GUN POWDER REVIEW: GUNNERS SERVE FANS NEW YEAR TREAT AS GIROUD SCORES A WONDER GOAL
HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS! And what a way to kick off 2017… Arsenal secure their second win on the bounce with a straight forward win against Crystal Palace. All the Pre-game talk was of how Sam Allardyce was one of the managers who have been known to rattle Arsene Wenger’s teams in the past. Key word here is: “Past”.
i don’t recall in recent memory any Allardyce team of note beating us, so i felt a lot of the talk was just hot air. We were Still smarting from those back to back defeats to Mancity and Everton, but it was cheering news to hear that dependable defender Shkrodran Mustafi had returned from Injury and was available for selection. The German has been a rock in our defence and it was telling to most observers that in the 2 games straight after his injury we lost both. Another injury boost came in the form of news that Danny Welbeck was back in full training and would join the fray soon. These coupled with the knowledge that Chelsea were still coasting on their winning spree served as veritable motivation to get on the pitch and ensure the job of securing 3 points was done.
Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Alexis, Lucas, Giroud
As the rain poured down the only dampening exercise on show on the pitch was the morale of the Crystal Palace players as they were being given the run around by the Arsenal players. Passes were fizzing all across the pitch leaving the visitors dizzy.
It must have been paramount on the players mind to get the early Goal to destabilize Crystal Palace, and to avoid the nerve wracking repeat of Westbrom where only Late heroics from Giroud saved the day. And it was the Bearded man yet again to fire Arsenal in to the lead ..this time with an absolutely incredible piece of Improvisation. Palace had lost the ball near our box, in an attack that broke down when Lucas Perez intercepted a pass. The fast break that ensued saw Sanchez crossing the ball at the edge of the Crystal palace danger area towards Giroud. The cross was slightly behind the Frenchman but that didn’t stop him from swinging his heel at the cross connecting with the ball at the right angle and pace to loop it over the very tall Wayne Henessey in the Palace goal off the cross bar and in..to give us a 1-0 lead. A brilliant finish which if you haven’t seen..you need to go check it out.
So First goal out of the way..and the lads could settle down a bit. But the danger of Complacency that had haunted us in recent time was still a worry.. and it wasn’t long before the fans were looking for the assurance goal to tie things up. Not like i blame them because i recall in this fixture last season, we had led through a Sanchez goal only to be suckerpunched by a late Boolasie strike to share the spoils.
The onslaught from Arsenal continued as the visitors having one of our old boys Flamini in their Ranks looked so poor in all honesty. Despite the chances though, we didn’t manage to score again in the 1sthalf until the half ended.
We began the 2ndHalf in similar fashion to how we ended it, Applying pressure to crack the visitors defence & grab a second. Benteke header aside early in the half, there wasn’t any threat coming from Crystal palace. And in the 55th min the pressure paid of as Iwobi Alex doubled the lead with a header.
The rest of the game was about Arsenal closing the game out and preserving the clean sheet. And when the final whistle rang out we had usurped Mancity to third place with 40 points. 9 points adrift of the leaders Chelsea who are on 49 points.
At the start of the Festive fixtures vs West brom on Boxing day, we faced a 6 game winnable string of matches in the form of Westbrom, Crystal palace, Bournemouth, Swansea, Burnley, Watford. The target was that if we could win them all and amass 18 points, that would make things Interesting going into our Clash with Chelsea in February.We have now secured 6 of those 18 points leaving 12 to be bagged. Fingers crossed we do it.
Next up is Bournemouth away. Another 3 points is imperative ..rotation will be very much in order going into that..It may see the return of Mustafi and Ozil who missed this game due to illness.
Here’s to more success to all readers of this blog in 2017 may all your dreams materialize, also here’s hoping for success for The ARSENAL IN TERMS OF BIG TROPHIES…