Arsenal produced the best result of the season so far to fight back from a goal down against Tottenham and record a fabulous 3-1 win at White Hart Lane.
After falling behind to an early free kick from Gareth Bale, Arsenal equalised through an Emmanuel Adebayor header in the 65th minute before taking the lead in the 80th through a scintillating long-range effort from Cesc Fabregas. Adebayor put the icing on the cake deep into stoppage time with another fantastic striker to ensure all three points went to Arsenal. An epic 3-1 win over their closest rivals coupled with Chelsea and Liverpool dropping points means that Arsenal have returned to the top of the table for the first time in a long while.
The result was particularly important for me because I was in desperate need of a boost after a very disappointing day. The club side that I play for in Brisbane qualified for the semi-finals for the first time in four years and played the first leg yesterday night in a nearby town called Toowoomba, a good hour and a half drive away. Unfortunately, it also fell on the same night that my roommate was celebrating his birthday in some style at our house, an event I inevitably had to miss.
I was obviously quite disappointed, but the fact was that I had played nine hard months of football to get where we were and there was no question about what was more important to me. Warm up went well and with quite a good atmosphere in Toowoomba’s little stadium I made my way to the familar right-midfield position with my mind set on having a good game.
Disaster and redemption
But in the first minute, disaster struck. With my first involvement in the game I played a one-two with one of our strikers and he released me down the wing. After sprinting after the ball I stretched my leg out to keep the ball from going into touch, felt a rip of pain in the back of my hamstring and realised that the game was over for me. I had torn my hamstring and there was nothing that could be done. I jogged off the pitch to let the manager know and was substituted soon after with the realisation that I was likely to miss not only the first leg, but the second leg and the grand final if we make it.
We did win the game in the end, 3-2 in a thriller, and look set to make the grand final if we hold our nerve back home on Wednesday night. But I can’t say how disappointing it was to play such a big part in the season and know that it is probably over. By the time I had completed the rather painful drive back to Brisbane it was 11.30 at night and the Arsenal game was half over. I called a friend to find out the score. 1-0 down, he said. Could this night get any worse, I thought to myself.
But then more messages came flooding in; 1-1 – Adebayor header. Yes! Then; 2-1 Arsenal – Fabregas belter! YES! And then; 3-1 Arsenal – Adebayor again! I was in dreamland. Thoughts of my torn hamstring and night of disappointment were forgotten in an instant. Arsenal had just beaten Tottenham from a goal down and were now sitting on top of the Premiership. I was buzzing so much that for a second I thought somehow, just somehow, my leg was going to be alright for next week’s game.
I watched the highlights of the match this morning and it seemed like quite a good contest. Tottenham looked like they had quite a few good chances and maybe could have put the game out of reach before the fightback from Arsenal. When I saw the quality of Arsenal’s goals I almost couldn’t believe it. So rarely do they score from outside of the box, so to see both Fabregas and Adebayor hit two absolute screamers was sensational.
From the highlights, Adebayor looked outstanding. Regular readers of the blog will know that Adebayor is my favourite player and everyone knows how great it feels when your favourite player does well. He might divide opinion amongst many Arsenal supporters but in my mind he is a great player and it looks like he showed that again against Tottenham. And while his finishing has always been a weakness the quality of his two goals suggest he is definitely improving.
So, I may have missed my friend’s birthday and torn my hamstring, but I have Arsenal to thank for turning yesterday into a positive day. Long may they stay at the top.
What do you think?
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