Arsenal 3-0 Villarreal
UEFA Champions League
Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 19:45
For those of you who missed the goals, here they are. So, we’re through – a slighty nervy game, of course, until we scored the third!
The line up was pretty much as expected, Sagna, however suffering a virus and a surprise absence. Eboue came in at right back, Denilson dropped to the bench and Van Persie was fit enough to start. The line up was:
Eboue – Toure – Silvestre – Gibbs
Walcott – Song – Cesc – Nasri
Adebayor – Van Persie
We started well and it only took 10 mins for us to establish a lead when Cesc flighted a beautiful ball into Theo’s path who delightfully chipped the keeper. It was a goal deserving of a good start and our formation was clearly working for us as we dominated the early proceedings. Walcott was a continual threat down the right and Cesc was showing the form that we saw last season. We first closing down the opposition at every opportunity and really had the bit between our teeth.
However, the dominance wore off and Villareal had a decent spell after the opening 30 minutes, the referee awarding a plethora of free kicks, but Fabianski’s aerial prowess ensured there were no real chances. The makeshift defence holding strong. Villareal surely identified Eboue and Gibbs as two potential weak areas and focused their play down the wings, but both players did well to stiffle their chances. Despite our defensive fralities, it was Villareal’s defence that looked like it was there for the taking. A tactical rest of the half saw the half end 1-0.
In the second half , the Spanish opposition came out with more intent, and for the first fifteen minutes dominated possession. Robert Pires, who was given a standing ovation pre-game, was instrumental, but we were ready to counter attack. The second goal came from such an event, when Van Persie slipped in Adebayor for his 5th goal in 4 games (for club and country) finishing well with the outside of his right. It has to be said that the Togan was very very guilty of overplaying and being offside, but when the record says 5 in 4, I suppose you’ve got to put up with it – wait for the moment of magic.
After the second goal, it was really all us, and it looked like we could take Villareal to the cleaners. A somewhat harsh penalty was awarded to us and Eguren was sent off. Van Persie duly made it 3-0 and chances also fell to Ade, VP, Eboue and substitutes Bendtner and Diaby. All in all a very good result and 3-0 is quite a statement in the quaterfinal of the Champions League.
After the game, the boss said:
“I announced before the game that we would play to win and you could see that with the team we had out. It was a very offensive team and we did it in a convincing way against a team who kept the ball well. But every time we won the ball back, we used our passing and our pace and caused them a lot of problems with that.”I believe that I was more impressed by the quality of our game and overall the speed of our game. Overall I believe against Villarreal who have a very good techincal level, we gave them problems where they didn’t like it. That means going in behind them with the ball and being very explosive in our counter-attacking. We did that very well.”
“We have confidence and that is down to the slow progress we have accumulated from game to game in the championship. Confidence transfers from one competition to the other thats why we cannot choose any competition and just want to play well in every single competition.”
“In the first half sometimes I think he [Adebayor] was a bit affected mentally because he was a few times offiside But now he is strong mentally and he just kept going and scored a great goal in the second half.”Theo’s finishing – he is now calm in front of goal. The way he finished last week at Wigan and this week in a Champions League game shows that he will score goals.”
“Sagna was sick and he has played many games as well so we decided to send him home and rest him today, I knew that had Eboue who is as well very good and can play midfield, or right-back or anywhere.”
Well done to the boys, we’ve got Man United in the semi finals…
But before that, a small matter of Chelsea in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley…
Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Walcott (Denilson 77), Song Billong, Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor (Bendtner 83), Van Persie (Diaby 77).
Subs Not Used: Mannone, Eduardo, Vela, Ramsey.
Booked: Silvestre, Gibbs.
Goals: Walcott 10, Adebayor 60, Van Persie 69 pen.
Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Angel, Rodriguez, Godin, Capdevila, Cani (Pablo 70), Eguren, Bruno (Nihat 64), Fernandez (Ibagaza 64), Pires, Rossi.
Subs Not Used: Viera, Llorente, Javi Venta, Fuentes.
Sent Off: Eguren (68).
Booked: Eguren, Cani, Godin.
Ref: Wolfgang Stark (Germany).]]>