Arsenal 2 – 0 Middlesborough (Captain Fantastic)

Arsenal 2 – 0 Middlesborough (Captain Fantastic)

Postby singaporegooner » Mon May 04, 2009 9:29 am

After the barn-storming 4 – 4 draw against the Scousers, doubts have resurfaced regarding our defensive frailties.

Next up is Middlesborough, a team which has caused us considerable problems in the seasons past.

Almunia, Walcott and Eboue came into the squad, replacing Fabianski, Sagna and Song onto the bench.

Lineup read: Almunia, Eboue, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Walcott, Nasri, Fabregas, Arshavin, Bendtner.

Boro started the game staring into the abyss of relegation, and by the looks of it, it was easy to see why.

Boro displayed plenty of industry and determination, but when the chance came to them, it was never in danger of putting 1 past Almunia. Instead, it was Arsenal who looked the more threatening going forward.

In the 26th minute, good interplay between Bentdner and Fabregas saw the ball being pushed out to Arshavin. 4 goal hero Arshavin brought the ball forward and held the ball well, before squaring the ball to an onrushing Fabregas. Captain Fab stretched slightly, but still managed to make good contact to lash the ball pass Brad Jones, who looked like he was stared down by medusa. Truthfully, there was a hint of offside against Bentdner when the ball flew past, but who cares? 1 nil to the Arsenal.

With the goal settling any lingering nerves, the free flow football we have been so accustomed to appeared. Chances came and went begging for Walcott and Toure. Scoreline remained till halftime.

There was a big shout of hand ball against Bentdner, who was trying to clear a corner, but ref Foy was having a bad game, missing a clear penalty against us in clear view. But again, who’s gonna complain some good fortune?

When the teams re-emerged after halftime, Silvestre was replaced by the fit again Djourou due to a back injury. Finally some good news on the injury end.

Kickoff ensued and Arsenal continued from where they left off in the first half, dominating proceedings and creating chances.

Arshavin began to exert his influence on the game, getting involved in almost every move forward.

The 2nd goal to kill off the game finally came in the 67th minute, courtesy of Captain Fab once again. Eboue took on a loose ball, and immediately launched a low ball down the middle. Fabregas took the ball in his stride and outpaced the recovering defenders to go round the keeper and rolling into an empty net. 2 nil to the Gunners, game over for the Teesiders.

With that contribution, Fabregas and Walcott were both withdrawn, replaced by Adebayor and Diaby, saving them for our date with destiny.

In truth, Arsenal had comfortably won the tie without having to go at top speed. The few chances that came the way of Boro were hardly a threat, mainly due to the impotency of their strikers.

Next up, our date with destiny, Champions League Semi-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Will it be a dream or a nightmare for us at the Theatre of Dreams? I’m sure the fans will be feeling quietly confident after our run is extended to 20 games unbeaten.
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Re: Arsenal 2 – 0 Middlesborough (Captain Fantastic)

Postby SE13 » Wed May 06, 2009 5:06 pm

Nicely done.

And thanks as always :)


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