3-0 and cruising, Darren Bent came on and pulled one back for Fulham – why oh why did I get so nervous?
There was still thirteen minutes of normal time left and I feared the worst.
Crazy isn’t it but I guess that over the last couple of seasons, we have conceded so many goals so easily, I dreaded that happening again yesterday and that
4-4 3-3 against Fulham last year lives on in my memory..
But not yesterday, we stayed calm, organised and very solid at the back. I know some will say ‘it’s only Fulham’ but we are a club in the papers every day for getting things wrong, yesterday we got it right.
Last weekend we conceded three goals with a little help from the ref, yesterday we scored three without the help of anyone, other than players in yellow and blue.
Not even Howard Webbs additional four minutes at the end of normal time could prevent us from coming away from Craven Cottage with all three points which were utterly and wholeheartedly deserved.
Bents goal was a disappointing one to concede, the defence didn’t seem to really pick up any one player, especially Carl Jenkinson who had drifted into the centre leaving the Fulham forward plenty of time and space to slot home. Szczesny could have maybe done better too but he did so many things right, let’s forgive him just this once.
The first goal was ours. Olivier Giroud intercepted a Aaron Ramsey shot and finished well. Having been guilty of not being more alert in front of goal in Turkey, he certainly showed that can be a predator in front of goal when he wants to. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to see a Rooney, Suarez kind of signing to push him further. Giroud alone will not take us through an entire season and we need better than him, not some old has been or hopeful…
We made it 2-0 just before half-time, Theo Walcott broke down the right hand side and fired a shot on goal. Fulhams stand in keeper, Stockdale could only parry the ball back into the penalty area and there was Lukas Podolski who fired his placed shot into the top left hand-side of the net. Stunning strike. Giroud should have all but put the game to bed before the players went in for a cup of tea but he seemed caught in two minds and his shot rolled into touch.
Just after the break, Adel Taarabt, who was Fulhams main threat in the first half, didn’t hesitate to take a shot and his opportunity could have easily found the bottom right hand-side of the net, but Wojciech Szczesny’s got down early and tipped the chance around the post.
Then in the 68th minute, Walcott was involved again when his pass found Santi Cazorla on the left. The little maestro held the ball up before laying off to Podolski. The German nabbed his second of the match with a perfectly place shot across the goal and into the far corner of the net..
We had other chances during the game, either their keeper saved well, or we lacked a bit of fire in our shot…
As mentioned earlier, Bent pulled one back for the home side, but in the end, three goals to the good guys was enough….
There was a moment in the match which I think ensured that yesterday was going to be our day.
1-0 down and Fulhams Adel Taarabt fired in a low shot across the very wet and skiddy surface, Szczesny turned the ball away but it fell to Damien Duff. The Pole was straight up and onto his feet and saved the second shot well and the danger was over….
Had that gone in, who knows. It didn’t and it was our day……
I thought that was a class performance by all yesterday. Santi Cazorla showed that he’s back and in top form, Theo caused many problems but couldn’t get on the score-sheet, Giroud and Podolski scored great goals, the defence were solid for most of the match and many others gave everything for the entire time they were on the pitch.
But the player of the day was again Aaron Ramsey, he really was everywhere……
Now let’s batter the Turks, get the signings done and dusted and then get ready for the neighbours…..
Talking of the Turks, Arsene Wenger has said that we will make no signings before Tuesday and if true, that will give us less than a week to secure any signings, in fact just six days. Surely this has to suggest that any deals are virtually in place, we just need to be in the Champions League proper first.
Juan Mata, Yohan Cabaye and Angel Di Maria are the players making the headlines today. The Mirror believe that Mata will now be an option with Chelsea having signed William and Cabaye was again missing from the Newcastle side yesterday. Rumour is he’s refusing to play in a hope to force a move through. Whether that transpires to be to Arsenal or PSG remains to be seen…
Good old Marca, the newspaper, or should I say mouthpiece for Real Madrid report that we have already offered 30 million euros for Di Maria…
That’s your daily gossip done and dusted….
Have a good one all….