Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea, and some other stuff

No big, long match report this time. Because of the nature of this past weekend (mainly the head injury I sustained on Friday), this one's going to be kind of short. Also, I can't really give any kind of deep analysis when I only saw about 60-65 minutes of the match, plus the extended highlights on the EPL Review Show.

That said, the best thing we can take away from this match is that we pierced Chelsea's air of invincibility somewhat. Unless you're Birmingham or Norwich, this defense of theirs, while an excellent one, can be breached. It takes some doing, but it can be done given some modicum of skill in passing and running off the ball. Second, we can take away that when he's not winning 4-0, that moaning prick Jose Mourinho is as much of a whinging fuckstick as Alex Ferguson has ever been...he needed an industrial-sized box of tissues in his press conference after the game. While he tapdanced around the referee complaining well enough to avoid any FA sanctions, I think the London police should get involved...the crime? Illegal Possession of Two Testicles.

Also, it was nice to see one of our goalkeepers have an undeniably solid game. While I think Almunia could have done more to at least try and keep the second one out, the goal was certainly not his fault, and it would have taken a Buffon or Casillas-like effort to actually keep it out. I had posted on the Arseblog forums that: "I would rather have a 'Keep Out' sign in our net than Almunia against Chelsea," and I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I was very, very wrong. Well done to him. On the other end, Cech played well, and had no chance on either of our goals. But, he also showed he isn't invincible either...if van Persie's late effort was on goal, then it was in...Cech was well and truly beaten, and on a shot that Freidel or Niemi would save more often than not.

Fair play to Chelsea though...they showed that they can compete against the very best that England has to offer...even if that very best had no Vieira and no Ljungberg. Also, as far as rivals go, I infinitely prefer them to the Red Scum. We'll beat them sometimes, they'll beat us sometimes. But, if this match is anything to go by, then most of our encounters will be played at an amazingly-high level, and they'll be mostly clean. Meanwhile, the red bastards' big ideas when playing us mostly involve doing pratfalls all over the park and kicking anything vaguely Spanish. I hope they get fucking relegated next season. But, while I certainly don't like Chelsea, their owner or their manager, I at least accept them as rivals worthy of the Arsenal. In all seriousness, every great hero needs a fearsome villan...without that, where would the motivation come from to perform heroic feats (just ask Thierry)? Speaking of TH14, yes, the miss was bad. But, THAT goal counteracts it somewhat, yes?

-- A while back, I did a post outlining my thoughts on red cards and penalties. I insisted that both should be used only when absolutely necessary, mainly because they both can completely change the outcome of the game. This weekend saw two instances where the referee absolutely butchered the call...one by making the call, and one by not making the call. In the Norwich-Bolton match, a Norwich defender (Docherty, I believe it was) was whistled for a penalty because a deflected ball hit him on the shoulder. There was nothing he could have done to get out of the way (in my opinion), and I saw nothing that made me think it was intentional in any sense of the word. Only a well-timed bout of leprosy could have prevented the ball from hitting his shouder. But, Barry Knight immediately pointed right to the spot, and Jay Jay Okocha easily converted. The play was a bunch of nothing before the deflection (Bolton didn't seem likely to score, that's for sure), and because yet another referee doesn't know the rule (there's no such thing as "handball"...the rule is "intentional handling"), the match could have been completely changed. However, Norwich did end up winning, ironically in large part because of a much better penalty decision later in the match (Bentley was held up in the area...clear-cut penalty...despite what that walrus-faced jackass Allardyce said after the match).

The second instance was in the Crystal Palace - Blackburn match. Now, Blackburn manager Mark Hughes was an absolutely vile piece of shit when he was a player, so it isn't surprising to me that he's transformed Rovers into a bunch of psychotic, hyperactive hatchet men. First, you had Jay Bothroyd taking that ridiculous (but deserved) red card for a retaliation kick, and now David Thompson did much the same to a Crystal Palace defender that had well and truly beaten him to the ball. Thompson (who really isn't a bad player...that's the aggravating thing) hooked an arm around him, then delivered a New Japan Pro Wrestling-style kick to the back of the legs. A violent, classless and cowardly act like that should always have one result -- a straight red card and at least a one-match suspension (preferably three). I don't know what on earth this referee was thinking (didn't catch who it was), but he only gave him a yellow card. Now, if I were to tell you that (after a foul like that where the player wasn't sent off) the match ended up denigrating into a mini-brawl at the end...I mean, you must be as fucking shocked as I was. Guess who ended up right at the center of it? Guess who got sent off way too late? I'm too lazy to look up the time difference between the should-have-been red and the actual red. However, if it were any length of time at all, then Palace has a legitimate bitch. Maybe, in the 10 minutes that they had the man advantage, they could have broken the 0-0 deadlock and scored a winner in there somewhere. Imagine how big that could be in a relegation six-pointer in a league that is always razor-thin at the bottom of the standings? Three points can mean the difference between safety and relegation. Shit, the +1 in the goal differential can mean all the difference in the world.

Again, these are humongous decisions during the course of the season...and, while the referees get it right the majority of the time, it MUST be pointed out when they get it badly, badly wrong.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?