Arsenal ended 2009 with a 4-1 win over Portsmouth and in a superb position to challenge for the Premier League title in 2010.
Our boys are in third place on the table, just four points behind table-toppers Chelsea with a game in hand – a position almost every Arsenal supporter would have taken before the start of the season. They’ve scored a record 51 goals in 19 games, have a competition-high goal-difference of +30 and are currently the in-form team in England with five wins and a draw in the last six matches.
The win over Pompey was as straightforward a game as Arsenal have had this season.
At 2-0 up at half-time through Eduardo’s deflected free-kick and Samir Nasri’s well worked goal, the game was all but over at half-time. Abou Diaby once again ran riot in the first half, more than making up for the absence of Cesc Fabregas, while Aaron Ramsey and Alex Song’s partnership ensured the physical battle was won.
The second half floated by without much fuss before Ramsey scored the game’s outstanding goal – dispossessing one Portsmouth midfielder, sidestepping another and slamming home with his left peg.
Pompey pulled one back shortly after but the cruise at the Park was complete when Arsenal’s most consistent performer of the season, Song, scored his first goal of the campaign. Cheers of “We’ve only got one Song!” echoed from the away support as the Cameroonian scampered forward in characteristic fashion to head home Nasri’s cross and add the cherry on top of an excellent result.
While Ramsey may have got the official Man of the Match for his all-round display and excellent goal virtually every member of the team put in a good performance. Diaby was superb while the game was still hot, Vermaen was dominant at the back while Song did what he seems to do every week – make the midfield his own. Eduardo looked sharper and made some good chances, Nasri was clever in possession while Bacary Sagna and Armand Traore were typically bullish at the back.
In short, the Pompey game was a good representation of how far these players have come since the end of last year. The exciting thought lies with how much further they’ll have gone by the end of the next.
Well done boys!
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