"We dominated completely the first half, we were sharp and composed with a great attitude and and our two-nil lead was well deserved. In the second half we struggled for 20 minutes but when we scored the third the game as over."
- Arsene Wenger, chuffed at the win
Beautiful things happen at night. The stars come out and the moon gives everything a silvery sheen. Your senses become heightened and the smell of roses quickens the heart. Possums crawl up power lines and electrocute themselves. And the Arsenal thump Portsmouth 3-0.
It's one of those games that leave you wondering what could've been. We play great football at the strangest times. Around November, we beat Man Utd 2-1 in the Premier League when our season looked shot, and yet last week we lose insipidly at Old Trafford 0-1 when we're playing for a spot in the Champions League final. We play well against Portsmouth, Middlesborough etc., at the end of the season when we're 4th, while we were dropping those matches earlier in the season when we were still challenging for the title.
It does your head in.
Still, a 3-0 win is a 3-0 win, and let's not look a gifthorse in the mouth. It secures 4th place. It increases our unbeaten run in the league. It gives Bendtner his first goals in ever so long. And it boosts our fragile egos and gives us hope for the second leg tie against Utd, which is most important. Despite our fabled "mental strength", we tend to fold like umbrellas on a windy day.
Let's hope the Arsenal can replicate this form on the Tuesday. And we should seriously consider splicing Arshavin's head and spinal cord to Diaby's body for the game. An Arshaby monster would still be 75% Diaby, so he wouldn't be cup-tied, and we'd have the Owl's brain pulling the strings for the Arsenal.
In other news, Stan Kroenke's increased his stake in the Arsenal to 28%. He's now the largest shareholder at Arsenal, and in conjunction with Danny Fizsman's share, has the majority share. It's good news, because Kroenke's a serious businessman and in it to make Arsenal successful and wealthy - unlike Peter Hill-Wood, who's only in it for the free champagne and padded seats at the Emirates.
So even if we do go out of the Champions League on Tuesday, at least we'll have something to look forward to - an Arsenal that's not run by cigar-chomping, embarrassing Etonian toffs who don't have a clue about running a modern football club. And what's gong to happen to Peter Hill-Wood? Well, we don't want his sort here.