And I bet Leicester City can’t stop smiling.
A great game for the neutral I’m sure, not so much fun for the biased onlooker with high hopes and rising expectations.
Coq by name…
It’d be very easy to divide this frantic 90 minutes into pre and post Coquelin but it’s more complicated than that.
The 90 minutes
In a large nutshell, we dominated the first fifteen minutes without reward, Wenger’s tactic of picking two defensive midfielders may have gone against type but it allowed the Goons to claw their way back into the game with Wellbeck causing problems, and even, after Ramsey’s spawny opener in the run up to half time, look sporadically dangerous.
After the break we looked devoid of inspiration and struggled to keep possession. It was all a bit timid until Harry took the ball down the line, beat one and was then unceremoniously sliced in two by Coquelin for his second booking and a rest from his team’s trip to Hull on Tuesday.
The next fifteen minutes replicated the first. Wenger did nothing to bolster his now outnumbered midfield and we piled forward except that this time we made it count. First Toby hammered home from close range after a corner hadn’t been cleared and then Kane, after Alli had chased down a seemingly lost ball and back heeled it to the masked hero, put us in front.
His little run and curled shot across Ospina was the stuff of dreams. An extraordinary effort. The ground was now rocking like it only ever does on these occasions and it seemed inevitable that we’d get the killer third but we couldn’t force the ball over the line. We ran out of puff and Sanchez nicked the equaliser.
Things could’ve been worse; Wimmer’s late tackle on Ramsey (what a tosser that bloke is) saved us, or things could’ve been a lot better – at the other end Gabriel’s mistimed clearance had everyone waiting for the ball to drop over Ospina and into the net but it just cleared the bar instead.
Pass the Horlicks Erik
We didn’t play well and it’s slightly concerning. There was a lack of crispness in our passing and little spark up front. Dembélé and Alli are clearly not fit and our lack of pace through the centre was exposed, as it was on Wednesday. There were two periods when we were hugely on top, there were no periods when we were under the cosh. I’ve not seen the stats but am sure we had more possession and chances. They went down to ten, we were in front… but we drew. I’ve already seen several suggestions that it was tiredness that allowed the filth back into the game. It’s a possibility but ignores the facts that we were the stronger team in the closing stages of the games against West Ham and Swansea. Wenger filled his team with fresh players to combat our energy levels.
20 goal Harry
The disappointment should be tempered with the positives to be drawn, the main two being the fantastic goal from Kane, and the fact that we were the better team for long periods and overall. Nine games left but all of a sudden our run in looks a lot more attractive than it was.
This was a tough week and it hasn’t gone well and it’s a bugger that we’re five points back now but, as the players are fond of saying, ‘we go again’.
After the minor matter of Dortmund on Thursday it’s Villa away next week, we could hardly ask for a better way to begin another run of wins.
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