Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool: Still walking the fine line between success and failure

In Arsenal FC, Premier League 2009/10 on February 11, 2010 by Highbury N5 Editor

Well, this season really is a strange one, two weeks of doom and gloom and all of a sudden things aren’t looking so bad after we scrapped a good ol’ 1-0 against Liverpool, United drew against Villa and Chelsea lost at Everton.

The first half was dull and boring, there were a couple of chances, the best of them broke to Bendtner who smashed it just over the bar, a few inches lower and it would have been a brilliant goal. I thought he had a good game and he certainly gives us another dimension, he is a pest to defenders.

Liverpool had their chances too but their best one was squandered by Billy Gallas with a brilliant last ditch tackle that if mistimed, would have resulted in a penalty. Same goes for when he ran across Vermaelen and it looked as is the Belgian would boot him up in the air and take the consequences, he trusted Gallas though and what a tackle it was. Sign him up Arsene, I’m not liking the reports I’m seeing at the moment about his future.

The goal was brilliant, if un-Arsenal-like. Bendtner tried to clip it into the box, it hit the defender and came back to him, he slid it in to Rosicky who put in a beautiful ball (making up for his hash up of a decent chance earlier), for Diaby of all people to smash home with his head. It was a wonderful header, no keeper in the world would have saved it as it was just too powerful. He’s had a good season has Abou, he is improving a lot as the season goes on and it looks as if he has some new found discipline. The relief from both players and management was clear, the boss jumped around on the touchline and the players all jumped on the lanky Frenchman. Scoring is not a rarity for us though, keeping a clean sheet is.

Common sense said that Liverpool would create at least one decent chance, substitute Ryan Babel created it all by himself and his shot from just outside the box was heading into the top corner before Manuel Almunia pulled off a brilliant save, his fingertips diverting the shot onto the bar. For a keeper deprived of confidence he had a good game, there were few shaky moments and he was much more commanding – is there a way back for him? I doubt it but if he is going to have a good run of form, now is the time to have it.

Liverpool have screamed and shouted about the Cesc handball. A) It was handball, no doubts about it. B) It was not a penalty, Cesc was outside the area and the free-kick would have been in a worse position than the original was. C) It was never a free-kick in the first place. Karma? Quite possibly.

So that is part 1 of 13 out of the way, we are six points behind Chelsea, five behind United and we are holding onto the title race, just about. Both sides will drop points, but will they drop enough? I make United out to be favorites looking at their fixtures but it is a case of can we capitalise on dropped points? We have 13 winnable games left, these are the ones I think could be tricky: 27th Feb Stoke (a), 13th March Hull (a), 27th March Brum (a), 10 April Spurs (a),  24th April City (h).

The title winners will be the team with the best away form, Chelsea’s is pretty terrible, United’s is OK, ours has been average.

If we win those games, we will be in the title race in the closing stages. We are walking a very fine line though, one defeat could knock us out of the title race and almost certainly finish our season, I still think we concede far too many goals to win the Champions League, this Arsenal team continue to survive though. Now all the team need is a week of defensive drills to keep a clean sheet away at Porto next Wednesday.

It must be said, the line between success and failure is getting smaller and smaller, we could take the league down to the last day and get to the final of the Champions League and lose, that would mean this season is a failure in some ways, its a very, very close call. I for one would bet on a few surprises between now and the middle of May.

Til tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool: Still walking the fine line between success and failure”

  1. Our away record is identical to Chelsea’s- 6 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses. United’s just replaces one of the draws with a win.

    On a different note, thank goodness for that win! I like our chances against Porto as well!

  2. arsenali very good the score feb 10 2010 the duiby gol is very best

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