November 9, 2008
So this week I vowed not to write a preview article on this game as I felt I was a jinx. Since I had started writing previews Arsenal had not won a game. In all honestly, I really don't think the two are related but with the kind of form we had been in, I didn't think we had much of a chance yesterday.
So I vowed not to do a preview article and look what happens...we won! Yay!
I am now promising Arsenal fans that I will not write another preview article until the next time the Gunners lose (hopefully not again this season). I'll just write recaps. This way I will feel that I am not a jinx.
Anyway enough of that.
I was in two minds whether to go watch the game as the injuries and form things didn't look all that great for us. But I finished work at 12.30 and rushed to the nearest pub showing the game.
I experienced the most nerve racking 96 minutes of my life. Chances came thick and fast at either end, and some real sitters were being missed, until Samir Nasri had two shots at goal. Usually being two up I would have relaxed, but United looked very dangerous throughout, in what was probably the best game of football I can remember.
From the minute Manuel Almunia decided to pick up Mikael Silvestre's bad back pass I felt nervous and began to bite my nails. This continued until the end of the match, I'm sure if there had been someone next to me I'd have bitten their nails as well, as I had almost none left by half time.
But in the end it was worth it. Two goals from Samir Nasri gave me some rest bite at least. The first was deflected and some people will say it was lucky, but you don't get lucky if you don't shoot (Alex Hleb take note).
The second was after some quality possession football. A Theo Walcott run distracted the centre backs for Fabregas to slide a perfect pass into Nasri who hammered the ball home from 20 yards.
No luck about that one.
So Sammy deserves a lot of credit and people are already likening him to old Bobby Pries and I think rightly so.
Bought as a replacement for Alex Hleb he has scored four goals in eight games in the league. Alex Hleb's record stands at seven goals in 89 games so Sammy is already over half way there with 81 games to go.
Who would you rather have at Arsenal? Samir Nasri or Alex Hleb?
OK Sammy has had a couple of disappointing performances this season but it took Alex Hleb two seasons to adapt. For me Sammy is miles better.
Man Utd pulled one back after a lot of pressure and I almost threw the bar stool at the T.V. when the fourth official held up the board displaying six minutes of injury time. But we held on.
It was an all round performance to be proud of. Everyone played well and the belief and desire was there.
This has kick started our season and hopefully we can take this belief forward and get the team motivated for the not so big matches. But every game from now on is a massive game if we are serious about challenging for the title.
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