We did our bit. We beat Burnley, just about. Not to scintillating a performance but a win nonetheless. That led me to feel as though we Gooners could have enjoyed Super Sunday with relatively little stress involved. How wrong I was. Watching on in the QPR v Chelsea game I was rather getting into the notion that it could well be back on. 80 minutes in and it didn’t look like Chelsea were capable of scoring. No shots on target and they looked worried at the prospect of no recognised strikers on the bench to change things. I thought the draw was on here and if anything QPR could well nick it. And that’s it right there. The hope. The shimmering light in the distance that is the door that could have been left ajar for us, firmly slammed shut by no other than Cesc Fabregas. Narratively poetic as far as the British media will be concerned but absolutely sickening for us.
The result means they are 7 clear with a game in hand. They will need to draw 2 and lose to us in addition to us winning our remaining games just to take it to a goal difference battle. I can see Chelsea maybe drawing a couple and even losing to us but I’m just not sure we can win every one of our games left. I hope we can and feel we are good enough to with our remaining fixtures but that game at Old Trafford just screams out as a draw to me. We then had the Manchester derby, where a draw would have been ideal. At least that would ensure the weekend ended well. Things started nicely with City taking the lead as I felt they had to score first to have a chance, United then scored one of the luckiest goals of the season to get back into it as City were all over them like a rash. It finished 4-2 with United getting 2 offside goals and Ashley Young assisting himself of his arse to add to it. United have been playing pretty well recently but they do always have some luck don’t they? Liverpool turned over Newcastle and are now only 4 points behind City, which slightly opens the door for 4th for them. Imagine City not finishing at least 4th? That would be strange and I’m not actually sure whether I’d prefer City or Liverpool to finish 4th (or United for that matter) but I don’t particularly care either. So long as we do our bit and keep on winning.
And so ended a weekend to leave us as we were, the difference now being that we are 5 points clear of City. They have Sp*rs and Southampton to play and we have Chelsea and United so taking those games out of the equation as anything can happen in them, we should have enough to finish at least 3rd this season. 2nd place will come down to the clash at Old Trafford as well as the Chelsea v United game. I think the fixtures are slightly kinder to us than United so we should take advantage and look to finish 2nd. The momentum is with us at the moment and an FA Cup semi final should maintain the motivation. Winning that is key in order to ensure a strong finish to the season.
I can’t help but look back at the season to certain games where we well and truly threw points away and think we really should have been properly in the title race. I think of Hull at home, Swansea away, United at home, Liverpool away and Sp*rs at home. There are at least 8 points there that we should have taken, and that’s me being conservative in my estimations. Beating Hull, Liverpool and Sp*rs and getting at least a point vs United and Swansea would have put us a point ahead of Chelsea albeit them having a game in hand. But it would have put us in the race. I think in the early part of the season we hadn’t quite found our feet yet and Wenger was still trying to find the best combination of players to suit our game. Unfortunately it seems to have come a little too late so far as the league is concerned, but I can’t help but think “what if?”. Thankfully we have a trip to Wembley to look forward to and fingers crossed we can do the business against Reading. They will try and play football more than Bradford would have so it will suit us a little better, so I think we should have enough to beat them and try and retain our trophy from last season.
Coming back to our game vs Burnley this weekend, it was a performance of true grit and Francis Coquelin embodied that with a magnificent display. He was there to cut out any counter attacking moves and covered for a few mistakes from others. The shield he provided was incredible and apart from a period between minutes 60-70 Burnley never really looked like scoring a goal. The last 20 minutes were quite pedestrian and the most ‘comfortable stress’ we’ve had this season if you know what I mean. We held on and really could have had another goal to make it a little easier but we can’t always play pretty football and it’s good to know that we can still produce a result when we don’t. It was the ‘perfect’ banana skin game for the Arsenal of old but thankfully we were able to avoid it and come away unscathed.
The final point I want to make is that of Rui Faria acting like a complete tosser and epitomising why I despise Chelsea football club. What sort of man gets in the face of a devastated manager trying to keep his team in the Premier League? It was completely unprovoked and it’s not even as if QPR parked the bus, they in fact had the best chances to win the game and Chelsea’s goal was their first shot on target. They have an eye gouging from behind complete coward of a manager, a hideous excuse of a human being as an assistant to him and are captained by an openly racist home wrecker. It’s incredible to think these buffoons are looked up to by thousands. An embarrassment to the game and as I said earlier, a huge reason why I despise the club. Class cannot be bought as they might well think.
Have a great week people!
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