So we just about managed to beat QPR at the Emirates. a lot has been said by all and sundry about how dreadful we were, but do we or should we care? There have been so many matches we’ve played where we’had produced fantastic performances, which chances coming from multiple angles, but have either managed to draw or lose due to poor finishing or lack of concentration at the back. Obviously the ideal scenario would be great performances with wins at the end, but we do not live in an ideal world. Bearing that in mind, what is wrong with the occasional dodgy performance with 3 points at the end of it? We’ve had 2 avoidable losses in a row, and in my view, getting all 3 points was more important than the performance.
Anyways, with my thoughts out of the way, I’ll try to describe what happened. Not that there’ll be much in actual action to talk about…
SAGNA – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Santos
Ramsey – Arteta – Cazorla – WILSHERE
Giroud – Podolski
Did you notice that!? Sagna AND Wilshere in the starting lineup! Amazing! It’s been how many years!? And if anything that’s worth celebrating!
Good start to the match, though, with Julio Ceasar coming to QPR’s rescue, even while having a few moments of his own. Fabulous crosses from Sagna down the right, one of such Ramsey only being able to head over the bar. Good linkup play from our two returnees, too. I guess they must have spent a whole lot of time playing together while trying to get match fit…
We really ought to have taken advantage of Ceasar’s early shakiness, because he only got better as the match went on! Cazorla really ought to have made it one nil to us early in the second half, after finding himself in acres of space on the penalty spot, but our little maestro could only blast high and wide. I didn’t get to watch the match as I was out and about, but twitter wasn’t too impressed with our performance. Not that we didn’t create any chances, but we didn’t create enough, what with us being a team that likes to have many bites at the cherry before scoring.
QPR were defending stoutly and it looked like a draw was on the cards, until a moment of inspiration, sorry madress, came over QPR defender, Stephane M’bia. He was fouled by Vermaelen, and despite having won the free-kick, he thought it’d be nice to have a swipe at Vermaelen in retaliation. Unnecessary. Straight red. Easy decision.
You do tend to worry though, when a team already playing defensively go down to 10 men that they’d be even harder to break down, as they pretty much just camp inside their own half. Something we had with find a way of dealing with. A combination of Ceasar saves and the ball not quite falling right for us made it seem like it be a hard-fought draw for QPR, but alas, we did manage to break the deadlock!
Arshavin, who’d earlier come on from Gervinho, received the ball from Arteta, on the left, and having beat the defender near the byline, swung the ball in for Giroud to meet with a good header. But his effort was saved by Ceasar, and a bit of pinball ensued, with an offside Arteta finally being able to tap it in, after hitting the bar. 1-0. We could have and almost made it two, or even three, but Ceasar was there. And then QPR almost equalised! A dazzling run by Jamie Mackee from just beyond the halfway line, beating Arteta, Santos and Vermaelen in quick succession, and it really looked like he’d score the equaliser, but his effort from just inside the 6-yard box was saved by Mannone. He should have taken a better shot though, but our gain, so no complaints.
And that was it! 1-0 to us, 3 points to us, thank you very much! Was I happy? Damn well sure I was! Getting the win was vital, and it didn’t really matter how it came. It could have been on own-goal for all I cared. Getting out of the cycle of defeat was crucial, as Arsene said in his post match comments. We got the win that we can now build on. And hello? Wilshere is back!!! Not expecting miracles from him of course, but he played really well yesterday, and he can only get better! Think on that for a minute… Barring any niggles, of course. Fingers crossed!
I wasn’t feeling optimistic after the two defeats, but I feel much better than I would have if we’d had a storming performance, but somehow allowed QPR to snatch a draw or something. I’ll take this. We have to build on it, of course. We’ve got the Capital One Cup mid-week and then Man United in the league. Let’s see how those go, but honestly guys, let’s not complain much about yesterday. A win’s a win, right?
And come on, Arsenal, let’s go on a good run now!