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Arsenal 2-0 Wigan – 24/11/07 – (Premier League) 25 November, 2007

Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
6 comments

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Another game, more goals in the last 10 minutes. It’s very consistent but very annoying for us Gooners! For 83 minutes Wigan held on at 0-0 and as always, I worried that we were going to slip up for us to score late on. With Man United incredibly losing to Bolton we needed the win to go three points clear with a game in hand. So yesterday was a really important win for us to put some distance between us and a Man United side that’s playing well.

We started with pretty much the side I thought, just with Walcott for Eduardo; I said it’d be a good opportunity for one of the two and it was Theo that got the nod. He looked hungry but altogether he didn’t look very effective. I mean he showed us a few times some good skill but he didn’t seem incredibly dangerous to me. Not a too bad game for him, better than other performances recently anyway.

The first half wasn’t the most exiting football game ever. We were by far on top, Wigan only had about two chances, the best being a free header in about the 25th minute in that went just over, Almunia had it covered. We had plenty of attacks but they were either long-range efforts that were way off target or scrambles in the box. I remember Adebayor having a good chance when he got a cute little ball squared to him. He did well to get to it but if his first-time-shot was just a bit more towards to post I think it would’ve gone in.

We showed potential to score but it was still 0-0 and that’s what counted. Half time.

The second half started the same, with us on top, but with more urgency. We were trying and trying but Wigan were hanging on to that clean sheet. This went on and on yet it took until there was 20 minutes to go before Wenger decided to make a change. Eduardo came on for Eboue who hadn’t impressed he again, he didn’t make that many mistakes as he usually does but he was completely anonymous and was certainly not helping. Eduardo added something to the attacking and we were getting closer to that goal.

The crowd’s frustration was not being helped by a terrible set of officials. The linesman on my side was shocking; he couldn’t keep up with fast tempo and was guessing at offsides, goal kicks and corners. At times I thought he was watching a different game, he was not good however, his performance was out-done by the referee himself.

He completely didn’t have a clue and had to control of the game. The players didn’t respect him so the situation got worse and worse. There was a bit of a brawl when Denilson received a terrible challenge, worthy of a red card, if not he would very luckily get away with a yellow. I believe the bloke who made the foul was ex-scum Michael Brown who was already on a yellow. It looked like he was just about to be is missed when the players clashed and right in front of the referee Heskey started shoving Gallas and pushing him in the face. I thought, great, they’ll be down to 9 men. But no, Brown got away with nothing (however it might not have been him that went in on Denilson) and both Heskey and Gallas got yellows. Crazy.

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Then, with 10 minutes to go Heskey committed a terrible challenge on Walcott right in front of me on the right wing. Theo went down in a heap and it looked like his ankle went underneath him or something. After being let off a red card in the brawl I thought he’d have to be off now, but no. In fact, I don’t think the ref would’ve even noticed there was a foul if it wasn’t for packed stadium screaming. Anyway, Theo got stretchered off with his head in his hands and Bendtner came on. After Wenger says Theo will be alright, which is great news.

These two moments spurred (no, I don’t like that word) drove us on, and it was William Gallas who came up with the vital goal, just as he did against United. Sagna played the cross from the right 7 minutes from time and Gallas had continued a run from deep. He got there first in front of Bramble at the near post and headed home. 1-0 to The Arsenal.

2 minutes later we secured victory with a Tomas Rosicky goal. We broke from our half with Bendtner. Tom was surging through the middle unmarked, as it was three against two. Nicklas played a great ball to him and all Rosicky had to do was take the touch and slot it in the far corner. A nice goal and that completed the win.

It took a while for the goals to come but you have to say it was a good win. Especially with United losing. These are the sort of games we’d have drawn last season and this is why we’re top. Next up it’s Seville, previews to come. Bye.

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