Reading 1-3 Arsenal – 12/11/07 – (Premier League) 13 November, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
So we’re back at the top after that 3-1 win. We needed to win by two clear goals to overtake Man United and we did, but it should’ve been about 5. I guessed the team pretty much right, it was just Rosicky in for Eduardo who wasn’t even on the bench, not sure why that was. Hleb supported by Adebayor up top and Rosicky who returned from that slight injury to start on the left wing.
Reading started well and had us on the back foot in the opening couple of minutes but their spell of power didn’t last long. We won the ball just inside their half and Tomas Rosicky sent Adebayor clean through on goal. Ade slotted it to the ‘keeper’s left but the ball struck the post. An early indication that there were goals to come but it was unfortunate for Emmanuel who still couldn’t find the net.
After that good start, I thought we might have a game on our hands. However the home side’s tactics were not positive at all and decided to put 10 men behind the ball and defend, defend, defend. It was not pretty for the (very quiet) home fans but at least they were drawing with the league leaders.
Arsenal on the other hand we playing good football but found it hard to break the thick defence down. It looked like we were going to have to settle for 0-0 at half time but we grabbed the opener in the 44th minute. We showed some of our classic great counter-attacking football last night and the fist goal was a perfect example of this.
It all started from a Reading corner. Flamini started off the move passing it to Adebayor, he sent Hleb down the wing and he cut inside towards goal. Alex had a great chance test the goalie but Flamini had continued his run and Hleb unselfishly squared it. Mathieu was under pressure from a defender but he did well to finish it and we went it 1-0 up at the break. It was a wonderful example of the sort of football we can play and there was nothing Reading could do about it.
After a frustrating first half it seemed that goal gave us the confidence to break the home side down and the second 45 got off to a quick start. Adebayor had a good chance a few minutes in but he only had to wait a little while longer until he could celebrate his first Arsenal goal in far too long. It came in the 52nd minute of the game when we were passing the ball around in the area trying to find some space to shoot. In the end Fabregas picked out Ade who calmly and accurately curved the ball into the far bottom corner. It was a great goal from Ade and one he badly needed.
That goal instantly gave him the confidence boost he was looking for and should’ve got his second a few minutes after. I think it was Cesc who played him a great ball who sent him through and Ade completed another beautiful finish. However, the lino flagged for offside but the replay’s showed that, 1. Manu timed his run perfectly. And 2. That the lino wasn’t keeping up with the pace of the game and it appears he may have listened to a Reading sub warming up on the line rather than trusting his own judgement.
Anyway, it didn’t matter too much. If we were still at 0-0 then I would’ve been screaming and swearing at the television and kicking the pub furniture all over the place.
We were quite comfortable now and coming up with chances here and there without seeming to break sweat. We were far too good for Reading and their manager afterwards admitted we were a different class and ‘showed them a lesson in football’. We did the same last year; surely we don’t need to show them again? Oh well…
We made sure of the win in the 78th minute with Hleb making it 3-0 to The Arsenal. It was a great goal by Alex ‘George Best’ Hleb and I’m sure he won’t forget this one. The Belarusian seems to be getting better and better and looks a complete different player to the one I pretty much loathed a few seasons ago. Hleb picked up the ball just outside the box, skipped past a couple of players before performing a crafty little pull back in front of the ‘keeper then finishing past two defenders on the line. A fantastically skilful goal and one definitely worth looking up on YouTube.
The result was spoiled three minutes from the end when Shorey grabbed a consolation goal for the home side. There was a little bit of a mix up in defence. Almunia made a good save at him near post but unfortunately the ball came out to Shorey who had a simple tap in with Manuel still stranded on the floor. A real shame we let that one in but we still won by two clear goals so it didn’t matter.
I thought it was a good performance. Adebayor looked sharp and back on form, shame that’s ruined by the two-week international break. Hleb looked great also, lets hope he carries on getting better and better as he seems to be. Eboue once again frustrated me but I’m not going to go into that, there’s no point. Rosicky’s had better performances too but he looked bright at stages. One thing last night did show was that we still need a winger Arsene.
We now have a fully fit squad for our next game but we take another fucking international break now and I’m sure it’ll do it’s best to injure our players again. Should be quite a boring couple of weeks. Well, apart from Steve McLaren getting sacked.
Thanks for reading.