Arsenal 1-0 QPR

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Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Postby Trina » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:51 pm

A patient Arsenal performance saw them take all 3 points and pile more pressure on bottom of league QPR on Saturday afternoon.

It would be fair to say that it had been a tough week for Arsene Wenger and his men, two poor performances and two loses at the hands of Norwich and Schalke were followed by a somewhat thorny reception at the annual shareholder’s meeting where fans questions the club’s ambition.

Hoping for a response Arsenal fielded arguably one of their strongest sides against strugglers QPR, seeing both Sagna and Wilshere return to the starting line-up. That’s right; Jack made his first team debut after almost a year and a half out, 524 days to be exact. A very warm welcome was in order for Arsenal best young talent with his opening touches being greeted with huge cheers from the home crowd.

I must admit, when I heard he would start I, like many fans were a little concerned that this may be a little too much for the young lad but he silenced any doubt almost immediately and put in a fantastic 67 minute performance. For all his time on the pitch Wilshere was by far our best player completely overshadowing players like Cazorla in the midfield; he was creative, decisive in the pass, determined to get the ball back, create a chance or even take one himself, he wanted to do it all. Something we have sorely missed.

It must be said, Arsenal actually started the game very brightly but they couldn’t convert any of their early chances. Maybe if they had there would have been a far less scrappy game on offer.
Cesar made a low save from a deflected shot by Santos (some of his only credible involvement.) Sagna got to stretch his legs early on when he shot down the right delivering a fabulous cross which Ramsey met well only for the ball to loop over the bar.

Lukas Podolski and Jack Wilshere also tested the QPR keeper from distance, both to no avail.
Gradually the visitors gained a foothold in the game and began to find space of their own. Jose Bosingwa and Shaun Wright-Phillips both found space down the right but the final ball was lacking.

The game died out and lost all rhythm until the break but early after the restart Arsenal almost found themselves ahead. An Arteta free-kick found the head of Mertesacker but deflected off a QPR head and Cesar made a fine save.

Minutes later Arsenal were saved by an offside decision after Hoillet burst through the middle and chipped the ball into the net. Arsenal had been given their warning and needed to act fast if they were to get something from this game. For all their possession Arsenal once again didn’t look good enough in the final third and with every wasted chance QPR could sense points coming their way.

The Arsenal defence began to be tested with Vermaelen expertly heading Wright-Phillips’ cross away from Bobby Zamora and Sagna intercepted the ball to take it away from Hoilett.

67 minutes of play was enough for Wilshere and he was replaced by the returning Theo Walcott. When this substitution was made I’ll admit I should at my TV. Once again Wenger was taking off our best player and bet hope of finding a way to win this game. Then I remembered, this was Jacks first game back, I’d almost forgotten because the way he played it was like he never left.

Soon afterwards, Gervinho replaced Poldolski on the left in the hopes of stretching the QPR backline with speed on the wings. It seemed to work, QPR could barely get out of their half and, 13 minutes from time Arsenal created their best chance of the game.

Walcott whipped in an excellent ball from the right which was missed by Giroud, the ball bounced out to Cazorla, the goal at his mercy he blasted the ball over the bar from 12 yards.
A close call for the visitors left them frustrated and this showed Vermaelen and Mbia went shoulder-to-shoulder up by the corner flag. Having lost the ball Mbia kicked out at the Arsenal captain and saw red.

Shortly after Gervinho was stretchered off and replaced by Arshavin. Then came the goal. (I put the goal down to me still having my Arshavin shirt from his first season at Arsenal.)

The closing moments of the game were frantic as 10 man QPR still asked questions of the Arsenal defence.

The little Russian chipped the ball back from the left-hand byline wich was met by Giroud’s powerful header. Cesar made another superb save and Arteta nodded the rebound on to the bar before eventually poking home.

A hint of offside, but who cares?

Looking to put the game to bed Ramsey shot from distance and Cazorla curled a beautiful shot to the far corner but both were stopped expertly by Cesar.

The game wasn’t over and QPR almost pulled one back when Abel Taarabt sent Esteban Granero free down the right only for his shot to be hit wide. A huge let off.

Having not quite recovered from the scare Arsenal looked at sixes and sevens when Mackie danced through three tackles and really deserved to score but Mannone stood firm to block from point blank range.

Arsenal won. They ended their bad week on a semi-high. They took all 3 points and that’s what matters. They ground out a result and won ugly, something we need to learn to do more often.
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