Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Burnley 1-1 Arsenal: 2 points dropped

Arsenal away to Burnley just a few days after a trip to Anfield was always going to be tough match, and it certainly was. But it could have been quite different since Arnseal had three or four great chances on the first half and only scored one. The Burnley defence was poor for the first twenty minutes. Fabregas brilliantly played through Burnley’s defence to score the goal but was through early, in less then a minute and then muscled off the ball. Just a minute after his goal he was through again, but shot into the side netting. Nasri, also collected a pass over the top but a combination of his shirt being tugged and his poor touch let him down. And then Arshavin hit the post. Yet Arsenal also looking ragged at the back; Silvestre was burned down the wing, Vermalen back header that was caused through Almunia’s lack of communication was saved by Almunia and then a poor challenge by Vermalen resulted in a penalty and a one –one tie at half time. Despite the goal scoring chances, Arsenal were not looking sharp. Their passing was not that good, and when Fabregas went off with a hamstring injury it didn’t improve. They lacked the movement through the middle and Arshavin was isolated. Again played against the physicality of the Burnley team and came up second. In the second half, Burnley looked the sharper for a while, hitting the bar and having a goal ruled off side; where Almunia was on the cross, god only knows but gain he looked jittery in goal. Walcott had a chance but almost inexplicably side footed it over the bar, way over; he had a few runs but was beaten to easily. Eduardo came on for Walcott (who again seemed rusty) but did little perhaps it would have been better to bring on Vela, but for all the “attacking options” there now seems a problem scoring goals, or at least the days of 3, 4 or 6 are over; when Eduardo had a chance one on one on a 50-50 ball he seemed to back away from the big fella Jensen. Lack of confidence or simply fear? Again explicably, it was Silvestre who was up in the attacking third making the crosses—why? In all it was a bit disjointed, a little bit panicky at the back and mid field lacked precision made worse without Fabregas; not the free flowing football that we have come to expect. Over all a poor performance, Song again shone as the hard worker but there are few positives to take from the game, which we should have won if we have title aspirations.

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