Firstly so no-one think I’m some sort of a pessimist, weldone to the lads for pulling through with one more win in what was a rather nail biting game. A simple but horrid combination of extremely good attacking and just as extreme but bad defending.
Before going ahead in the 16th minute we almost went down a goal like 20 seconds before that. Brighton we looking very solid, asking questions the defense couldn’t answer, we are lucky to have our offside traps working to out advantage. Tomas “little mozart” Rosicky looked absolutely phenomenal, adding the extra dynamic that we so desperately in the middle of the field. Playing the ball across to Podolski and then a beautiful lay off by the German to Giroud resulted in the opening goal and a major boost for the gunners. With all the momentum and we really looking like we were going to score a second, a set piece and some horrid defending from everybody ended that dream and resulted with an equaliser from the Championship side,ending the first half in a 1-1 stalemate.
Second half whistle goes and within minutes Giroud puts us ahead again with a beautiful ball from Diaby, who looked like he was struggling to keep up with the pace of the game. He (Diaby) is not looking solid at all at the moment, yes he makes the crucial pass and a goal saving tackle once in a while but he is very far from being the Viera he is compared to. On the complete flipside Ramsey is looking absolutely amazing. I have never been a fan of the Welsh International but lately I think he is filling Arteta’s shoes pretty well. He has a good balance of attacking and defending and even though his pace is nothing to brave about, his positiong and tactical awareness are off the charts at the moment. Wanting to add to his goal tally Podolski shook the cross bar with an insane freekick from just outside the box.
Then the umspeakable happened. A defensive blunder by interim captain Merti saw Brighton draw blood for the second time with a rather simple header from the Argentine Ulloa, putting the sides level with two goals a piece. Wenger panicked as did every other arsenal supporter watching the game so, “The big guns came on” in attempts to try and fix the mess that was made.The introduction of Jack and Theo just brought the game to life, it was like I was watching flashbacks from the mid-week victory. My prayers were answered when Gibbs came on to add some stability to the back four and some much needed pace on the left. Walcott ended the story as he fired a long range shot and it took an unlucky but rather appreciated deflection to send the keeper one way and the ball straight to the back of the net, putting us back In the lead with a 3-2 scoreline.
The story does end well for the gunners as we progress to the next round. A little concerned with the defending at the moment, whether it was all a lapse of concentration or confussion amoungest players, the expectaion of playing a high level football is upon us and if we do not shape up we will be punished.
I am proud to be a gunner today. They are looking great.
Love my team.
By Ntokozo Hlongwane