Good Morning Positive Friends,
Quite a night wasn’t it ?Having watched the wheels come off various other clubs allegedly commanding first leg leads this week I think we all knew we were in for a tricky night in Moscow. I did not anticipate quite how tricky it might be. I went through the full range of emotions, all the way from from stupefied, dribbling terror to ecstatic, loud purring over the 94 minutes. I remind myself that whirl of highs and lows is why I watch football, winning raises the spirits on the grimmest day, and even when we lose there is a still a buzz of being involved.
Of the game itself ? Based on the final scoreline 2-2 and 6-3 on aggregate a casual observer might expect it was a dull match with a predictable result. Not a bit of it. Few Arsenal fans doubted CSK had “goals” in them and a fairer result from the first leg might have been 8-3. They had nothing to lose and they set about us as expected from the start. They have in Golovin one of the best young players in Europe. I suspect Arsene will have been making discreet enquiries last night about his plans. Around the young Russian their support players were none too shabby either, and for all the fuss about the combined age of their back three ( 178 birthdays between them or some such nonsense) they kept us at arms’ length for long periods and it was only with Danny’s goal that we really opened them up finally.
Of our lads a super game from Mo, worked his socks off in the first half when we were under pressure, had a useful spell in the centre back line, and still had enough gas in the tanks to play decisive through balls for both goals. Mo’s regular first team involvement in recent weeks has bright him on as players. His confidence is sky high and that contributes to the sureness of his touch and the accuracy of his passing.
Of our other lads Danny’s goal fest proceeds and his finish was top, top class. Rambo was another who worked hard when the home side wee in the ascendant, not to mention coping with a monster gash on the calf. And finally of notable performers who caught my eye step forward Callum Chambers, the right man who entered at the right time to do the job required.
Of things that did not go so well ? As we have seen before the back 3-4-5 do seen to develop the heebie-jeebies when they are attached early on in games. When their composure is rattle it takes them a while to get it back. Nevertheless when the game was in the balance from 50th minute and for the next 20 minutes Kosc, Mustafi, Nacho and Hector did stand up and see off the Muscovite horde. And finally Jack ? Who knows – as I read elsewhere this morning for a 26 year old he seems to have the physique of a much older sportsman. Plenty of games still this season for JW to re-kindle what was a good season until recently but somehow, on and off the pitch, he seems to have lost his way.
That is me done. The draw is at midday UK time fir the semi finals so no doubt we shall meet later to discuss the next opponent. Enjoy Friday.