|Samir Nasri takes on five Wigan players|
First though, the backdrop. Arsenal left Ipswich down 1-0 after a frustrating match two weeks back and were looking to redeem themselves in front of their home crowd at the Emirates. While Arsenal fans everywhere were confident of the team's ability to roll over an inferior Ipswich squad, there were definitely nerves as this was a golden opportunity for the team to head to Wembley for the finals and finally end the club's 6 year trophy drought.
Now the story. An hour before kick off, 2:45 p.m. New York time, I took Kyrie, my neighbor's golden retriever out for a walk. Kyrie is a big puppy and is constantly picking up gloves and other lost items that she comes across on the streets of the Upper East Side of Manhattan and carrying them around in her mouth. So, it was not a surprise when I saw her grab something and not let go. On a second glance I noticed that it was not a glove but a scarf. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it looked like a football scarf. I found this strange as this being New York, football, a.k.a. soccer, is not a particularly popular sport and I generally only see these scarves at pubs and Irish bars that show the games on television.
As I tried in vain to pull the now filthy scarf out of the dog's mouth, I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw the logo and name of the team I hate the most...(next to the New York Yankees) Manchester United. It was all dirty and black from the snow and being on the street which made me laugh. Suddenly, I did take it as a an omen. Yes it's crazy, but this was a sign that Arsenal were going to win today's game and ManUre (as they are referred to by fans of Arsenal) will not win the Premier League this season. Arsenal will overtake them in the standings and win the title. On the other hand, it could just be a weird coincidence...but ...I think not. I'm sure somewhere on the streets of Manchester, England there's a dirty and discarded New York Mets cap which explains why they always implode. Just a theory.
As for the games: Despite waiting until the last third of the match, Arsenal did come back against a tenacious Ipswich side and won the second leg 3-0. With a two game aggregate of 3-1, the Gunners will be playing in the finals of the League Cup at Wembley with hopes of bringing home a trophy.
In the EPL, Arsenal manhandled Wigan at the Emirates this past Saturday with Robin Van Persie scoring a hat trick in an easy 3-0 victory. With the Man. City Billionaire Boys Club losing 1-0 to Aston Villa, Arsenal moved up to 2nd behind ManUre.
As we approach the end of January, Arsenal are the only team in England still alive in all four major competitions. Next up...Huddersfield at home in the FA Cup 4th round this Sunday and a home tie with Everton in one week's time.
Note: I plan on washing the dirty scarf and giving it to my friend Dave who is a ManUre supporter.