Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Brilliant Bounce Back

I don't think anyone could have asked for a better response from Arsenal tonight. The early goal from Chamakh set things up nicely and a comfortable 3-0 lead saw us head in at half time with the tie in the palms of our hands. Nicklas Bendtner showed the clinical touch that we would like to see more than ever with van Persie out during this important period. I know we were only playing Leyton Orient but that's the best I've seen Bendtner and Chamakh play together as I was starting to think they aren't suited to playing in the same team.

And a collector's item from Gael Clichy was the cherry on the cake, which I must say was brilliantly taken. All the finishes were very nice tonight but I think Clichy's just pipped Bendtner's second.

Arsenal were excellent going forward, although looked shaky at the back. But to be fair Squillaci was playing and Miquel was impressive at the back. I'm not concerned about that, what I was impressed with was Almunia's aerial ability tonight, as he claimed a few crosses and corners very well. He did have one scary moment just before half- time but you could argue he did the right thing, forcing the player out wide where he could only fling a hopeful cross in.

Conor Henderson deserves a mention as he was very tidy. He didn't do anything spectacular, but he did the simple things expertly and kept the ball well. I think he was out of his preferred position too. I could see a bit of Jack Wilshere in him.

The most positive thing from tonight, other than the result and the fact that we bounced back so clinically and calmly, was Nicklas Bendtner's hat-trick. His header was brilliant, climbing excellently with perfect execution, his second goal was lovely, cutting in and firing into the far corner (pity a similar chance he had vs B'ham on Sunday didn't go in like that though!). His penalty was perfect as well and summed up his fantastic performance. Ironic that he gets so much criticism from pundits and some fans yet he has actually got more hat-trick's for the club than Robin van Persie, having played less than him. He is a fabulous player in the making aslong as he gets games and doesn't get too far ahead of himself mentally.

Match Ratings:

Almunia 7
Eboue 5
Squillaci 5
Miquel 7
Gibbs 7
Denilson 6
Diaby 7
Rosicky 6
Bendtner 9
Henderson 7
Chamakh 7

Nasri 7
Wilshere 7
Clichy 8

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