Sunday, January 23, 2022

Arsenal 0 - 0 Burnley -- Ugly game, ugly result

 I have to credit Burnley for a well organized and energetic defense.  But few teams have been unable to break down Burnley's resistance on the road this year.  Add us to that short list.  Lacazette spurned our best chance, but Pope made only one save of note that I remember.  The good teams find a way to win these games.  

The annoying thing is that all the Arsenal players looked sharp to me.  I didn't see a weak link, but the chain was not up to the task.  There were important absences, but that's not excuse--the team out there was strong and should have done the job.  Arteta needs to find some tactical nous soon, or we'll be mid-table again.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

No Silverware This Year

 Liverpool eased through to the Carabao Cup final 2-0 over a limp Arsenal.  It was not televised.  This comes after a miserable 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest as we tripped over the first FA Cup hurdle.  Only a top six finish can redeem this season, and probably save Arteta's job.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Arsenal Women Crash Out of Conti Cup: Arsenal 0 - 1 Manchester United

 Our poor run of form continued as we were eliminated in the quarterfinals of this analog to the men's League (Carabao) Cup.  It was a disheartening watch as the Gunners were not incisive enough although they had the better of the play.  The difference was a header off a free kick, very well taken by the United players.  We're still in command of our fate in the league, but the matgin is not wide and the squad has to start performing.  Blackstenius looked like a real threat; she'll help.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Arsenal Interest in Italian Supercup: INT 2-1 JUV

 The Old Lady went down, deservedly but in heartbreaking fashion, as our former star Alexis Sanchez put the last kick of extra time past Szczesny.  David Ospina was in goal for Inter.  I had thought he was playing in Turkey.  It's remarkable how many former Arsenal keepers are starting for big clubs in Europe.  In addition to Ospina and Szczesny, there's Martinez at Villa and Fabianski at West Ham.  Leno may be playing first team football at a big club too next year.

Brighton 1 Crystal Palace 1

 The own goal blues spoiled a decent effort by CP, but such things happen.  Gallagher gave us an early lead, and three points seemed in the cards until this unfortunate late error allowed Brighton to escape with a draw.  

Friday, January 14, 2022

Who Says Ties Are Boring? LIV 0-0 ARS and BHA 1-1 CP

 Granit Xhaka did what Granit Xhaka does, and got sent off after 24 minutes of the first half of our League Cup semifinal at Anfield.  We were already shorthanded (so was Liverpool, to be fair) due to Covid and AFCON and injuries.  But the team defended well and we escaped with a scoreless draw.

The N23 Derby was its usual spiky self, with Palace getting a point despite being outplayed by a wide margin.  Gallagher finished beautifully after one of Palace's few offensive threats at minute 68, but they had to settle for a point after Brighton's relentless pressure forced an own goal with a minute to go in regular time.  The first half saw a VAR penalty saved by the Palace keeper, followed immediately by a disallowed Brighton goal when Maupay kicked the ball out of the keeper's hands.  It was a good game, with impressive performances all around.  I really like Brighton's Trossard and Cucurella (who looks like Marouane Fellaini's mini-me).  Gallegher was the Palace standout.  Both teams are mid-table, four points apart.  

The North London Derby may be played Sunday if the league turns down Arteta's request for a reschedule.  We'd be down to a skeleton crew.  This game has big implications for the top four race.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Well, There Was This: Roma 3 - 4 Juventus

 Highlights can be found here.

The goals were all very good.  There was plenty of Arsenal interest here.  Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the Gunner who was loaned to Roma days ago, had a dreadful game for the Giallorossi.  Former Arsenal #1 Szczesny, now between the sticks for Juve, saved a late penalty.  And Jose Mourinho is sad, always a good thing.

My fave NFL team, the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, beat the San Diego Chargers in a wild game in overtime.  It was a very significant game for both, as the winner of would make the playoffs and the loser would not.

The Baltimore Ravens infuriatingly gave away a playoff spot to the Steelers when their QB threw an interception in the end zone late.  They lost in OT.  They have made a habit of last minute collapses this season.