For the first time in weeks, Arsenal head in to a match not in first place. Due to their late match, Liverpool and Man City had the opportunity to jump Arsenal (at least for the time being). Hopefully, Arsenal will do the job over the Ego and his underachieving Chelsea team. This match is important for so many reasons, but the main ones are:
- Arsenal need to bounce back from their loss at Napoli and their 3-6 beating at the hands of Man City. A strong performance will once again answer the critics.
- A win gives Arsenal sole possession of first place again.
- Arsenal need to beat the "big" teams if they are to seriously mount a title challenge. City were crazy good last weekend, but we were not at our sharpest on defense. As for the loss at Manchester United, I truly believe Arsenal beat themselves in that one mentally. It's time for Arsenal to make that statement.
- Wenger needs to beat Mourinho and keep that blowhard egotistical snob in his place.
Bring on Chelsea.. Let's kick their arses
— Toby (@tibexay) December 23, 2013
Can't believe pundits are given the game to chavs. I'll be very mad if we don't prove em all wrong tonight. #COYG #MatchDay #AFC
— Stockport GooneR (@petitmoore) December 23, 2013
Lets see if the wind can blow the ball into Moanaho net, 3pts please tonight Arsene, full focus, team spirit, & Merry Christmas all Gooners.
— Cary The Gooner (@cary1961) December 23, 2013
From grudge matches to verbal sparring, we review the past clashes of Wenger & Mourinho. http://t.co/7nHtFuo2ax pic.twitter.com/zFIsOsdHZC
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 23, 2013
Is it just me or is everyone getting a HARD ON just thinking of tonight's #AFCvCFC? Lol #COYG #alliwant4christmas pic.twitter.com/DWaiyULwYr
— Arsenal FC (@ArsenalFC_COYG) December 23, 2013
Well that game was a complete let down all around. The weather conditions in London were abysmal with torrential rain and high winds. The reports were that the game would have been cancelled if the visiting team was from anywhere outside of the capital. Unfortunately the game went on and both teams struggled to pass the ball and play a fluid game. Arsenal had over 60% of the possession but Bore-INHO parked the Chelsea bus and played the game not to lose. The 0-0 score was the inevitable outcome of a rather crap game all around.
It must be pointed out, however, that Mike Dean must have been on the Chelsea payroll for this match. John Obi Mikel should have seen red for a rash tackle on Mikel Arteta in the first half and a penalty was not awarded to Arsenal on what looked like a trip on Theo Walcott in the box.
The one point keeps Arsenal tied for top spot in the table, however, they now trail Liverpool on goal differential. Plus, the race has tightened with the Mercenaries 1 point behind and the Sheikh's squad and Everton each 2 points behind.
Disappointing not to win tonight given we had a 9-day break. Chelsea came for the draw & got it. Surprised we didn't make any substitutions.
— FK (@fkhanage) December 23, 2013
I'm starting to realize that Mike Dean baseline offense for a red card is a drive-by; and for yellow a stabbing.
— George Arsenal (@George_Arsenal) December 23, 2013
"Football is never a 'beautiful game' when Chelsea are involved." SPOT ON.
— Arsenal. (@ArsenalRealm) December 23, 2013
Before even getting to the Boxing Day match, this video of the Arsenal players putting their own spin on the 12 Days of Christmas is a must watch:
“@samfitz30: @GoonerJD happy with a scrappy 1-0 victory today #AFC #GoonerFamily” agreed 3pts vital, Loserpool next 2 games shitty and chavs
— Gooner Jack (@GoonerJD) December 26, 2013
Good old Arsenal, we're proud to say that name And while we sing this song we'll win the game. #GoonerFamiliy
— tony dennison (@dennison_tony) December 26, 2013
big game for the #goooooonnnnneeerrrrrrrrrssssssssssss hope we win . who would of thought #ARSENAL be joint top .. say again joint top #coyg
— ❤ ARSENAL BABE ❤ (@arsenal_f1_babe) December 26, 2013
Match Day and @aaronramsey 's birthday! Let's celebrate with 3 points Rambo! Happy Birthday!!! #AaronsArmy
— Sere #NoMoreSilence (@SereRenasArmy) December 26, 2013
This match was reminiscent of the type of wins that Arsenal produced last season. In other words, they caused their fans to sweat and grow aggravated before they turned it on and put the match to bed. Arsenal controlled the game in the first half but were unable to get on the score sheet. They went in to the break 0-0.
Soon after the restart, Carlton Cole cleaned up on a deflection off of a Szczesny save to put West Ham up 1-0. There was still plenty of time for Arsenal to come back and that they did.
Lukas Podolski provided the spark that led Arsenal to victory. First Theo Walcott scored the 68th minute. Then Podolski, in his first match back from injury, provided a cross that Theo Walcott headed home to take the lead. Podolski then put the match to bed with a super strike in the 79th minute.
The only real negative from the match was that Aaron Ramsey had to be taken off with a thigh injury. The extent of his injury is not yet known but he is expected to miss the remaining holiday fixtures.
With Liverpool losing at Man City, Arsenal are back in first place. The gap is tight, however, with the top 6 clubs separated by just six points.
@aaronramsey hope you're ok Aaron, you all did a great job out there today! <3 <3 <3
— Yasmin Gooner (@Yasmin_Gooner) December 26, 2013
Great win, showed mental strength to come back from 1 down! Podolski was class when he came on!! #WHUFCvAFC #AFC #GoonerFamily #COYG
— nick morris (@nock31) December 26, 2013
I thought Ozil was brilliant today but my MOTM is definitely Cazorla.
— Andre Guillory (@AndreGuillory) December 26, 2013
"@khanh369: Look at the lads enjoying a nice comedy on the journey home from the game. Tottenham: The Season So Far pic.twitter.com/QG1GjTgTaC"
— IG: davykata17 (@davykata17) December 26, 2013