Friday, February 12, 2010

Tale of 2 Half's against Liverpool

Funny old game football is. We play awful against Liverpool, but get a goal and a victory and we play well against Chelsea and don't score. Arsenal had about 200 less passes against Liverpool than Chelsea (382 attempted passes, 79% successful, and 503 attempted passes against Chelsea, at 80.5% successful). Liverpool came to Arsenal choosing to play like Chelsea and hit Arsenal on the break. The only problem is that Liverpool do not break quickly, and do not have the likes of Didier Drogba (or Fernando Torres). Liverpool actually out possessed Arsenal, but it was Arsenal who came away with the victory thanks to a header by Abou Diaby after good work from Nicklas Bendtner and Tomas Rosicky. Arsenal had a much better second half after a tentative and boring first half, which was so boring that Bendtner's shot over the bar and Fabregas' long range effort were the highlights of the first half on Match of the Day. One reason Arsenal had a better second half was due to the increase of passing in the final third, in the middle. Arsenal didn't do that in the first half, but created more chances in the second half.
Fabregas was able to play more in the middle and higher up the pitch in the second half, and it's his run and pass to Bendtner that sets up the Arsenal goal. During that passage of play, he made a run that drew attention from the Liverpool defenders, leaving Diaby to be unmarked.

by Guardian Chalkboards
Arsenal now have a week until their next game, Porto away in the Champions League. Eduardo should be back, but Arshavin might miss out with a hamstring and Song had some medial knee ligament issues, but Arsene hopes he's back in a week.

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