Archive for January 2012

Arsenal VS Aston villa …………..what happened   Leave a comment

After loosing 3 consecutive premier league games. the victory over the villains is a welcome development. the game was going the way every of our games has been in recent time. 2 nil down @ half time is not a thing to rejoice over but it all turns out to be a great game in which a come back is important for the team.

Arsenal struck three goals in seven superb second-half minutes to storm into the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

After 45 minutes this afternoon at Emirates Stadium, Arsène Wenger’s side were staring at an early exit.

Richard Dunne and Darren Bent had given the visitors a 2-0 lead. It seemed that they would be travelling to Sunderland or Middlesbrough in the last 16.

However, sometimes you only realise your own strength when it is truly tested.

Robin van Persie started the comeback from the penalty spot in the 54th minute after Dunne had clattered Aaron Ramsey. Shortly afterwards, Alan Hutton’s clearance cannoned off Theo Walcott and flew into the net.

Then, in the 61st minute, Bent fouled Laurent Koscielny and Van Persie put Arsenal in front for the first time.

By way of celebration the Dutchman jumped into the arms of substitute Thierry Henry, who was warming up on the sidelines.

The expected Villa reply did not really materialise. But then Arsenal had not deserved to be trailing at the break. Sheer guts had hauled them back into a game in which everything had gone against them.

That will surely have a galvanising effect on the squad for the challenges ahead this season.

Underestimate Arsenal at your peril.

Wenger had spent the weekend waiting on fitness tests and mulling over his side. The manager was aware that he would face Bolton and Blackburn in two key Premier League fixtures over the next six days.

In the end, all the injury news was positive and the manager went for a strong line-up. Francis Coquelin returned at right back for the first time since January 2. Lukasz Fabianski had last played at Olympiacos a month earlier. This afternoon he came in as Wojciech Szczesny was rested.

Van Persie had missed the 1-0 win over Leeds in the last round but he started today. Henry and Mikel Arteta were both declared fit but began on the bench.

And, for the first time since October 2, Bacary Sagna was named in a first-team squad. The right back had recovered ahead of schedule from the broken ankle he had suffered at White Hart Lane.

Most of the crowd at Emirates Stadium had already taken their seats when the fifth-round draw was made.

However, focus could not be taken from the matter in hand. Villa had lost only once since they had been narrowly beaten by Arsenal in Birmingham four days before Christmas. And during that spell they had won at Chelsea.

But then, if anything, Villa are an ‘away’ side – they have only lost twice on the road in the Premier League this season.

They would demonstrate that form during this game but it was the home side who took control early on.

After five minutes, Van Persie rolled a free-kick to Thomas Vermaelen who thundered 30-yard effort towards goal at a venomous pace. Shay Given did well to fist the ball over the bar.

Then Tomas Rosicky freed Walcott on the right. He struggled for balance after being clipped and fired his shot wide.

In the 19th minute, Van Persie just failed to connect with Walcott’s low cross and, midway through the half, the captain fired a free-kick into the wall.

To this point, Villa had not registered an effort on goal. But they had threatened. The pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor stretched Arsenal on their right flank while the visitors had a willing worker in Robbie Keane.

And the Irishman played a pivotal role when Villa took the lead just past the half hour. Keane worked a short corner with Stiliyan Petrov before clipping a cross to the far post. Dunne rose highest to plunder a header from close range.

Arsenal’s response was immediate. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was catching the eye once again, reached the byline but his cutback was cleared. Then Rosicky’s snap shot was momentarily spilt by Given.

As half time approached, the home side had built a head of steam. Coquelin’s angled drive through a crowded area was hurriedly hacked clear by Stephen Warnock. Then Aaron Ramsey tricked his way to the byline but Given managed to block as the Welshman tried to squeeze in a shot at the near post.

On the whistle, Van Persie rolled a free-kick to Oxlade-Chamberlain who, like Vermaelen, cracked a rocket-fuelled effort at Given. Again the keeper could not hang on.

Arsenal were piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser. However, they would concede again in injury time.

Villa broke clear and Stephen Ireland fed Bent on the right of the area. Fabianski saved superbly from his first effort but the Englishman pounced on the rebound and squeezed home his shot from the narrowest of angles.

The half-time statistics suggested Arsenal were unfortunate to be trailing at all. However, they had to score twice, at least, in order to stay in the FA Cup.

They might have grabbed one in the opening three minutes. Van Persie’s right-wing was met by the head of Mertesacker. Ireland booted the ball off the line at the far post.

Walcott nearly dribbled his way through and another intricate move saw Ramsey prod a shot at Given.

You sensed Arsenal needed to get some reward in this period if they were to come back.

Fortunately, it arrived just at that moment.

In the 54th minute, Alex Song’s perceptive through ball sent Ramsey clear. He was clean through but Dunne cleaned him out. Van Persie scored from the spot. No 24 of the season.

Three minutes later, Arsenal were level. Walcott darted in from the right, reached the byline and poked a cross into the heart of the area. Hutton swung at his clearance which hit the Arsenal striker and bounced into the unguarded net.

You can call that lucky if you like but Liverpool had scored a similar goal into the same net at the Emirates in the opening home game of the Premier League season.

A small illustration that footballing fortune can even itself out.

Often you find teams that draw level in such rapid fashion and draw breath soon afterwards. However, Arsenal did not take their foot off the pedal this afternoon and, in the 61st minute, grabbed the lead.

Koscielny went marauding down the left and was clumsily brought down by Bent just inside the area.

Van Persie scored No 25 from the spot.

Emirates Stadium had been a cauldron while those three goals were going in. Now it became just a little becalmed. Walcott nearly gave Arsenal a cushion, but Given beat away his drive.

Villa had been caught in a maelstrom. However, time was ticking away and they had to gamble.

Petrov popped up on the byline but Mertesacker blocked his cross with Bent lurking behind him.

Then Ireland’s cross was steered into Fabianski’s arms by the head of Ciaran Clark from point-blank range.

But it was Arsenal pressing forward in the dying minutes. Henry had a glimpse of a chance and Sagna even grabbed a few minutes at the end.

The striker had performed a fairytale comeback in the last round. This time the team had done the job.

Either way, Arsenal are conjuring up special moments in the FA Cup this season.

Posted January 30, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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champions league– coming soon   Leave a comment

February is a day away and it will be time for the champions league to resume. A quick reminder of what happened in the group stage.
The road to Munich has been very tough, teams like real Madrid, benfica and Barcelona performed brilliantly well by not losing a single match throughout the group stage. Real Madrid was extremely outstanding winning all six with an amazing 18 points with a goal difference of +17. Outstanding!!!!!

It was all disappointment for the teams from Manchester as they both crash out of the competition the same night. Victory for Manchester city over Bayern was not enough to see them through as Napoli sealed their qualification by beating the whipping team of the group. It was a night sir Alex Ferguson will never pray to re occur as his side was brush aside by Basel FC. Basel wore Barca’s jersey to scare Manchester united having noted that Manchester united trembles whenever they face the Catalan giant. Victory for Basel sees them achieve what people would not have imagined when the draw was made. Valencia and Villarreal also crashed out of the champions’ league but it was the yellow submarines that had a night mare throughout the group stage losing all their group matches

Table after group games
GROUP A
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Bayern Munich 6 4 1 1 5 13
2 Napoli 6 3 2 1 4 11
3 Manchester City 6 3 1 2 3 10
4 Villarreal 6 0 0 6 -12 0
GROUP B
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Inter 6 3 1 2 1 10
2 CSKA Moscow 6 2 2 2 1 8
3 Trabzonspor 6 1 4 1 2 7
4 Lille 6 1 3 2 0 6
GROUP C
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Benfica 6 3 3 0 4 12
2 Basel 6 3 2 1 1 11
3 Manchester United 6 2 3 1 3 9
4 Otelul Galati 6 0 0 6 -8 0

GROUP D
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Real Madrid 6 6 0 0 17 18
2 Lyon* 6 2 2 2 2 8
3 Ajax* 6 2 2 2 0 8
4 Dinamo Zagreb 6 0 0 6 -19 0
GROUP E
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 7 11
2 Bayer Leverkusen 6 3 1 2 0 10
3 Valencia 6 2 2 2 5 8
4 Genk 6 0 3 3 -14 3
GROUP F
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Arsenal 6 3 2 1 1 11
2 Marseille 6 3 1 2 3 10
3 Olympiakos 6 3 0 3 2 9
4 Borussia Dortmund 6 1 1 4 -6 4
GROUP G
GP W D L GD PTS
1 APOEL 6 2 3 1 0 9
2 Zenit St Petersburg 6 2 3 1 2 9
3 Porto 6 2 2 2 0 8
4 Shakhtar Donetsk 6 1 2 3 -2 5
GROUP H
GP W D L GD PTS
1 Barcelona 6 5 1 0 16 16
2 AC Milan 6 2 3 1 3 9
3 Viktoria Plzen 6 1 2 3 -7 5
4 BATE Borisov 6 0 2 4 -12 2
Note; teams with blue qualified for the knockout stage of the champions league. While the teams in green make it to the Europa league round of 32. The teams in red are out of Europe all together.

Knockout stage(nteams)

Group winners Runner’s up
Bayern Munich Napoli
Inter CSKA Moscow
Benfica Basel
Real Madrid Lyon
Chelsea Bayer Leverkusen
Arsenal Marseille
APOEL Zenit St Petersburg
Barcelona AC Milan

The round of 16 games will be very interesting
Round of 16 draw
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v APOEL FC (CYP)
SSC Napoli (ITA) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
AC Milan (ITA) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI) v FC Bayern München (GER)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER) v FC Barcelona (ESP, holders)
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS) v Real Madrid CF (ESP)
FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) v SL Benfica (POR)
Olympique de Marseille (FRA) v FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)

Seeded group winners will be away in the round of 16 first legs on 14/15 and 21/22 February and at home in the return matches on 6/7 and 13/14 March. No team can play a club from their group or any side from the same association.

As an Arsenal fan the most important fixture in the round of 16 champions league will be Arsenal vs Ac Milan.

vs
The last time both teams played at the San siro was in year 2008. it was the gunners that took the day with Fabregas and Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor netting in the encounter in which Arsenal were 2 goals winner. A lot has changed since then with a lot transfer activities having taking place. Arsenal looks more depleted compared with the team that beat Ac milan back in 2008. Ac on the other hand have recruited new players who could be a hard nut to crack for the gunners. This encounter will be a very tough one. Milan will be playing to win while Arsenal understand only one language which is attack. This game will be filled with missed chances and if goals will be scored it will be a few.
Robbin van persie will be the most important arsenal player in this encounter as he is currently the only arsenal player than can score at the moment. A make shift defence will not be good enough for this encounter has the striking prowess of the Milan team may easily sway aside a makeshift defence. Will Arsenal progress after this round only the result from the first leg @ milan and the second leg at the emirate will decide that. A good result at the san siro (i.e a scored draw or a win for Arsenal) will put them at the poll position of qualifying considering Arsenal good record at home in the champions league against non english opposition. The best team in the world currently did their best to thwart arsenal good form at home but it all ended first in a dramatic 2-2 draw and a sensational 2-1 win. Can we win this only time will tell.
Good day gooners…………………………

champions league- the journey so far   Leave a comment

February is a day away and it will be time for the champions league to resume. A quick reminder of what happened in the group stage.
The road to Munich has been very tough, teams like real Madrid, benfica and Barcelona performed brilliantly well by not losing a single match throughout the group stage. Real Madrid was extremely outstanding winning all six with an amazing 18 points with a goal difference of +17.  Outstanding!!!!!
         
It was all disappointment for the teams from Manchester as they both crash out of the competition the same night. Victory for Manchester city over Bayern was not enough to see them through as Napoli sealed their qualification by beating the whipping team of the group. It was a night sir Alex Ferguson will never pray to re occur as his side was brush aside by Basel FC. Basel wore Barca’s jersey to scare Manchester united having noted that Manchester united trembles whenever they face the Catalan giant. Victory for Basel sees them achieve what people would not have imagined when the draw was made. Valencia and Villarreal also crashed out of the champions’ league but it was the yellow submarines that had a night mare throughout the group stage losing all their group matches
Table after group games
                                     GROUP A     
                                             GP       W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Bayern Munich                6      4      1       1       5      13
2      Napoli                              6      3      2      1       4      11
3      Manchester City              6      3      1       2      3      10
4      Villarreal                        6       0      0      6      -12    0
                                  GROUP B
                                      GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Inter                        6      3      1       2      1       10
2      CSKA Moscow          6      2      2      2      1       8
3      Trabzonspor            6      1       4      1       2      7
4      Lille                         6      1       3      2      0      6
                                  GROUP C
                                            GP        W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Benfica                          6        3      3      0      4      12
2      Basel                             6        3      2      1       1       11
3      Manchester United          6      2      3      1       3      9
4      Otelul Galati                     6      0      0      6      -8     0
                                     GROUP D     
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Real Madrid                     6      6      0      0      17     18
2      Lyon*                              6      2      2      2      2      8
3      Ajax*                               6      2      2      2      0      8
4      Dinamo Zagreb                6      0      0      6      -19    0
                                      GROUP E     
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Chelsea                           6      3      2      1       7      11
2      Bayer Leverkusen           6      3      1       2      0      10
3      Valencia                          6      2      2      2      5      8
4      Genk                                6      0      3      3      -14    3
                                       GROUP F    
                                                GP    W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Arsenal                            6     3      2      1       1       11
2      Marseille                          6     3      1       2      3      10
3      Olympiakos                       6     3      0      3      2      9
4      Borussia Dortmund          6     1       1       4      -6     4
                                       GROUP G   
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       APOEL                               6       2      3      1       0      9
2      Zenit St Petersburg          6      2      3      1       2      9
3      Porto                               6      2      2      2      0      8
4      Shakhtar Donetsk             6     1       2      3      -2     5
                                      GROUP H    
                                               GP     W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Barcelona                        6      5      1       0      16     16
2      AC Milan                          6      2      3      1       3      9
3      Viktoria Plzen                   6      1       2      3      -7     5
4      BATE Borisov                   6      0      2      4      -12    2
Note; teams with blue qualified for the knockout stage of the champions league. While the teams in green make it to the Europa league round of 32. The teams in red are out of Europe all together.
Knockout stage(nteams)
Group  winners
Runner’s up
Bayern Munich
Napoli
Inter
CSKA Moscow
Benfica
Basel
Real Madrid 
Lyon
Chelsea 
Bayer Leverkusen
Arsenal
Marseille
APOEL
Zenit St Petersburg
Barcelona    
AC Milan
The round of 16 games will be very interesting

Round of 16 draw
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v APOEL FC (CYP)
SSC Napoli (ITA) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
AC Milan (ITA) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI) v FC Bayern München (GER)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER) v FC Barcelona (ESP, holders)
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS) v Real Madrid CF (ESP)
FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) v SL Benfica (POR)
Olympique de Marseille (FRA) v FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)

Seeded group winners will be away in the round of 16 first legs on 14/15 and 21/22 February and at home in the return matches on 6/7 and 13/14 March. No team can play a club from their group or any side from the same association.

As an Arsenal fan the most important fixture in the round of 16 champions league will be Arsenal vs Ac Milan.
           vs                            
The last time both teams  played at the San siro was in year 2008. it was the gunners that took the day with Fabregas and Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor netting in the encounter in which Arsenal were 2 goals winner. A lot has changed since then with a lot transfer activities having taking place. Arsenal looks more depleted compared with the team that beat Ac milan back in 2008. Ac on the other hand have recruited new players  who could be a hard nut to crack for the gunners. This encounter will be a very tough one. Milan will be playing to win while Arsenal understand only one language which is attack. This game will be filled with missed chances and if goals will be scored it will be a few.
Robbin van persie will be the most important arsenal player in this encounter as he is currently the only arsenal player than can score at the moment. A make shift defence will not be good enough for this encounter has the striking prowess of the Milan team may easily sway aside a makeshift defence. Will  Arsenal progress after this round only the result from the first leg @ milan and the second leg at the emirate will decide that. A good result at the san siro (i.e a scored draw or a win for Arsenal)  will put them at the poll position of qualifying considering Arsenal good record at home in the champions league against non english opposition. The best team in the world currently did their best to thwart arsenal good form at home but it all ended first in a dramatic 2-2 draw and a sensational 2-1 win.   Can we win this only time will tell.
Good day gooners…………………………

Posted January 30, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

CAN WE SAY ALL IS NOT WELL WITH ARSENAL?   1 comment

We were unable to hold our own against a resilient Swansea side. we were so close to winning yet far away at the end of the game. There are some positives from the match especially with RVP taking his tally to 18EPL goals and the fans really showed their displeasure to the team performance. we awaits fergie this sunday but i cant see us loosing 3 games on a bound so i am positive we will beat the devils come sunday despite our defensive frailties. Robbin will have to be at his very best. gunners for life

Posted January 18, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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CAN WE SAY ALL IS NOT WELL WITH ARSENAL?   Leave a comment

We were unable to hold our own against a resilient Swansea side. we were so close to winning yet far away at the end of the game. There are some positives from the match especially with RVP taking his tally to 18EPL goals and the fans really showed their displeasure to the team performance. we awaits fergie this sunday but i cant see us loosing 3 games on a bound so i am positive we will beat the devils come sunday despite our defensive frailties. Robbin will have to be at his very best. gunners for life

Posted January 18, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

CAN WE SAY ALL IS NOT WELL WITH ARSENAL?   Leave a comment

We were unable to hold our own against a resilient Swansea side. we were so close to winning yet far away at the end of the game. There are some positives from the match especially with RVP taking his tally to 18EPL goals and the fans really showed their displeasure to the team performance. we awaits fergie this sunday but i cant see us loosing 3 games on a bound so i am positive we will beat the devils come sunday despite our defensive frailties. Robbin will have to be at his very best. gunners for life

Posted January 18, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

CAN WE SAY ALL IS NOT WELL WITH ARSENAL?   Leave a comment

We were unable to hold our own against a resilient Swansea side. we were so close to winning yet far away at the end of the game. There are some positives from the match especially with RVP taking his tally to 18EPL goals and the fans really showed their displeasure to the team performance. we awaits fergie this sunday but i cant see us loosing 3 games on a bound so i am positive we will beat the devils come sunday despite our defensive frailties. Robbin will have to be at his very best. gunners for life

Posted January 18, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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