Archive for November 25th, 2009

Arsenal 2 – 0 Standard Liege: Good News & Bad News

Add comment November 25th, 2009

Arsenal 2 – 0 Standard Liege (Nasri 35, Denilson 45+2)
Highlights | Arsene’s reaction

What do you want: the good news or the bad news?

Those who said “good news”, be happy – that’s coming up first.  Those who said “bad news”, you’ll have to skip on then come back.  Awkward but y’know.

The good is that we won.  Not only did we win, but we won comfortably, keeping a clean sheet and never really having to click into top gear.  The three points mean we qualify for the next round as group winners and we can afford to rest players in our final game against Olympiacos.

Alex Song was again outstanding, and Arsene Wenger confirmed post-game that he has extended his contract until 2014.

Carlos Vela got a run-out, and Samir Nasri continued his rehabilitation with a hard-working performance topped off with a neat goal, volleying home after a defensive error.

Denilson played his first game since September and capped it with a cracking goal from thirty-odd yards, thanks to his magic ankles.  Allow Arsene to explain:

“I think he has a typical Brazilian shot. With this floating ball I think they have shorter ankles and it gives a different flight to the ball. It is typical Brazilian technique and I tried to analyse it many times. I could only think maybe they have a bit shorter ankle in front and they can kick the ball high up with the laces.”

What an astute observation.  It must have required hours of research.  Arsene?

“I have never checked it.”

Ah.  Ok then, boss.

The bad news, then – apart from the manager’s sudden senility.  Well, we’ve picked up a few injuries: Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas both suffered blows to the head, but Kieran Gibbs’s bruised metatarsal has now metamorphosed into a broken one, and he’s expected to miss the next three months.  We’re left with a choice between Mikael Silvestre and Armand Traore.  Did someone say “devil”, and then very quickly say “deep blue sea” in a facetious manner?

Our performance was also a little sloppy – Liege struck the woodwork twice and ought to have had a penalty.

Play so casually against Chelsea on Sunday, and we will be punished.

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