Sinning in Ukraine

Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Arsenal

For some inexplicable reason, I didn’t switch the TV on to watch the game until mid-way through the second half. I was presented with an Arsenal side on the back foot being assaulted by a Kiev side 1-0 up and with a spring in their step. It wasn’t a nice thing to be presented with.

Gallas’s late and scrappy strike (his third in this season’s Champions League already) rescued Arsenal a decent point. Some Arsenal fans were super-expectant after three straight wins with eleven goals scored and none conceded, but I think a draw is a good result. And before you shoot me down, I know – Kiev haven’t won in the Champions League for donkey’s years. I’m just saying that an away draw is a good result in most circumstances in the Champions League.

It shouldn’t have been so hairy, as Arsenal had good chances in the first half, but there you go. Chances get missed sometimes, and by your top strikers too.

We shouldn’t have been 1-0 down either, as the penalty was as soft as they come.

At the end of the match, Wenger was railing against the treatment afforded to Theo Walcott, and rightly so. There was one slicing effort to bring him down towards the end of the game that even Theo exploded about – and for Theo to explode is quite something. Wenger accused the Kiev defender of trying to “destroy” Walcott and added that “The referee should have sent the left back off three times during the game”.

Clearly Kiev had done their ‘homework’ and targeted Walcott. A desperate approach but I think one we’ll see more and more of, in Europe and domestically. He’s going to have to get used to it.

He was also railing against the referee’s lack of time added on, but when a manager vents his spleen about that you know it’s 99% down to frustration. We should have scored, but we didn’t. We shouldn’t have conceded, but we did. We played well in the first half, but unwound a bit in the second.

Mental note to self: Take chances when they come along.

On a separate note, was Sagna injured? For a right-back to be substituted – and sustituted for Eboue too, oh the ignominy – something must have tweaked or gone.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.