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Fabianski – Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I always knew the lad had talent, lack of confidence was his problem. Now that confidence is on a high you can see the difference. Making world class saves, superb decision making, excellent on crosses and set pieces. Goodbye Almunia! (9)

Sagna – He was everywhere today. Superb defending and he was involved in nearly every attack as well. He sure has quite a stamina. And it seemed he’s been working on his crosses as well! (8)

Squillaci – Nothing special from him really but didn’t make any mistakes either. (7)

Djourou – Poor. Looked pretty shaky. His decision making and positioning wasn’t the best on plenty of occasions. Missed a simple header too. Not a good game. I can’t wait for Vermaelen and Koscielny to return. (6)

Clichy – Decent performance from him. Did get humiliated a couple of times in defence but other than that he was his usual self. Not bad. (6.5)

Song – His passing is still annoying and his renewed belief that he’s great going forward is a nuisance. But it did pay off today, fortunately. Got a good goal, great finish. (6.5)

Denilson – Worked really hard today. Good performance but I’ll have Wilshere over him any day. (7)

Fabregas – Our captain is just sheer class. What he adds to the team is priceless. His vision is exceptional, execution is always perfect. Missed a penalty but he made it up with his performance. (8.5)

Nasri – Excellent performance yet again from the Frenchman. He’s doing it week in week out. Scored a very well taken goal and got the assist for the 3rd goal. He’s a really skillful player and his ability to take on defenders is a treat to the eye. (9)

Arshavin – Saw some improvement today from his recent lackluster performances but still a long way to go to being back to his best. It was pleasing to see him tracking back today, something that has been his weak point from the start of his Arsenal career. He was pretty active in the attacks as well, good assist for Nasri’s opener. But he’s unable to take defenders on and beat them like he was in his early days and score some surprising goals which is worrying. (7)

Chamakh – The usual from our Moroccan. Good link up, decent runs, it was a tackle on him that resulted in the early red card. (7)

Substitutes:

Rosicky – Involved a lot since coming on but wasted an opportunity to shoot by trying to find Denilson. But it was probably because of his lack of confidence in front of goal; he hasn’t scored in quite a while. (6.5)

Walcott – Nothing to mention in his little cameo.

Bendtner – Great to see him back. He had a nice touch, movement was good and finishing was excellent. (7)

Arsenal ended a two match unbeaten run with an impressive performance at Old Trafford. It could easily have been a win had United not played with a back 10!

Following are the ratings of the Arsenal players for the match:

Fabianski – 7.5 – Arguably the best performance from the Pole this season. Flawless. He was confident when coming forward to intercept crosses and corners and courageously denied Tevez a golden opportunity.

Sagna – 7 – He is back in form now as he kept Rooney silent all match and was always present to support the attack.

Song – 8 – He was superb. Tackling, interceptions and distribution, everything brilliant.

Toure – 8 – As good as his partner.

Gibbs – 8 – I don’t remember Ronaldo getting past him even once during the match. And he didn’t commit any foul either. Terrific performance from the young lad yet again.

Nasri – 7.5 – He is a hard worker and the United defence sometimes had no answer to his skillful manouvres.

Denilson – 7.5 – A complete performance from the holding midfielder for the day. Kept it simple, didn’t try anything special and that helped him put up a decent performance.

Fabregas – 6.5 – The captain tried as hard as he could but nothing went his way. A bad day for him. I am surprised why does he not take the corners when Arshavin’s corners are quite poor compared to Fabregas’s.

Diaby – 6 – Nothing special from the young Frechman. But at least he didn’t give possession away as often as he usually does.

Arshavin – 6.5 – A poor performance by his standards! He was not as energetic as he usually is and that can be credited to the fact that he had not yet fully recovered from his illness.

van Persie – 7 – Worked his socks off in an unfamiliar role as the lone striker. But certainly that missed header was a golden opportunity that should have been taken.

Substitutes:

Walcott – 5 – Hardly did anything notable.

Bendtner – 5.5 – A bit better than Walcott but still not as good as one would have expected.

Eboue – 5.5

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Almunia – 7 – He showed today how much we missed him. Despite being out for some time, he did not let it show. A very solid performance and that save to deny Aliadiere was just world class. It’s great to have him back for the semi final against Manchester United.

Eboue – 7 – Good enough. It was a good decision of Arsene to play Eboue at right back ahead of Sagna as the latter was very poor in the mid-week. His passing was good and he had a wonderful assist as well (No wonder why Wenger called him ‘Pass Master’!). But he was looking too eager to go forward which can leave a gap at the back.

Toure and Silvestre – 7 – Hardly had anything to do but when they did they did not put a foot wrong.

Gibbs – 7.5 – Yet another superb performance. The youngster is impressing everyone with surprisingly good performances. He knows when to go forward, making aggressive runs; links up quite well with Arshavin and hardly lets anyone past him when defending.

Nasri – 6.5 – He can put in decent tackles like he showed today but I prefer an attacking role for him. He did give away the ball a few times today. But still not a bad performance.

Denilson – 6.5 – Short passes all match but it’s good because he doesn’t have enough quality for through balls and long passes that the likes of Fabregas, Arshavin and Nasri do. But he was the holding midfielder and did his job well enough today. Still I feel Song is better.

Arshavin – 8 – Pure class. To come to the Premier League, then put up such world class performances in every single match is just amazing. Hats off to the lad.

Fabregas – 8.5 – He is just too good. His range of passing, vision and he even showed some cool finishing today. Amazing.

Walcott – 6.5 – He is always a constant threat to the opposition but sometimes his decision making lets him down. Passing the ball when he should be taking the defender on or the other way around . Also his first touch is quite poor at times and he needs to improve his crossing. No one is going to head crosses that come at 100 miles an hour. But he has immense talent no doubt about that so he will learn. His ability to take on defenders is a big big asset.

Bendtner – 7 – He worked really hard today. But he is a forward so he should play where the forward is supposed to be and not shift to the wing too often. Still it was one of the better performances from the young Dane.

Substitutes:

Djourou – 7 – He was good enough. Maybe because he hardly had anything to do! I would prefer him over Silvestre anytime, especially on Wednesday against Manchester United.

Diaby – 6.5 – Got a little time but he was quite intent on going forward an troubling the Boro defence. I know most wont agree but I rate him higher than Denilson.

Adebayor – 5 – Looked very rusty after returning from some time out due to injury. Couldn’t threaten the defence or keeper and wasted a good opportunity because of a poor touch.

The closest Arsenal came to scoring

The closest Arsenal came to scoring

Cardiff, Everton, West Ham and now Tottenham. 4 straight draws and Arsenal are now 7 points behind Aston Villa. The Gunners now face an uphill task of  securing the Champions League spot. It seems quite unlikely now.

It was Arsenal who held Spurs to a draw and not Arsenal being held to a draw. Arsenal were dominated for most periods of the match and in the end a last minute save by Almunia saved the point.

The first half started with the hosts dominating. Slowly Arsenal seemed to get back into it and showed glimpses of brilliance, the Arsenal which we all want to see. Eboue looked full of energy but the hype of the ocassion got to him. First yellow carded for dissent for sheer stupidity and then stupidity once again earned him a second yellow and a red. The player let the fans, the manager and his teammates down. Then on Spurs had the numerical advantage and soon after the sending off Adebayor had to go off, injuring his hamstring. It seemed it just wasn’t our day. Half time approached and we did not have a single shot on goal. But we had our chances and we unfairly denied a clear goal by Eboue.

Nasri had a great first half

Nasri had a great first half

The second half saw more of the same, but even more domination by Spurs. Half chance after half chance but no real clear cut chance for either side. Spurs came closest to scoring with a Robbie Keane header just over the bar. Song also had a shot from a corner just outside the post. van Persie’s effort from a corner went wide. Right at the end Arsenal seemed to have given Spurs a big blow but Bendtner’s shot saved by Cudicini. And then on the counter Modric got a one on one with Almunia, only to be denied by a world class save by Almunia. But it was a poor finish by Modric too.

No Arshavin all match seemed very surprising. The Russian wasn’t match fit so Wenger didn’t start him. Fine. But why not give him 20 30 minutes?! Arsenal were looking poor at the end and needed Arshavin if they were to win. But it was as if Wenger was happy with a draw and Arshavin did not come on. We were lucky to get a draw in the end.

Wenger was a frustrated man at the end especially angered at the disallowed goal:

“I feel it is two points dropped because we had the best chances and we scored a regular goal that was ruled out by an illusionary foul seen by only the referee. I watched it three times on television and I still don’t see what was wrong. That is why at the end of the day it’s frustrating.”

Player Ratings:

Almunia – 8 – Had it not been for him, it would have been yet another defeat for Arsenal.

Sagna – 8 – As usual a brilliant performance. Did everything right. Especially when Eboue was sent off, he was the right back cum right winger and yet he did really well. Has amazing stamina.

Gallas – 7.5 – Did not put a foot wrong all match.

Toure – 6.5 – A couple of dangerous mistakes from the Ivorian but fortunately he got away with them.

Clichy – 7 – Did well. His injury was a big blow but he should be back for the next match.

Eboue – 4 – Arsenal did not win because of his sending off. He was after so long looking very good and was unfairly denied a goal. He seemed to pop up everywhere and it seemed it was going to be his day. But his character let him down. He has apologized for the red card but it won’t get Arsenal three points so no use.

Denilson – 7.5 – A nice little performance from him. He is starting to play quite well now. Made crucial interceptions and created a few chances. Just needs to work on his passing so he can provide killer passes. That is something he lacks.

Song – 7.5 – For the first time in quite a long time I was impressed  by him. He can be quite a good holding midfielder. Needs to be a lot more consistent though.

Nasri – 7.5 – Tried really hard all match. But I have been noticing that in the last 15 20 minutes he disappears.

van Persie – 7.5 – Like Nasri, tried to do something all match but in the end did not get too much support as Arsenal had a three man midfield of which Denilson and Song were mostly defending.

How bad will Adebayor's injury affect Arsenal

How bad will Adebayor's injury affect Arsenal

Adebayor – 5 – Could not play for long and the time that he was on, he did not do anything notable.

Substitutes:

Bendtner – 6 – Good movement off the ball, but he just isn’t an Arsenal player I feel.

Gibbs – Too little time to make an impact.

– Can anyone tell me where has Vela disappeared?! I am surprised. He has put up quite decent performances when given the chance, yet of all the praise that Wenger showered on him and his impressive performances in the Carling Cup he has not been given enough chances. I don’t get it.

– Adebayor is out for three weeks

by Zain Shahid

Nasri goes to his manager after scoring the 2nd goal

Nasri goes to his manager after scoring the 2nd goal

Arsenal wanted revenge at the KC Stadium and they got it in great style! A typical Arsenal performance which we have been missing for quite some time now. The start like in most away games was itchy. A couple of dangerous corners and an unsuccessful penalty appeal for Hull. But that was all they got as Arsenal slowly got into their rythm. van Persie got a free kick within range and a good angle. He nearly made full use of it but it unluckily hit the post thanks to Myhill’s fingertips. However van Persie sent in a brilliant pin-point delivery from the resulting corner which was headed into the top corner by the tall Adebayor. Adebayor certainly needed the goal, but it was expected considering most of his 12 goals this season have come away from home. Soon after Adebayor found the unmarked Eboue with the keeper at his mercy but the midfielder rushed into the shot and smacked it wide first time. Arsenal ended the first half as the better side. The second half had more of the same Arsenal attacks but out of the blue Hull got an unlikely goal. Poor decision making by Clichy as he backed away from Mendy when the Hull midfielder got the ball outside the box in a good crossing position instead of attaking the ball and he had to pay the price. Mendy sent the cross in, it was deflected off Clichy, caught Djourou sleeping and ended up being headed in emphatically by Cousin. at this time it seemed Cousin’s goal will haunt Gooners in the coming weeks and honestly speaking I thought Arsenal will now drop 2 points. The goal sparked a Hull resurgance but it was shortlived. Arsenal’s men of the moment got back to business when Arsenal needed it most. van Persie got the ball with three defenders surrounding him but with some clever footwork he got away from him and sent the unmarked Nasri through on goal. Nasri did not mess up and finished exquisitely from his weaker foot. Arsenal were once again in the driving seat and after this goal Hull never really managed to get back into the game. Soon after van Persie provided the goods yet again. This time he found Bendtner’s run into the box and the Dane’s clinical finish was not there to be stopped. The match was over at this stage for Hull but not for Arsenal. Arsenal wanted more and nearly made it 4-1 when a rare accurate cross from Clichy found an intellegent run from Bendtner, but the post unfortunately denied the Arsenal forward a brace as his header hit the woodwork. The Hull fans were silenced and Arsenal fans jubilant. I had jumped from the sofa in ectasy when Arsenal had scored the last 2 goals!:D

So overall it was a brilliant performance from Arsenal. van Persie once again the man of the match and he got the awesome support of Nasri. The defending not the best especially during the goal. With the other top 5 apart from Liverpool getting lucky late wins, this match had the importance of a must win match and Arsenal responded with great character and gave a performance to remember.

Player Ratings:

Almunia: 6.5 – Did not have much to do but he communicated with the defence better than in the last match. There was nothing he could do about the goal so you can’t blame him for it.

Sagna: 7 – Mr. Consistent puts up another commendable performance.

Djourou: 6 – Nearly gave away a penalty and did some poor marking which led to Cousin’s goal.

Toure: 6.5/7 – Good performance. Looked solid.

Clichy: 5.5 – A big mistake that led to the goal. And at times he did not look much confident while defending. But it was nice to see an accurate cross from him as he really needs to improve his crossing.

Eboue: 6 – Gave the ball away with poor passing and a bad miss in the first half when he should have scored.

Denilson: 6 – Most of his passsing was once again sideways and poor defending.

Diaby: 6.5 – Good going forward at times but lacked the defensive edge as a central midfielder is also required to help the defenders.

Nasri: 8 – Brilliant yet again! His movement both on and off the ball was perfect. Good passing and a few good crosses. The goal was an unstoppable finish and that too with his weaker foot.

Adebayor: 7 – Got a vital early goal. But he slowed down attacks with his shielding of the ball and in the end passed the ball backwards. But his movement seemed good.

van Persie: 8.5 – The man of the match. Awesome performance. Assisted all the three goals. Greak footwork, passing and runs. Superb stuff from him.

Substitutes:

Bendtner: 7.5/8 – He is doing exceptionally well on the right wing. Making good runs and the finish for the goal was brilliant. Deserved another goal from the header.

Song: Had too little time to make an impression.

by Zain Shahid

Wenger - Had a frustrating first half...

Wenger - Had a frustrating first half...

After the firts 45 mins one could feel another dissapointing result was on the cards. But what we forget is that this is 2009 and not the unlucky, bad year for Arsenal 2008!

There isn’t much to say about the 1st half. Just passing the ball around in the midfield and sometimes out of frustration sending a poor cross in. That was the story of the first half for Arsenal. Bolton, no doubt, just like every other side that plays against Arsenal were extremely organized in defence. Arsenal passed the ball a lot and had the lion’s share of possession but the passing was no threat to Bolton. Arsenal needed a piece of magical inspiration… and it made me miss Fabregas! But Nasri in the 2nd half did that job well playing in the centre.

The 2nd half also started like the 1st one except that Bolton also had a couple of decent chances this time. But the match changed as Carlos Vela came on. Arsenal’s attacks became more penetrative and passing became more quick. Certainly that brilliant defence piercing ball by Nasri to find Adebayor deserved a goal but the Togolese striker took too long to unleash the shot. Arsenal continued attacking and came as close as to hitting the post courtesy van Persie. It seemed like another one of those days until arguably the man of the match van Persie was found in the box by a brilliant through ball by Clichy, and then the Dutchman’s pinpoint first touch cross for Bendtner set up the goal. A brilliant finish from a tight angle by the Dane certainly must have done wonders for his confidence. A few nervous moments at the end for the defence but it was a job well done in the end by the Gunners.

Player Ratings:

Almunia: 6.5 – Good work on the few occasions that he was called into action especially right at the end in injury time. Could have got a 7.0 had he communicated well with his centre halfs.

Sagna: 7.0 – Brilliant as usual. Was attacking most of the match and did well but whenever needed he was back defending and marked particularly well.

Djourou: 7.0 – Impressive performance by the youngster. Was strong in his tackles and always looked in control.

Toure: 7.0 – A good game for him also like his partner. He is certainly coming back into form.

Clichy: 6.5 – Did well once again. Made good runs forward but his crossing yet again let him down.

Eboue: 6.5/7.0 – He had his best match in months. Looked like a responsible player. Made good movements, didn’t give the ball away cheaply and when Sagna was a lot forward on corners or free kicks he stayed back in his place.

Denilson: 6.0 – He is not in a good form but he looked better than the last couple of games today. Made a few attempts to go forward and try and create an attack instead of just passing the ball around the half way line.

Diaby: 6.5 – An average performance from him. Needs to do better.

Nasri: 8.0 – The best player in the midfield today. Was involved in nearly all the attacks and did deserve an assist or two. Good passing, runs, free kicks, corners, crosses. And that ball to find Adebayor was just world class.

van Persie: 8.5 – Without doubt the man of the match. Played exceptionally well and deserved a goal. He too was involved in nearly all attacks and it seemed throughout the match that he wanted to do something special. The assist was wonderful. One could see his desire to get something from the match. He needs this consistency. Two consecutive brilliant performances from him.

Adebayor: 6.0 – He was quite involved in the match. But on most occasions he slowed down the attacks. Had just one shot on goal and that too a simple chance which he should have scored. All he can do is finish simple one on ones and headers.

Substitutes:

Vela: 7.0 – The match lighted up with his introduction. Made good surging runs forward and good passing and little one-twos. Very energetic and active.

Bendtner: 7.0 – I was not happy when he came on because I wanted Wilshere to be brought on. But he certainly made all Gooners proud with that vital finish. His goal got the points for us. Looked very involved in the game and almost had an immediate impact with the header. Does reasonably well on the right of midfield I have been noticing.

Ramsey: Too little time for him to get anything out of the game.

by Zain Shahid

RvP - Scores the 1st

RvP - Scores the 1st

It was an impressive performance at the Emirates on Saturday. Maybe they could have scored 5 or 6 had they taken more of their chances considering they created around 15 16 chances! The 1st half wasn’t the best but they came out really well in the 2nd. Van Persie really showed his class which we expect to see week in week out. Nasri was brilliant. I have always been a big fan of his and he showed today he is a top quality player. Overall it was a good day for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger was all praise for his team:

“We did the job in a serious way and had we not been focused and completely up for it, we would not have gone through today. I give credit to my team for doing the job seriously, and also to Plymouth who had a great game as well. I was surprised how well they were organised and how strong they were in every challenge. They did not die physically and were always dangerous on set plays. The gap between the Championship and the Premiership has been reduced and looking at the FA Cup results today, you could see that. Robin has always been interested in team affairs and wants to help sort things out. He is a big example of how well you can have an evolution, when you consider when he came he and who he is today.”

Player Ratings:

Fabianski: 6.5 – Made a few good saves otherwise it could have been 2 or 3 goals for Plymouth. However he needs to come out to catch crosses and corners with more confidence.

Silvestre: 5 – Played just half an hour and did not look good particularly when going forward. The latest is he is out for three weeks.

Gallas: 6.5 – Did pretty well and was in quite an attacking mood, going forward time and time again.

Djourou: 6.5 – Had a nice game like his partner and he was particularly good in the air which is something Arsenal need desperately.

Sagna: 7 – Yet another good performance for the right-back. Did quite well while going forward also.

Diaby: 7 – Was involved in quite a few of the attacks and did a bit of tidy defending a few times.

Ramsey: 6.5 – Had a good game overall. A bit too selfish on occasions but its justified considering the youngster is looking to make an impact. He can hit the target quite well from long range and made some good runs forward.

Nasri: 8 – Without doubt the man of the match. Had a perfect game. Was involved in nearly all our attacks. 2 assists and he certainly deserved a goal. I have always mantained he should be played in the centre and he pressed my claim quite well!

Eboue: 6 – Had an average game. Better than what we have seen from him recently though.

Bendtner: 6.5 – Did just a bit above average I thought. He desperately needed a goal and got it. Looked very involved in the game. But he needs to do more to prove that he is good enough for Arsenal.

van Persie: 8 – Did extremely well. 2 goals and 1 assist, what else do you want! Maybe for him to perform like that more often. But he has certainly shown yet again how good he can be on his day. A good day as captain for him.

Substitutes:

Vela: 6 – An average day for the young Mexican. And I persist he needs to be played as a forward and not as a left winger. He is much better as a forward.

Gibbs: 6.5 – Had a great day attacking. Needs to work on his defending a bit more I think but overall a very good performance from the young man.

Wilshere: 5.5 – Didn’t get enough time to really get into the game. Tried making an impact straight away though, and on most occasions unsuccessfully. But he is exceptionally talented and has an immensely bright future ahead of him.