The Late Show……Reported by Dazza Dawg
Two late goals for Arsenal have kept them top of the English Premier League table following their 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Emirates Stadium. It looked as if it would be a frustrating game for Arsenal until captain William Gallas came to the rescue with a 83rd minute header finding the back of the net. Rosicky put the iceing on the cake meeting a Bendtner pass in the 86th minute and finishing clinically to put the result beyond doubt.
In the first 20 minutes both teams looked lethargic and there were no clear cut chances for either side. Arsenal’s first chance of the match came in the 21st minute when Adebayor did a neat turn 20 metres, followed by a one-two with Walcott and a subsequent shot saved low by the Wigan keeper. Arsenal only had to wait another 4 minutes for their next chance. In the 25th minute Denilson did a slick one-two with Rosicky and proceeded to shoot but his shot went wide.
Wigan’s best chance of the half came in the 33rd minute when Bent headed over the bar from a cross. In the 42nd shot Denilson proved to be Arsenal’s main threat again. Another long range shot from the Brazilian got a deflection and sailed over the bar. In a lacklustre first half both teams went into the break scoreless.
The second half started in a familiar fashion to the first. Arsenal’s first good chance of the second half came in the 67th minute when a Denilson free kick was cleared off the line following a good save by the Wigan keeper. Wigan continued to frustrate Arsenal and they were forced to make long range efforts. Adebayor’s shot in the 74th minute didn’t trouble the keeper, going comfortably over the bar.
But then the Arsenal we all know turned up. Bendtner received the ball coming on as a target man striker and passed it out wide to Sagna. Sagna proceeded to cross it in and find Gallas on the front post whose header flew into the net to break the deadlock in the 83rd minute. The floodgates opened as Wigan threw men forward in search of an equaliser. Just 3 minutes later Rosicky put the result beyond doubt with a calm finish from the edge of the box that deflected off the post and into the net. 2-0 might sound like a comfortable result, but there was a lot more to it than that. Arsenal didn’t play their usual beautiful, attractive football, but more importantly they fought hard and grinded out the result. Attributes that’ll contribute to making champions.
Almunia- 7/10. Didn’t have much to do.
Sagna – 7/10. Great cross for the first goal
Toure – 7/10. Solid
Gallas – 8/10. Lifted the team spirit and scored the late winner. Wears his heart on his sleeve.
Clichy – 7/10. Overlapped well but got caught out a couple of times. Was indecisive when he got around the box.
Denilson – 6.5/10 Not his best game.
Diarra – 7.5/10 Great game.
Rosicky – 8.5/10. Man of the Match. Was consistent throughout the game but became much more effective when Wenger moved him into a more central role second half. Got on the scoring sheet with the sealer.
Eboue – 6.5/10. Frustrating to watch at times.
Adebayor – 6.5/10. worked hard but no joy.
Walcott – 6.5/10. Showed good pace. Taken off injured
Eduardo – 6.5/10. not enough time
Bendtner – 7.5/10. changed the game completely
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