A guest post from our resident roving reported Andrew @anicoll5
Chances are you saw the game, you have seen the headlines and digested the words of the learned and not so learned pundits in the 17 hours since referee Pawson blew the final whistle. You will have the warm glow following a contest deservedly won by the far, far superior football team.
Like me I suspect you will have wow’ed and coo’ed at the energy of Sanchez, his physical strength, his unquenchable “GIVE-ME-THE-BALL-NOW” approach for 93 minutes. Unlike me you may have known the name of referee Pawson without having to look it up in the paper a few moments ago, surely the mark of good game management by the officials, in PGMOL-ese, at least.
Of the day itself Tim (@foreverheady ) and I met and we supped in the George, penned inside the pub because Islington have temporarily withdrawn permission for customers on matchdays to drink outside. We bellowed at one another for an hour in an effort to rise above the din. I am relieved the pub has just one more game of the ban to serve before it will be business as usual.
Of the game itself the first half I thought the football was good. Fair play to the Lancastrians, no recognised names in their side, no PL form to give them any confidence of nicking even a point but organised, sensible, no risks taken and difficult to get through. We played well but did not quite ‘click’ in the opening 45. Moves broke down around the edge of the box when a Burnley boot got in the way, passes were just not precise enough, a little slow to move the ball, if Welbeck ran right, Sanchez knocked the ball left. I don’t know if it was shown on the box but about 20 minutes into the match our Chilean and the boy from Longsight M16 had a noisy shouting and pointing stand off after yet another breakdown.
Second half we notched up a gear in the quality of our passing and the speed of movement. The opposition started to show signs of fraying, with missed tackles, clumsy half clearances, corner after corner, and the clearest indication that they were about to crack……
And so they did, Sanchez leaping like an angry salmon between two large haddock to put away one of the best crosses of the afternoon.
And with blood in the water ( I shall stay with the fishy theme) we circled and struck again at the helpless victim, and again………., and but for an exceptional save from Heaton and the intercession of frame of the goal our German Shark would have pushed the score line towards the 5-0 result that reflected the disparity between the teams on and the clubs off the pitch. Still that would be greedy and it does not harm to throw the little ones back. ( OK that’s it, no more fish)
The reception that Theo received was good to hear and I got the impression he was genuinely touched by it. The game was won but he ran around with confidence and a bit of style. Good to see. No other injuries I saw yesterday although Mikel looked a bit tired and stiff as he went off.
Good support from the visitors who spent most of the afternoon singing “In our Lancashire Homes”. George Formby had a better song for Arsenal fans yesterday though “It’s Turned Out Nice Again”.