Nerves surrounded the Emirates at 19:45, the crowd, the players, the coaches, Wenger, and even Gazidis, after a poor performance at the weekend, with the media and fans on their backs being the primary reason for this. Come half-time the players had done little to change the ambience.
Filled with similar mistakes that we had witnessed on Saturday, the first half was fairly frustrating to say the least, once again. Defensive cock-ups, with defenders running around like headless-chickens, was to be combined with misplaced passes and abysmal shots from the forward players to summarise a bitterly disappointing display. A single bright spark in an array of darkness was the goal that took us to 1-0. Gervinho from the edge of the area took a reverse shot, with a heavy footed keeper nowhere near with his body weight having started travelling in the opposite direction. He should have done better. Once again I would call this a ‘hit and hope’ shot from Gerv. Although his fans would disagree. Perhaps I’m doubting that he has shear intelligence when It comes to shots, but on the basis of 90% of his attempts I shall stick with my analogy.
Shortly after this goal, and the momentary happiness it brought with it, we were brought back to reality with a deafening blow as what was neatly taken header hit flew past Mannone for 1-1. I doubt he could have done much… But he dived without his hands out; something I’ve not seen before. A catalog of errors epitomised our defensive frailties once more. No doubt Big Sam will be very wary of these for our game against West Ham on Saturday.
Second half came, and a rollicking off Bould was past. It was as if all 11 players had been given a new lease of life. A better performance resulting in a well deserved couple of goals, although it wasn’t plain sailing and as Bould rightly said, his problems to sort out. By God he better sort them.
Goals from Podolski and Ramsey sealed the win, the first more lucky and the latter more classy.
Needless to say, we beat the best team in Greece. Spurs couldn’t even beat the second/third best team in a country in major decline. Once again, Arsenal prevail dominant.