Arsenal 2-1 Reading
Just what the doctor ordered really, and we certainly showed how funky and strong our fight is yesterday after three straight defeats. The best way to warm up for any big game is to win the game before it, and thatâ€™s what Arsenal did yesterday, albeit in our usual do-things-the-hard-way fashion.
Unfortunately I was elsewhere yesterday, but from what Iâ€™ve read and what Iâ€™ve heard we were pretty good in the second half without being spectacular, and a little slower in the first half. As Wenger pointed out, unlike many teams, Reading came to play, and they deserve credit for that. In these circumstances you need to show them that you’re really not scared, you’re playin’ with your life, this ain’t no truth or dare. They’ll kick you, then they beat you, then they’ll tell you it’s fair. So beast it, but you wanna be bad.
Right, that’s quite enough of that.
Seriously, we might be unbeaten at the Grove, and we might have won five consecutive league games at home, but why do we start so slowly, so often? The average time at home our first goal has been scored this season is 56 minutes. The average time our first goal has been conceded at home? 32 minutes.
With Henry, van Persie, Adebayor and Aliadiere missing the starting line-up I shouldnâ€™t be too hard on them, but itâ€™s a common theme and itâ€™s one of those things we need to work on for next season (alongside scoring more goals from front to back and giving away fewer goal starts).
So Clichy won a justified penalty (no team has had more than us apparently), which stand-in centre-back Gilberto converted, before Bap bundled his way through for number two. Fabregas scored the third goal with a deft back heel, sadly in the wrong net, before Lehmann saved the day with a fine save at the death from Sidwell.
Weâ€™re now well placed for third, but nobodyâ€™s thinking about the league now, as weâ€™ve got a toughie on Wednesday. If you take the amount of times weâ€™ve conceded at home this season as a guide (13 if youâ€™re asking), and our recent scoring/conceding record (three goals scored in five games, with five conceded since you ask), then youâ€™ll see why itâ€™s such a tough game. If PSV score we will need to score three times, and weâ€™ve not scored a lot of goals recently. You can bet your auntieâ€™s dentures that PSV will play with that fact very much at the forefront of their minds. Sit back, soak pressure, hit us on the break.
Something to think about, but in the meantime, well played the lads yesterday. A win is a win is a win.