It's a word that describes when it doesn't go your way, when things come up and cause difficulties, it's when all things conspire against you. When Drogba, Anelka and Kalou were offside and a 1-0 win turns into a 2-1 loss. Adversity.
Today's game was all about adversity. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. But in the face of adversity, belief will prosper. In a game which saw rain plummet down before the game, making the surface impossible to play in. In a game which saw Bolton score on their first attack and double their lead before the break. In a game which saw Arsenal reduced to 10 men after 30 minutes. In a game where everything conspired against us, we came out winners and all credit to the team. The position that the team has been in has been a disappointment to all, but the fans reacted unbelievably. In a situation where most teams would crumble, we can out victorious.
The game started well with Arsenal dominating the early periods, we had four shots, three half chances and a real opportunity. Bendtner and Van Persie guilty of missing. It was a very bright start. Toure started the game at right back and raided the right flank well showing energy and crossing well.
But Bolton are Bolton. They counter-attacked well and after a bright start from us, we found ourselves 1-0 down when Matthew Taylor headed home from Gretar Steinsson's cross. It was a bit of a shock to the system and sometimes when we attack, attack, attack, you leave the back door open.
That goal seemed to take it out of us for a while and we lacked maturity going forward after that. But in a crazy turn of events, Diaby got sent off in a tackle that should have been red. It was reminiscent of the Eduardo / Taylor challenge, albeit not that bad, but catching the player in the way he did, the ref has no other option other than sending him off.
Shortly before the end of the first half, another Bolton counter attack saw Taylor shoot, a deflection from Gallas, past Almunia and we found ourselves 2-0 down.
“Spirit, Energy and Ability.”
Shortly into the second half, the Calvary arrived. Theo and Adebayor joined the frey, and we change to a 3-4-3 formation. It was a change that was much needed. Bendtner had been good, but it is obvious that he is still learning. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very good player and will only get better, but Ade is just a monster.
The Bolton defence couldn’t handle the new formation, and for the first time in the game since going behind, we looked like we could get something out of the game. A corner shortly afterwards saw Gallas volley in and it was 2 – 1.
Moments later, a Cahill challenge, saw Hleb tumble in the box and 2-1 became 2-2 when Van Persie scored from the spot. It was his first goal in
5 years since September and will only do him good.
We rallied well and it looked like there would be only one team going on to win this game. Ade and Walcott really tore the Bolton defence apart. In the last few minutes of the game, the winner came. A good move from the team saw Fabregas free. And something of a scramble hit two Bolton players on the way, and cross the line. A remarkable scoreline 3-2 with Arsenal campaigning with 10 men for the last hour. [Updated from original post]
It was a win that we needed and a win that we deserved… well done Arsenal. Let’s enjoy this and see what United and Chelsea can do now…]]>