Steaua Bucharest 0-1 Arsenal – 02/10/07 – (Champions League) 3 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League.
This win took a lot of effort from the Arsenal boys and wasn’t as easy as some of our other 3-pointers this season. It took us until the 76th minute to net the goal and we didn’t really get many chances to put the ball in Bucharest’s net. Although we controlled the most part of the game and dominated possession the home side we difficult to break down and we weren’t finding it easy to create chances.
Alex Hleb came back from that terrible challenge at Upton Park to start on the left and Eboue was on the other wing with Van Persie and Adebayor up front. It wasn’t the greatest performance ever but it’s a typical result in a tough away game in Eastern Europe. We nearly went behind early with Valentin Badea heading over the bar and in the 6th minute he managed to get his effort on target and it beat Almunia. The linesman made a good decision and ruled the goal offside. Phew.
Bucharest were still celebrating when Fabregas noted the offside decision and urged Alumina to play on quickly. We got the ball up field. Van Persie played a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but no one got to it and it was collected by Hleb the wrong side of the post, he played a short pass to Fabregas in front of goal who somehow blasted it over the bar from three yards out. Fair enough it was on Cesc’s left foot but he really messed that one up.
As the game went on the home side were having their chances and Almunia was forced into action a couple of times but we were slowly starting to take control of this game. It had taken a while to get into the swing of things but we were up and running around the half hour mark and a goal looked imminent.
In the 40th minute Clichy nearly grabbed a lucky goal thanks to a big deflection. His cross went off the defender’s back and was heading straight for goal. However the ‘keeper reacted quick diving back towards his own goal. It looked like he’d taken the ball over the line but even on the replay you couldn’t really tell and no goal was given.
About ten minutes into the second half Adebayor nearly converted Fabregas’ free kick but the ‘keeper made a good stop. However his opposite number nearly conceded when Almunia came off his line to head away a ball but it came straight Negra. He went for a lob over Manuel but luckily Toure had read the situation and was on his was back to goal. He stopped the ball from going in and it remained 0-0.
As the game went on I feared that we weren’t going to be able to find a goal against the Bucharest resistance. We got that extremely valuable goal 14 minutes from time through Robin Van Persie. Adebayor took possession and drove towards goal; he ended up at the by-line and played a cutback ball into the area. The pass appeared to be for Fabregas but it went behind him and Cesc couldn’t reach it. However RVP was standing by to power the ball high into the net. 1-0 Arsenal, fucking get in. It was a really good finish by Robin, especially as he was stretching for the ball in the first place. That’s 2 goals in 2 games for him, I backed him to be banging them in this season, maybe this is where his goal-scoring run begins.
There was really no return for Bucharest and we held on the lead quite easily. That’s 2 wins in our first 2 group games and we’re on the right track to qualification. Wonderful.
Now it’s back to domestic action and it’s Sunderland on Sunday at midday. Come on you Gunners.