February 24, 2011
Arsenal maintained their challenge at the top of the table last night with a pragmatic win over Stoke. The match was more notable for the injuries sustained by Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott than it was for the football on offer but, nonetheless, it was a massively important three points.
After an early flurry of attacking play from Arsenal which produced Seb Squillaci’s headed goal, the first half settled into a soporific tempo in which Stoke parked the bus in front of their goal and the Gunners strung together endless passes as if it were a training session. In truth, much of the home team’s momentum was lost when Fabregas departed after quarter of an hour.
Squillaci's Header Was Enough To Take The Points©Getty Images
February 17, 2011
What an unbelievable night! Rarely does the reality of football match the hype that surrounds it these days, but Wednesday night's encounter between Arsenal and Barcelona was a spectacle of the highest quality and the Gunners produced a victory that will be talked about for years in the red half of North London.
After the facile win over Wolves at the weekend, Arsene Wenger’s team couldn’t have been in better fettle going into this match. The absence of Bacary Sagna excepted, and unlike in this match-up last season, the manager was able to field a full-strength side. Any fears that the Gunners would be blown away by a force-nine Barca hurricane in a repeat of last year's first half were soon allayed as the team made a bright start carving out a couple of good early chances.
Arshavin Sparks Mayhem at The Grove©AFP
February 8, 2011
Since Arsenal's calamitous second-half capitulation at Newcastle, the last few days have felt like walking around with the worst sort of hangover. The kind that gives you flashbacks to the whatever appalling antics you were up to in your stupor and leaves you questioning: did that really happen?
Well, it did and it is still hard to believe. A family member texted me after the game to ask how on earth the Gunners could allow a four-nil half-time lead to be canceled out? The only response I could offer was “gross incompetence and lack of bottle?”
Turning Point: Diaby Asks To Get Sent Off©Getty Images
February 2, 2011
It was a pulsating night's entertainment at Ashburton Grove on Tuesday night. Nothing gets the blood pumping like overturning an injustice and coming from behind to win.
Everton’s record against teams near the top of the table this season meant they were always going to be a tough nut to crack. The task was made harder by the referee and his assistant who ludicrously allowed Louis Saha’s 24th minute effort to stand. It was offside. Forget all the nonsense about “active” and “inactive”. It was offside.
Laurent Koscielny Heads Arsenal's Winner©Associated