It was a cold day in the journey to the ground yesterday and a long and arduous journey. The tubes decided to skip Arsenal station and of course Holloway Road (well for some selected trains, one of which I happened to be on)… but there was a certain buzz around the supporters – a certain feeling of excitement as everyone knew of course that if we did win and win by two clear goals, we’d reach the summit of the league for the first time since August.
You could hear the conversations – “Denilson should go straight back in… he’ll need the match practice – play Eastmond in the cup!” – “Arshavin should be rested, give Vela a chance”, “Walcott shouldn’t start – he’ll get battered by Bolton”. It’s a part of match day that I love.
The team news was announced, exactly as we all thought – our first choice back five for the first time in a long time. Two of our first choice middle three in Cesc and Diaby and of course Denilson restored to the line up. Arshavin, Eduardo and Rosicky made up the rest. It was a strong line up. And it was all about this game, not worrying about the next.
Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
Denilson – Diaby
Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin
We had Theo on the bench for the first time in ages, and Vela, and Eastmond and of course Traore if Clichy got tired. All guns blazing, time to get the game on…
But to my shock, could you believe it, within the first 10 mins, we were 1-0 down. A defensive mistake I would say and Cahill was free to score in the box. And then suddenly it was 2-0 to Bolton – Clichy failing to clear well, and Denilson bringing the man down. Almunia nearly got to it, but Taylor slotted it away from the spot.
We looked around at each other in a state of disbelief and so did the Arsenal players. But our captain marvel Cesc was calm and despite being fouled every 5 minutes for the whole game, he gave a lift to the team by his never give up attitude and with about 5 minutes to go, a moment of magic from our oldest outfield player in Rosicky – showing us what