Super Sunday was just that for Manchester teams; in the first match Manchester City took a late win over Tottenham. After 55 goalless minutes, Samir Nasri made an exceptional darting run through the Tottenham defense, was picked out by an excellent pass, and he finished it off with a powerful first-time finish. After just a few minutes, Joleon Lescott bundled in off a deflected corner from Samir Nasri. A mistake from Joe Hart allowed Jermain Defoe to have an instant reply. Gareth Bale would cap off the comeback with a shot of immense quality. A curling left footed shot from outside the box goes just beyond the reach of Joe Hart. The final goal would be something of controversy; although there was no doubt it was a penalty, there were claims that Balotelli should have picked up a red card after he stepped on Scott Parker. Balotelli however, walked up to the penalty and calmly put the shot beyond the outstretched hand of Brad Friedel. After nearly securing a point from the league leaders, Tottenham fall just short losing 3-2.
In the second game, Arsenal would look for revenge after the 2-8 loss to Manchester United back in August; they would have to do so without Sagna, Gibbs, Santos, Henry, Wilshere and Arteta, though Manchester United also would have to deal without some players due to injury. The game started all for Man Utd, they were the more dangerous team through the first half and seemed almost destined to score before half and they did just that. Just before the half time whistle Valencia headed home a cross past Szczesny. The second half was much better for Arsenal, Arsene started off by subbing Nico Yennaris for the under performing Johan Djourou. There were nearly a few goals in the early part of the second half for Arsenal; arguably the best chance was in the 52nd minute when Robin Van Persie missed a sitter after mistake by Smalling that was capitalized on by Tomas Rosicky. I thought that Rosicky should have been more selfish and taken the shot himself, but I could not argue when he passed it off the RVP. Aaron Ramsey nearly had a goal himself, but his shot was always going high over the bar. The equalizer would come from none other than RVP who took a great first time shot off the post, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made that goal with a great pass to get the ball the RVP. Then something unusual happened, Arsene Wenger decided to take off AOC (who had played very well and was a danger to United) and put on the little Russian Andrei Arshavin. Arshavin would make a major mistake, his poor defending allowed Valencia to attack the defense and the ball would find its way to Danny Welbeck who finished what would be the game winning goal. There were a couple late chances from Arsenal to level the game, but some goal line clearances from the Man U defense would keep Arsenal from winning the game. Arsenal are clearly missing the players likes of Gibbs/Santos, Sagna and Wilshere/Arteta. The title chances for both North London teams now seem completely gone, Tottenham are 8 points back and Arsenal are 18 points back, the struggle for Arsenal is whether or not they will be able to overcome the deficit to maintain a place in the Champions League. Arsenal have 36 points after 22 games, they are now 5 points back from Chelsea who have 41 points after the same 22 games.
Filed under: Opinion, Soccer, Sports | Tagged: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrei Arshavin, Arsenal, Arteta, Balotelli, brad friedel, Football, Gareth Bale, Gibbs, Jermain Defoe, Joe Hart, johan djourou, Lescott, Manchester City, Manchester United, robin van persie, Sagna, samir nasri, Soccer, Sports, tomas rosicky, Tottenham, Valencia, Van Persie, Walcott, Welbeck, Wilshere, Wojciech Szczęsny | Leave a comment »