Just a couple of quick shout-outs before I go today. Firstly I just want to say thanks to Jammathon from Third Gen for naming the Arsenal FC Blog as his ‘Blog of the Week’ for last week. I had a great deal of fun on the blog last week while the international break was on, writing up the mid-term report cards for the players and a couple of other reflective articles as well and I have to say it feels pretty nice to know that someone enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Finally, I want to again mention the fantastic competition being run by O2 where you can win a copy of the epic Arsenal Opus. You can find out all the details of the competition here and you can enter via the O2 Arsenal Opus website here. Good luck!
What do you think?
Have your say on Arsenal’s nice little lead by leaving a comment.