Morning Fellow Gooners,
Yesterday we were treated to a feast of football, a sublime 90 minutes of pure entertainment – an excellent display of football that would mirror any performance in the whole of Europe. Bringing Jack Wilshere into the team this season has been a stroke of genius and similarly to Barcelona, the technical ability of our whole team is second to none.
The line up yesterday was:
Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Song
Nasri – Cesc – Arshavin
With a bench of Fabianski, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky and Vela…
We started the game with a high level of ferocity and tenacity and within the first few minutes we really should have been awarded a penalty when Cesc was tackled just inside the area. And within 90 seconds, Cesc was fouled again just as he entered the area. I’m not one for advocating foul play or diving, but Cesc’s two penalty shouts were more “yes they were” then “no they weren’t” – the first even a Sp*rs fan would admit!
But it didn’t take long until we were on the scoresheet and it came through – yep, you guessed it – a penalty when Maroune Chamakh was fouled in the box by the outcoming keeper. Cesc stood up and duly despatched the ball into the back of the net. And after the first goal, Braga had to attack more, giving us more and more space. And we started to create chance after chance after chance. And even though the score line was heavy – we must not take away the maturity of the defensive part of the game, with our back 5 and Song outstanding.
Braga did try their best and had a fifteen minute spell where they did look dangerous. It took until the 30th minute for us to score our second and excellent play through Cesc - mesmerizing dribbling around the box – and a brilliant through ball to Arshavin who finished well to make it 2-0. Cesc had 10 touches and pulled out 2 defenders from their positions – really intelligent playmaking, and Arshavin’s finish was at the near post and a clever finish too.
A few minutes later, we made it 3-0 with an amazing period of play primarily involving Wilshere – winning the ball – one two with Cesc via Chamakh and then a backheel into Chamakh’s path – and the Moroccan did what he does best and made it 3-0 – an excellent cross goal finish and nutmeg to top it all off – you will not see a better team goal than that all week in Europe – and if you haven’t seen it then make sure you watch it!
And we continue the second half how we finished the first and on the 53rd minute, some excellent work from Cesc and a good cross back into Cesc saw the captain finish with a far post header – 4-0. Cesc could have had his hattrick moments later as he broke the offside trap and chipped the keeper, only for his shot to be cleared off the line. Chamakh was next to break the offside trap, but the officials wrongly pulled him up for offside.
Not content with the 4-0 win, the team looked ready to push on and get more goals – it was clear they were enjoying it – and on the 62nd minute, Vela for Chamakh and Denilson for Song was a like for like and within 7 minutes of being on the pitch, Carlos Vela made it 5-0. An excellent team goal – involving Cesc to Wilshere to Cesc to Arshavin to Vela – with his customary finish – a chip…
And at 5 – it was showboat time – outside of the right, outside of the left, Jack Wilshere was loving every minute of it – Cesc wanted the hattrick – it was sublime and finally we got the sixth – with Cesc taking down a beautiful long ball from Clichy, and teeing up Carlos Vela for his second goal of the game… 2 goals, 2 assists, what more can you ask for from your captain…?
Arsene was full of praise for Cescy and said this after the game:
“He has taken on another dimension. People forget that he is 23 years old, [an age] where other people start. He is a fantastic influence and it is important that he leads this team to winning and I believe it is a fantastic opportunity for the young players who play alongside him to improve as well. If you are 18 years old like Wilshere and you see Fabregas who is 23, it is a big opportunity to learn a lot.”
He also took time out to talk about Jack Wilshere, who also had an outstanding game…
“It was important because it accelerated his career by being confronted in the Premier League and having tough games. But, of course, Jack has been educated here and he was already an outstanding player when he left for Bolton. But this is the final part of the education of a player – to be integrated into the first team and play under pressure. That was important for him.”
There we have it… an excellent all round performance… an abundance of quality, loads of goals, a clean sheet and smiles on many faces… boy do I love the Arsenal…
Til tomorrow my friends, til tomorrow…