Monday, October 5, 2009

Arsenal 6, Blackburn 2

"When we are confident we have a flow that looks like the goals will come at any moment and from anywhere. There is something in the side that is lighthearted and enjoyable to watch. Why? Because they enjoy to play together and that for me is the most important."

- Arsene Wenger, after the match

For a 6-2 win, we were remarkably shaky.

Going forward, we cut Blackburn to ribbons. On the wide Emirates pitch, our superior touch and control really made a difference. Rosicky and the Owl played well on the wings, Cesc was brilliant in the middle, and van Persie was involved and looked good in the centre-forward position. We scored six goals, and we could easily have had more.

Going back, we were a bit of a shambles. We got lucky. We conceded weak goals. We conceded the lead twice, but were able equalize both times. Our pressing game was good when it lasted, but but committing so many players forward, it left us swamped at the back. It's a bit bemusing when you win 6-2 and you dwell on the defense, but that's the Arsenal way - we like to put on a show at both ends of the pitch.

One curio is that Vito Mannone has been in the first team a number of games now, and he's doing fairly well. Yes, he makes mistakes, but he's young enough to learn from them. Considering the competition, he's certainly done enough to keep his place when Almunia and Fabianski recover from their injuries.

It's going to be an interesting few weeks. Any chance that Almunia's "chest infection" will linger over into January, at which point he'll be transferred to a Spanish club for "health reasons"? The milder climate in Spain must be much better for the lungs, you know.

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