Well, wasn’t that just an absolutely stupendous weekend? I thought Liverpool and Chelsea would both win but after the pair failed to take maximum points and Arsenal served up a 3-1 victory over Bolton it is our boys who sit on top of the league. And don’t they just deserve it?
The performance against Bolton was quite simply a complete performance. There was some lovely passing, some necessary grafting and a whole lot of confidence displayed at the Reebok on Saturday. Despite falling behind to a headed goal from nobody’s favourite player Kevin Davies, Arsene Wenger’s side rallied impressively to lead at the break after a quickfire double from Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner.
The first may have been marginally offside but was a deserved first goal ever in the Premiership for a man who has been surprisingly impressive so far this season. The second was a thing of beauty as every Arsenal midfielder and attacker got at least a touch before the big Dane finished off Denilson’s clever cross. Even before Eboue scored Arsenal were looking incredibly dangerous as first Emmanuel Adebayor then Alex Song hit the post. As you can imagine, it was pretty much all Arsenal until the end of the half.
To Bolton’s credit, the rallied well in the second period as the signs of a long midweek trip to Kyiv were evident in a drop in the Arsenal energy. But Wenger had the manpower on the bench to make the difference, to get that killer third goal and it came after Theo Walcott entered the arena. The English man, who has had a brilliant couple of weeks, raced past two Bolton defenders from the middle of the pitch and fed Adebayor on the right, who then put it on a plate for Denilson to grab his second goal of the season. Two more than Fabregas, which I find quite interesting.
I don’t think you could pick three more interesting Arsenal scorers than Eboue, Bendtner and Denilson. All cop their fair amount of criticism from the Arsenal faithful – the first and third by this blogger particularly – but all have done well since the start of the season. Eboue seems to have his head screwed on just right this season and is starting to look like the probing winger who terrorised Inter Milan at the Emirates Cup before last season.
Bendtner’s spot in the starting side was a good move by Wenger, to have two human battering rams up front was just what was required to nullify Bolton’s stout defending. And in the middle Denilson is clearly enjoying himself, as evident by his celebration of Bendtner’s goal and his own. Confidence comes pretty quickly when things start to go your way and they certainly are for Denilson just now.
It’s not only Denilson who is enjoying himself either – it was evident that most of the boys out their seemed to be having a great time. When Eboue netted the rest of the team were delighted, when Bendtner scored he smiled and celebrated with Denilson in a way I’ve not seen before. And it wasn’t just the goals either. When Song had a stinging shot saved by Jussi Jaaskeleinen his double high-five with Bendtner was a real indicator that this is a group of players who love playing together and love playing the type of football that Wenger wants them too.
It wasn’t all smiles at the Reebok though, the central defensive partnership of William Gallas and Kolo Toure still looks wobbly while a nasty-looking collision with Bolton’s Davies forced Gael Clichy off. Fortunately the French left-back was not seriously injured, a trip to the hospital indicating that he only sustained some bad bruising. It could have been much worse for both Clichy and Davies, a break looked likely while the Bolton man was fortunate to stay on the pitch after going in with two feet.
After the match Wenger was understandably delighted with his side’s performance, having this to say:
“It was a convincing, united and classy performance. We were strong everywhere a team can be strong, that means physically and technically. Even in the second half when we needed to defend we showed the resilient aspects of our game.”
A convincing performance, an excellent result and a weekend that sees Arsenal on top of the Premiership. You can’t really ask for more, can you?
PS. Unfortunately the first issue of ‘The Gooner Gazette’ for this season – which I said would be done by today – will only be available on Wednesday. I’ve run into some technical problems and just need a little more time to get things right. Cheers for your patience – hopefully it will be worth the wait!
PPS. I’ve just repaired the ‘Advertise’ button, so if you were interested in this part of the blog but couldn’t get through before I’d encourage you try again. 😉
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