Last Match : Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
Next Match : Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Venue: Villa Park
Date and Time: December 22, 2011 @ 01:15 – 03:00. There is no Live Telecast but a repeat at 3:30 am on ESPN.
We have the second match in 4 days and it gives me little time to write both the post and pre match analysis of the games. So I have decided to have a look back at the Sunday Game against Manchester City and the next one against struggling Aston Villa. The last weekend game was one that we need to forget. The question now for Arsenal after last week’s sad loss to City is if they can return to winning ways and close the gap on the top-four. Villa are also desperate to get back on the winning trail after their home defeat against Liverpool on Sunday so it should be a good encounter.
Now back to the match where we faced a loss after a good run of games coming into the match with Manchester City. We did fight it out the entire game, considered to be the best match of the season so far, but it was the best team that won. Both the teams had their share of chances and werent able to convert in the first half. And a little into the second half Arsenal had to make a forced substitution for Djourou who got injured and due to wish the entire defence was shifted to accomodate Miquel who came on. Maybe that had an impact or maybe not but City got the break in the game after those changes in the 53rd minute Silva got the important goal and it made sure that City became first in the league again.
Despite the loss against the current league leaders we walked off the pitch with our heads held high. One thing that we dont have is a game changer. In the entire match it was Van Persie or Vermaelen who only looked like they could get something out of the game for us and the latter almost came close to scoring a few times in the finishing minutes. But we have a lot of positives from the game and I need to mention the herioc saves of Szczesny who made sure that City didnot score in the first half, and the goal too came from a save from him which our defence couldn’t clear as fast as possible. We do have the attitude to fight back and it showed in the last few minutes from Van Persie and Vermaelen. Sadly we didnt get a goal but I am sure we would only get better.
Now to the match against Villa on Wenesday, we should be winning this fine since Villa have lost their form in the last one month and seemed to have lost the support of few of their fans. One disappointment would be that Song would not playing this match has he picked up his quota of yellow cards to get a one match suspension. But then we have Frimpong or Coquelin, depending on who gets picked, who would try to make everything of the chance they get in this game.Villa have picked up just four points this season from six games against higher placed sides. They’ve lost three of their last five matches and are painfully short of goals with their strikers injured or not in good form.
We should be looking at getting the 3 points out of this game after the last weekend loss which ends our chance for the title mathematically. But the last weekend game also showed that we are no longer a crisis team and we will truly push for the top four finish this season. There is a worry of creativity not seen in the game. We play good football no doubt like always but somewhere there is a lack of creativity sometimes and an issue with finishing. We do all the hard work of getting the ball in the final quater of the pitch but then there is no one to finish the ball into the net and maybe thats the difference ths season. We rely on RVP a bit too much on that front and if only the other players too could work on their finishing then we definetly would score more. But it is all the ifs and buts that nobody wants to talk abt and what we really what to see is the team performing well and winning their matches.
Unfortunately there is no telecast this time and we need to look out for some streaming links. Not happy with that but we can imagine given the number of matches being played tonight and almost at the same time.
You can let is know your predictions and also discuss the game at the forum that we have. Also do look out for our Predict and Win contest on the site as the last day for posting your entires would be 28th of December.