Arsenal battle to victory over Sparta as Rosicky’s bet heats up

Arsenal battle to victory over Sparta as Rosicky’s bet heats up

Alexander Hleb scored again as Arsenal battled to a satisfying winSparta Prague 0-2 Arsenal Match Report

Arsenal took a massive step towards qualification for the final stages of the Champions League with a smash-and-grab 2-0 away victory over Czech side Sparta Prague. After being bossed around in the first 45 minutes Arsenal took the lead through a cool finish from Cesc Fabregas after lovely work from Gael Clichy and got a crucial second goal late on through Alexander Hleb’s second goal in as many matches.

Although I missed the game the result is superb and the manner of the win is something to be enjoyed. It has been a rare to see Arsenal win games it doesn’t necessarily deserve to in the past few seasons and the result will provide a further boost to the players confidence after the exciting win over Fulham on day one of the Premiership season. However, I’m sure Tomas Rosicky will be a little disapointed after failing to get on the scoresheet and falling further behind in his bet with Fabregas and Hleb. Manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with the resilience that his side showed to ensure they completed a vital win:

“We needed to be patient and not make a mistake. We needed to play with more purpose in going forwards and did that more in the second half. The whole team has a resilience, they fight to the last second – and we have shown that again tonight when we scored the goal.”

Apart from highlights I really haven’t seen much of the game so anyone who has should let me know their opinions by leaving a comment.

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Ronaldo will miss three matches after his silly headbuttRonaldo gives Arsenal a boost

There was even more great news for Arsenal after Cristiano Ronaldo was red-carded and Manchester United dropped two points at Portsmouth following a scrappy 1-1 draw. Paul Scholes opened the scoring early on but Benjani Mwaruwari levelled scores early in the second half before Ronaldo was sent-off for headbutting in the 85th minute. The great news for Arsenal is that Ronaldo’s stupidity will see him miss three matches and a Manchester United side struggling for goals and already missing Wayne Rooney through injury are likely to drop even more points early on in the season. In a Premiership competition where the smallest setbacks can mean missed trophies Manchester United have put themselves at a massive risk of failing to defend their title only two games in.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s win and Ronaldo’s sillyness by leaving a comment.

40 Responses to “Arsenal battle to victory over Sparta as Rosicky’s bet heats up”

  1. Demetrio
    August 16, 2007 at 1:19 am #

    I personally dont think any of the Big 4 look that impressive early on. Liverpool got lucky to win the first game, if Gerrard was giving that shot again in the same situation, i guarantee he would not hit the ball like he did. Chelsea cant stop any one from scoring, Man Utd have all sorts of problems now, and Arsenal still dont have that killer touch around the net, well judging from the Fulham game. In saying that Arsenal can take advantage from Man Utds slow start, and Chelsea will slip up here and drop points as soon as Sunday if the defence stays like this. It may come down to Liverpool and Arsenal and if so Arsenal are still better then Liverpool even with all their signings. Its too early to say Man Utd are out of it tho.

  2. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 1:22 am #

    Don’t get me wrong – I definitely don’t think Manchester United are out of it. I just think they’ve really handicapped themselves at the start of the season. They were in top form from day one last year and Ronaldo was their most important player and to lose him for three matches and not have a win may cause some panic at the club. I personally think Chelsea have looked the most impressive but their defence is looking average and that is a good sign for Arsenal. The competition looks very open and that is exactly what Arsenal need to have a chance of winning it. Did you catch the Sparta Prague game Demetrio? Any thoughts?

  3. Ryan
    August 16, 2007 at 1:52 am #

    The first half was pretty poor from Arsenal. It’s true they got fouled from about minutes 1 to 50 with barely a chance to put 3 passes together before either the ref would blow up for absolutely nothing or they would get fouled. The result of which meant that during that time they couldn’t establish any rythm and easily gave the ball away. In the second half though Sparta looked shattered and began to look more and more desperate, so Arsenal really took control of the last half hour and dominated most of it pretty comfortably. I was screaming for Bendtner to come on for basically the entire game up until the first goal, since the 4-5-1 didn’t look like it was getting them any success, but once they scored first the match was basically over provided Gallas and Toure kept playing well- which they did and stealing a second goal was quite predictable with Sparta pushing forwards more and more. An Encouraging performance defensively with only a few mistakes worthy of a mention in my opinion, so all things considered I think we can all be happy that our currently weakened team from injuries managed to keep a clean sheet away against tough opposition, we won the first away leg 2-0 so the tie seems almost over and two midfielders scored the goals in a far from perfect performance. I think we all have good reason to be pleased.

  4. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 1:55 am #

    Thanks, Ryan, good to hear. Who were the outstanding performers for Arsenal?

  5. Demetrio
    August 16, 2007 at 2:18 am #

    Over all i think Helb looks the best, Clichy as well. I was very happy tho with this result, the past few season’s teams that push Arsenal around seem to come out with win’s and tie’s against us. This result showed Arsenal gettin roughed up a little bit in the first, but still winning, but Arsenal is a passing team, and thats what stops the passing rythem, fouls, so we have to expect teams are gonna foul more. So that is a very good sign we still won. If Arsenal can gain that killer touch around the net, i think we are the team to beat. Da Silva may bring us that killer touch.

  6. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 3:17 am #

    It’s true that rougher sides seem to have more success against us by ruining Arsenal’s rhythm. That’s why it is good that we have some very different options up font. Van Persie, Adebayor, Eduardo and Bendtner all give us something unique and when you throw Hleb into the mix it’s obvious we have the ability to overcome differing styles of play.

  7. Dave
    August 16, 2007 at 3:19 am #

    Clichy and Sagna were the best players on the pitch. They both run for 90+ min every game and do little wrong. Hleb did look good, as did Fabs after he got some space. The only player that looked poor was Song when he came on for Rosicky.

  8. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 3:24 am #

    That’s awesome to hear that Clichy and Sagna played well. Clichy is going to be one of the best left-back’s going around and Sagna has slotted in so nicely as well. Two fine assists as well.

  9. NicktheGooner
    August 16, 2007 at 5:09 am #

    Ronaldo got red card. Do u know why? He was my captain in fantasy premier league. This is why i love taking non-Arsenal players in my team. They just refuse to perform when i take em.. 😉

  10. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 5:20 am #

    I wonder how many people around the world think it’s like that for them! Hahaha! If that’s the case then please do us a favour and put Drogba or Lampard in as captain next week. 🙂

  11. kosmo
    August 16, 2007 at 5:25 am #

    clichy will be a contender for player of the season this year. His contributions so so far have been invaluable with 2 goals coming from assists from him. I also think hleb looks good this season, i always knew he had the potential to score goals and now he has proved all those losers who bad mouth their own teams players wrong. Nice to se sagna slot well so far and come up with an assist. I would still prefer to have 2 forwards however as Van persie looked a bit isolated in the fulham match. Great resiliance from arsenal today, we got pushed around and still came up with the win, very nice to see.

  12. MexicanGunner
    August 16, 2007 at 5:37 am #

    I dont like Eboue as midfielder 🙁
    he´s not good there looks uncomfortable

  13. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 5:38 am #

    I think Clichy will go close to Player of the Season if he keeps up this form. It’s great to see a no-nonsense sort of player be valued so highly by the fans. The media might not think he’s a world beater but it’s obvious that more Arsenal supporters do. Like you said, his contributions have been invaluable so far.

  14. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 5:39 am #

    MexicanGunner – What makes you say that? Also, nice to see you back again. You looking forward to watching Carlos Vela at Osasuna?

  15. gunnershabz
    August 16, 2007 at 6:40 am #

    i watched the game last night, and bacary sagna is one hell of a buy, he is an amazing athlete him and clichy.
    so far sagna is proving he is an excellent buy, he strong, quick, agile and aggressive when needed to be.
    manu eboue, has not yet clicked, he just falls over and looks at the ref all the time, he has not done much.
    but overall it was a good professional perfomance, we was clinical and ruthless, what i want to see in a arsenal side.
    hopefully we can put this perfomance to the premiership and we can beat the “lesser teams” we can start by beating blackburn on sunday, they are playing tonight so it could be an advantage for us.
    gael clichy and sagna were fantastic last night….

  16. gunnershabz
    August 16, 2007 at 6:46 am #

    also another thing is, u can see the fighting spirit. when hleb got bullshit bully repka, he just squared him up and then moments later, fabregas chopped him, got a yellow for it, and then repka could not walk lol.
    then repka mouthed off, when he walked off, maybe repka is after fabregas at the emirates

  17. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 6:58 am #

    Again, that’s good to hear. Nice to see the boys protecting each other – it’s something you always want to see on a football field.

  18. tharu
    August 16, 2007 at 7:13 am #

    i am just glad the boys won,n now can concentrate on that damn b.rovers,if we use a tough defense midfield we would probably win,but loses and draws are out of the question when those red devils are firing out draws only,that what happen when ronaldo get to big for the game,red carded,this is the gunnars advangte,so use it well.boys

  19. ArsenalKenya
    August 16, 2007 at 7:23 am #

    Arsenal have done well in pre-season and at the start of the premiership and will continue amazing our Critics. I like Clichy and Sagna for their performance. Eboue needs to perfect in his new position and aim his shots at the goal. With Silva and Adebayor turning back for our next game this Sunday, Arsenal is and will remain the team to watch this season. Remember last season Man U started with a bang and in three games they had all the 9 points and moved on to win the league. Lets be resilient and patient and this is OUR SEASON.

    Cheers Spanish Fry and Ryan for yesterday’s match updates.

  20. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 7:34 am #

    Not a worry ArsenalKenya. Hopefully next game will be a little better because I will actually get to watch it 🙂

  21. sam nix
    August 16, 2007 at 8:24 am #

    “Clichy and Sagna were the best players on the pitch” Have to disagree. Sagna was solid, but Clichy was shaky in defense. His man got behind him too easily, hitting the post and creating good chances. Solid a s ever going forward, no problems there. His run to create Fabbys goals was nothign short of magical. He just lost his man too often. My MOM was Gallas. A great captains performance. His positioning was near perfect. Along with his power and fantastic reactions, he was a fine example. Jens did well too. Hleb will get kicked so much this season, he needs to replace the folded sheets of a4 he uses and shinpads!!! I too think Bendtner would have flourished last night. All in all a very good victory in a game marred by poor officviating and aggressive tactics from Sparta. Used to it tho…

  22. Nigergunner
    August 16, 2007 at 8:56 am #

    I think the team are begining to gel.sagna has proved himself bt still need gain confidence.clichy was my man.all in all i bleave that this is ARSENALS’ YEAR.up gunners.

  23. Panic @ The Back
    August 16, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    @ NicktheGooner you’re the same as me, I always load my team top heavy with Arsenals opponents, I’m in a win-win situation, if they play badly it’s good for the Gunners and if they play well I get fantasy points. 🙂

  24. Samuel
    August 16, 2007 at 10:05 am #

    Two games into the season… I now think the table will look like this:

    1. Chelsea
    2. Arsenal
    3. Man Utd
    4. Liverpool
    5. Man City
    6. Everton
    7. Spurs
    8. Portsmouth
    9. Blackburn
    10. Newcastle
    11. Reading
    12. Aston Villa
    13. Sunderland
    14. West Ham
    15. Fulham
    16. Middlesborough
    17. Birmingham
    18. Bolton
    19. Wigan
    20. Derby

    Chelsea have Terry back next game. As well as Alves, Ballack, Bridge, Shevchenko and even more all slowly coming back. Their only problem at the moment is the back and the England captain will sort that out unfourtantly.

  25. Samuel
    August 16, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    That was my last start of the season prediction. I hope I’m wrong though: Chelsea won’t win, Frank Sinatra will get arrested and have to flog us Richards on the cheap in January, Spurs go down…

  26. TopsGunner
    August 16, 2007 at 10:08 am #

    I was surprised to see Bacary Sagna show up on the left side of the pitch after that fine throw from Jens. I’ve heard that he can play across the entire defence, fancy him as a left back too (chuckle!). I think he is yet to establish any kind of understanding with Eboue though… sometimes I think Eboue shld get the hell out of the way and let him sprint down the right in a one-two combo. Good to see the whole team fight together and win together though… no limp shouldered, brooding face upfront! That’s doing us more than a ton of good.

    GUNNER FOR LIFE

  27. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    ” think he is yet to establish any kind of understanding with Eboue though…”

    I have to say I disagree with this. I think one of the best things Sagna has been able to do so far is get a good partnership going with Eboue. They are mixing it up well and it will only get better from here.

  28. coolljoe
    August 16, 2007 at 11:45 am #

    i think arsenal did well although i didnt watch the matcth. ithink with the inclusion of the both silva we can do better .our turning point will come when we beat blackburn

  29. coolljoe
    August 16, 2007 at 11:50 am #

    arsenal the best. we play better than any other team in the premier league.

  30. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    Interesting that you say “when we beat Blackburn”. I don’t think we’re going to come across many tougher games this season than the one at Blackburn. Three points would be a marvelous result.

  31. Jay
    August 16, 2007 at 3:58 pm #

    I saw the match. Not a great performance in the 1st half. They shocked me aswell when they struck the post. They kept attacking but Lehmann and the defence kept them out. 2nd half was better but still something was missing. Sagna was probs MOTM for me. Sagna or Hleb or Clichy. ANy of them 3 were MOTM in my opinion. The first goal was good work from Clichy and a cool finish form fabregas. If he had shot that last season, he probs would have missed. Then a 3 player goal. From their corner, Lehmann pounced on the ball, Threw it to Sagna who sprinted down the whole of the left wing. Saw Hleb and played a fantastic ball to him. Hleb kicked the ball infront of him and didn’t hit the ball well but it still went in the goal. For me that is game over, in the 2nd leg i think he should play an experimental team. With players like ; Fabianski, Denilson, Hoyte, Bendnter, Walcott, Diaby, Ade. Play the players who won’t play a lot of games, an inexperienced side with a few good players like ; Gilberto, Toure and Hleb.

  32. Andrew
    August 16, 2007 at 4:40 pm #

    Very good result. Also. Jens is the top goalkeeper in the Actim Index, which is normally a pretty good gauge of a player’s importance and effectiveness. Heh.

  33. Jay
    August 16, 2007 at 5:42 pm #

    Who thinks Djourou on loan is a good idea, Who would you like to see on loan?

  34. klon
    August 16, 2007 at 7:53 pm #

    Me, he needs first team experience. Senderos has more games under his belt and you don’t really want to play the 2 at the same time right now.

  35. Jay
    August 16, 2007 at 8:44 pm #

    i’m glad someone agrees with me, i think song needs a season long loan with a top championship or premier league club. Hoyte aswell maybe?

  36. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    I wouldn’t be against Hleb and Song going on loan. We have enough cover for Song but I think if we wanted to loan Hoyte then we’d need to bring in another winger to cover for Eboue.

  37. darragh
    August 18, 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    So glad that Hleb is getting such a great start to the season. He’s quality and it finally looks like he has solved his last-season non-scoring blues.

  38. Jay
    August 18, 2007 at 11:22 pm #

    Yeah its great that Hleb is scoring. Already 2 games in and our midfield has scored 3. They could not do that last year. Our midfield were scared of scoring now we will do well.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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