The game against Roma was just what Arsenal fans needed: proof that we can compete and that we can still dominate big teams with bags of talent, even with a team that was no where near our first team. And the players showed each other that they could play as a team, and that they were willing to fight each other.
I was satisfied with Wenger’s first team choice of:
He was smart to put van Persie up there by himself, he is confident that he would pounce on anything and try to put it away from angle angle. Nasri and Diaby in there for some more inventiveness, and Bendtner for a physical presence. But whatever he was thinking, it worked, and we dominated most the game, save a 10 minute period in the second half where Roma looked like they might score. We did not just dominate, we passed it better than we had all season. The combinations of Clichy and Nasri were especially brilliant I thought, and we got a well deserved advantage for the second leg. But we should have beaten them 4-0. Eboue and Bendtner both missed golden chances. But we have the comfort of knowing that Theo and Eduardo, who should both be back for the 2nd leg, will be able to finish those chances. So 1-0 to the Arsenal going into Roma! And we will probably have Theo and Eduardo both back! Should be good…
Almunia: In the second half he didn’t have much to do, but he had an absolute class save against Motta I believe it was. And he looks more and more comfortable in the air every game. 7
Sagna: Linked up well with Eboue, and did well against Taddei, maintained his good form. 7.5
Gallas: Was very good in the air, and finally is starting to for a decent partnership with King Kolo. 7
Toure: Was a rock once again, after a bumpy beginning to the season he is finding form I think. King Kolo of the Emirates gets a 7
Clichy: Bombed forward, but was often thwarted by Roma’s most impressive player: Motta. But his link ups with Nasri down the left wing made my mouth water. 6.5
Bendtner: Was a presence in the air, but again missed a sitter, and is suffering from severe confidence problems. He just needs to keep his head down and work through it, but a disappointing performance none the less. 5.5
Denilson: Was the metronome, he made a number of interceptions, and keep things going in the right direction. His improvement in the past few months has been amazing. 7.5
Diaby: Drove the team on, and made a good interception that he should have scored, but did well pushing the team forward. Was noticeably missed when he came off for Song. 7
Eboue: WOW! Shockingly good performance from the least popular Arsenal player ever! But it is undeniable that he did well tonight. MAde some galloping runs and his passing was for once one. This is the sort of game that Wenger has faith in Eboue for. 1 in like 20 games that he actually plays well. But I won’t take away from his performance tonight, well done Manu, you surprised us all. 7.5
Nasri: MOTM, everything went through him, and he was brilliant, he and van Persie currently vying for the Player of the Season Award. Nasri gets a nice 8.5, he was top man tonight.
van Persie: Tried some ridiculous shots, but he was his normal brilliant self. Some good passing, and magical dribbling. 8
So some very positive ratings tonight, which means we had a good performance we just needed to put the ball in the back of the fucking net. Hopefully we will do it against Fulham, and Arshavin will be in the team!
Expect a match preview for that match on Friday, and maybe something in between. But for right now saver the moment of a great Arsenal performance!