Sep 26th, 2012 by 'holic
A bloggers nightmare. No ticket, no stream. Unexpectedly a mixture of Arsenal Player, Twitter, and live text commentary on the BBC provides an amusing impression, accurate or otherwise. So, chronologically, the ‘virtual’ highlights for me included the following.
I should also point out that for the first half an hour I was completing a very tasty dish of paella in a country pub and then returning home, so there is an element of catch-up involved. It seems I missed some early problems as Arsenal Player struggled to keep up with demand as they commented on some microphones snapped up at an Aldi excess stock clearance. To be fair the broadcast was perfect by the time I joined it, with the one exception of trying to work out if Stephen Hughes was talking about Giroud or Djourou. At least his old mate Carzola wasn’t playing.
The Beeb’s approach to live text seems to be less is more. From them I would assume that Coventry had the first attempt on goal in the ninth minute, and the second thirteen minutes later. That would tie in with some of the tweets I saw as I joined the action ‘live’, as it were. Indeed the official Arsenal Twitter account confirmed that despite controlling the game the home side had failed to create a single chance in the opening twenty minutes. Clearly at this point a war of attrition was developing. How frustrating!
The stalemate finally ends at precisely 38 BBC minutes and 39 BBC seconds, and joy of joys, it’s Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman puts the finishing touch to a wonderful pass from, well, depending on who you choose to believe, either Francis Coquelin, or Andrey Arshavin. (Watching the highlights on BBC it is clearer now that both had a hand, or rather a foot, in laying the chance on for the big man to chip home.) Now perhaps we can move on from the nonsense that has been spouted about him in the opening weeks of the season.
Four paragraphs, one goal. Pay attention now, because lots are about to happen in the second half. The second goal for big Olivier looks a formality when Arshavin is upended in the box. A definite penalty is the opinion of Hughsie, and that is good enough for me. Two village idiots invade the pitch, holding up the spot-kick. Giroud, mindful of not using up his goals ration for the week, sees his effort saved by Murphy. Good lad, we will need your second goal, and maybe more, against the bus stop in Fulham on Saturday.
Thirty four minutes are all that remains when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain “finds the back of the net with a goal from outside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal” (BBC). The floodgates are well and truly open. Six minutes later Arshavin turns scorer rather than provider and both my options for the ‘holic pound are on the mark, sadly after the first goal has been scored. It is at this point that I am temporarily distracted by a Thompson Twins punfest on Twitter. That man from @EastLower is a bad influence. Apologies.
The game is freshened when the substitutes are introduced, Gnabry, Frimpong and Chamakh come on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin and Giroud (72). Within two minutes Theo picks up the ball from Nico Yennaris, raids down the right, cuts in and scores. Cue lots of ‘is he/he is a striker’ comments. Then a bit of a shock. I am indebted to @Arseblog, the birthday boy, for letting me know that Cannonball has scored for the visitors. So no clean sheet for Damian Martinez. Shame that.
Ignasi Miquel takes the affront personally. Seemingly a man of the match contender he ventures upfield when the exciting Serge Gnabry wins a corner. Arshavin picks out the young Spaniard and it is 5-1. Keith the Gooner, frantically trying to sketch the goals for all on Twitter to enjoy, pleads with the players to stop scoring so fast, or words to that effect. He gets ten minutes to catch up before Theo gets his second, this time from the left, and completes a second consecutive 6-1 home win.
That, boys and girls, is a lesson in how to generate a comprehensive report of a game you haven’t seen, although since typing it I have now had the benefit of seeing the goals, and of reading Arsene’s post-match interview.
“In the first half we were tested…In the second half our offensive potential made the difference when they tired a little bit…The difference of quality made a big impact on the result in the end”
So the draw has given us a trip down the M4 to Reading in the fourth round at the end of October. That should be another enjoyable evening. For now though let’s start to focus on Saturday. The meeting of arguably the two form sides in the Premiership is a mouthwatering prospect, but watching (or rather hearing) the youngsters and squad players maintain the positive mood has been fun, for tonight.
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