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Arsenal [3-0] Sevilla

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:04 am
by rvtheace
[align=center]Cool and Clinical[/align]

A game which was expected to be brimming with flair and free flowing football ended up looking more like a cup competition against low ranked opposition. 'Clinical efficiency' was how Arsenal may be said to have won their Champions League opener against the much vaunted Sevilla.

Arsenal started the game with a high tempo, and managed to string together several dangerous moves in the opening minutes, without troubling the keeper too much. Sevilla meanwhile, were completely disappointing, their only real threat coming from Jesus Nevas, who launched a few long range efforts at Almunia's goal. But their reluctance to attack with any intent, combined with the ineffectiveness of Luis Fabiano, meant that they provided precious little going forward. The game clearly needed an Arsenal goal to open it up a bit, and Cesc duly obliged.

Given his form this season, it was obvious that he would not think twice if given space to shoot. He did exactly that nearing the half hour mark, and was given Lampard-esque reward when a cruel deflection took the ball past the keeper to give Arsenal the lead.

Spectators must have felt that this would be the cue for Sevilla to shift to a higher gear and show why everyone (including Wenger) was raving about them, but that unfortunately never materialised. Perhaps it was all due to Clichy, who seemed to be everywhere along the left touchline, forcing Navas to track back and scything down anyone who dared to try and get past him. While the presence of the highly rated Alves and Navas was bound to focus attention on Sevilla's right wing, Sagna was doing his part on the right. Whether chasing down lost causes in the final third and turning them into corners, or tackling with impeccable timing, he was a rock that gave Toure and Senderos great protection.

If some of Arsenal's previous matches threatened to create cardiac problems for Gooners, this match might have put a few into a coma... so timid was Sevilla's performance. A couple of rare moments of excitement were provided by Adebayor, first, when he cut in brilliantly to leave the goal keep at his mercy, but managed to fire his shot woefully wide, and then, with a diving header that just missed the far post after brilliant work by Sagna.

The second half did not bring about any turn in the Spanish side's fortunes, and in the 59th minute, their situation was made that much more dire. A Fabregas free kick was flicked goal-wards by Sagna, and Robin van Persie was on hand to score from a difficult tap in. The Dutch striker had not done too much in the match, but if he continues to provide these clinical touches, it will be enough for us. His strike partner Adebayor, meanwhile, was his usual bustling self, harrying the defence all day long, and leaving them thoroughly tired by the time he was substituted in the 80th minute. Eduardo took his place to make his Champions League debut for Arsenal. And the exhaustion told on the vistors' defence, when they presented the ball to Hleb in the 94th minute. The Belarussian, slid it into the path of Cesc who threaded the ball square between two defenders, and supreme poacher Dudu had gotten into the perfect position for a tap in.

Three-nil, three points, and Arsenal must already have the knockout rounds in their sights. One can only hope that the remaining matches provide a little more excitement though. The same side who attempted to bore us into submission today, might well be a different proposition at home, and that will be one to look forward to.

Of course, it is also worth noting, that the man who managed last nights opposition could well be the coach of our dear neighbours in a few weeks time. Good to see the mighty Arsenal establishing the North London pecking order so early on!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:14 am
by Fordy
excellent as usual mate top stuff

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:22 am
by rvtheace
Lol, some journalists have been calling it an exciting game. I wonder if waking up at 2:15 a.m. to watch the match took some of the zing out of it for me. :D

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:41 am
by crocdan00
Yeah I thought it was a bit better than that, I thght it was quite interesting. I cant work out Adebayor, he seems to make the easy things look difficult and vice versa, between brilliant and useless.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:33 pm
by StLGooner
crocdan00 wrote:Yeah I thought it was a bit better than that, I thght it was quite interesting. I cant work out Adebayor, he seems to make the easy things look difficult and vice versa, between brilliant and useless.

I agree with that mate, at times he seems a little heavy footed on the first touch, he could've had a couple more chances last night if his first touch was softer.

Another good report rv.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:28 pm
by She_Gunner_Wales
Once again Rvtheace delivers a fine report! :trophy:

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:13 pm
by Reverend Gooner
Great report RV, i needed that :trophy:

I only caught the game on the radio which never gives me a true impression of what a game is really like.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:50 pm
by sithlordwebb72
tbh i don't normally read these match reports right through but this one i did as i was out wen the game was on... i am now a match report convert! FANTASTIC!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:55 am
by rvtheace
sithlordwebb72 wrote:i am now a match report convert! FANTASTIC!

Great! The next step in achieving match report nirvana, is to become a match report writer! ;)