Saturday, April 18, 2009

Arsenal - Half Full

Just finished watching our 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup Semifinals, and I'm not exactly surprised.

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say it's a good thing this happened now, ahead of our heavyweight Champion's League bout with Man U.

The boys have been spectacular lately, but going into this one against a much healthier Chelsea side, who has also been on an incredible streak, well, I think I already said I'm not entirely surprised.

And it's no shock the fatal blow came from infamous Arsenal killer, Didier Drogba.

Our deputy goalkeeper and birthday boy, Fabianski, did his best Senderos deer-in-headlights impression as Drogba sidestepped him for the winning goal after easily shaking off old man Silvestre.

Damn you, Drogba! You done gone and did it again.

It was billed as the clash of London–two teams on the rise, after picking themselves up off the mat and finding belief in the darkest hours of seasons on the brink of collapse.

Perhaps, we were just letting the hype get to our heads a bit.
Surely, our Frankenstein defense was going to let us down sooner or later.

I missed almost the entire first half due to my son's soccer practice and a major scheduling screw-up. I had planned to watch the big game on a big screen at a local pub with a Setanta feed but that fell through and I was forced to watch on the internet. I really dislike watching on the internet - the small, stuttering screen makes it impossible to get a feel for the rhythm  of the game.

We were up 1-0, thanks to a Walcott goal, when I finally tuned in just in time to see Chelsea even the score through Malouda's shot–also misplayed by Fabianski.

I saw most of the second half but I never felt the pulse and I was surprised that we were doing so little and still hanging around.

Post match stats say we had only four shots on goal to Chelsea's 13.

It didn't appear that Adebayor or Van Persie were imposing themselves on the game so I didn't mind seeing them replaced, and it's not Bendtner's fault that Drogba scored right after he came on.

We were always going to need something a little extra special for this one, a little bit of magic, but Wenger started our best magician, Arshavin, on the bench.

Still scratching my head over that one...

What can you do?

I hope we can turn this into a wake-up call for the Champion's League.

And we go out there and beat Man U.

That's what we can do.

That would go a long way toward making this defeat feel not so bad.

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