Morning all – I write this as I sit in my hotel room in Long Island, New York, with about 7 minutes to write my entire thoughts about yesterday’s game. Luckily for me Arsenal.com made both halves downloadable in full last night, and I managed to watch the first half of the first half – up to the point when Merida scored his goal. And what a goal it was!
Arsene kept his policy of fielding the younger players and Gilbert, Gibbs, Ramsey, Merida and a kid called Craig Eastmond (another shining light out of the academy) who was deployed in the holding role. The line up was:
Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Gibbs
Eastmond – Ramsey
Bendtner – Nasri – Merida
I have officially run out of time now, but I’ll be back in approximately 4 hours to review the entire game!
Okay, I’m back and have just watched the game – now that was one hell of a Carling Cup tie – and I have to say, our midfield double duo of Ramsey and Eastmond was sensational. I was really impressed. Watching another player – Eastmond – come through and look so assured was amazing – I really thought that Coquelin or Randall would have got the nod ahead of Eastmond – but the under 18 youth player did very well.
The opening goal came through some good work from Eastmond, who won a loose ball and slid Merida, who with one look up, unleashed an unstoppable left footed strike, straight past the keeper, top right of the goal. It was not more than we deserved. Our game so far had been very good, having the majority of the possession, with Nasri really impressing with his intelligence on the ball. We could definitely have been one or two up by that point, with some earlier chances missed – one involving Gibbs, Nasri and Bendtner, who was through on goal with Ramsey next to him, behind the defence, but unable to square or shoot.
But Liverpool always looked dangerous on the break – both NGog and Babel had pace to burn and first teamer Kuyt was decent in the air – but it was left back Insua who levelled with another amazing left footed strike – again unstoppable, flying over the head of Fabianski.
We took the lead again 5 minutes into the second half when good play all round put Bendtner in, who dragged the ball round the right sided defender to gain a yard and then dispatched a left foot strike into the back of the net – awesome finish – and the game ended 2-1. We’re through to the quarter finals!
Arsene spoke post match and said:
“I believe overall it was a game of top quality with two teams who really went for it. You had the quality of the passing, sometimes the ball was played through a very short space but at a high pace and overall you can say tonight we gave the people what they paid for and I’m very happy to say that and we had top quality in every position I must say.
“The experienced players played well, the young players played well. We had Craig Eastmond make his debut tonight in a holding role and everybody did well in every position. Liverpool came back to 1-1 and we still managed to win the game. That shows as well we have mental resources. It was more of a European Cup night than a Carling Cup night, quality wise. We have seen two very, very good teams who play at the top level.”
Well, Arsene showed once again, that the kids do have something about them…