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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Sunderland?

As predicted, it was an experimental Arsenal side that lined up to play against Sunderland in the North East yesterday, with Arsene Wenger taking the opportunity to try out different personnel both in defence and midfield.

Lukasz Fabianski was again given the task of being the custodian of the goalkeepers' gloves and he was called into action within seconds of kick off when Carlos Edwards let fly with a vicious drive from about 20 yards out.

Apart from a few minor slip-ups, however, the back four of Johan Djourou, Alex Song, Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy coped well against the Black Cats who rarely threatened the visitors' goal.

In what was hopefully a sign of things to come, Theo Walcott added to his goals tally for the Gunners, with his seventh goal of the season being the only strike that mattered in the final game of the season, although substitute Mark Randall wrongly had a goal chalked off in what was his Premier League debut...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 12, 2008 11:57 AM in Match Report| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Everton?

A 1-0 victory over Everton on Sunday ensured Arsenal kept their home record intact by riding out the season without losing a single game at Emirates Stadium.

The tempo of the match resembled something akin to an exhibition match, but it had one significant highlight, when Arsene Wenger introduced Jens Lehmann with 20 minutes still to play, giving the big German stopper his final appearance in an Arsenal top. And the reception that was afforded Mad Jens was truly fitting, as he has been a great servant to the club.

The traditional parade by the first team squad following the final whistle also saw Mathieu Flamini appear on the pitch, just hours before his announcement that he has signed a four-year deal with AC Milan. The antics of his fellow professionals as he walked the lap of honour made it obvious that the Flamster was leaving and unfortunately there were signs that Alexander Hleb might also be saying farewell, although that transfer saga may also take some time to resolve.

On the pitch, Everton should be given some credit, as they brought the game to the Gunners and Lukasz Fabianski had to be on his toes to make some smart saves before his team mates began to find their rhythm...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 6, 2008 7:36 AM in Match Report| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Derby?

Arsenal strolled to victory at Derby last night, but while our football was pretty to watch, the frailties that have left us trophyless this season were all too apparent again.

Yes, we had a weakened side out against the Rams, but they are the worst team the Premier League has ever seen and yet they still managed to score two goals against us. That's only the fourth time Derby had scored more than once in the league this season.

Lukasz Fabianski made his league debut, but I can't fault the Pole in the goal for either of Derby's efforts, as that was more down to our defenders losing their concentration - something that has happened all too frequently this season.

At the other end of the pitch, Emmanuel Adebayor hit a hat trick to take his goal tally to 30 for the season, with Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner notching the others, but it could - and should - have been so much more, with only woeful finishing, notably from RvP and Theo, letting us down...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 29, 2008 9:58 AM in Match Report| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Reading?

Arsenal returned to winning ways on Saturday as they cruised against Reading to run out 2-0 winners.

The atmosphere at the ground was a bit like a pre-season friendly and it was obvious that with nothing left to play for but pride this season, many Gooners had decided to stay away from the match. The announcement that the attendance was 60,109 was farcical given the fact that thousands of empty seats could be seen around the stadium.

But down to the game itself. Reading very rarely found themselves in Arsenal's half, never mind threatening to score, but on the odd occasion when they did make it to our penalty area, Jens Lehmann kept his concentration to keep a clean sheet.

Goals by Emmanuel Adebayor and Gilberto (albeit via a deflection) killed the game before the interval, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that I would have liked to have seen a few more goals in the second half and again I believe it backs us Gooners who are calling for a striker to be among Arsene Wenger's summer signings...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 21, 2008 10:23 AM in Match Report| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Liverpool?

So the first of Arsenal's trio of games against Liverpool ended all square, but as with the draw in the first leg against AC Milan, the Gunners can take heart knowing that they were the better team on the pitch.

The visitors created very little, while Arsenal had 65% of the possession, but failed to convert that advantage into goals and must therefore travel to Merseyside next week knowing that they need to score to progress to the semi finals of the Champions League.

Before that they host Liverpool again on Saturday and a more steely and clinical approach in that game could still hand Arsene Wenger a psychological edge before Tuesday's away game, although we may have to do without Robin Van Persie who, once again, limped off and failed to finish the game.

The Dutchman was looking a bit sharper in the 45 minutes that he did play, while his replacement, Theo Walcott, also looked lively. Elsewhere last night, Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini controlled the midfield well, while Gael Clichy and Philippe Senderos shone in defence. And it was good to see Alexander Hleb actually running at a defence for once. He should have won the Gunners a penalty, but the referee was not in the mood for any big decisions last night.

Ahead of Saturday's game, share your thoughts here on who Arsenal's best player was last night.. Or simply vote for you Man Of The Match by selecting his name and clicking on Vote.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 3, 2008 9:25 AM in Champions League| Match Report| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Bolton?

At 2-0 down on Saturday with Arsenal reduced to 10 men, following Abou Diaby's sending off, many Gooners must have been thinking what might have been, but luckily some inspirational half time words from Le Gaffer seemed to remind his troops of what they are capable off and they pulled off a remarkable comeback.

Coming back from 2-0 down away from home is a hard enough task at the best of times, but to do it agaist our bogey side, Bolton, when we played the last hour a man down was nothing short of maginificent.

The realist in me is asking why the team could bot have shown such spirit a few weeks ago, but as Arsene Wenger pointed out after the match, there is still a long way to go to the end of the season and anything is possible.

If you didn't get the chance to watch the highlights of the game, then I'd urge you to do so, but for those who did see some coverage, vote here for who you thought was the key player in sparking the Gunners comeback.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 31, 2008 2:12 PM in Match Report| News| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Chelsea?

Once again Didier Drogba was on hand to break Arsenal hearts at the weekend and it's taken me until now to write about the subject as it hurt that much.

Sunday's defeat now means that the Gunners haven't won a Premier League fixture in five games and that simply is not good enough for a team that has title ambitions. There will be some twists to come in the run in to the end of the season, but I'm of the opinion that we are simply playing for pride now, as I cannot see Manchester United making the same mistakes that we have made.

For a while at the weekend I thought we might be about to relieve Chelski of their impressive unbeaten home record, which now stretches back over four years, but in the end it was the Ivory Coast striker who made the difference, albeit with two controversial goals - one offside and the other following a push on his fellow Ivorian Kolo Toure.

Bacary Sagna took his goal very well, but the goal drought for Emmanuel Adebayor continues and our lack of firepower upfront was all too obvious to see. Time to bring in a new striker? Yes, I think it is.

Anyway, it wasn't an abysmal performance against our west London rivals, so if you can muster up the energy, vote here for the player who think deserves our Man Of The Match accolade.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 25, 2008 11:10 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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