Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn

1' Right off the opening kick-off, the defense does their impersonation of a statue park. Good thing Dwight Yorke sucks, eh? Completely wide-open, with only Lehmann to beat, his shot wouldn't even have scored on the wide posts in Aussie rules football. Good one, Yorkie.
11' Championship Manager 4 is NOT something you can play while watching a game, I find. Losing 0-1 to the Tott'Scum is sign enough to quit, especially with how much harder 4 is than '01-'02..
12' Arsenal with an awesome build-up, very Brazil-esque. Kolo Toure takes on Vlatislav Gresko, leaves the Belarussian for dead, and gets it over to Dennis Bergkamp. DB10 is left with the simple finish past Brad Friedel, and it's 1-0 to the Arsenal..
13' Barry Ferguson pushes over Robert Pires, just minutes after Gresko nutted Frederik Ljungberg. Blackburn are still quite the hack artists, apparently.
15' Gresko is having an absolute mare today. Thierry Henry steals the ball off his foot, and gives Pires a free header...but right at Friedel, sadly.
17' Blackburn has had a lot of early pressure, and their midfield has done well. But, Jens Lehmann cuts off so many attacks with his ability to gather up crosses and loose balls...that, to me, is even more of the reason why he's such a major upgrade over David Seaman than even his shot-stopping ability.
18' Announcer Ian Crocker tells us that we had 14 straight passes leading up our goal. Wow. "Brazil...it's just like watching Brazil..."
20' Gresko makes a NICE cross, but Ferguson can't connect on a diving header. What a goal that woulda been, and the replay showed that Ferguson was wrenchingly close to getting on the end of it.
21' More stuff from the Brazil playbook, as Freddie produces an UNBELIEVABLE ball to Henry, great side-foot to Vieira, but, well, PV4 is NOT a striker.
26' Blackburn is still hanging around...you can't discount the possibility of an equalizer quite yet, but our back four has been good since that appalling error in the first minute..
28' Sol makes it look so easy. He's been great so far.
28' Another thing about Lehmann - it's nice to have a keeper where every backpass isn't an epic adventure.
29' Gilberto Silva takes a silly yellow. I love it when that happens. It's his first yellow in 2 seasons though, apparently.
30' Pires hits the post out of nowhere...the ball just kinda rebounded to him, and Blackburn is very, very lucky to not be 2-0 down. Replay shows that Pires did very well to take the ball, then cut inside through three defenders to get the shot away from a very dangerous area.
31' Freddie is so casual taking it away from Andy Todd, and he finds Henry, but, even the French wizard can't win 1-on-4 this time around..
32' Lehmann cuts off a dangerous cross again. I'm going to make that a macro, if I keep doing this.
33' I hate offside calls where the guy (DB10, in this case) is offside by the width of a foot (the appendage, not the unit of measurement). Stupid ticky-tack shit...wastes a great ball from Henry, too.
34' Terrible corner from Emerton. Blackburn are going to have to start taking chances like this, as they've been smothered otherwise for the last 10 minutes or so.
35' This time, DB10 was well and truly offside.
36' The Arsenal fans are in fine voice...we're top of the league again if this holds. Thanks, Bolton Wanderers!
37' GREAT tackle from Ashley Cole sets up another attack, but a weak header from Pires in the end goes well wide.
39' Henry with a world class pass, but Friedel wins the footrace with Pires and gathers it well.
40' Tugay with a BAD giveaway to Bergkamp, up to Henry, but Friedel does very well to get a leg on it.
41' Right back the other way, but Kolo wins it with ease. He's been amazing this season, in the center or at right back.
41' Actually, Craig Short deflected Henry's shot, otherwise, it may have ended up in the far corner instead of hitting Friedel's leg on the near post.
42' Markus Babbel gets a yellow, joining Gresko and Ferguson. Guess it isn't a shock, this fixture's always been a nasty one.
43' Ljungberg just misses with a cross, but damn, it is a beautiful thing watching Ashley and Kolo run up the flanks.
45' Blackburn hasn't had an attack of consequence in some time, now.
45' Now they do, but Pires clears easily with his header. Good ball from Ferguson up to Gallagher, though.
45' Henry is hacked down after sending in a cross...Babbel is the culprit, but there's not even a foul. If it were us, it probably would have been yellow.
45' Corner comes to nothing, and Andy D'Urso blows the halftime whistle. Bad first minute, great 44 after that.

45' Steven Reid is coming on for Gresko. That isn't much of a surprise, to be honest.

47' I'm ecstatic that the second half didn't start like the first.
47' Another bad pass gives Freddie a great chance, but he shoots right at Friedel.
48' Lehmann catches another cross. Incidentally, I can't believe this guy was only 1.5 million pounds.
49' DB10 is roughly a mile and a half offside, but it was a nice flick-on by Henry to get it up to him.
50' Kolo makes a great interception on his way back to defense, starting another attack. Didn't go anywhere, but what a great play.
51' Blackburn needs black numbers on their shirts, I think...it's impossible to tell who's who.
52' Oh no, Andy Cole is warming up! I'm scared now!
52' Crocker says that Kolo was recommended to Le Boss by "Fred". That's it...no last name, just Fred. Outstanding.
53' Phew...the one time Lehmann looks dodgy on a corner, there's a foul in the box, resulting in a goal kick. Nice.
54' Apparently, the longest unbeaten streak to start a season is 29. Good lord, I've never even managed that in Champ Man with Celtic!
55' Emerton with an inviting cross, but Pascal Cygan does really well to clear. Can we get off the fucking guy's back now?
55' The resulting cross was terrible...Emerton isn't having one of his better matches.
56' A bad pass ends another Blackburn attack, but they've had much better of things the last 5 minutes or so.
57' Cole on for Gallagher. Crocker calls him "a man who knows where the goal is"...yeah, too bad he couldn't hit the floor if he fell out of bed.
58' Tugay shoots well over the bar, but he's dangerous from right outside the area. I think it was Sol who pressured him *just* enough.
58' Freddie is so dangerous down the flank, but he couldn't come up with a good pass to Pires this time.
59' Pires has to stop going down so easily...referees are on to him, and he probably could have kept the attack going if he just fought through it.
60' Ferguson with a brilliant cross to Babbel, whose header beats Lehmann low into the far corner. But, Babbel was blatantly climbing over Sol's back, and rightly, no goal on the play.
60' The ref's had a good game, I think.I don't say that very often with English referees, but there you go.
61' Earlier today: Aston Villa 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves are probably going down, but goddamn if they aren't giving it a go.
62' I think Ashley could be a winger if he wanted to. All the way up by the other goalline, he forces Todd into kicking it into touch.
63' Great ball by Gilberto, but the flag rightly goes up...Henry's offside this time.
63' Emerton with a pass to no one in particular. Somehow, the throw goes to Blackburn.
65' Pires with a fantastic lead pass for Henry, but Short clears it away. Arsenal are so good at through-balls into the area.
66' I can't help thinking that we need to see Ray Parlour come on at some point. This is exactly his type of match.
66' Cygan takes a yellow, but it looked like Patrick Vieira was the one that actually fouled the man...PV4 took him down from behind.
68' Cole with a fantastic ball up to Ferguson, but his slow roller was stopped beautifully low to his left by Lehmann...just did get a paw on it, and covered up the rebound. A better shot ties this match up, though...no doubt about it. Oh well...he IS a former Rangers man...sod him.
69' Pires takes it on the counter-attack, runs most of the way up the field, and passes over to Henry. But, the future World Player of the Year was pushed by Todd. Corner kick, but the shouts for a penalty were unfounded...it wasn't enough for a foul, I think. Henry could have dived if he wanted, but it's nice to see he's above that sorta thing.
70' Friedel paws away the resulting corner, and the rebound is cleared out. Dammit, that was a real chance.
71' Lucas Neill fouls DB10, free kick for Arsenal outside the area over by the touchline.
71' DB10 finds Henry with the free kick, but Friedel was in perfect position, and he catches it easily.
73' Pretty good cross from Emerton looked less dangerous than it was, and Ashley had to nod it behind. Pires easily clears the resulting corner.
73' Steven Reid with the long throw, out for a corner.
74' Emerton with a good corner into a dangerous area, but Lehmann was right there to catch it.
74' Overall, this has been a fairly even half...actually, now that I think about it, the visitors have shaded it so far since the restart.
74' Hey! I was right! Razor comes on for DB10. Are we playing with just 1 striker, then?
75' Henry is miles offside on Campbell's long ball. Random: The last time Blackburn won twice in 2 years at Highbury was 1910. DAMN.
76' Our offense is sputtering a bit. I hope we're not intending on bunkering...if we do, this'll be 1-1 in short order.
77' Pires with an awesome ball over the top to Vieira, but Tugay cuts out the pass to the open Henry.
77' Pires makes a fabulous run, and this time, he stays on his feet from Babbel's challenge. Colin Todd has to foul him, earning a yellow card, taken out of a 1-on-4.
78' Henry is over the ball...this is in a dangerous spot, and it was taken quickly, but it bounces fairly wide. He should have done better.
79' Blackburn with a throw deep in Arse territory...their guy did well to win it.
79' Razor makes a nice tackle to get himself into the game.
80' The corner flag saves a corner kick, ironically, and the Arse clear. Blackburn takes it right back down, Yorke finds Emerton in the area, but Ashley Cole says no.
81' You can even say Blackburn are dominating now. Tugay over the top for Yorke, but Lehmann does well to come out and claim it.
81' Maybe another sub is in order...the team needs to be shaken up, I think.
81' Emerton with another teasing cross, but Lehmann is right there...again.
82' Henry does well down the flank, but can't link up with a wide-open Pires.
82' Dino Baggio is on for Markus Babbel. I understand he's on loan and all, but why isn't this guy statring for them?
82' Crocker says Edu is warming up. Good.
83' Cole wins a corner, 1-on-2. Well done by him. Reid with the corner, and Short gets his header on target. Lehmann is forced into a great reflex save, and Yorke shovels the wide-open rebound over the bar. Memo to Blackburn: This guy is done. D-O-N-E....done.
84' Edu comes on for Freddie. He had a good game, but he was invisible for the 20 minutes previous to this.
85' Blackburn with a fabulous build-up, but Cole is a full body length offside.
86' Reid with a pass to nobody, but he does well to get back upfield and foul Pires to slow the counterattack.
86' Off that freekick, it comes to Edu on the flank, and his fantastic backpass finds Henry at the top of the area. But, he shoots low right at Friedel, who really hasn't had to do much of consequence since our goal...his positioning has made everything easy for him.
87' The nerves are fraying a bit...this has definitely been a good effort from the visitors, and they continue to threaten. They may even look good for an equalizer.
88' 37,677 at the park today...it's actually not a sell-out.
89' Kolo tries a bicycle kick to clear, leaving Cygan a difficult clearance. Do we always have to try the flashy option, even if heading into touch would be better?
90' Cygan clears twice in quick succession. He's been nothing short of awesome today.
90' On the counterattack, Henry wins a corner 1-on-2. Excellent work, there.
90' Two minutes of injury time, sez the 4th official.
90' Henry and Pires waste time in the corner...out of nowhere, Pires bolts into the area, beats two defenders with a spin move, and just does miss Edu's diving header attempt with his cross.
90' The Arsenal are getting stuck in now. Blackburn are still threatening...this half's been a far cry from the sexy football of the first.
90' Edu clears. Henry beats Short, but Neill slides and blocks the pass to Pires. Corner to Arsenal.
90' And that's it! One-Nil, to the Arsenal, and we're top of the league! Excellent stuff! It was scappy, it was difficult, but it's three points in a game we needed to win. What a week it's been overall!


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