What a turnaround.
The ground has not yet experienced a bundle so messy as the one that ensued following Henry’s 93rd minute winner today. Eboue crosses, Henry nods it, bundle occurs. I lose my programme, and my voice. Neither have returned.
To be frank, I’d have settled for 1-1 once van Persie levelled things, but we went for the jugular and our boldness paid off. Henry, who had been a menace – if not at his menacing best – dispatched the winning goal, a present on a plate from Eboue, with glee.
In fairness, it was a cat-and-mouse and extremely close encounter, and as I suspected beforehand, one that could have gone either way. United, especially in the first half of the first half, took the game to us, but our side visibly grew as the game went on, and it’s not easy to pick one Arsenal player over another in terms of performance today.
Adebayor was fabulous, Flamini covered ground and was wonderfully tenacious, Clichy was excellent, Lehmann made several key saves at the tail end of the first half, and Eboue’s crossing and general attacking play were crucial. (There was one point when he reprimanded O’Ronald for diving – something of a pot/kettle/black situation).
But for me, it was yet again 19-year-old Cesc Fabregas whose overall game was just a joy to watch. He never panics, he finds space when you wouldn’t think it was there, he can pass short and he can pass long, and if he’s worth anything less than £30m already, then I’m a Dutchman. He was magnificent.
Only downside of course is van Persie’s damaged metatarsenal. He’s out for a good six weeks which removes a massive source of goals. Still, there’s not much we can do about that now.