Or is it “Trail”? I never know these things.
A great result after Chelsea scraped a 1-0 victory at Anfield. Here’s a tasty omen for you: last time Chelsea did the double over Liverpool, some old bloke scored the winning goal in both games. This year, Joe Cole repeated the feat. Predictably, the last time it was achieved was 50 years ago: when Chelsea won the League.
I’ll be honest, it’s a hugely significant victory for them. In the first half they were seriously outplayed, and survived. In the second, they improved, and Liverpool tired, and Chelsea nicked a goal. In fact, it was pretty similiar to our game at Anfield. Except they won. And we lost.
It’s games like that which make you wonder if this might be their year. However, for the chasing pack, the aim has to be to keep picking up the points in the hope that they’ll eventually slip up.
Against Charlton, we weren’t as dominant as the scoreline might suggest. However, we scored three brilliant goals. Our run of clean sheets did come to an end thanks to an end thanks to an absolute screamer from Tahar Mi Kangaroodownsport, with which Manuel Almunia stood absolutely no chance. Manuel and the defence had another fairly solid game, and despite their prolonged periods of possession, Charlton weren’t a huge threat.
Our first goal came after Van Persie slid in Vieira, who tucked it back to Freddie, who spun and fired it underneath Dean Kiely. A great finish to a great move. In fact, it was typical Arsenal. And by Arsenal, I mean the Arsenal who went 49 games unbeaten.
They equalised with the last kick of the half. Just 3 minutes after the restart, van Persie retreated from a seemingly offside position to play Cesc Fabregas into the outside-right channel. Cesc looked up, before eqsuisitely back-heeling into the path of Freddie Ljungberg, who blasted the ball into the far top corner from 10-or-so yards.
It was all topped off on 67 minutes. A long clearance wasn’t dealt with, and bounced into the path of Robin van Persie. From a tight angle, he cracked a volley into the far corner. An outstanding finish. Van Persie was heavily involved in all three goals, and is slowly integrating into the first team’s style of play. In fact, it struck me today that if Reyes is now seen primarily as a left-winger, than we only have three true first-team forwards: Henry, Bergkamp, and young Robin. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some investment there during January.
The only negative aspect of yesterday’s victory was an injury to Sol Campbell, who is now a major doubt for Tuesday’s match with Man City. Philippe Senderos replaced him to make his Premiership debut, and I’d expect he’ll make his first full start on Tuesday night. Just thank your lucky stars that Pascal Cygan is sidelined.
Oh, and by the way, apologies if the spelling in this article is appalling: my spellchecker’s buggered.