Arsenal 1-1 Birmingham – 12/01/08 – (Premier League) 12 January, 2008Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
What went wrong? I mean, the first half went so well. We played Birmingham off the park. The one nil lead wasn’t a lot but everyone felt sure we’d finish them off in the second half but they equalized in one of their very few attacks. No way in hell did they deserve to go back to Birmingham with a point against the league leaders (not anymore).
Walcott started ahead of Rosicky as he got sick last night, other than that it was the team everyone expected. We started really well and the visitors could hardly get out of their own half. We should’ve scored inside the first quarter of an hour. Gallas had a free header but it was soft and straight at the ‘keeper. Eduardo and Adebayor also had chances they didn’t convert but we were certainly showing the promise of a goal.
Just when I was thinking in my head that Birmingham haven’t had had an attack, they did, and it was quite a decent one. Cameron Jerome broke through the defense and shot across goal but Almunia did well to get down to his left and tipped it out for a corner.
A few minutes later Eduardo had a brilliant chance to take the lead. Hleb played a perfect cross in from the left, right onto the head of Da Silva. He met it well but it was right at Taylor, anywhere else and we were one nil up.
In the 22nd minute we did finally take our deserved lead. Eduardo was fouled in the area by Stephen Kelly; I think he might’ve got some of the ball but they were lucky not to be losing anyway. Adebayor put the spot-kick right in the corner, Taylor went the right way but he missed it by a few inches. 1-0 to The Arsenal and I was sure there was more to come. We couldn’t manage another goal before the break but we were cruising.
We had kick off to start the second half and you could obviously tell that Wenger had said that the one goal lead was too fragile and we need to add a second asap to make it game over. Every player sprinted into good positions but we sloppily lost the ball. We fought for it back but we gave away a corner to Birmingham. And would you fucking believe it Garry O’Connor scored. I haven’t seen the replay of the goal but the ball went in the back of the net with everyone looking in disbelief. I’ve read that Fabregas got a bad deflection on it and Almunia had no chance, it didn’t look like there was a lot wrong with our defending though. Their goal was completely against how the first half had gone. I couldn’t believe it.
No matter, lets pick our heads up, we’ve got a whole 40 odd minutes to take the lead again. We really pressured Birmingham, attacking with everything we had but we just couldn’t score. We brought Bendtner on with 25 minutes to go in the search for a goal.
Everyone was trying to score. Sagna and Clichy even had some decent shots on goal. As time ticked away I thought this might not be our day especially with Maik Taylor in goal.
With a couple of minutes to go we had a fantastic chance to get the goal. Hleb pulled the ball across the face of the goal but no one could stick a foot on it, I’ve heard Gallas just missed it diving in. Also in injury time Fabregas had a long range effort go wide. He scored a few of those earlier in the season and we could’ve done with one today.
It finished 1-1 and Gooners were left very disappointed. If this game was earlier in the season we would’ve won, it felt like I was watching play last season. Also it seems like forever since Cesc or Hleb has scored, a couple of months ago the goals where coming from all over the team, now we seem to be relying on just the strikers.
It wasn’t a particularly bad performance. The first half was really quite good, and the second half was just us pushing and pushing with Birmingham all behind the ball. I’m still quite upset by the score, with losing our place at the top of the table it’s been quite a bad day for us. We’ve got a chance to move on next weekend against struggling Fulham. A comfortable win there would really do us some good.
We’ll move on from this though, at least we didn’t lose. I just can’t believe we didn’t win. Speak to you soon.