Pic courtesy of @agsibley
Arsenal 1-0 Everton
And so it was (and in hindsight, so it was always going to be) that on Arsenal’s 125th birthday party the score was one-nil to the Arsenal. That was a nice touch, eh?
To top it off, it wasn’t just any old bog standard, common-or-garden winning goal, it was a veritable van Persie humdinger; a sumptuous volley right up there in execution with the one he scissored in all those years ago at the Valley. It lit the place up like a Catherine Wheel. If most of his goals are Austin Princesses, then this one was an Ambassador Vanden Plas, [dreadful cars both – rewrite, Ed].
Honestly, if you watch it again and again and again you will on each occasion find another nuance to it to amaze and astound you. I might have to get a duvet cover made out of it. Come on Arsenal – if you’ve now got ‘Dench’ in your merchandising catalogue, you can go the extra mile and make me a van Persie duvet cover (single – there’s no way I’d get a double past control and I might get relegated to the sofa bed anyway). As it was, that goal was well dench.
Caveat: I was not, as some of you will know, at the game. Instead, I was ensconced in Clown Town at a children’s party (my own child’s party, to clarify). Now you know what, I love the little blighter to bits but this will go down as a calamitous failure of organisation on my part. Let’s be quite open about it: with a little less cotton wool between my ears I could have avoided dishing out fish fingers and scrabbling around trying to locate children who have climbed into the rafters of the soft play area, and instead, I could have been at the proper party. Six does not have a patch on one hundred and twenty-five.
So all the jamboree before the match; the bands and the statues and the line-up of old luminaries and the ‘125’ cards raised high (I should have been hoisting one of those above my head – oh woe, oh woe) obviously passed me by entirely. When I zoom in on the 360 panorama on Monday, it will feature not me, but my cousin (who cannot probably believe his luck and is this very moment toasting my incompetency). Seriously though, I hear the whole day was well done from top to bottom. When the club wants to do tradition, it does it rather well and massive credit where it is due.
The rest of the game – as much as you can glean from Sky’s Football First and Match du Jour – was a tale of missed opportunities, with very presentable chances squandered by Walcott, Gervinho and Ramsey, but none of this strikes me as particularly relevant in the grand scheme of things.
What matters is that Arsenal turned 125, Robin van Persie scored an eye-waterer and we won one nil.