Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arsenal 5 Shakhtar 1: That’s the way to do it.

A wonderful atmosphere combined with a brilliant performance from the boys. What a Champions League night! 

The Gunners are steam rolling their way past the opponents in this season Champions League Group Stage. The team have now scored 14 goals in 3 matches while conceding only 2 goals. I believe the 14 goals in a Champions League record. Who knows how many goals we would score further with 3 games to go. Shakhtar was no easy meat. In fact going into the match, the opposing side have won all their past seven matches and have not conceded a goal in this season Champions League. That’s what made the victory so sweet.

I believe the key to our success last night was the first goal. Similar to the thrashing we gave to Braga, the early goal calm our nerves and brought the opposing team out of their shell. I believe in almost 99% (if not 100%) of the games when we get the opening goal in the first twenty minutes, we go on to win the game. This was already evident during the days of the Invincibles, when the tie was usually over by the first half hour when the Gunners are already 3 up. 

In the games against Chelsea, Sunderland and West Bromwich, we had the chances to score early in the game but we didn’t because we lack the sharpness in front of goal and ultimately we lost or drew the match. In this game, we took the chances that came our way and was rewarded for it. Our finishing was clinical today with Chamakh and Nasri putting away their chances early on. 

Now I am even more convinced that without the Russian, the Gunners are doing much better. A lot of chances this year have fallen to the feet of Arshavin but he could not convert putting pressure on the rest of the guys. Without him, the chances went the way of other strikers like Chamakh, Nasri or even Wilshere who are better at finishing off the chances currently. Rosicky who replaced Arshavin also showed that he deserved his spot. He was involved in a lot of the play and covered the defence well with his work rate. 

Last but not least, a word of admiration for the fans in the stadium last night. The standing ovation given to Eduardo when he scored the consolation goal speaks well of the Arsenal community. A real touch of class from the fans.

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