Now that’s a result that I call “grinded out”. It was a hard, intense and open game. It had everything. Pace, skill, shots, saves, penalties, sending offs and more importantly – 3 points for the Arsenal. After a physical and mental battle against Man City over the weekend and with 8 players out injured, players playing out of position too, it was a game that had draw written all over it. And with the scoreline at 1-1 with a few minutes to go, it looked like it was headed that way. But summer loan signing make it 2-1 from a header in the 87th minute, and the points were ours!
Arsene experimented a bit with the team, mainly because Miquel was out through injury and this meant Vermaelen to left back and Coquelin to right back. It’s been quite a season for Coquelin, and the fact that he slotted in to right back is a testimony to his adaptability. Song was out suspended yesterday, so Frimpong came into the middle of the park and the team line up was:
Coquelin – Koscielny – Mertersacker – Vermaelen
Arteta – Frimpong
Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho
But, as predicted Aston Villa did target the full backs, and Coquelin especially. He did look a little exposed, but it’s a newish role for him, so fair enough. If we do need to play Miquel and / or Coquelin for the next couple of games, at least we’ll be at home – first against Wolves and then QPR.
We did start brightly, but it was obvious to all that we were jaded. Tired from the weekend’s exertions and thread bare due to the copious amounts of injuries to midfield and full backs. Even though we haven’t had a lot of games, due to those injuries, the players don’t get a chance to rest. Arteta is a prime example, he has played every game this season.
The first goal for us came through some excellent play through Walcott, a great turn and into the penalty box, before being dragged down in the box – penalty awarded and Van Persie dispatched with aplomb, for his 34th goal of the calender year and 21st goal this season. Amazing stats to be honest… 2 more goals before the end of the year and Van the Man will match the record of 36, held by Alan Shearer.
Aston Villa came out in the second