Russia 0-0 Arsenal
I think we made a point last night, literally and metaphorically.
Another fine, resilient, performance means that Chelski will now have to wait a wee bit longer for their party. The title is deservedly theirs, but I think we showed that there is very little to choose between the two sides, especially when our defence is back on form, as it was last night.
Ashley Cole won the man of the match award with a classic Cole display, a mixed blessing if ever there was one. As The Standard points out, he’s far and away the best left-back in the country. Unfortunately for us, he’s well aware of that.
Close behind him was Philippe Senderos, the key ingredient to our defensive renaissance over the last month or so. He was superb last night; tackling, mopping up, looking every bit the central defender we would have otherwise had to buy this summer. He kept Sol on the bench, which says something. No complaints in the middle either, where Pires was even tracking back. Amazing stuff.
Up front we didn’t offer much, but the opposition has only conceded 12 goals this season.
They’re not far away now, Chelski. In fact, assuming they beat Fulham at home on Saturday, we face the unedifying prospect on Monday night of having a say in their title party. Should London’s third team come and get a point or more at Highbury, the shindig can begin in SW6.
And finally, more bitterness at the hands of the FA.
The bulk of the tickets for the cup final have been priced at – get a stiff whisky and wait for it – £65 and £90, with a ‘limited availability’ of tickets at the paltry prices of £50 and £25.
Given that the most expensive ticket for the semi was something like £55, this seems a bit rich. Accuse me of being cynical if you like, but I get the sense that, because it’s an Arsenal v Man U final, they’ve bumped prices up.
Do we honestly think that, had Blackburn made it, tickets would have cost £90? They’d have only brought about 500 fans, so I doubt it.
And finally, worrying developments at Emirates Grove. According to their new batch of pictures, “A 300-ton crawler crane [is] seen behind the smaller ‘slave’ crane, which is used to dismantle another the 400-ton crane.” Technology has got to the point where cranes are dismantling cranes, it seems. As far as I’m concerned, it’s another small step towards robots taking over the world.