After recent games that almost sent us to sleep, we finally found our rhythm against a lacklustre Roma side, yet once again our finishing let us down. From 14 attempts on goal we only tested the keeper twice and we could only score from a penalty so although we played with fluidity and many of our players were in impressive form, I’m not jumping for joy just yet, there’s still a long way to go.I still think 1 nil from the home leg is never enough to take into the 2nd, especially when we should of had at least 3, but the fact we scored and kept a clean sheet means Roma will have to come at us and play, especially on their own turf. We all know we struggle when teams decide to park the bus, but when they decide to play we can beat anyone, just ask Chelsea and Man Utd. I am confident if we get one goal at least, the tie is ours. Our defence has been solid recently, Gallas has been world class and Kolo has been a worthy side kick, an early goal would mean Roma need 3 and I don’t think they will do it, so fingers crossed.
Onto the game, I said on the blog yesterday that if we were going to get a result we needed RvP and Nasri to be on top form, and they didn’t disappoint. Nasri was all over the place, it was like he was given a free role in the midfield and when hes central he’s awesome. Let me add if we did lose Cesc in the summer, I wouldn’t be worried, because in Nasri we have a suitable replacement and although his passing is not of Cescs standard, his overall attack play is better than Cescs and i’d love him to play centrally all the time. Robin was also class, he’s so clever with the ball, close control, tricky feet and the penalty was sweet. Robin won the penalty with intelligence and trickery. He rope a doped the defender into going to other way and made himself room for a shot, the slightest of clips and he went down, excellent forward play.
We had some excellent chances, Bendtner could of had a couple cough cough, Eboue also had a glorious chance cough cough, but do we expect anything less from them after the season they have both had?????
Roma were overpowered, outplayed and credit must go to wenger for the tactics on the night, for once he got it spot on, he made Denilson sit back all game and we looked solid for once when we didn’t have the ball, Roma never looked threatening and apart from a long range effort which Almunia superbly saved, we weren’t tested at all.
Almunia…7…not really tested but made a great save from a thunder bolt from 30 yards, came out for a few crosses and looked comfortable all night.
Sagna…7…I thought we saw the Sagna of last season. Went on bombing runs, keeping the Roma winger defending all night and his crossing wasn’t as bad as its been recently either.
Clichy..7..like Sagna, some good crosses also, but just needs to sort out his defensive play
Kolo…7…was Totti even in the game???
Gallas…7…same as kolo, never looked in trouble all night, the mans professionalism and class has shone through since earlier season activities, I hope he stays with us in the summer
Denilson…8…wow, excellent game, kept away from the attack and did what he was told and protected his back four with ease, won every tackle and swept up well, best performance I’ve seen from him, he looked like a little Gilberto. Its watching him in games like that which make me think he will make it as a good player.
Diaby…7…started well but faded towards the end but he has just returned from injury so I won’t moan. His control is excellent, hes a great player when he wants to be, going forward and backward there were times I thought I was watching Vieira all over again, its just a shame he doesn’t do it every game.
Eboue…7…I’d like to give Eboue 10 for effort, but trying and effort doesn’t make you a great player. His pace causes problems but he does nothing with it, he has no end product. There were times last night Eboue broke on the counter attack and his pace got him free and into space, but he can’t dribble, he can’t shoot and he can’t pass so he just runs into brick walls and dead ends and the chance has gone. The most we can wish for from an Eboue run is a free kick. Good effort though, at least we saw nothing from the circus.
Nasri…8…Main midfield man, absolute dynamo, creative, threatening and when he’s on form like this he’s hard to stop and he’s still learning. We got a gem with this one.
RvP…8…Great penalty, won it well as I said before, caused the Roma defence problems all night with his trickery and linked up well with Nasri and Diaby.
Nikki (brikki)…5… Has the 1st touch of a brick wall, can’t shoot, and wastes a lot of good play, was useless. He could of put the tie to bed but he can’t finish his dinner. He’s another Ade, we don’t need either of them.
Song…5…Why?? whats the point???
Vela…6…This lad has impressed us with his finishing this season, yet he has to keep the bench warm because Wenger prefers brikki. His confidence looks shot in front of goal now but who’s wouldn’t having to watch brikki given his chance week after week. Some people say Wenger wont play Vela because he isn’t ready??? So brikki is???
Overall a good solid performance, we should of had more goals for our efforts but with Dudu out we lack finese in front of goal. We are half way there, same again in Rome and its ours.