Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal, Are we on the rise? + Player ratings

Our first away win of the season came at long last, and surprisingly this was accomplished at Stamford Bridge, and done with the help of RVP’s hat trick, which is no mean feat, according to Robin Van Persie himself. Kudos to the man for scoring 27 goals in 26 games this year already! Match reports are available here.

The game itself was a delight for the neutrals, with both teams attacking from the word go. It was end to end stuff, and it could have easily ended 3-3 at half time if not for the profligacy of both teams.

The first half was an example of everything wrong with Arsenal. Not killing off chances , poor defending and poor mental state was also present. For Lampard’s goal, Santos was committed too easily, and allowed Mata to skip past him and cross into the box. There, Mertesacker, who had a poor game yesterday, failed to mark Lampard properly, and also failed to head the ball away. His missed interception resulted in Lampard scoring a simple header into goal. 1-0 Chelsea.

We tried to fight back, and should have done it promptly, when Walcott played a good pass into Gervinho, but the Ivorian contrived to blast his shot wide from 5-7 yards out. Following that, even Van Persie himself was guilty of siding footing an effort over the bar despite being unmarked after being dealt a wonderful cross by Walcott. However the ball was slightly high, and harder to steer towards goal I guess, still you expect Van Persie to at least hit the target when he is open.

However, we finally made one shot count, when Ramsey (bless him) played a nicely weighted ball to Gervinho who managed to beat the offside trap, and the Ivorian unselfish play saw him pass the ball to Van Persie on his left. Van Persie being unmarked picked his place and slot the ball beyond Cech. 1-1 Arsenal.

Then again, our deficiency was there for everyone to see. Just before half time, Mertesacker failed to head away a corner into the box, and Terry’s weak header somehow managed to find it’s way over the line. Poor poor defending from our supposed aerial commander. 2-1 Chelsea.

So we went into the break trailing, some might say deservedly so. However, the team came out for the second half and it was a marked improvement.

We pressed immediately upon the restart, and Song made good work to pass the ball through to Santos, who skipped clear of Chelsea’s defense and finished past Cech. 2-2 Arsenal.

Usually when we score, we somehow seem contented to relax. Not this time. Out of nowhere, Walcott, who was supposedly fouled as he fell over outside the box with ball. However, referee gave nothing, and the ball bobbled behind the Chelsea defenders. As all the defenders stood rooted expecting a free kick or so, Walcott got up, and with lighting speed latched on to the ball and his finish beyond Cech oozed of composure and class. Brilliant goal, don’t think it was planned though. 3-2 Arsenal.

Now we have the lead, and perhaps its a testament of this not being the same old Chelsea, pressing on and making us crumble under pressure, that it was relatively comfortable for a while. We also must commend Koscielny, who had a good game, and marshalled the defense with aplomb and managing to keep Torres relatively quiet.Then Chelsea equalised. It was a beautiful goal really, as Santos was fouled / lost the ball,  and Mata shot from outside the box to volley one over Szceszny. Better defending could have helped I supposed, but the finish was of quality. 3-3 Chelsea.

At this time, I was really down, I told Mrs B to get me more lager, and was prepared for the onslaught to come and watch Arsenal crumble as before. Surprise surprise, fate had other ideas in mind. Terry was supposed to receive a back pass, but slipped and RVP was on to the ball instantly. Behind enemy’s line, with only Cech rushing out to face him, our skipper calmly took the ball around Cech and slotted it into an empty net. GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL. I was delirious. I couldn’t believe it, this was to be our day! 4-3 Arsenal.

Chelsea pressed, and I was praying fervently for it to end already. But RVP had other ideas in mind, a Chelsea corner was cleared and Arsenal broke free, with 4 of our players up there. Arteta passed it to RVP, who raced down the left and this time took a shot just inside the top left corner of the box. Cech got his hands to the ball but the ferociousness of the shot saw it deflected only into the net. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL. 5-3! OH MY GOD! RVP! I LOVE YOU! I DO!

So it ended 5-3 to the Arsenal. After the match, Arsene says that the win was good, as it helped us clipped 3 points off CL spot contenders, and also gave us a good boost in confidence. You have to agree, and even though there were plenty of faults in the game, I would rather bask in our finest win of the season, and perhaps year, so far!

7 wins in our last 8, surely that bodes well for the team. However, I caution all fans to be grounded, as should be the team. We are rising, but it could all come down just as easily the minute we lose focus. Our real test, begins right now. It was a good win, and we can use that win against Chelsea as a platform to show the rest of the league that Arsenal means business.

Hopefully, the players understand what it means, with them running to the players and celebrating as though they won the title. It was nice to see, and could be reality if they keep up the wins ( I won’t say performance there were some poor showings yesterday ). 5-3. WE LOVE YOU ARSENAL! Next bring on Marseille! Anyway, please watch this video and enjoy the players reciprocating the fans love!

Player ratings

Szczesny – Made one good save against Lampard’s freekick, but could just have easily seen red for fouling Cole for the aforementioned free kick. Furthermore 3 goals conceded doesn’t speak well of a goalkeeper. 5.5 / 10

Djourou – Struggled in the beginning, and was tormented by Cole and Torres. However, gradually improved into the game. 6 / 10

Santos – Rubbish game, saved by his fine goal. Keeps losing the ball too easily, and was guilty of mistiming his challenges that it resulted in two goals twice. Shouldn’t be allowing players to skip past him so easily, especially at this level. 6 / 10

Mertesacker – Another poor player. Was guilty of two mis-timed headers, which resulted in the first two goal. However, I will give him credit for making superb tackles to shackle Lampard and Torres. 5.5 / 10

Koscielny – Growing hugely important. Marshalled the defense superbly, getting stuck it and keeping Torres quiet. Good reading of games to intercept balls and not letting anyone bullies him off the ball. Loving him as more games are played. 7 / 10

Arteta – He is a silent killer. He does his job effectively, getting ball, keeping it, and passing it to players who can make things happen. Passing completion rate was 94%, and is on his way to becoming our midfield general.7 / 10

Song – Good job in marking Mata, and keeping him quiet in the second half. Made good work to wriggle free and make a brilliant pass to Santos for the second goal. 7 / 10

Rambo – Gave a good account for himself. Made good runs, and passes are becomingly increasingly Cesc-like. Liked his energy and effort much. 7 / 10

Walcott – Surprisingly good game from the lad. His passing was good, and used his pace to good effect yesterday. Tracked back to help Djourou in defense at times too. His goal out from nothing was really exceptional, and credit must be given for his fine finishing. 8 / 10

Gervinho – Missed one good chance, but was all over the final third yesterday, causing Chelsea’s defense all sorts of problem. Good unselfish play when he provide RVP with the first goal. 7.5 / 10

RVP – I am running out of laxative to describe our captain. Hat trick, winning goal, RVP, period. Not a perfect 10 because of his stupid yellow card. 9 / 10

Jenkinson, Rosicky and Vermaelen all gets a 6 for effort and ensuring victory, but they had pretty much nothing to do having come on late.


Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal, match goals videos and Van Persie’s hat trick!

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Lampard goal 1-0


Terry goal 2-1

Santos goal 2-2

Walcott GOAL 3-2

Mata goal 3-3



Team news for match against Chelsea

Arsenal’s AGM took place yesterday, and owner Stan took the stand to address the fans, and to clearly disgruntled fans who want the American out, he reassures he will be around to be that thorn in your skin.

Yadayada. I am not really fussed with what went about in the meeting, cause simply, talk is cheap. The owner and his peers could go on all day outlining plans for the future, downplaying fears we have no cash, but nothing concrete is happening at the moment. One moment Juan Mata was ours, next thing you know he’s at Chelsea. If come January, and Stan backs his words with some big spending, I will be sure to take more notice of what he says. Until then, don’t mind me for taking everything he says with a pinch of salt.

There is also whispers that RVP is in talks about a new contract, again, great! But, so was Nasri, for the best part of 6 months. So we can in talks all we want, but if the signature never appears on those dotted lines, again, forgive me for taking this news with a pinch of salt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to hear news about RVP being in talks and all, but after all we been through for the last 6mths with the Nasri saga, it has become somewhat of a norm for me to be skeptical of such news.

Anyway, for some team news. Vermaelen is in the squad for tomorrow’s match. However, the Boss has stated that the Belgian might not play as the match might be at a intensity level too high for someone who has just returned from injury. I have to agree with the Boss on this one. We don’t want Vermaelen to get injured so soon after recovering. It’s imperative that our Belgian is managed properly so that he is available for the remainder of the season.

Jenkinson has a slight slight chance of making it tomorrow, with the Boss leaving it to a late fitness test for the youngster. It would be good to have a natural right back playing, but if he isn’t ready, putting Jenkinson in the game might be counter-productive and prove a hazard to us instead. So fingers crossed if the youngster do feature it is because he is at 100%.

At left back, we can expect to see Santos carry on as Gibbs remains injured. Gibbs is perpetually injured. If Stan wants to keep his word, I say go out and splash the cash on a new left back. There are currently only 2 players able to deputise at left back, with one somehow getting injured once every 3 weeks. This doesn’t bode well for a team now fighting for the 4th spot. Santos is still prone to the occasional show-boating, which can cost us points now and then.

Tomorrow’s game is of immense importance. Winning would boost confidence and send out a message that Arsenal have truly turned the corner. It is also important to take points off potential Champions League opponents. Arsene hopes it would be an attacking game and that it would play to our advantage. Considering our porous defense, I am sure the game would be attacking by all means, whether it is 1-sided or evenly matched.

So that’s about it today, and for some transfer news, Aneke is wanted on loan by other clubs, while we are on the supposed look out for a Ryan Bennett. Till tomorrow then!

Arsenal 2-1 Bolton, Onward, Forward!

When you looked at the team announced for yesterday’s match, and YoungGons being spot on with his information about Yennaris and Miquel starting in the full-back position, there is no wrong in admitting that I was doubtful of getting a win yesterday. And based on the struggles of putting picture to commentary, I did say we just about nicked it. Here’s a match report by someone who was at the match, and match goals videos kindly provided by Arsenal.

Having seen the highlights, I still agree that we were lucky to be let off the hook really. Our two young fullbacks showed inexperience and were completely overwhelmed by Kakuta and Pratley at times. However, some decent keeping, and poor decisions and touches played to Arsenal’s advantage in preventing Bolton from getting another goal. It even took a good tackle from Ryo to put Gary Cahill off nearing the end of the game for Cahill’s shot to skew over the bar from 5 yards out.

Overall, it was a good team performance for those who should have shown, and a good experience for those youngsters. Players like Miquel would do well to learn that this is what it is like to face top flight players, and not be so awestruck in the future. Coquelin and Frimpong in particular, were shown to be losing the ball rather easily at times in midfield. However, their energy served them well in their desire to chase and get the ball back. Yet, having not seen the full match I am in no position to be critical.

Up front, Arshavin scored a goal and played a beautiful pass to Park to assist him in the second goal. Typical of our diminutive Russian, who probably loves Katy Perry’s song ‘Hot & Cold’, considering that’s how he is performing at the moment. However, if he can provide just that moment of inspiration at least once every game, I will be contented.

Despite his contributions, if you look back at the replay over and over again, you would be wondering why didn’t he release the ball earlier. I know most of you would be screaming at me offside, but in actual fact Park was onside when Arshavin had the ball. That moment in hesitation caused Park to be offside, but our Korean quickly got back onside and in a good position before Arshavin passed him the ball.

Now, Arshavin’s goal was pure directness, quick feet and a crisp finish to boot. Park’s was one that reminded me of a certain Thierry Henry. The movement of the ball, curling past the keeper, into the right of the goal. Pure beauty. It just goes to show that Park has the ability to score goals, and against top flight oppositions at that.

Nonetheless, based on audio commentary, Park was caught offside numerous times in the first half. Perhaps his communication with the players have not  been established yet, so he always jump off the gun too early. That said, highlights have also shown the numerous times Park threatened Bolton’s goal, and his shots were not easy to save by all accounts. So really looking forward to seeing the Korean feature more, especially after Arsene’s declaration of Park being ready for League games. BRING ON CHELSEA!

Towards the end, Vermaelen got injured, and fears were that a spell on the sidelines was imminent. However, the Belgian has allayed fears, and said it was just cramps. However, I wouldn’t throw him into the fray against Chelsea just yet. I would rather lose the game against Chelsea, than to lose our best defender for another long time. The Belgian has expressed his delight in making a good comeback, and so are we.

In other news, RVP is encouraged by Gervinho’s performance, and Mertesacker is in the mood to fight for 4th spot. Frankly, other than relishing the 2-1 victory which sees us one step closer to the mickey mouse cup, and being able to see our young players play more games. I am afraid I am not in the mood for anything more. So, taht’s about it for now, maybe a loan watch tomorrow. Till then, cheerios!

Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Match Carling Cup goals and highlights video

Please feel free to read my other posts when you are done with the videos below! Do so at or click here!

1-0 Fabrice Muamba goal

1-1 Arshavin turn on the style

2-1 Park Chu Young Brilliant finishing

Highlights of mainly Park Chu Young ( Ju Young) troubling Bolton, MUST WATCH!

Really long highlights, about 20 mins long

Arsenal vs Bolton match preview: Carling Cup likely starters

Today is a good chance for players who need playing time to play, and for fans to see future Arsenal stars in the making. The squad announced for today’s match sees a good mixture of experience and raw talents. Vermaelen has return from injury, whereas Diaby still misses out. Squad is as follows:

Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, Sebastien Squillaci, Thomas Vermaelen, Andrey Arshavin, Emmanuel Frimpong, Yossi Benayoun, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Francis Coquelin, Ryo, Ju Young Park, Nico Yennaris, Ignasi Miquel, Jernade Meade, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Sanchez Watt, Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng

According to YoungGuns, Nico Yennaris is slated for his debut, and set to feature at right back, as Jenkinson remains out injured, while Ignasi Miquel, who has been decent so far in his first teams forays, is set slot in that left back position as Gibbs is still out injured. Vermaelen and Squilaci, both in need of game time to regain match fitness, are also likely to start as centre backs. I would expect Fabianski to start so as to gain some playing time and be match fit.

In midfield, Coquelin, Frimpong and Benayoun are my pick to start. Frimpong provides energy and drive, and is able to run back and forth tirelessly to aid in attack in defense. His energy and size would also help our midfield cope well with Bolton’s physical play. Coquelin, being calm and composed, and good defensively, is able to help Frimpong control the midfield. Benayoun would then be there to provide some experience and creativity as the deep holding playmaker in my opinion. However, Arsene has also given hint that Aneke might start or feature some time in the match, and hyped up the youngster as being a bit like Yaya Toure.

Up front, Oxlade-Chamberlain should start, as should Park and Watt. Arsene has explained why Park hasn’t started at all recently, but says that Park needs time to adapt to the game. Frankly, how is he going to do that if he doesn’t play more games?! The Ox directness and physicality should serve him well against the Trotters.

So, for me, the starting 11 should look something like this:

Fabianski, Yennaris, Miquel, Vermaelen, Squilaci, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Ox, Watt, Park.

Seeing as this is a game against Bolton, you can expect plenty of tackles to fly in and fouls to be committed to prevent Arsenal from playing their game. As such, any set pieces we get have to be taken meaningfully, and not swished over the bar or having a corner balloon to the other side of the pitch without finding a team mate. Maybe the lads can learn from RVP how take a free kick, and that is not to think about it at all. Whatever it is, all chances must be grabbed with both hands, and not with profligacy.

Arsenal are also likely to start as underdogs, as we would be fielding an understrength team, while Bolton should be starting with their first team. However, if we are found wanting and requires the need of experience players, I expect that is where players like Arshavin and Ryo comes off the bench to help inject some creativity and pace into the side.

It’s a hard call to make, and I would not underestimate Bolton, who could do with a win to boost confidence, hence I would say a 1-1 draw is forthcoming. However, I am an Arsenal fan, and a victory is what I am looking for. SO COME ON YOU GUNNERS!