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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal vs. Slavia Prague

Emirates Stadium

23/10/07

19:45GMT

Arsenal V Slavia Prague

Arsenal will take a massive step towards qualication on Tuesday if they can over come Slavia Prague at home.

The Gunners have made a great start to their Champions League campaign, beating Sevilla 3-0 at home, followed by a 1-0 away win against Steaua Bucharest.

That has left Arsenal sitting top of their group with two home games still to play. Arsene Wenger will hope that his team have the group tied up before they visit Spain to face Sevilla on match day five.

Wenger will also be hoping his side can make it twelve wins on the bounce before they face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

With two massive games coming up it's likely that Arsene Wenger will rotate his team. Fabregas, Toure, Flamini and Hleb could all be rested.

Vital Quotes:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger warned his players about becoming complaicent when they face Slaiva: 'It's a typical, tricky tie,' Wenger said.

'We could think that, because we beat Sparta Prague, we'll beat Slavia too. But the Champions League doesn't work like that. We needed to dig deep to beat Steaua.

Slavia also beat Steaua and they scored two goals at Sevilla. This is another good mental test.'


The Arsenal manager also claimed that his side have learnt a big lesson after exiting the Champions League in the first knock out round last season: 'The PSV game must serve as a big warning. You never have easy games in this competition.

But we've learned from our mistakes and I feel our teamwork is better.

'Before, we conceded a lot from counterattacks and set-pieces but now we're stronger in defence.'


Slavia coach Karel Jarolim claims that everyone is beatable, even Arsenal: 'Arsenal are one of the best teams in Europe but we won't commit the same mistakes we made in Sevilla.

Our players must be at the top of their games and we must play as a team, both in defence and attack. Everyone is beatable – even Arsenal.

They're the favourites to win the group but there's no reason why we can't create a small miracle.'

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal will be without injured Duno Phillipe Senderos and Robin van Persie for the visit of Slavia Prague.

Tomas Rosicky will continue his comeback from injury after making his return against Bolton at the weekend.

As I mentioned, Wenger is likey to rest players with one eye on the Liverpool game. Theo Walcott could make his first Champions League start for Arsenal, and get a rare game playing int the middle.

Player to watch: Theo Walcott

The 18-year-old striker showed what he can do when he came on against Bolton.

Some have doubted his talents in recent months, but I'm delighted to say that I'm not one of them.

His and power make him an opponent to be feared. It's just a matter of time before he gets the recognition that his talent deserves.

I'm not going to tip him to get his first Champions League goal, it'll probably jinx him!

Slavia Prague Team News:

Former Liverpool Vladimer Smicer did not travel with the visiting team. Nor have Dusan Svento, Petr Janda, Martin Latka and Erich Brabec.

Midfield duo Daniel Pudil and Michal Svec should both return after recovering from injury.

Player to watch: Stanislav Vlcek

The Czech international has made a fine start to the season for Prague. He scored a brace at the weekend to take his tally to seven for the season.

He'll play up front on his own, so will need support from midfield, but either way he will pose a threat to Arsenal's goal.

Match Facts & Stats

If Arsenal win they will be just two wins away from setting a new club record for consecutive victories.

Those two games are Liverpool and Manchester United.

This season is Arsenal's 10th consecutive in the Champions League.

This is Slavia's debut season in the Champions League.

Slavia Prague are only the second team to feature in the Champions League.

If Adebayor is booked he will miss the trip to Prague.

Match Prediction:

It'll not be an easy game for Arsenal, and with everyone thinking about Liverpool at the weekend I'm going to opt for a draw.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 22 2007

Time: 9:54PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
should be a 3-0 win to you lot i cant see them making many chances or giving you a hard time so should be quite easy for you
muffdaddy1983
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22/10/2007 22:02:00

nah muffdiver, it'll be cold - proper freezing. Bearing in mind half our team are from Africa/Spain, I can see a draw or a cheeky 1 niller.
michael105uk
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22/10/2007 22:17:00

nice pic there simmy.
G4L
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22/10/2007 22:18:00

...and still going for the reverse jinx predictions? predict a draw or loss end we end up winning.
G4L
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22/10/2007 22:20:00

I thought the picture would go down well. And afraid not mate, I honestly think it'll be a draw with all things taken into account.
simmy8_2000
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22/10/2007 22:44:00

i think Arsenal will win 2-0
fcdematthew
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23/10/2007 00:22:00

2-0. second goal to come late.
ArsenalRob
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23/10/2007 00:40:00

Simmo, is it true that Slavia are only the 2nd team to feature in the champions league? Talk about an exclusive competition!

I'm hoping to see Theo score... :P »»Arsene knows««
Wingston75
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23/10/2007 00:58:00

and ps - I'm not jinxing him there, I'm hoping, not expecting :) Good preview, Simmo... »»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
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23/10/2007 01:02:00

arsenal to win scrappy, maybe 1-0
supersof
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23/10/2007 02:00:00

1-0 or 2-1 will do.
49ers
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23/10/2007 02:16:00

I'm hoping we match their previous "biggest away loss" record and win over them 5-0. :D
entropy13
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23/10/2007 02:28:00

I don't think "everybody" is thinking about Liverpool. Wenger will make sure of that! And we can set the new record for consecutive wins at Sheffield in midweek between pool and manure. Or don't carling cup games count?
afri-gooner
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23/10/2007 07:23:00

I think he'll go w the same formation he used at the weekend, except replace eboue w rosicky.
thenry009
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23/10/2007 08:14:00

I think we will draw....maybe 1-1.
AB_Arsenal
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23/10/2007 08:15:00

Easy 2-0 win for us. i would want some of the regulars rested for this game, as our squad is good enough to dispose off Slavia..
luckys_10
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23/10/2007 08:23:00

we still haven't conceded in the champions league this season. I hope we can keep that going a little while longer, maybe break our record from '06 and not concede at all!
afri-gooner
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23/10/2007 08:35:00

I cannot post for some reason
BMF
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23/10/2007 08:58:00

Oh, nevermind. I don't want any of them to leave except maybe Lehmann. I don't like the way he's talking crap about his own teammate.
BMF
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23/10/2007 08:59:00

Oops, posted on the wrong topic. Anyway, won't accept less than a 2-nil win for Arsenal.
BMF
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23/10/2007 09:01:00

It's on the wrong topic but I cannot stop laughing at Spurs 3-1 defeat by Newcastle. Cannot believe that there are Spuds fans who think their precious Dawson is just as good as Kolo Toure. I hope that match has opened their eyes.
BMF
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23/10/2007 09:08:00

Haven't seen a squad line up, but I hope Diarra gets some playing time. Would hate to see him leave as he'll be a more than capable replacement for Bertie
bseymour
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23/10/2007 09:45:00

4-0 to the Arsenal.
flv
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23/10/2007 10:05:00

Of course I'll take a 2-0 win, it'll still be a win for the Arsenal anyway.
entropy13
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23/10/2007 10:46:00

Afri-gooner Your right we will break the record with a win today, at Anfield, and at Sheffield.
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 13:20:00

what i want from tonights game would be a good amount of playing time for Diarra and Walcott, a good game from Eduardo, and of course 3 points.
ArsenalRob
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23/10/2007 13:40:00

we are at home!
korodon
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23/10/2007 13:44:00

thanks gunnerkid! that should motivate the players even more. One each in the CL, PL and cup and they're in the record books! They might as well beat United as well than!
afri-gooner
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23/10/2007 13:51:00

main thing is a win and no injury
fcdematthew
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23/10/2007 13:53:00

oops, that'll be second Czech team, Wingers. Well spotted that man, you've passed that test...:-P
simmy8_2000
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23/10/2007 16:15:00

Ah, we're playing at home - that makes a difference, thought it might be in the frozen wastelands. Let's get a good result tonight, 2-0 so we don't need to go away to Prague on 7th Nov and get a win. We could draw/lose that then it's a nice evening game on 27th away at Sevilla. Win tonight and we're pretty much through.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 17:52:00

On the subject of Jens "Don't humiliate me" Lehmann. Keep him on the bench. I don't want a player like that playing for Arsenal. Look what happened when Eboue acted up last year, he was shunned and dropped to teach him a lesson. Jens just won't shut up, if he did, he'd probably get back into the squad.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 17:53:00

right, leaving work now but will be on later with some comments as the game progresses for those of you without ITV4. Although if you are reading this you probably have broadband, and thus should know about Sopcast. Channel 30188 is showing the game live.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 18:07:00

Right, home and fed (fish & chips as the lady has finally come back from holiday). Team surprise is Theo starts up front. Almunia in goal just to p*** Jens off again!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 19:45:00

eboue on the right, Hleb on the left and the rest as per normal, sagna, kolo, billy, clichy, cesc, flamster & ade finish it off.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 19:47:00

just to say that the pitch looks stunning. It's partly artifical "grass" and it looks like it's never been used before.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 19:48:00

hahaha. 5 minutes gone, Cesc - 1-0. Come on Arsenal!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 19:50:00

The crowd: "Are you Tottenham in disguise?"
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 19:52:00

faaaab!!
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:02:00

ooops just woke the missus jumping around on the bed lol...
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:05:00

excellent! Hleb, 2-0! For any of you not watching this, it's already become a training game. Prague are trying but they can't compete.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:10:00

Hleeeeb!!no sleep 4 the missus tonight them ahaha...
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:11:00

Cesc is on FIRE...
Spartan Gooner
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23/10/2007 20:20:00

KaoTak / Mike, thanks for the updates. No ITV here in Africa :( The local stations are showing the United game. can't be Arsed, watching Lost as i follow up the BBC live text and your updates.
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 20:21:00

haha!!! 3-0 and guess who............ THEO WALCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:27:00

THEO! THEO!
Spartan Gooner
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23/10/2007 20:28:00

goal !!!!!
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 20:28:00

Theo! fu(king brilliant!
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:32:00

that wud've been some goal from Eboue...
Spartan Gooner
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23/10/2007 20:32:00

theo is now a different player, he's getting the ball, and working and running. Just had the most audacious shot from tyhe right hand touch line by eboue. Only just missed the left post. Half time here kids, Arsenal 3-0, it's a walk in the park. There simply is no comparison in the quality between last nights shambles featuring our dear neighbours and tonight.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:33:00

No worries Kenyan... btw Im watching in thailand, but my cable has super sport 3 (the African / dstv channel) you dont get it in Kenya? will keep you up to date though ;-)
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:38:00

Hi Kenyan, no worries either. I live in Clapham in London but can't get a season ticket - so I'm left watching it on the TV.... Don't worry though mate, I'll keep you updated! Hakuna matata!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:40:00

Ok so where are all the online gooners hailing from??? so far we got Thailand, Africa and sarrrrrrrrf Laaaahndaahn......
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:45:00

mumbai , india .....those ********s r showin da man u game here ... !!!
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 20:51:00

USA!!! Keyangooner if you go to the forum on this site ReMad posts highlights of the goals just minutes after it happens. He has all 3 first half goals up already.
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 20:51:00

Hleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeb again.......beautiful goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:51:00

Hleeeeeeb!!! simply feckin awesome tonite
nikolaijns
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23/10/2007 20:52:00

I have to think soon AW will take Ade off and put Bendtner on.
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 20:53:00

You guys should really try and get feeds from supersport3, they always show arsenal games........I'll do a bit of research and try and get some links for you guys......
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:54:00

sorry, went out for a cigarette (I'm trying to quit) YESSSSSS Theo!!!!!!! 5-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:55:00

Walcott again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You fu(kin beauty!!!!!!!!!Theo looks chuffed (and so am I!!!!!!)
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:56:00

To explain more about Theo's second. He's just exceeded the laws of physics. YESSSSSSSSSSSS Cesc 6-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 20:58:00

I don't adam and eve it....Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab!!!!
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 20:58:00

DSTV do not screen most of the Arsenal's premiership matches so I got GTV, which unfortunately does not have the Champions League. Bummer.
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 20:58:00

TTHHHHEEEOOO!!!!!! Henry-like goal from the man they call the next Titi!!!!
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 20:58:00

i have sopcast but cant find da game !!!! a gamecast just sucks ! I NEED TO SEE THIS MATCH !!!!!!!!!
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

wohoo im a kenyan in australia nothing here as well lets go for 8-0
anonymous
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

I'll go back to Theo's second. He hit it with the outside of his right boot. That means the ball should swerve away to the right. Theo hit it though and it swerved to the left.....
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

a hatrick for theo would be awesome
anonymous
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

Are you Tottenham in disguise LMMFAO
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

FAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 21:00:00

ne1 knw wer i can see da goals atleast ! ?
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 21:01:00

cheers, gunnerkid. looks like Arsene's Army is gunning for a cricket score :D
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 21:01:00

Get TVANTS they have all the arsenal games in English
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 21:01:00

FABTASTIC...
Spartan Gooner
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23/10/2007 21:01:00

mate im all the way in sydney its 6 in the morning here and the game has been an absolute ripper! *****in hell we just scored another one!!
cescfab4
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23/10/2007 21:02:00

what channel on tv ants
anonymous
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23/10/2007 21:05:00

guys get TVAnts and http://arsenaltv.blogspot.com/ will give you links to all the available arsenal matches... I am in class and dont know what the prof is talkin' about today :)
Spartan Gooner
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23/10/2007 21:06:00

Thats odd Kenyan......for some weird reason my cable is all from DSTV....MNET, super sport and all that....they always show Arsenal matches on SS3 - maybe its the S.A DSTV??? Triple sub TR, GS & NB on for AH,MF & EA......You guys could also try feeds from Thai channels (UBC true sport)
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:06:00

Flamini, Adebayor and Hleb off, Gilberto, Bentdner & Rosiky on. More than one eye on the Scouser game at the weekend... Just gone a bit quiet now. Hold on....
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:07:00

Well saved Manu......you watching Herr Lehman???
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:08:00

great save by Almunia. Shot on right side of area needed to be saved and was.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:08:00

Slavia seeing a bit of the ball here, well - they couldn't see any less really!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:08:00

a bloke who plays for Slavia and sounds suspicially like *********ack has just been booked.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:11:00

Nice to see the team trying to get Theo his hat trick....sure Tommy could have scored from there......
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:12:00

THANK U GUYS SOOO MUCH !!! finally i get to see the match !!
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 21:12:00

b**locksack may make it easier. Another good save by Manu, and then another great effort by Tomas to set up eboue. Good save at his near post. Corner was well cleared
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:13:00

Another good save from Manu
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:13:00

why so many yellow cards???
anonymous
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23/10/2007 21:16:00

good work by bert, sets up theo who shoots but it's a corner
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:20:00

theo almost hattrick, thomas hit the crossbar on the followup. Unbelievable game!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:22:00

I think I predicted a cheeky 1 nil to us at the start.....
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:23:00

Cmon theo get a hat trick!!!!
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:26:00

Miraclous save by the Prague keeper to deny Theo a hat trick. One of the best saves you will see all season.
gunnerkid107
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23/10/2007 21:26:00

7-0. Niklas Bendtner! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:29:00

Bendtner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lol
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:29:00

Wish this game went on for another 90 LoL
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:30:00

7!... heaven!
Unwell
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23/10/2007 21:30:00

Side note : Rangers seem to be coming back into their game with Barca after weathering an erly storm. Might even sneak something out of the game. That would be brilliant.
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 21:31:00

Double figures Please!!!! Would really make everyone, read TH14, sit up and notice
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 21:32:00

that's it guys. 7-0. Theo & Cesc both with 2, Hleb with 1 1/2 (it was an own goal really) and Bendtner rounds it off. Football from another planet tonight, it really really was.
michael105uk
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23/10/2007 21:35:00

what an amazing match !!!
HENRY`14
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23/10/2007 21:36:00

Been a pleasure lads, bring on Liverpool and Man U.......aint gonna get any sleep so pro Evo it is then ahaha.....
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:37:00

Question for the night????? Who gets MOTM???Tough one that eh???
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:38:00

Great display of Wengerball, and a fantastic confidence booster going into a difficult next few weeks.
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 21:41:00

For me gotta be Theo after all the slating he's been getting, but in honesty it was a vintage Arsenal performance.l....
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:41:00

Kenyan...if you've got DSL/ASDL I'll try n hook you up with some feeds so you won't have to miss anymore matches.....
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 21:43:00

Cheers KaoTek, unfortunately I only have broadband at the office. Use a rather slow GPRS connection at home. Thinking of ditching the Pay TV for ADSL. Got the pay TV for football only anyway.
KenyanGooner
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23/10/2007 21:49:00

Feel your pain man...I live on an Island so am using GPRS too, though luckily it's an "edge" connection which means I get pretty fast d/l speeds (most new phones have edge as standard)
KaoTeK
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23/10/2007 22:05:00

what a way to set yourself for the anfield trip. hopefully liverpool journey to besiktas wont be as smooth sailing. they're also travelling without torres. is he injured? hope he's out for the weekend clash as well
cescfab4
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23/10/2007 22:09:00

7-0 to the arsenal................. thank you boys and thank you arsene for a masterclass in football. 'nuff said.
supersof
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23/10/2007 22:17:00

ber-limey! What a stunning performance. I was astounded by some of the play i witnessed. Now all i need to do is find suffficient time tomorrow to read all the match reports... no crowing after tomorrow though, an exceedingly difficult match awaits at Anfield this weekend.

»»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
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23/10/2007 23:12:00

Wow - perfect football!! Great result, but more than that, what a way to play. Don't tell anyone I said this, but sometimes I wish I was an Arsenal fan. I'll deny it if challenged!!! btw - No Spuds over here at the moment?
CLVilla
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23/10/2007 23:29:00

fantastic win tonight, I'm lucky enough to have watched it in a pub in Berlin, but know how frustrating it is to try to find matches on the net in the middle of the night from Australia, like some of the other folks on here tonight. Perhaps someone can compile a list of links to live streams ...
JakeB
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23/10/2007 23:30:00

One of the most perfect displays of total football in the history of the beautiful game. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Emirates was rocking! Credit to the Slavia players for trying to play positive football, and the attitude of their fans, especially after the final whistle.
G4L
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23/10/2007 23:33:00

wt a game it was. everyone played well. Theo was awesome, Fab was his usual self, Hleb seems to be getting physically stronger, and good to see Bert back. Flam was ok tonight. i feel Bert should start against pool, Flam looks a bit jaded. and i say give Theo a chance to run riot at the pool defence..
luckys_10
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23/10/2007 23:41:00

so much for all our predictions of 1-0 or 2-0 then. or even the draw! Theo was great, but slightly over-rated in this game. Clinical, and thats the beauty of him, obviously with his pace, but not as involved as i would have liked. But great, and he has plenty of time to work on that.
ArsenalRob
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24/10/2007 00:16:00

great result for you lot i think that is the best i have seen arsenal play for years if not ever..... but it will be totally different at anfield we will be on a high after the derby (no matter how we won it) and you are on a high after tonight so its going to be a great game good luck for the rest of the season well apart from the games against us lol.........
muffdaddy1983
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24/10/2007 00:29:00

7-0.......and i though it would be 1-1 :)
AB_Arsenal
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24/10/2007 00:46:00

MuffDaddy if you dont come away from Turkey with all 3 points you will be coming into our game limping. 3 points is a must or you will be in some deep ***** in your group.
gunnerkid107
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24/10/2007 01:42:00

muffdaddy1983, are you having a laugh? Arsenal played great football before this. In Europe, with the exception of Barcelona (well maybe Arsenal & Barca are equal), Arsenal plays the most attractive football. So, who should be Man of the Match? Walcott? Hleb? Fabregas?
BMF
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24/10/2007 02:29:00

I hope those Walcott-bashers can finally see that he deserves a place in our team. He's on superb form, not just for this match but also on previous matches.
BMF
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24/10/2007 02:35:00

Walcott is getting all the praise but this was a team performance. The movement was brilliant. Cesc 2nd goal was fantastic. Boy do I love my team. For me, Hleb was MOTM. He was outstanding. For all the gooners that knocked him last year, this guy just needed to come out of TH14's shadow. The guy has movement and vision. For little Theo, dynamite comes in small packages and with our seasoned warrior in our Little Spaniard at the helm, the sky is the limit. They just gotta believe. Bring on the Pool, it will be a good test of how we really are. Just dont let Clattenburg anyhere near Anfield. I know he's dropped for the next week, but he's probably like the Raven. If Gerrard goes down like he did against Everton, then he really is a buffon. Liverpool are there for the taking.
themadafrican
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24/10/2007 03:23:00

what a performance before the liverFool game
fcdematthew
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24/10/2007 03:43:00

I predicted a 5-0...but that wasn't enough, the Arsenal won 7-0! :D
entropy13
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24/10/2007 05:43:00

"Theo was great, but slightly over-rated in this game." You what mate??? Slightly over-rated???? to each their own and all that, but 2 goals and an assist aint too shoddy for an 18 year old in his full CL début (who incidentally was getting slated by a large number of Gooners in recent weeks)
KaoTeK
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24/10/2007 07:34:00

The world of the Gooner doesn't seem to get better than it feels this morning. Even accouting for the opposition, there's not many teams that could have dismantled Slavia in that style. However, Wenger points out on arsenal.com today that the next 10 games are the real determinants for us, because 8 of them are away. I'd say the next 2 are the key ones - win them both and it would be pretty difficult to stop the Arsenal juggernaut. However, even if we lose both, I don't see this team's spirit wilting and would fancy them to fight back strongly.
Gooner_Vin
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24/10/2007 10:29:00

sorry take that back... Theo was awesome, but i still feel that the press are all on about it abit too much coz he's english
ArsenalRob
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24/10/2007 19:42:00

 

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