Date: 21st September 2007 at 2:57pm
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Let’s be honest – that was a beautiful and professional job. It was like a baby whose parents are Matty Flamini and Rosario Dawson (nothing to do with the sp*rs CB).

A rude and quite painful CL debut for the 2-time-in-a-row UEFA Cup winners, and I really think the scoreline wasn’t fair to them. I looked at their players during the game and despite the great football they play, and the joy of seeing Arsenal’s genius come to fruition in the form 3 goals, in the back of my head, I kept thinking about the tragedy of Seville and Antonio Puerta and how strong people need to be sometimes.

Arsenal performed well overall, but as the boss said ‘we can improve in many areas’. And we all know the HE KNOWS.

Almunia – 6.5 – A shaky performance considering how little he had to do. A shot from Kanoute well saved. 2 dropped balloons in the box, one was very very clumsy. A punch from a corner fell right on Alves’ right peg, the Sevilla man narrowly missed the lob. If he’s to keep his place, a more assured display is required.

Clichy – 7 – Defensively was superb. Had to tackle the dynamic duo Navas&Alves and was rarely troubled. Offensively wasn’t at his best and the final ball betrayed him on a couple of occasions. Has the lungs of a whale I think.

Senderos – 6 – The only one who looked as if he wasn’t quite sure what to do. Phil needs to sort himself ASAP, he looks like a disaster waiting to happen. It stems from lack of self belief and needs to lose that ‘worried and confused man’ expression and put on a more brave and resolute game face. Did look more comfortable on the ball than usual and read a few situations very well, but his clearances were awful and once Toure saved his arse and once didn’t.

Toure – 7.5 – Showed poise and maturity at the back line and dealt with most of the threats. Complete opposite in terms of confidence than his fellow CB. Narrowly missed a corner.

Sagna – 8.5 – MoM by far in my eyes. The guy is pure TNT. He is tough, strong, bags of pace, calm and collected on the ball, hard in the tackle and can cross the ball. Unbelievable stamina – he was everywhere.

Rosicky – 7 – can’t express how upset i am with his injury. As he was trotting off through the tunnel his body language agreed with me. He was dejected and I have fears that this could be a chronic one. Played and moved well. His corners were also dangerous, one almost nailed by our captain. I’d rather keep him out for a month if necessary, just so he recovers 150%. Subbed by Diaby before the hr mark.

Flamini – 8 – if you ask why is Cesc so bloody good and scoring goals – look for Flam. He is playing out of this world to quote RvP. Not only Cesc. Invaluable at the moment. Two good shots on goal and excellent control and poise.

Cesc – 8.49 – 2 assists and a Fat Frank Special (no, not the large supersized breakfast with triple bacon and cheese) – a pinball goal that opened it all up for us. Instrumental. Great pass for Eduardo.

Hleb – 8 – the guy can dribble/pass/dribble his way out of Manhattan rush hour traffic jam. He is being much more defensively aware as well and often does his best to dispossess an opponent with a Pires tackle (the one on PV4 vs Juve in CL).

Adebayor – 7.5 – unlucky not to get a goal as he got into good positions. He worked his socks off and put in a great diving header that went just wide. Harassed Fazio and Dragutinovic all night and I’m thinking CBs must HATE playing against him. They absolutely dread it. Also noted shot that went in an unknown direction after getting into a good position. Subbed by Eduardo on 83 mins.

RvP – 7.5 – A goal that could reboot him and his goalscoring touch. That was 3rd or 4th goal this season with his right and he also had another right-footer punched away by Palop. he is using his both feet and connected better with Ade25. Subbed by Diarra shortly before the end.

Subs:

Diaby – 6 – he is very poor on the left wing, nothing like what we saw against Chelski in the CC Final. Seems very uncomfortable and off pace with the rest.

Eduardo – no rating – showed slick and intelligent movement and a neat finish for our 3rd. Celebrated in style with Gilberto.

Diarra – looked awkward in the red and white, a nice and brief home debut. Will be a great asset.

Team-play – 8 – We ‘clicked’ and resembled a well tuned machine. Everyone more-less on the same sheet of music and great, absolutely great spirit and camaraderie.

Ref – excellent game – liked the way he handled the match – booked Alves for asking him to book Clichy after a foul on him. Well done ref.

Thoughts to ponder: How many games will J Hoyte get this season and with TommyR getting injured so often, do we need another player there? Gibbs?

With the departure of Jose being the top story, I sit back take a sip from the Krombacher, and contemplate how good it is to be an Arsenal fan. Good night.

 

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