Arsenal were in trouble, Sunderland in trouble of a different kind. The last game the Black Cats won were against us last year (and thinking now it was a while ago) and not far from the drop zone.
Arsenal in trouble because of our title hopes slipping away bit by bit. We basically have to win the rest of our games (and I can assure you, that is possible) to get the title. And it didn’t look too promising with our line up, packed through with noticeable differences since the beginning of the season, with one word- injuries.
Almunia was in goal, thankfully after Fabianski’s absolute shocker at Porto in the Champions League, Eboue out on the right, Silvestre, Vermaelen and Clichy back, Ramsey, Fabregas and Song in the middle, and because of our injuries Bendtner, Walcott and Nasri were further up the pitch.
And surprising enough we started off with a spark, Walcott lighting the first of our many chances in the first few minutes sprinting away and drifting the ball to the left of the goal on a very tight angle.
Nasri was leading Sunderland on a merry dance across the left side early in the match, setting up chances, in particular one blocked and just over the crossbar and taking them, some of the amount of 24 in the match- but only two taken, the rest missed or blocked.
Bendtner started off his good game with another blocked effort that hit the crossbar, and that Gordon luckily for him grabbed.
Several, several chances went by, the score should have been 3-0 at least but at last Eboue led Sunderland on a break down the right, laid it off for Bendtner to finish into an empty net. Sublime pass, and simple finish. 1-0 to the Arsenal and looked like more.
Sunderland, in the 39th minute gave the visitors something to cheer about with a Jones effort that went just wide to the left, and that was most of the action of the half, excluding all the close blocked efforts. Bendtner did misinterpret a cross coming in that was another chance, wasted.
The Arsenal in the second half picked up where they had left off, and the first close effort was Walcott with a left foot being saved. Then next Vermaelen blasted a shot at Gordon, saved as well, and a disappointing threesome of chances, by Walcott and Nasri.
Nasri started off by collecting a pass from Ramsey, his shot saved. Walcott followed suit, saved again. Nasri from the throw in collected a pass from Fabregas. Off target. No goals, but all three were definite chances.
After this though Sunderland looked to press forward, giving Arsenal less chances at goal and playing higher up the pitch. Their long balls looked as if a goal may come, but Almunia was solid and provided some decent blocks in today’s match.
But then Vermaelen gave away a free kick just outside the box. Zenden took it, but was blocked. The counter had Walcott racing away but his pass went astray.
Finally, after all Arsenal’s chances, a 2nd goal. Ferdinand gave away a penalty just inside the right area of the box, and cynically finished it into the bottom right corner. 2-0, and rightfully so.
Mensah had a final pot shot after the penalty, but the game was ours. 2-0 to the Gunners, gaining revenge of our soft 1-0 loss last year.
Eboue played really well in my book, as did Nasri, Rosicky, Ramsey and Cesc in particular. No one needs direct criticism today, as they all did good works in the game, unlike the Arsenal of recent games with plenty of it. Looking forward now to Stoke on the 27th.
As written by GPS Justin of GoonersWorld