So, honours even after the first leg.
A wonder goal from Marcos Senna from 30 yards put the hosts up within ten minutes. A great goal but, like at Sunderland this season, really really should have been shut down before he shot.
The hosts dominated the first half with some good first time passes and high tempo. In contrast our passing was poor, our tackling was poor and we had no outlet up front as Adebayor put in one or the laziest, half arsed performances I’ve ever seen. Constantly offside, token efforts to run for balls once they were out of reach and never bothering to jump for crosses or even getting the correct side of his man.
Seriously, bringing him off wouldn’t have been enough, there’s a danger he might do it again another game. I’d have shot him, the lazy c**t. Nasri was pretty anonymous as well, but this can probably be chalked down to still having the flu to be fair.
I also mentioned this week about Song’s rejuvenation recently and wondered if this was down to lower standard opposition. Well he didn’t exactly excel last night, his work rate was good but he just seemed a little out of his depth last night. Guess we’ll see again next week depending on Diaby’s recovery.
However as someone once said
“Get away from her you bitch” “Its a game of two halves” and whatever Wenger said at half time worked wonders as we looked a different side. Walcott began to penetrate the hosts’ left flank, Cesc came alive and began to spray the ball around with ease, including one brilliant ball over the top that was chested down by Adebayor, who then produced a stunning volley to give us the vital away goal. (Cheers to Arsenalist for the videos).
Senna fizzed another pile driver just over the bar towards the end but we held on, better second half, good result but still work to be done next week. Remember Chelsea in ‘04?
However, to put a dampener on it, we picked up two injuries to seasoned campaigners. Almunia went off after about 20mins with an ankle injury he picked up from a challenge with Rossi. Looked to be the same ankle that Diouf kicked a few weeks ago and he’ll probably be out of Wigan this weekend and maybe the second leg. More seriously, Gallas damaged his medial knee ligaments when a Villarreal player landed on him awkwardly from a Song tackle. Initial reports are saying that his season is over.
While Djourou is a more than capable replacement the loss of Gallas could be huge, especially as domestically he had formed a formidable partnership with Toure at the back since the turn of the year, shipping just 4 premiership goals this calendar year.
So, it’s finely poised, we have a slight advantage. Fingers crossed for next week. Will do a Wigan preview tomorrow as I’m off to the West Country tomorrow afternoon to visit the outlaws for Easter.