Arsenal 1 – 0 Dynamo Kyiv

Whatever you thought of the performance yesterday, the end result was a 1-0 win and 3 points in the bag. It means we've qualified for the Champions League knockout stages. Cesc was named our new captain and there was a new found belief in the squad. The line up was exactly as suggested yesterday:

Djourou – Gallas – Silvestre – Clichy
Ramsey – Song – Cesc – Denilson
Vela – Van Persie

It was a line up that included a few players who deserved their chance, Djourou, Ramsey and Vela have played well every time they’ve been asked to and it was fitting that all three started today’s game. With so many injuries (we will discuss later), there was little or no choice but to play the team he played.

As I start writing this, it’s on the verge of Wednesday morning and it was bitterly cold yesterday. The players played like it was cold too. Being there at the stadium was very much different than watching the highlights. At the stadium, it did feel like a bit of defensive set up from Kyiv and it also looked like quite a few players had a big lack of movement. But watching the highlights told a different story.

Personally, I think Song and Denilson were very poor and Gallas was shaky, but watching the highlights, it was clear how hard it was to break down the Kyiv wall of 8. Almunia played well and kept us in it when he saved brilliantly with 10 minutes to go. The only obvious problems with the team were that we were playing players out of position, Denilson on the left and Ramsey on the right – both central midfielders – meant we lacked width. As Arsene said after the game, we lacked spark and creativity but we were efficient in our play.

There was some contention regarding the winning goal, where some people thought we should have kicked the ball back to Kyiv, but as we had possession when the ref blew his whistle, the ref and Kyiv players agreed that Arsenal would maintain possession and play on. The players who were arguing with the ref were actually arguing over a potential handball by Bendtner. Replays show it could have gone either way. For those of you who haven’t seen the goal, Cesc had the ball deep in our half, and with a 54-yard long ball found Bendtner who control, albeit wider than required, but finished well into the near post.

There was a moment of unsporting behaviour when Aliev was “injured” and rolling round on the floor, but when Kyiv gained posession, he jumped up like a spring chicken and ran into the box. It was fitting that the player ended up being sent off for pushing the ref near the end of the game.

The injuries that were mounted before this game were quite massive, with 9 first teamers missing the action. Jack Wilshere made his European debut and became our youngest player to play in Europe. I’d look further into our injuries and how we’re coping later tomorrow, but for today, a game is a game and a win is a win.

We’re through to the next round.

Til tomorrow…


Arsenal:Almunia, Djourou, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Ramsey (Bendtner 68), Vela (Wilshere 77), Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Gibbs, Hoyte, Merida, Simpson.

Booked:Van Persie, Bendtner.

Goals: Bendtner 87.

Dynamo Kiev:Bogush, Betao, Diakhate, Asatiani, El Kaddouri, Eremenko, Vukojevic, Ghioane, Aliev, Milevskiy, Bangoura.
Subs Not Used: Shovkovskiy, Dopilka, Sablic, Correa, Shatskikh, Cernat, Yarmolenko.

Sent Off:Aliev (89).

Booked:Milevskiy, Asatiani, Aliev.

Att: 59,374

Ref:Alain Hamer (Luxembourg).]]>

  • ny

    Was Denilson really poor? He was OK I think.

  • Debs

    I’d say everyone played well, (I think!)and we looked united, which’s a start!


    < ![CDATA[Denilson and Song were both poor to be honest. RVP had a quiet match but everyime he was near the ball so were three Kyiev players.Ramsey was playing well, I was shocked when he was subbed. I would have taken Denilson/Song off for sure and moved Ramsey inside (his preffered position). Defence were good, but Silvestre still looked shakey.

    And really - who knew Bendtner had it in him?]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Looking at the papers today, Denilson's role at the left of midfield was under-used, he drifted in too much, and so did Ramsey to be honest. But Denilson decision making was low, albeit his work rate high.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the Brazilian, but yesterday was one of his not so great performances. But I think it's totally down to being played out of position!]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[Does Bendtner have it in him? I wouldn't bank on him doing that again given identical circumstances lol. Maby i'm being a bit harsh, i'm pleased for him though.

    Song was crap last night. Looked really unmotivated for some reason. Other than him i was pleased with the rest. Denilson was on the left wing, so with that in mind, i think his performance was acceptable.

    Gallas was pretty solid, despite clearly being a bit scared of fucking things up. He did well in his circumstances i think.

    The main thing is we are through to the knockout, which we wont have to play until February i think. Hopefully we will be a stronger unit by then. Eduardo will certainly be back! Wahoo! :D]]>

  • realist

    < ![CDATA[I have no doubts about Cesc Fabregas' immediate commitment to Arsenal. He is very committed to the Arsenal cause and in hindsight is the correct choice for the armband at the club.

    I believe he will be at the club for many years and he will stamp his legacy at Arsenal. He will become an Arsenal legend.

    There are suggestions from some quarters that Arsene Wenger only gave him the armband to keep him at Arsenal. I don't believe for a second that this is true.

    There will always be rumours that Fabregas is leaving Arsenal. It happens to all the best players at the club. We will continue to hear these rumours all the time.

    I don't think that Fabregas is going anywhere anytime soon. Not for many years. He loves the club and us Gooners. And we love him back.

    Fabregas will leave Arsenal one day. I think most Gooners have accepted that. One day the calling for him going home to Barcelona will be too strong and he will go back.

    And will we Gooners begrudge him that? Of course we won't. We didn't begrudge Theirry Henry leaving, we didn't begrudge Patrick Vieira leaving. True Arsenal legends. And Cesc Fabregas will match their achievements at Arsenal, of that I'm sure.

    Let's enjoy Cesc Fabregas. A world class player who loves the club and for now leads us into a new era. A player destined to become an Arsenal great.]]>

  • realist

    < ![CDATA[It was deeply shocking to find that some 800 seats were unsold for the game last night. Arsenal meandered into the knock out stages for something like the sixth year running, using mostly a reserve team (Ade, Sagna, Kolo, Eduardo, Rosicky, Nasri, Theo, Eboue… none of them could play). It does seem that it is hard to sell 60,000 consistently for the reserves. Shame that the early leavers missed a wonderful goal.

    But we are not the only club to find this problem of poor attendances, as Jonathan Neale has kindly pointed out to me, by sending me the web link

    If you read that you will see that the tickets for CSKA Fulham against Arsenal remain unsold - and that is within their capacity of 42,500.

    This is not the first time they have had these problems - they had similar difficulties in the past selling tickets for European games and in recent years the average attendance has been 41,900 - not far off full, but still, not full in a modest sized ground. (The lowest was 3000 against Lincoln City, but perhaps that’s a bit unfair - the record attendance was 82,905 against Arsenal (of course) in October 1935.

    Anyway, because I love arcane and stupid information, I want to reveal just a little more. Chelsea want to have a 55,000 stadium, so that Mr Abramovich has more room to spread his bodyguards out on the empty seats, but it is going to be tough to do that within the confines of Stamford Bridge. Like Arsenal the ground has got unmovable railway lines around it, but unlike Arsenal the area is not one that can readily take extra people under current health and safety regs. So a new ground looks more likely.

    But, and this is the funny bit, in Chelsea, the Official Biography (2006, pages 91/2) there is the revelation that under the Chelsea Pitch Owners articles of association the football club (I use the phrase in its broadest sense) would have to give up the name ‘Chelsea Football Club’ should it move from Stamford Bridge

    So maybe CSKA Fulham will actually come to pass officially. Or Chelsea Russia? Chelsea Finance? Money Money Money?]]>

  • Arif aka RF

    What’s with the Pink Boots ?

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[haha, nice info on Chelscum, realist.

    I think they are getting ahead of themselves. They have hardly been consistently selling out in the current gaff. Morons.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Champions league is becoming easy for Premiership clubs recently . That been said we need to focus on the premiership - the league will be pretty tough; far from over if I should say.

    Chelsea re good at the moment but can loose at home come sunday, defensively they re not as good as they used to.

    Wenger on his own should figure out our DM , Denilsons position in the team at the moment is not that great. V. P is still quality for me, then Vela is something else( good, but how will he fare in premiership), Defense is ok at the moment but lets see what Wenger will do.

    Chelsea are bettable but the thought is an expensive one.

    Till Sunday.]]>

  • McClone

    Bring on Chelsea!

  • devday

    Hello all…. WordPress have stopped me from blogging, I’m not sure why, but am finding out. Possibly have too many visitors, which is not a bad thing, apologies for lack of blog, I have a really good peice ready!

  • Arif aka RF

    Devday , Awaiting your New Blog. :)

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[No way!

    Hope you can sort it out Dev.]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Yea, get them to sort that out Dev.

    Was lucky enough to go to the game on Tuesday, and have the following thoughts to share.

    The team didn't play fantastically but part of that is due to missing players. I doubt Song, Ramsey, Djourou, Silvestre and Vela would have started if we had other players fit, and Denilson would not have played on the left wing ideally.

    The play was a bit disjointed and never really flowed as well as we have come to expect, but Arsenal were clearly the dominant force and a draw would have been a let off for Dynamo.

    Was pleased to see Gallas get a good response and Cesc seemed a bit bolder as captain. I would have expected Van Persie to play a bit better as one of the more experienced players but it never seemed to click for him.

    Hopefully some of those players will be back for the Chelsea game and we can string together some good results in the league.]]>

  • Debs

    bad bad WordPress! Dev, you might as well post the blog in the comments section?