Arsenal 4 – 0 Wigan
Firstly, major apologies for the lack of Match Day Prview and Match Day Live this weekend… With three of my closest friends holding important events on Friday and Saturday, it was virtually impossible to get any access to the net and as a result, missed out on our usual match day discussions… I did however manage to make it down to the game – for what was a great day out at the Emirates…
Time for a match report! Okay, let’s start off with the team that started today:
Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
Song – Diaby
Eboue – Cesc – Eduardo
Rosicky and Bendtner were on the bench along with the usual suspects Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs, Silvestre and substitute goal keeper Szczesny.
We continued with our 4-3-3 formation, which we look like we’re adapting too well. There was a good feeling around the ground pre-game, with the only disappointment being the lack of Wigan fans… with only a couple of hundred turning up and the result showed why the support didn’t come from the away team.
You could tell from the kick off that we were determined to put on a show, and we started on fire. Cesc playing in Clichy behind their right back and if their defender hadn’t cut it out, it would have been 1-0 to the home team. You could sense a goal was coming soon and the continual fouling by Wigan allowed us to have several free kicks around the edge of the area. Van Persie came very very close and he really is due a free kick soon. We were definitely the better team and really dominated the proceedings… Eboue nearly had the ball in the back of the net but hand balled in the process to earn himself a yellow card.
Wigan were very physical and the persistent fouls on Cesc, the sandwich of Van Persie, an elbow on Gallas just three highlights into the 18 or 19 fouls they had throughout the game.
The first goal came through a set piece – something that we’re getting much better at this season, as Van Persie curled an excellent corner into the box and who was there? None other than our new Summer signing Thomas Vermaelen. What a signing. He rose beyond his size suggests above two Wigan players to glance the ball into the net. Excellent stuff.
Shortly after, some excellent play from Van Persie saw Eboue in one on one with the keeper, and it was agonizingly close to 2-0. But the half ended with a spell of pressure from Wigan as they tried to get an equaliser before half time. Our play was a little bit sketchy defensively, and a few corners and goal mouth scrambles did have me a little worried.
But we were always creating chances and we went straight down the other end and some brilliant play from Eduardo showed Van Persie in but saved by the keeper. A crazy moment later saw Van Persie and Eduardo both free in the box, both onside and both unmarked. Van Persie was the man in possession and it seemed easy to score than to miss. But with his back to goal, Van Persie elected to shoot on the swivel and instead of a quick pass to Eduardo to finish, the ball went wide.
At half time, at 1-0, we knew we had to score another – we hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the Premiership this season.
The second goal came when top scorer Vermalen wondered forward exchanging headers with Song and then passes with Eboue before a pinpoint shot from outside of the area, top left hand corner, absolutely brilliant goal… 2-0 to the Arsenal. 2 quickly turned into 3 as Wigan crumbled and some good play from Clichy, come in from the left to claim a loose ball set up Eduardo who on the second attempt scored a goal, although Emmanuel Eboue also claimed it which is yet to be decided.
At this point, it was awesome football. Alex Song showing some very good dribbling skills with a mesmerizing run going past 4 players but hitting the post. Chances were coming in the bucket load and Eduardo could have had another one had Kirkland not been so astute. Eduardo and Eboue were taken off and Rosicky and Bendtner had a little run out (Ramsey for Diaby also happened earlier on) and Wigan looked like they wanted one back with a goal being disallowed for offside.
And just to top it all off, Cesc Fabregas managed to get a goal on the stroke of full time, when Bendtner crossed accurately and Cesc finished well, maybe with a cheeky back heel? It was hard to tell.
The manager was pleased about the performance and especially that of Vermaelen and had this to say:
“I am quite crazy but perhaps not enough [for that]. What is good since the beginning of the season is that we have scored goals. We scored four today but we could have scored more. Even in the away games – Man United and Man City – we could have scored more. That shows we have the potential. I thought [Vermaelen] he could adapt quickly but not as quickly as that. Let’s be honest. It is good for the confidence of the team that we did not concede today. It is little bit of the price to pay for our style of play. We had maybe 10 chances today and gave two away. But I think we’ll be more and more solid when we get used to the way we want to play.”
Arsene also took time out to mention the progress of Emmanuel Eboue:
“He did what you have to do. Shut up, play and do well. Let people talk but shut-up yourself. This is a job where you have to respond mentally. The supporters are behind him because he plays well and with the right spirit. “He is a sensitive boy and an extrovert. He plays as a defender but he is a creative spirit in my opinion. That is why I used in midfield because he has good acceleration and a good dribble. I believe he was a bit too nervous at the start but age will help. He will get less excited and his vision will get better in the final third. He shows that now already.”
Well done to the lads for coming through with a good performance post a few unlucky games – time for the kids to have a run out now as we move over to the Carling Cup this Tues.