After a few weeks of watching us beat some random teams we’ve never heard of and Bergenland XI it was nice to see the Gunners at home. I got in the Grove to catch Zidan (no not that one) fire home a fine equaliser right past the dirty ex-scouse Jerzy Dudek for Hamburger against Franco’s Fascists. Hamburg ended up getting done like when you buy a happy meal and get no toy, shame really but I don’t like them or Real so I couldn’t give a stuff! To be honest we sat talking about The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger while the other game was on and had a peek at the game when he heard people start to get a bit excited.
The teams were announced for the real game we were there for and it was quite apt that we have just drew FC Twente in the Champions League qualifiers because that was probably about the average age of our starting line up today. Vela and Bendtner were leading the line upfront. In midfield we had Eboue on the right, Wilshere on the left with Denilson and Ramsey in the middle. At the back Senderos was our captain, along side him was Djourou, Gibbs and Justin Hoyte with Fabianski between the sticks. It was a young team who gained a mountain of experience not just by playing in front of a packed house but against current World Cup winners in Buffon, Iaquinta and later Camoranesi.
The pitch was watered prior to kick off and benefited our young lads who in the first few minutes of the game were moving the ball quickly around and the old ladies of Turin weren’t coming close. The thought of playing against the likes of Buffon, Trezeguet and erm Mellberg may have caused lesser players to be scared but no not for our lads. They seemed unfazed especially young Wilshere on the left hand side who was knocking the ball around well with Denilson and Gibbs in assistance.
To be honest there was not that many chances at all in the first half but Eboue on the right hand side was actually rather alright looking. He was up and down the wing all day and trying to put in some crosses and thread some balls though the defence. It’s just a shame he forgets that he isn’t Lionel Messi and his though balls cannot unlock a solid defence like Juve’s. Anyway that apart he did cut a nice ball back which fell just behind Djourou and the Italians cleaned it up.
The first half was played at a decent tempo with most of the position being in Arsenal’s favour. Johan Djourou but in a fine sliding challenge about 30 yards outside the Juve box, he was like Heath Ledger minus the gay stuff and the death but he truly was one of the talking points of the day and put in a brilliant shift.
Vela looked busy up front and was trying to latch onto anything that came his way, a Mexican wave rippled round the stadium as some kind of welcome. Clearly the PR department never got my e-mail about tequila shots before the game then. Young Carlos made a fine run, laid the ball off to Eboue who messed up the return cross. The tequila would have made it happen.
Wilshere then volleyed a fantastic effort on target from an Eboue cross, the shot was crisp and hit to perfection. It is just unfortunate that Buffon was in goal. Ramsey played a pass that split the Juve defence like a fat birds spandex, Vela tried to catch up with it but it skidded past him. Vela done well and won us a free kick about 20 yards out, Bendtner struck it and it ended up in someone’s front room at the new Highbury flats.
Things were going pretty easy after 20 minutes. Vela shook off his man, played it to Wilshere who was then fouled by Tiago. It is really no surprised Tiago is an ex-Chelski scum boy because he is a nasty player with very little talent who then made another nasty tackle. This time Eboue was caught by him off the ball. Should have been a yellow card but he must still have some kind of understanding with English refs as he got away with it.
There was some great football out on the left hand side and Gibbs was combining really well with Wilshere and Bendtner. Juve finally had a crack at goal with a long ranger skidding well wide of Fabianski’s post. Ramsey was next to have a crack at Buffon, after some nice work in the box his shot was saved rather easily by the Italian number one.
Juve took advantage of some slack defensive work and Trezeguet headed the ball home only for the goal to be rightly chopped off for being off side. Shame the linesman didn’t keep his specs on. Denilson made a bad error and tripped Nedved up outside the box, Iaquinta took the free kick which was deflected off Trezeguet into Fabianski’s net. The ‘goal’ should never have stood as Trezeguet was clearly offside. Sadly this probably won’t be the last time this season we get done over by a lineo.
Cheillini, like Eboue is also forgetful. He doesn’t think he is Leo Messi but he forgets it’s a friendly and machete attacked the Welsh Dragon. Free kick comes to nothing. Just before the half time whistle goes Iaquinta goes down under the ‘challenge’ like scaffolding, wins the free kick which again brings nothing but the half time whistle.
Some of the kids are replaced at half time. Adebayor takes Vela’s place, Diaby is on for Ramsey and from one captain to another Gallas takes his armband back off Senderos
The second half is off at a frantic speed and we almost equalise when Wilshere puts a great cross in for Bendtner. Nuff said. Abou Diaby produced a great run when he came on but just held onto the ball for too long and the move broke down.
Up the other end Djourou cut out a cross from the left and put it out for a corner. Nedved took a short one, the shot came in and is was comfortably cradled in the caring arms of Young Lukasz Shotstopper. Some great end to end football was unravelling at the beginning of the second half.
Gibbs who I can’t stop raving about had a fantastic game and almost played a gloriously cute ball though to Ade but it was cut out by those big dirty Juve defenders.
Mr Wenger then made some more changes which saw Nasri make his home debut replacing the outstanding Jack Wilshere, Sagna entered, Hoyte went off and also TW14 came on for Eboue.
Nasri had a chance to make a perfect appearance he was about to connect on the volley when he was mugged by the Juve defence who I really don‘t like. Nedved was then taken off for Sallyhamwich, who’s name I am refusing to google because I don’t like him.
On the right hand side there was some majestic movement and Sanga left his man for dead (fortunately that’s just a metaphor and Bacary hasn’t been arrested for murder)he hung the ball up for Ade who just couldn’t get enough power in the header, it ended up being too central and gave Buffon a very easy save.
Walcott brought the game to life and was making 747 runs left, right and centre. Shame the he is like that Quantas flight the other week and big stinking hole aka those dirty Juve defenders cause him to stop. Ade then tried to play the ball into Theo who scurried around the box and hung up a nice cross for well no-one really. The scurrying was exciting.
Trezeguet was then subbed for someone and someone else came off and on for Juve but I couldn’t tell you who as Kai had to pee. While away on my pee break I like to think that this is where Bendtner turned into some footballing God and performed the most amazing feats that defy the world of football and he sticks his two fingers up to me as he does so. I wasn’t there to witness it so it never happened.
The second half was a bit flat until Theo came on and in the last few minutes the crowd tried to ignite us to get an equalizer which almost worked. Adebayor had a crack from about 20 yards which crept round the outside of Buffons post.
All in all we was robbed! The young lads who started the game were very impressive especially Wilshere and Gibbs who combined fantastically on the left hand side of the pitch and both were completing for the man of the match award. Personally I’d give it to Wilshere but he was run so close by Gibbs.
We never struggled at any point in the game and we are still waiting for Cesc to come back to unlock these kind of defenses. But onto tomorrow when we meet Madrid and hopefully keep hold of that rather odd Emirates Cup.