What can one ask for in an opening game of the season…? In what was a very tough start to the season, an away game against the team that finished a position below you in the previous season. And of course, Everton have notoriously been a tough team to beat at Goodison and always placed well against the big teams.
Everton 1-6 Arsenal
- Denilson 26,
- Vermaelen 37,
- Gallas 41,
- Fabregas 48, 70
- Eduardo 89
But we surpassed all expectations and literally made a statement to the league. Yes, I know it’s early days, but I couldn’t have imagined we’d go out to beat Everton 6-1 away on the opening day of the season. With Nasri, Rosicky and Walcott out injured, and Bendtner playing in an unfamiliar right hand side role, it was a little nerve wracking before the start of the game. But hats off to the guys, it was an incredible performance and a scintillating display by the team.
I was at an engagement for a very good friend of mine, so went in on Saturday knowing that I wouldn’t be able to watch the game… but to my great surprise, the function hall was connected to a bar, which had the game on… time to plan an exit strategy… and within minutes, I was propped up at a bar in front of a big screen and the game kicked off.
The first ten minutes had me on edge, as we were under the cosh a little, but after the first ten, we started to dominate and had our fair share of possession. One player who surprised me more than anyone else was Bendtner as he was deployed on the right and I don’t really consider the player a winger, but he was incredible. And it was Bendtner’s drive against the left back, square to Cesc, square to Denilson, and bang, 25 yards out, 1-0 to the Arsenal. It was a great goal and a superb strike by Denilson, thoroughly deserved. The Brazilian has deserved a reward for his effort and it was brilliant that he opened the scoring.
Van Persie was playing up front but it didn’t seem as if he was a lone striker as Bendtner and the industrious Arshavin were supporting him very well. A great delivery from a free kick from Van Persie saw a great spring from Vermaelen made it 2-0. The Belgium International stopper was pretty awesome and it was delightful to see such a performance. Gallas not to be outdone, made it 3-0 from a swirling free kick from Cesc (that’s two assists)… and amazingly at half time, we went in 3-0.
I’d kind of expected a fight back from Everton in the second half, but minutes in – a beautiful goal crafted in the Arsenal way – saw Cesc Fabregas meg the keeper to make it 4-0. In a second half where we really did dominate, on the 70th minutes Cesc scored an amazing solo goal, running from his own half and picking his spot to the bottom left of the keeper. That’s 2 goals and 2 assists in his first game of the season – 5-0 to the Arsenal. And there was time for a sixth as some intricate play from Arshavin hit the post and Eduardo was there for the tap in.
It’s going to be a long season and we’ll go through trials and tribulations – but what an excellent way to start the season – 6-1 away at Everton.
Arsene spoke after the game and commented on the performance:
“Well it was a good team performance. I feel overall there is still room for improvement, not on the scoreline but in what we did today. But overall I am very happy with the team attitude basically, and we look like we have matured. And it’s a good basis to continue to improve and to work on what we want to do. We have gone from being ruled out by everybody, to now becoming a super favourite, I think these two extremes are good. It was an interesting first game and we want to show that we have the squad. If you see that Nasri, Rosicky, Diaby, Walcott today… and Senderos, for example, stayed at home. You see that, and considering who was on the bench, we do have quite a big squad.
Indeed, we do have a decent size squad – but I still think another defensive midfielder and we’re have the depth we need to challenge. Arsene is the man in charge and we’ll seee what he does from now until the end of the Summer.
Arsene continued and spoke about the Celtic game:
“It is important. It lifted our confidence and that is good. But we are on alert as well. We know that every game is different. That is the way we can show we have matured. People are surprised, but you know that we were last year the team that scored more goals than anyone away from home. And we had a long unbeaten run in the Premiership away from home. Of course it is a surprise to win with such a score. But we know we can do it away from home.”
And we’ll go into the game on a high and that’s exactly the lift we needed, confidence is high… bring on Celtic!
Til tomorrow mes amigos, til tomorrow.