January 26, 2008: FA Cup Round 4
Emanuel Adebayor showed everyone that last Tuesday’s calamitous loss to Tottenham was a mere blip as he put Newcastle to the sword in a fine second half showing by the Gunners.
Arsenal began with a new attacking partnership of Ade and Theo, but it did not last long, as Rosicky was taken off in 9 minutes with yet another injury. Dudu came on and Walcott was dropped to the right wing.
Arsenal’s play had not improved much from the Tottenham game. Thankfully, they defended better, and the Toons failed to put away the chances that came their way. Arsenal too managed to launch a few purposeful attacks, with Given parrying away shots from Eduardo and Diaby. But on the whole, they finished the half knowing that improvement was needed to avoid being knocked out of another cup competition.
The improvement came almost instantly. Dudu curled in a wonderfully placed shot from just outside the box. He beat Given, but the ball cannoned off the post, and into the feet of our top goal scorer. The twinkle-toed Togolese striker made room for himself and fired in an unstoppable shot. 1-0!
The fine left footed strike was further proof that the beanpole African has moved a few giant steps towards becoming an Arsenal hero.
As if to underline his all round abilities, he helped finish off the game on the 83rd minute, by dribbling through the Toon defense to score his second. It was just reward for some great play from Arsenal. Everyone seemed to get into the groove again, though special mention, as always, must go to Clichy. Has there ever been a better left back?
The scoreline was given a flattering appearance towards the end, as Nicky Butt headed in an own goal under pressure from Eduardo. Bendtner must have winced.
So it’s three points and the fifth round of the FA Cup. Routine stuff really, I’m waiting for Milan.