That was one of the best games I have been to in a long time. We were not at our best tonight and should certainly have sealed the game long before Ade did, but I was so nervous throughout and just couldn't believe that we couldn't kill Blackburn off. The atmosphere was brilliant tonight, as we really got behind the team in order to get that second goal and kill them off. I can not explain the amazement of when Ade scored the second goal. Emirates was absolutely rocking there was mixture of joy and so much relief that we had ensured that we would move five points above United. Outside the ground Ade was hailed as the God he is. Tonight sumed up why being at the game and watching your team is so great. The nerves, the passion, singing, excitement and pure joy when the ball hit the back of the net.
I was suprised at the line up as there was no Theo or Diaby and the bench showed how deep are injuries were with Gilbert, Traore and Hoyte all on the bench. With two defensive midfielders in the centre and Cesc on the right I was very worried about our formation. I thought we would lack creativity and would lose our usual attacking endeavour. However, we started off very brightly a storming run from Sagna down the right hand side going past two Rovers players and a great ball in for Cesc whose control let him down just as he seemed through on goal. Only minutes later Eduardo was sent through and I thought he was fouled, but the ball went out for a corner. Cesc delivered a great ball into the box and there was big Phil to fire home. I've given him a fair bit of praise since Kolo has been gone and he has been very impressive alongside Gallas and sealed a perfect run of form with a thumping header.
A magnificent start to what looked like being a very tough game and would still turn out to be. Ade and Eduardo both had the ball in dangerous positions, but we couldn't get a decent chance off. A nice lay off from Sagna set up Flamini for what looked like another screamer, but he sent it miles over and from that point the first half seemed to become a very scrappy affair. Flamini had another effort where he was sent through on goal and Friedel did well to make the save, the first of many to come.
Blackburn slowed the game down and finally started to come out of their shell. They won a few corners and Bentley produced some dangerous deliveries which Blackburn came close to putting away a number of times. Their best chance though came after a good cross from Emerton and how McCarthy or Santa Cruz didn't get anything on it which would surely have resulted in the equaliser I don't know. After a great start we were stuttering and Blackburn certainly looked capable of getting back into the match. Santa cruz had another half chance before the end of the first half and had looked dangerous thoughout the first half.
We needed to come out in the second half and take control of the game and go out and get the second goal which would have surely sealed the win. Instead Blackburn won an early free kick and corner and it had similar reminders of the Birmingham game where a lack of concentration at the beginning of the first half cost us. We saw through it though and came so close to the second goal. Eduardo gathered the ball on the left hand side and played it across for Hleb who took a touch and to the shock of everyone fired a shot at goal that smacked the post.
Ade who until that point had been very quiet gathered a ball in from Eduardo and went past the Blackburn defender with ease only for Friedel to make another good save. With Ade being in such superb form lately I thought he would have put it away, but we seemed determined to make this a nerve racking night. The game was opening up and we seemed dangerous on the break and we had a long sustained period of pressure, but there was a lack of energy and movement in our attack which is very unusual. Whenever Blackburn got the ball it felt like they were going to score, even though they didn't really create a good chance in the second half, but it just felt like they would make us pay for all these missed chances.
Ade who in the second half held the ball up so well and attacked a very slow Blackburn defence whenever he could, just turning and running at them seemed to cause them all kind of troubles. This time he took in a long pass on the chest and layed the ball off for Cesc who hit his shot so well and how it didn't go in I don't know. It was so ridiculously close and from behind the goal I was sure it was in. Cesc then had another great chance when put basically clean through and someone how managed to mis-cue and send his shot over the bar.
With time running out Steve Bennet seemed determined to give Blackburn every opportunity to get back into the match. Numerous times we should have had free kicks that he didn't give and he booked Cesc for an absolute nothing tackle. Despite this we sealed the win after Hleb broke away and went on one of his runs, he played the ball to Ade who took a touch inside the defender and put the ball past Friedel. Was probably one of the most celebrated goals at the Emirates this season, only Gallas against Chelsea's was probably better. A great goal and sealed a five point gap above United.
This was not a superb performance, but it was a superb result and we won a game that we desperately needed to. United and Chelsea are still very much in the title race and there are still some very tough games to come, but we've given ourselves a great advantage and as long as we keep winning we will end the season as champions.
Well done you Gunners