jumping, shouting, sitting at the edge of my seat. It was a good old fashioned Champions League away game in a far away place and we came back with a draw, and a good draw. Yes, in the first half, we should have been quite a few goals up, but in the second half, we could have been two or three down… so all in all, a draw was a fair result.
Arsene said he’d be happy with a draw and an away draw means no away win for Dynamo. With three home games, and potentially 9 points possibly gained, this isn’t a bad result by any means.
Arsene adopted a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Adebayor as the lone striker and a midfield five of Song, Denilson, Cesc, Walcott and Van Persie.
Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy
Walcott – Denilson – Cesc - Van Persie
Although Adebayor scored a hattrick at the weekend, I don’t his overall performances this season have been that great and yesterday was one of those games. He has a high work rate, but the chances he misses are unbelievable. One such chance happened early on when Ade intercepted a back pass but shot wide from 12 yards. Having said that it’s not only Ade that’s been missing chances. Our flying dutchman, Van Persie, was also guilty of missing a few guilt edge chances early on and a critism has to be made of the inability to at least hit the target and test the keeper.
Arsene was also critical of the finishing:
“We had chances and didn’t take them and then we just didn’t create enough in the second half.
“That’s the biggest domination we’ve had here for a long, long time so we are frustrated because we wanted the three points. But maybe it will be a good point. We lacked a bit of a killer instinct when we were on top and maybe that’s what we can get out of this game.”
Dynamo Kiev are a team that also do try to keep you at bay, but it was clear to see that they were hungrier in the second half than us. Their hunger and a mistake by the referee meant they were awarded a penalty on the 63rd minute. Sagna was ajudged to have pushed their striker down in the area. Replays showed that the player had dived, but through that penalty, the home team went one-nil up.
“The penalty was very, very harsh because we are convinced the guy took Sagna with two hands and went down but the referee called it and what can you do about that.”
After conceding the penalty, we did go through another ten minutes of panic before we regained control and in the last fifteen minutes, with 4 strikers on, we pressed for the equaliser. With two minutes to go, Adebayor passing out wide to Theo who got the cross in for Gallas to bundle home. Arsene said;
“My feelings are a mixture of disappointment and relief. We were a goal down with three minutes to go and we didn’t lose. At 1-0 down at least we found the resources to fight back to 1-1 because the players gave it everything.”
Adebayor singled out some praise for William Gallas and deservedly so…
“At the moment he is playing well and is scoring some goals as well. It is very good for us. He is one of the oldest players in the side and he brings a lot of experience. We all listen to him and we all do whatever he says. He has won a lot of things in his career and he is sharing this with the young players in the squad. Tonight was the type of moment when we needed an experienced player like William Gallas. He has the character and personality. He knows how to handle the big games and got the goal at the end. That was good for the team.”
Arsene was also unhappy about the amount of extra time that was played, considering the penalty and the 6 substitutions, he’s right. It would be a minimum of 3.5 minutes and a few more for actual injuries…
“I was not angry, I just wanted to understand how they calculate the extra time because it’s a mystery to me how, in a game like that, with players going down and substitutes, you still only get three minutes of injury time.
So all in all, a decent point against decent opposition.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna (Eboue 78), Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Song Billong (Bendtner 70), Denilson, Van Persie (Vela 83), Adebayor. Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Wilshere, Djourou. Booked: Sagna.]]>