What a weekend of football. The only way it could have been better for Arsenal is if Man City and Newcastle had drawn their match but hey, we can’t have things all our own way. A fabulous comeback from the Arsenal men against Bournemouth, Wolves then beat Tottenham and because Chelsea are so far behind the top four as far as points go, their win is pretty insignificant as far as top four goes.
I detest Liverpool with a passion but even I hoped they’d beat Man Utd yesterday. Not for one minute did I expect them to so to see them batter Utd in the fashion they did and it was hilarious. All those poor pundits who’ve been telling everyone that Man Utd are already the real deal, well, they might have to rethink. 7-0 is an absolute spanking!
But, yesterday wasn’t just about the mens game as Arsenal’s women took on Chelsea in the Womens League Cup Final at Selhurst Park in front of just under 20,000 fans. A number greater than ever before.
Chelsea were 1-0 up within two minutes of the game starting and bearing in mind what happened when the same two sides met in the FA Cup just a week ago, it was far from the ideal start for Arsenal and Emma Hayes must have thought the same outcome was on the cards. However, 14 minutes later, Arsenal equalised through Stina Blackstenius’ and then 10 minutes later, Kim Little scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1. Blackstenius had the ball in the back of the net again but an offside flag was soon raised. Just before half-time, Arsenal grabbed a third although it was given as an own goal by Niamh Charles. Who cares, they all count eh..
Second half saw Arsenal denied a penalty when Caitlin Foord was fouled by Kadeisha Buchanan but even that couldn’t stop the ladies from winning their sixth League Cup trophy.
Another difficult week ahead for the Arsenal men with two away fixtures to be played. The first on Thursday in Portugal against Sporting Lisbon, a 5.45pm kickoff and then on Sunday, it’s Fulham at Craven Cottage. It looks like Mikel Arteta will be without Leandro Trossard for both, probably longer too and with both Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah out injured, unless the latter recovers in time for Thursday, the options for Mikel Arteta are slim. Very slim. ESR has played in the ‘false 9’ position but if my memory serves me right, that didn’t work very well at all. Admittedly, the starting eleven back then when Villarreal beat us 2-1 in Spain was very different to what it’s going to be on Thursday because Chambers, Mari, Cabellos, Pepe and Mari are no longer at the club, nor are Willian or Aubameyang who were on the bench, but unless Gabriel Martinelli plays centrally up front, what options are there for the manager?
How Mikel Arteta approaches this game is unknown as yet but with Arsenal sitting top of the League table with just twelve games to go, as hard as he tries not to think about the Fulham game, I bet he is.
Sporting Lisbon aren’t going to win their League and at the moment, they’re sitting outside the Champions League places too so perhaps they see this competition as the best way to get into the bigger of the two European football competitions next season. In other words, I think we can expect to be facing their strongest team. I’m far from convinced that Sporting will be facing ours.
Catch up in the comments.