Let us be fair and say that this victory does not, in any way, wipe away what must be accomplished by our club in the remainder of the season. Nevertheless, today’s win was another derby in the books that will hopefully stay as evidence to all that the club truly does have quality. Despite our defeats against Sunderland & AC Milan, along with the departure of Arshavin, today’s victory was an unbridled gale of good news.
Down 2-0 thanks to some so-so defending and a diving Welshman, Arsenal appeared to have been at the shorter end of what would’ve been another disappointing defeat, but then came Arteta’s cross near the box, with Sagna popping up like a plastic animal in a Whack-a-mole arcade game, his header sailing far past Friedel into the net. And then, like a lightning bolt out of the blue (one of Grumpygrad’s favorite lines), RVP found the space to kick an immaculate goal, one that curled in such a way that would make Freya’s panties cream way on high in Valhalla. Friedel was left in the dust as Robin slid down the pitch in red and white glory, screaming to the gods that commanded the Gunner Hate Train. The crowd erupted in cheers, and we were back in the game at the end of the first half.
But that wasn’t all. Rosicky was midfield boss throughout, and his work with Arteta and Benayoun was solid stuff. Holding and passing, and moving, moving, moving, Arsenal seemed to have the momentum. Modric, where were ya?
Arsenal volleyed forth once again during the 2nd half, as Rosicky moved up with the ball and made a pass to Sagna on the right. The rest of the midfield moved forward as Spurs’ defense was in shambles at that point, akin to a pack of dogs scuttling while being unaware of the Apache helicopters hovering behind them. Sagna let loose a low pass to the left and Rosicky deftly flicked the ball with the outside of his left foot as he beat Ledley King, allowing it to ride over Friedel with pure class. It was Rosicky’s first goal in years, and one that had the Emirates in utter delirium. If there was any sign that the Little Mozart was beginning to revitalize himself and his career, this was it. At this point, the scoreboard was Arsenal 3, Spurs 2.
Walcott, Gibbs, Song and the rest of the gang had a marvelous game, and if anything, much of that relied on Spurs’ shit defending. If Arsenal gets raked over the coals for it, then I hope the Spuds do too. The fact that Walcott came through with two counterattacks with breakneck speed, and, get this, FINISHES them off makes Tottenham look fucking awful. Credit to Theo for putting the last two fabulous nails into the game, because by then, it looked as though the coffin was shut for good. Spurs lacked any real attack afterwards, save for a set piece or two. Parker lost his shit for some reason and got red carded (2 yellows man, you can add, right?) with some apeshit tackle on the Verminator, but that’s not our loss. The Gunners ended the day with a 5-2 victory, and a well deserved one at that.
Arsenal played with a different formation that, from Grumpygrad’s observation, relied less on wing play and more on midfield dominance and deft passing. With Ramsey out of the mix, we relied on experience, tight passing and forward momentum to make it on the break without any errant or empty giveaways. I’m not saying that this will work on other clubs, but this worked today, and I hope that we’ll see more of this kind of performance as we look to stay in the Top 4 this season. Liverpool will loom over us like a dark cloud from the dank, port shantytown where it comes from, but hopefully, the Gunners will aim high and fire a cannonball to let out the light. It’s not a title-winning race, but the journey towards consistency is just as important…