Archive for September 16th, 2007

Spurs 1 – 3 Arsenal: Cesc & Adebayor Blow Spurs Apart

Add comment September 16th, 2007

Well, that was just incredible. Certainly, the game itself was a thrilling rollercoaster ride in which both sides had chances to make the scoreline closer to the amazing 5-4 game of a few years back. But coming from behind to beat Tottenham, with two wonder goals thrown in for good measure? Well, it doesn’t get any better than that.

After falling undeservedly behind to a free-kick from Gareth Bale, we went in at half-time at 0-0. Alex Hleb and Abou Diaby had both missed excellent chances, Diaby in particular somehow managing to hit the crossbar from all of six yards.

Into the second half, and when Emmanuel Adebayor blazed a chance over after a brilliant run and cut-back from Bacary Sagna, I admit that part of me was ready to accept a draw. Soon after though, Adebayor redeemed himself in the best way possible. A foul on Mathieu Flamini gave us a free-kick on the left-hand side. Cesc tried a quick through-ball, but an idiotic Spurs fan forced his way on to the pitch and ensured the free-kick (which hadn’t gone too well anyhow) would have to be retaken.

This time, it came off perfectly. A flighted ball from Cesc saw Paul Robinson charge at nothing in particular (perhaps he saw someone waving a hamburger in the crowd), and Adebayor rose highest to nod the ball in for an equaliser.

Game on. And with ten minutes to go, we got what we deserved. Cesc Fabregas broke forward, and took the kind of shot you can only take when your confidence is sky-high: he hit an absolute rocket soaring into the far top corner. Cesc is beginning to assume the goalscoring presence of Gerrard, Lampard, and Scholes, and is emerging as the driving force in this young Arsenal side. An inspiring goal from an inspirational player.

You would’ve been forgiven for thinking we couldn’t top that. But Adebayor had other ideas. In stoppage time, receiving a ball into feet from Cesc, he flipped the ball up into the air and hit a sumptuous volley into the far top corner from all of twenty yards. It was hit so beautifully I was slightly surprised it didn’t burst the net. Reminiscent of the goals scored by Didier Drogba at his peak last year, it was the kind of strike that many thought we’d never see from a player of Adebayor’s perceieved limitations.

What a goal.

Being there, sat right next to the Spurs fans, was hilarious. Particularly enjoyable moments including mocking their fans incorrectly celebrating a Dimitar Berbatov “goal”, seeing Berbatov tackled by Toure when past Almunia, and finally, a genuinely shocking miss from record signing Darren Bent. Singing “Channel 5” to a side perennially trapped in the UEFA Cup would’ve been funnier if they looked like they had a chance of achieving even that this year.

The gap between the sides was obvious. Watching lardy Tom Huddlestone chase Cesc Fabregas around the pitch, the mismatch became clear. They created chances but it shouldn’t be forgotten that we had both Gallas and Senderos missing, as well as a goalkeeper who is far from established as first choice.

And now we’re top. I said yesterday that if we won I’d start considering this side as title contenders, and we’ve absolutely reached that point now. Although the two consecutive games at the end of October seeing us facing Liverpool and Manchester United will provide a stronger indicator of our potential, there’s no doubt that we have the spirit and the quality to trouble anyone this season.

There is some takeovery stuff to discuss, but I’m not going to sour a day of joyful reflection on yesterday’s result.

And finally, I leave you with this. Just brilliant:

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