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The Lights Go Out All Over Europe

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I said last night as I was watching the game that we had three objectives for the first half. Get through the first 45  without conceding had to be the most important. We had a hill to climb, nothing could be worse than that becoming a mountain. Then we needed to match them all over the pitch. Hassle and harry and close down space when they had the ball, forcing them to punt it up-field rather than build, a bit  like teams do against us. Then and only once those criteria were met should we hope for the third. Plant the seed of doubt in their minds by capping off a free flowing attack with an unstoppable shot and half the deficit.

I know it would’ve been super to have gone it at half time three goals to the good but this is an exceptionally good Bayern side and that would be a big ask even for a squad as talented as ours. While we’re at it, lets have a word for that squad. Isn’t it rather satisfying to have somebody as utterly peerless as Tomáš Rosický to step in when one of our promising youth team graduates gets injured just before a match? Doesn’t it make you feel just a little smug to have another Polish international keeper waiting in the wings in case the other one has to miss a game? No Lukas Podolski on the left wing? No problem, we have Santi Cazorla. Best right back in the premiership for a very long time out injured? Step up corporal Jenks. How the manager has assembled this incredible group on such a (relatively) limited budget defies belief. He truly is an extraordinary man.

The conditions were atrocious last night with a playing surface like a polished ice rink but that didn’t prevent Corporal Jenks keeping pace with Robben whilst running backwards then perfectly timing his tackle before skipping around Muller and away up the pitch in what for me, as an ex defender, was the highlight of the half. I know Fab showed some great decision making and safe hands and the goal obviously was quite important but that was as good an example of the defenders art as you’ll see.

Ten minutes into the second half and I thought Giroud was going to get that crazy screamer he’s been promising me when he volleyed  from midway inside their half but it went over and Arsene reacted just as he did against Sunderlanarse v bayernd. One day Olivier, one day. I thought we continued to close them well and forced mistakes and fouls. Theo was clearly onside and clear through but was flagged off side for reasons known only to the linesman and his bookmaker. Sure Bayern had a few chances but this isn’t a Bayern blog so who gives a damn? Santi took a free kick just outside of their area and was outraged when denied by an apparent hand ball in the wall and the game resumed the pattern of the first half, both sides probing and inept officials making surreal uneven decisions.

The game burst into life on 67 minutes when Fabianski pulled off a fine point blank save from Bayern’s balding Dutchman and a flurry of shots brought out the best in our defence. With time running out we pressed further and further up field and began to look a little stretched. Arsene rolled the 70 minute dice and the seemingly tireless Ramsay and Walcott were replaced by the Ox and Gervinho. Robben was showing his traditional greed near the goal which was all the better for us but whenever we tried to attack we seemed to be held back by accidental hand balls or passes an inch off their target and on one occasion the linesman lost his contact lens and denied us a corner.

Gervihno seemed to have done enough with a delicate pirouette and toe poke but the ball rolled agonisingly past the post. Then Robben managed to get Per booked by running into him as our giant German turned away but by this time the drunken refereeing had ceased to surprise anybody. Another brilliant stop from the excellent Fabianski and we entered the final ten minutes with the second crucial goal still eluding us.

Five minutes to go. A corner from the right. Santi takes it. Kosser stays low. Gets there first. Two nil.  Game on.

But there was to be no famous third goal and you don’t need me to tell you what happened next. Just three minutes of  injury time after all those subs and stoppages and with the connivance of the officials aiding Bayern in their time wasting, we went out on a technicality.

I am nothing but proud of the amazing effort and performance. Clean sheet, away to one of the best teams in Europe and clear two nil victors on the night. Sad to be out of the tournament but not in any way disheartened. We are all a little sick to have suffered yet again at the hands of an inept referee on such an important occasion but we can be proud of the fans who travelled and the players who pulled on the shirt and gave it their all.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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66 comments on “The Lights Go Out All Over Europe

  1. Just did a quick tour around some of the other blogs. Now I understand why we won. It wasn’t because, Fabianski had a great match (I had doubts). Jenks had a great game, Aaron ran his socks off, the whole team showed heart. No no no it was because Bayern were crap. How can these people claim to be supporters?

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  2. “The cheek some of these dorks have is quite incredible.”

    ha ha

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  3. They gave up being supporters once they decided they didn’t want Wenger around anymore, Bob. All the doomers have done for the past three or four seasons is moan when we lose and hide when we win. The mood in the blogs today was funny because they couldn’t very well moan about us taking it to Bayern at home.

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  4. Well I suppose Inter turning Spuds over would have brightened an already good week

    But another two hard Europa games for them ain’t the worst result

    And Steau tap in an equalizer at the Bridge as I tap

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  5. Bob, i have heard some of that rubbish. You have to wonder.

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  6. “Honestly I don’t think that we got the fouls. We had not the same opinion as the referee on some situations.”

    Arsene has a great turn of phrase!

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  7. It seems like my gloating is jinxing things. Therefore I will just watch Chelsea and keep the little dance to until after the final whistle has gone.

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  8. As soon as I start watching Torres, out of all useless strikers in the world, has to score the 3 – 1. It seems that beating Bayern 2 – 0 away has been all this week has to offer football-wise.

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  9. Nortlondonisyellow
    Fuck of you cunt.

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  10. Yellow? I don’t get that one. Which club is that supposed to be??

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  11. Some twat calling himself Northlondonisred keeps trying to post .
    He is trying to tell me he is a tough guy .But he is just a thick coward .So I altered his name a little.

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  12. Ah, thanks for clarifying that. Well, if the school yard bullies are staying up past their bedtime to “wreck some havoc” on here, it just shows that you are doing everything right with this blog. Obviously some people just can’t stand the positivity we have on here.

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  13. Nicely written up Steww, awesome performance from the lads, terrific support from the travelling fans.

    Terrible day at the office for the doomers, they must be spitting feathers. They must be hanging on to the hope that we finish out of the top 4.

    Weird lot.

    Any word on Kenny S?

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  14. ANDREW
    not a chance the weird lot you are talking about will feel any remorse or even acknowledge an apology for writing off this team and their chances of a win or even advancing.
    Bunch of two faced fence sitting no nothing son o b-)(%&)) that will dump on the club and the manager all the time and then congratulations when they play well. . Complete reversal and when you remind them of their remarks they back track even more. Saying that wasn’t what they meant.
    Shifty little buggers . Always a moving target..

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  15. goonerkam @ 10:44pm -I wouldn’t demean this blog by calling any names. Two-faced fence-sitting weasels is enough.

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  16. Hahaha
    Right you are SHOTTA. Right you are ..

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