What a day. Having missed the Portsmouth–Everton match and the first half of the Fulham–United match, I settled in for an much needed fix of footie. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that United were a goal down.
Even with a man down, they were all over Fulham with shot after shot going in. Fulhams goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was epic in keeping United out. Gera finished it with a fabulous drop and hook over van der Saar.
During the match the tv station, Star Sports, kindly flashed up Tottenhams goal against Chelsea. What a result. So if Villa drop points tomorrow, and Arsenal produce the goods at St. James Park the weekend is complete.
The first half was an edgy affair with chances for both teams. Newcastle created well and caused a few nervous moments for the visitors. After one penalty shout was waved away by Mark Halsey, he pointed to the spot a few minutes later as Almunia fouled Ryan Taylor in the box.
Martins stepped up to take the kick, but it was a poor shot well saved by the ecstatic Almunia. Newcastle continued to press Arsenal for the remainder of the half and Arsenal were lucky to go in 0–0.
The second half started better for Arsenal. Even though Newcastle were still pressing, Arsenal looked increasingly dangerous on the break. Then at 57 mins the break through came from an Arshavin free kick that Bendtner nodded home.
The roar from the Arsenal fans was almost immediately drowned out by the roar from the Newcastle fans as Martins, who had looked dangerous all along, scored from a defensive error from Sagna.
This was pure edge of the seat stuff and when Taylor retired to the sideline, Arsenal capitalised as van Persie slotted a pass to Diaby who made a searing run at goal and struck, making it 2–1. Newcastle were punished for not substituting Taylor, which they did anyway two minutes later.
Newcastle looked shaken after Arsenals second, and it wasnt long before the visitors made it three. Van Persie again the provider with Nasri profiting from the pass with a fine shot on target.
The game was won, and even though both teams created further chances, no more goals were forthcoming. The final score 3–1 to the Arsenal
It is quite evident from the two matches that I saw today that English football is as healthy as ever. Fulham, a goal ahead and a man up, never sought to park the bus or timewaste.
Indeed, they were pushed back in their half for most of the second half, but that was due more to Uniteds skill and drive. Given their chance, they scored another goal, this time from open play.
Newcastle were impressive today. Again there was no suggestion of parking the bus, they played attacking football. The fouling was minimal, with only one yellow awarded the whole match, to Gallas. In the first half Duff and Martins caused trouble for Arsenal as did Lovenrands in the second, until he was retired injured.
From an Arsenal fans perspective, it would be great if Liverpool overcame Aston Villa tomorrow. It would be great to see daylight between Arsenal and the Midland usurpers who have been keeping fourth place warm for them.
Arsenal havent lost in the last 21 games in all competitions. They have won the last six, if you count winning on penalties. The fourth of April brings Man. City to the Emirates. They took three goals and three points at Eastlands in November, but they are facing a different Arsenal team this time round.
Adebayor and crucially Fabregas are both due to be fit, and Arsene Wenger also has Arshavin, Eduardo, Vela, RVP,Nasri, Bendtner to choose from. That is if Arsenal survive an injury free international break. At least walcott can't get injured training for England, he's already been injured training for Arsenal.