Arsenal 3 – 0 Wigan: The Van Persie Show

Robin Van Persie. What can you say? His performance today was sublime. Take the goals away, and the player would still get an 8/10 for his general play, link up play and work rate alone – but add in his three goals and it’s a definite 10/10… even with missing a penalty! Arsene has shown faith in Van Persie and he’s rewarded him with 6 goals in the last 3 games.

The Dutchman lead the line in an otherwise unchanged line-up from the West Ham game (Sagna and Eboue aside) and the team lined-up as such:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Walcott – Cesc - Nasri

Van Persie

With a bench of Shea, Gibbs, Eboue, Denilson, Arshavin, Chamakh and Bendtner

We started like we finished against Leeds - in superb control and with flowing football. The first 9 minutes was probably the best 9 minutes of any start of any game this season – we cut Wigan open several times, testing the Wigan goalkeeper 4 times in the opening period. Nasri, Cesc, Walcott and Van Persie are a dream combination up front and were mesmerising the Wigan defence time and time again.

Van Persie has been in great form since his return to the side… and has really found his scoring boots – a great run by Walcott and a good shot from Van Persie nearly put us ahead… if it weren’t for the great keeping from the Wigan goalkeeper. But the first goal was coming and it was that man Van Persie who scored the opener with a great shot after Song did good work to drag the defenders out wide and then slid in RvP, who finished well, very well - and it was 1-0 to the Arsenal.

The frustrating thing for all of us is that we went in at half time with the scoreline only at 1-0 – Nasri, Cesc and Van Persie should and could have scored goals to extend our lead, but the keeper was outstanding – at the break, we went in having had 11 shots on target compared to Wigan’s 1, but the scoreline was only 1-0.

We started very badly in the second half and for the first team minutes of the second half, to be honest, it was all Wigan – to be fair to the two central defenders, they did very well to protect Szcznesy – who although didn’t have to do much, was commanding when called upon.

We started to get back into the game and started to take control of the game and it wasn’t long until we scored the second – to calm our nerves but the players nerves as well – and what a goal it was. Cesc with the free kick and he chose to play Robin straight in who finished with a first time volley. My text doesn’t do justice to the goal – it was simply sublime…

2 could have turned into 3 when Cesc was fouled in the area and Van Persie stood up to take the penalty – unusually for him, he blazed it over the bar… Arsene joking afterwards that he really didn’t expect such a poor penalty from his striker. But it did become three when a super ball over the defence but Theo through, who held the ball up nicely for Van Persie to score his first competitive hattrick in an Arsenal shirt.

Theo did have his moments – like when he forgot to shoot and decided to square it to a player who wasn’t there when one-on-one – and of course, a cameo of nonense from Arshavin was comical to watch, but overall, it was a great team performance, and well done to all of the team!

Arsene commented on Van Persie’s recent form and said:

He is back in form. He was already fit and sharp last week and overall we had a good team performance so he could finish a hat-trick. Of course it is important to have Robin at this level but we have plenty of offensive players. First of all let’s hope we can keep him fit until the end of the season. It is down to us to use him in the right proportion of the games we play.

And he also singled out Cesc for his role in the game:

I think he was outstanding. At the end of the game he was frustrated because he didn’t score but for me the ball he gave for the second goal was absolutely amazing. The second goal I could watch that and watch it and watch it again because it’s just pure class from the pass to the finish.

It was a great goal…

We have very important games in the two cup competitions and ideally we can rotate a little bit more – but first thing’s first and we need to win the game on Wednesday against Ipswich, and progress into the Carling Cup final…

Kieran D will be blogging tomorrow, and I’ll be back on Tuesday for a Ipswich preview!

Til then… Enjoy…

  • pisssedoff

    Van de man

  • devday

    Van Persie was electric today, puts the rest of the strikers to shame! Chamakh is the only alternative on Tuesday!

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    if we play that same team surely we will go through into the carling cup final?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Holy crap we could have scored 10 goals easily yesterday. Tore them apart :-)

  • devday

    @ Josiah:
    I doubt Arsene will play the same team. He won’t play Van Persie straight away – I am pretty sure he will play Chamakh – but I also think Cesc & Nasri will play – and that could be enough in the right direction to catapult us into the final!

  • devday

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    At half time, my main worry was that we hadn’t put away a considerable number of chances – but their goal keeper was pretty outstanding, and to get the 3-0 result at the end was good.

  • yemi

    It seems as if we only get opinions and comments when arsenal lose. All the bad mouths start running foul and suddenly everybody knows wengers job more than the man.

    On the match, I was a bit scared when I saw djourou clutching at his shoulder. There were a couple oe guys clutching at knees, ankles and shins.
    Seriously arsene needs an extra (good but maybe not expensive) center back.

    Overall it was a great game. Spurs and city lost, I hope bolton beat chelsea and b’pool beat man u.

    Now let’s beat ipswich black and blue.

    By the way , where my friend kodjo at?

  • Kodjo

    Hi Yemi

    I’m here watching and enjoying the games…and yes all the bad mouthing starts when we loose games. One thing i’m unable to contribute from work cos some IT geek has found a way of blocking my posted comments…so that leaves me with precious little time…esp after work…

    With regards to the defensive situation i think AW is thinking long term…if he signs a proven defender what then happens to the likes of Squillaci

    Option will be to look at someone like Curtis Davies if he is fit…remains a class player but just lost his way a bit…we could get him for a knock down price…i know AW was interested in him a few seasons ago but the ridiculous high price for british players put him off…was one of the few players who could cope with Henry.

    With regards to Squillaci fans forget that its his first season playing in England as such it will take him a while to adjust…i think the pace of the game is too much for him and hopefully he will reflect and work on other parts of his game…now that he is not playing.

    Another good player AW can look at is Leicester’s Ivorian centre back Sol Bamba…watched their game against Man Citeh and he was impressive esp in the air ..Citeh cdnt live with him he had at least 4 goal bound headers from corner kicks…he looks comfortable on the ball and he coped with Tevez. But then that was just 1 game…

  • Yemi

    @ Kodjo:

    I agree abour samba. I also feel arsene might not buy based on his comments below.

    “On the prospect of buying a defender…
    I am open-minded on it and if the right opportunity turns up we will take it. We are not desperate, we have Vermaelen who can still play a big part in the end of the season and we have Squillaci who comes back maybe next Sunday. Song can play at the back too”

    and ..

    “On whether it is worth spending extra this time…
    The question makes sense but practically it doesn’t work like that. It is not because you have money available that you just find the player available, no? We have the needed money to spend if we want but the players you would want are not necessarily available. At the moment I feel that, unless we have a big problem at the centre back, we can deal with the situation”