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Arsenal vs. West Ham

The Emirates Stadium



Arsenal v. West Ham

Another London derby is upon us, as West Ham make the short trek north to Ashburton Grove to take on Arsenal. The Gunners will be looking to complete their second consecutive season double over the Hammers, who had caused us problems in the league in the past few years.

At Upton Park back in October, it was a rough and tedious encounter where Arsenal were predictably starved of any creative ideas for 70 minutes until the timely introduction of Adebayor who presence caused a Faubert own goal, and then in the dying seconds the Togolese international grabbed one for himself. Since then under Gianfranco Zola, West Ham have been mighty impressive, which has seen them move up to 8th place in the table. The Italian maestro will have his side tactically set up to stifle Arsenal's inept and inexperienced midfield, which will most likely work to West Ham's favor.

Vital Quotes:

Surprisingly Arsene has been asked questions other than about that impending transfer. 'We had a difficult game on Wednesday night, but we are on a good run and I am not concerned'

'This team has overcome a lot of criticism and have a strong character. I am very positive and believe very strongly in my squad - why should we consider all of the negative aspects of the season?'

He also commented on the contract situation with his star striker. 'I'm convinced it means a lot to Robin to stay here," said Wenger. "He wants to be part of the Club and of course we have to satisfy his demands as well. I don't think we're far away.

"He knows how much it means to me and we will try to sort him out and Walcott. I've invested a lot of time in him because I feel it is important to them and it means something to them to be at this Club."

'I believe him being fit has helped him greatly," said Wenger. "He is a player who has made an extreme improvement. When you consider the player who arrived here and who he is today it's absolutely fantastic.

'He has two ingredients which are very important - the talent and the motivation. He thinks, lives and breathes football every moment of his life. He is much more mature now as well.'

Arsenal Team News:

The same squad that traveled to Merseyside midweek, will occupy the team sheet tomorrow. Toure will once again have to settle for a spot on the bench, while it will be interesting to see if Denilson starts on the right wing again, where, frankly, he was useless.

Silvestre has suffered a relapse, and will be out until March. Eduardo is two to three weeks away from first team action, Cesc is out six to eight more weeks, Theo another five weeks, and Rosicky eight weeks.

Possible Starting XI: Alumina, Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, Denilson, Diaby, Song, Nasri, van Persie, Adebayor

Player to watch: Robin van Persie

The flying Dutchman has rightly earned his wings as of late. Not many more superlatives can be hurled his way, so I wills simply say that he is the obvious man to watch for Arsenal in the fixture. Let's see if he can continue his breathtaking statistic of assisting or scoring every Arsenal goal in January in this last match of the month.

West Ham Team News:

As I said earlier, West Ham are on blistering form. They are undefeated in seven games, and have won six of those, since cruelly losing to Aston Villa. The only blimp in that run is a 2-2 draw at St. James Park. Simply stated, Zola has them firing on all cylinders.

Julian Faubert has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, but will still be involved in this match. Dean Ashton and Dyer are still out for the Hammers, but for the first time in a extremely long time West Ham has a vast majority of their first team squad fit.

Player to watch: Carlton Cole

The big man upfront has scored in the last five matches, and has seemed to turn his unrefined skill into Premier League qualities under Zola. He will be a constant threat in the aerial department. Djourou and Gallas must be prepared for the long cross at all times.

Match Facts & Stats

Home and away

League (inc PL): Arsenal 46 wins, West Ham 27, Draws 30

Prem: Arsenal 16 wins, West Ham 6, Draws 5

at Arsenal only

League (inc PL): Arsenal 26 wins, West Ham 13, Draws 12

Prem: Arsenal 9 wins, West Ham 4, Draws 0

Before this season, West Ham were the only team to come to the Emirates and leave with three points

Arsenal have won the last three games a total of 5-0

There has never been a draw in North London between these two teams in EPL history

Ref Watch:

Steve Bennentt will be the head official for this East versus North London derby. He has managed 16 matches this season, handing out no reds and 58 yellows, which gives him a 3.63 card per game average.

Match Prediction:

I have a strong feeling that this will end as a draw, but again I will side with the blindly optimistic side of myself and say a 2-1 or 3-1 Arsenal win.

Next Fixtures:

3/2 (Tue)- Cardiff City(H)- FA Cup

8/2 (Sun)- Tottenham (A)- Premier League

21/2 (Sat)- Sunderland (H)- Premier Leauge

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 30 2009

Time: 11:11PM

Your Comments

I pray Arsene will play Den back in the middle alongside Song, Diaby/Eboue out wide! Or both Diaby and Eboue out wide, Den and Nasri in the middle? No more Nasri-Song-Diaby-Den PLEASE!!
Oh right! Rosicky in 8 weeks! Who exactly are you kidding, Arsène?
GF, I'm willing to give Tommy one last chance. Perhaps he needed such a long lay-off to dispell any aftershocks that he had been playing through for the last few years. Who knows, perhaps next season he'll be taking the league by storm... On the other hand I'm perfectly willing to except that he may come back, play 10 minutes and snap another hamstring and be out for another year....
alas Tommy "Valeron" roSICKy
If reports are to be believed van Persie has been benched. I've always been Wenger's biggest fan .... but this is a mistake. Adebayor & Bendtner have been really poor and van Pizzle is one of a very small amount of players we have availabe with any creativety. Ridiculous.
Oh dear RvP on bench...?! Gallas-Kolo...?! Almunia; Clichy, Gallas, Kolo, Sagna; Nasri, Den, Diaby, Eboue; Ade, Bendtner. Subs: RvP, Vela, Ramsey, Song, Djourou, Fabi, Gibbs.
Who was it who said recently that Diaby is guranteed to kcik someone up in the air at least once per game? Lol. As for the van Persie thing, could it be that Wenger is thinking of the fans and is protecting him to make sure he isn't susspended for the Spurs game?
Ade, Diaby and Song are all on 4 yellows, RvP and Sagna on 3, according to the official PL site. But er does that include this one Diaby just earned by 'kicking someone up in the air'..? If it hasn't yet reflected today's cards, Diaby's now on 5 and will sit out the rematch vs Cardiff on Tue. -_-
Daiby seems to think that Steve Bennentt is on our team, he has passed to him about five times! :D Denilson is doing a very good job today, as is Nasri. No scares at the back just yet. Wenger, let NASRI take ALL of our SET PIECES!
Everywhere is reporting Diaby will miss the Tottenham game not Cardiff. Am I missing something, because I thought League suspensions counted for FA cup games?
talk is Ces may be back sooner than expected, he's strted jogging and will return to the club to start his physio work.
Yeah Gkid, don't know why quite a few sites I see on Newsnow say Diaby will miss Spurs away. Yes Cup games count too, they probably missed the replay, stupid media, what's new. Hope Eboue's okay but honestly I'm happier with the midfield now..
Collins was just brilliant...! 0_0
Oops sorry, the club site has explained Diaby's suspension, which occurs 7 days after the last yellow, so the media are right, he'll miss the Spus game :(
Jay Simpson has just scored for WBA!!!
Ade, how the ***** did he miss that chance, should have sold him in the summer.
and spurs are 2 down, villa are drawing. We have to score!!!
YAY Robin comes on!! :D
Why take off nicky when that usless lump is still on?
And now the spuds have equalised.
What I'd do to have Arshavin playing now...
Oh dear, Diaby stretchered off. :( Oh and Bolton have scored again to lead 3-2 (not that we care anymore)..
UEFA cup next year boys :(
Please please do something... Robin please!!
Rocky, I've never been one to rely on one man to change our season, particuarly a new recruit, but all the side needs to win these kind of games is some inspiration and creativity. Someone just to pop up with something at the right moment. Arshavin could do this for us. If we sign him then we should have enough in the locker to outlast Villa. if....
When is this team going to do anything?
Professor Calculus
I'm gunna spend the next next 6 months adjusting my attitude towards Arsenal. I'm going to try and come to terms with the fact that we are no longer one of the top teams in England ..... that way I won't come away feeling disapointed and frustrated every single week.
Why does the commentator here keep saying we're 7 points behind Villa?! We both drew our games didn't we?!?!?!? Cr-ap comms everywhere, not just in England!! >_<
Rocky, do that at the end of the season if you must, but not in the middle of it.
At least Villa drew :/
That's a good idea Rocky, maybe the club will follow suit and stop pretending and stop charging the kinds of money which you expect to pay to watch Barcelona or something.
Professor Calculus
AR - there's nothing there to convince me. Our team is largely populated by mediocre players now. Even if we do finish 4th it still wont hide these facts. Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Denilson, Diaby, Song, Eboue, Bendtner, and to some extent (though it could just be form) Adebayor are all distinctly average. Granted some of those players can progress and become the players we need them to be .... but some of them can not. Wenger's transfer policy/lack of funds over the past twelve months have put us in the *****.
Villa dropped points, today was the ******** day and yet yet again this team didn't step up. Oh Arsenal, why do you hurt me so?
Professor Calculus
Yeah Rocky, but tbph I thought at least we improved the performance significantly, this was like the best attacking display this whole month albeit ironically without a goal. I'd put that down to a better-balanced midfield (even when Eboue was on the pitch) with Diaby and Den in the middle. I seriously thought we would've won had Wenger started RvP, while Ade only got slightly better towards the end (why didn't he come off instead of Bendtner?!) and we had almost no defending to do. The team performance was acceptable at least, just some question marks over the selection. Now I'll sit back and hope for a 0-0 draw at OT.
Well said Rocky. This team deserves its UEFA Cup spot, although todays performance was better than the Everton game. We created a few good chances and if Ade could convert one of them, we'd be talking about a well deserved win. West Ham did very little during the game, although they defended solidly. Disappointing result.
how much longer do we have to endure these kind of "performances". Im not quite sure who to be more *****ed off with at this stage, Wenger, who left our in form player on the bench or the gutless unimaginative performance from the players. We seem to have given up on passing and taken up crossing the ball to Ade in hope he will show a little of what he showed us last season. Im sorry ladies and gents but the time to start panicing has arrived.
Rocky, Gallas and Denilson are not average. Denilson was our man of the match today by far. He controlled the game and it was a shame that we had the likes of Vela, Eboue and Diaby ballsing it up for us. Vela was shocking, this proves that he should not start games. And like I said after the Everton game, If there are still Arsenal fans and pundits/experts who think we need a defensive midfielder more than "another" creative attacking midfielder, I will continue to lose faith in the human race.
I agree that this line-up isn't good enough, and that AW put us in trouble by letting Hleb, flam and Gilb go, although we probably couldn't help that too much. However, add to our current line-up Cesc, Theo, Eduardo, Arshavin and possibly Rosicky, then suddenly things look a lot brighter. I'm not saying we're gonna win the league, but there's reason to look forward. A defensive signing or two in the summer as well, and we could start looking like contenders again.
And to expect Adebayor to have scored that stretching chance is ridiculous.
after watching Villa play today, i'm convinced we'll finish in the top 4, but thats about it. we need 40 points from 42 now to even match our total of last season, it's frustrating, but lets hope we can do well in the CL & the FA Cup, cuz we can seriously win those two competitions. sign Arshavin and make sure we finish in the top four..
And I'm not one of these fans who's moto seems to be 'splash the cash and all will be fine', but I mean sign one or two quality players, let our squad come back together, and many problems are solved.
The Arsenal team reads like a horrible alternative reality where some Spurs fan has travelled back in time and changed the players we should have with the players we have right now. Honestly, when the board announced the new stadium and everything that comes with that, I was thinking Torres and Ribery not Ade and Eboue. It's very hard to accept that this is all self inflicted by the club, Arsenal fans have watched players like Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Vieira play for the club and it's an insult to try and hoodwink us into thinking that this set of players are anything other than mediocre. Once you've seen Wengerball you can't go back, I don't know who the club think they're kidding.
Professor Calculus
Denilson may have been the best player today, but he's still not as good a player as we should have. That said if we had more quality to surround him then he would be more than adequate, but as it stands, he's below par for what a great Arsenal side should. BTW - You don't have to finish every single post by saying "if Arsenal fans say we need a defensive midfielder over an attack one you'll lose faith in humanity" We heard you the first 20 times.
Spot on Prof! As previously stated, if they tell me we've got no cash then fine, I'll accept it and move on, but while PHW is telling anyone who'll listen that Wenger has cash to spend I find this current squad pretty much unacceptable.
I agree Prof. What annoys me is that Wenger does not sell players who he has signed unless they have made it big and then signed for another club. We don't see Diaby going to Boro, where he deserves to be, we don't see Eboue at Wigan. But once they make it big he will accept them leaving. Hell, even Senderos has not been sold, just loaned out.
Look guys, Collins had the game of his season. Upson was a monster. We could only exploit the slight weaknesses on the left in the 1st half and right in the 2nd. I'm not saying our creative play was enough to break the Hammers down, and we're disappointed with the result and all that, but let's not take anything away from the really solid defensive display they put on today. And I also agree on the high balls and crosses - we tended to do that a bit more with Ade/Bendtner on the pitch but we're more dangerous when we kept the ball on the ground. Sometimes we get the results back, sometimes we get the performance better before the results. Remember how the Hammers nicked a goal despite our 29 shots or something, in the 1st season at the Emirates?
Rocky, I will say it until the day I die :D
Which won't be long if you keep saying it!! :P
Upson and Collins were not that great. They have played far harder opposition than us today.
We have just missed the chance to close the gap on Villa, I can't believe it. Surely RvP should have been on from the the start with Bendtner!
I can't believe that, for as bad as we're playing, we are still putting points us and sp*rs.
Then what Tomf, are you saying their clearances didn't contribute to the result? That's the bottomline really. I don't know what you're trying to say. We upped our game a bit, but that's still not enough for West Ham's defence, that's it.
As long as put another 3 between us next week TP, that's all I care about.
Good point Lou but Arsenal aren't even creating chances to waste these days, it's not the teams fault, it's the club, Arsenal FC would have us believe that the Emirates was the start of a brand new exciting era, that the players we have are the ones signed out of choice not compromise and that Wenger has adequate funds. This grates with me when I look at the side and it's clear that Wenger is compromising his vision to match the financial restraint of the club.
Professor Calculus
where are the days when we destroy teams in the first 30 mins at home?
Lou, they were good, but it was not either of their games of the season, not even close. We were pathetic today in terms of threat.
@49ers. They are stored in a your long term memory.
Professor Calculus
Oh most definitely Rocky. I'm more commenting on how low I feel (like your previous talk of adjusting expectations), and I just can't figure out how bottomham fans deal with supporting such a horrible club for years on end.
TP they deal with it through pure, unadulterated dellusion ... lol
Yeah Prof, I agree with you on the quality of the team. I was only commenting on the game. On the team level, bottomline is, IF we get Arshavin, we'd only replace Rosicky and Hleb with him and Nasri. Cesc's a mainstay but his DM partner has changed from PV4 to Gilberto to Denilson. RvP I'd accept as an adequate replacement for DB10, but Ade is certainly no Th14. We also know MA is no Jens. The defence, sigh, we haven't ever replaced Sol, with Senderos performing well for too short a period to be counted as a solid successor. That's it for me really. (And it's not a rant, just stating the obvious facts.)
Thats a start Lou, Arshavin is better than Hleb and Rosicky anyway, as is Nasri (better than Hleb, not Sickboy)
That said, I do appreciate the fact that the Invincibles set a really sky-high standard that's one of the best teams in English football ever. To compare any side with them is a tough ask, but I do think the combination of the financial handicap due to the stadium and some questionable transfer decisions that's causing the team to regress.
The Invincibles were so good that Ferguson used them as a blueprint for his United teams of the future, didn't turn out too badly for him in the end. Ferguson stole Wenger's mojo.
Professor Calculus
Yet another dubious penalty at OT, d@mn.
Just back from the game. I'm with Rocky - its time to reset our expectations on what we can achieve because unless there's a change in strategy we ain't gonna win the league for quite some time. I'm sorry to go on about him but Eboue is not only not good enough, he's actually a liability and no serious team can carry a player. His continued selection just about sums up this part of Wenger's reign at Arsenal.
Didn't Wenger also want the decision by Arshavin sorted before the West Ham game...
I agree with G_Lou, the performance was much better then our previous games. where we were getting scrappy wins with poor overall team display. Credit to west ham's solid D. Right now is not time to panic, there is still a lot of games to play, we just gotta stay focused. **Keep the faith peoples**
Youngest in Charge
If we don't get the russian or somone else to tie us over until Fab comes back we are screwed.
It seems a bit reactionary to consign us to mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Don't forget we have been severely compromised by injuries. Let's see, Walcott creating space on the right instead of Eboue wasting space; Cesc orchestrating the offense from the middle of the park; Eduardo the poacher scoring goals in exactly the tight type of game West Ham played today; and Rosicky is a good attacking option. Give us those four back for an entire season and add a bit more where needed and we are challenging for all honours again (including the lofty Carling Cup- injuries to the first team weakened our CC team!) Only Manure has the depth (coming at no small cost) to weather significant injuries. Take three key players away from Villa for a time, say Barry, Milner, and Ablognahor, and they are closer to a relegation dog fight than Europe. Try to keep some perspective, the (Arsenal) world is in no danger of coming to an end.
Am really not in the mood for a rant right now,I agree with the Prof whole heartedly. RvP benched????? and I doubt if Arshavin will arrive this month,what else can go wrong? Am out!!!
I hate it when someone labels an opinion "reactionary" just because they don't agree with. It implies that said opinion has been formed in a swift and rash way, when this couldn't be further from the truth. This has been coming for a long while now, etting big players go and not replacing them, it's gone too far. I love Wenger and what he's done for the club, I still believe he's the best man for the job too, he could easily lead us to more titles, but this current transfer policy has to stop. Our season has been shambolic, every man and his dog could see we need fresh faces, but once again everything has been left till the last minute and should it fall through, we'll be left up sh** creek. Wenger and staff should have been hard at work looking for players long before the transfer window opened, they should have been striving to get the player(s) we need in as soon as humanly possible. We already drawn 50% of our league games this year, and who knows how many extra points we could have picked up had we had our arses in gear.
For what its worth I agree with you elbondo and Youngest in Charge. Crystal ball for you Rocky, waste of time time trying to argue with you. Thank god your not the manager. patronising I think Wenger 'I still believe he's the best man for the job'; if you think that they why grumble.
I see Villa were lucky again!!!
AG, I dont see why someone cannot think Wenger is still the best man for the job, but also comment on the fact that big mistakes are being made in the transfer market. I for one, happen to agree with Rocky. If you want to argue the relative merits (or otherwise) of that point, then you're welcome to do so but I fail to see what you're trying to achieve. Its certainly not the end of the world, but are you trying to tell me that things cannot get better with 2-3 astute signings by Wenger?
Agree with R7 who has given a gratingly accurate sumary of the real ability of many of our players. The decline has been swift and brutal. When people are suggesting Bendtner should start and that Denilson (I'm still wondering how he can't kick a stationary ball anywhere near where he's aiming) is our best player (Nasri was far superior anyway) on a day that is a reflection of our current standing. From Seaman, henry, Vieira, bergkamp and Pires to this mob: that is an astonishing fall from grace. And while Ade was very poor today he did get into a position to slide it wide and later get into a position to put a free header on goal from seven yards. Pretty sure Diaby had more goal attempts than Bendnter and, with his second minute header, came much closer to scoring. Becoming a laughing stock on the field and (with the world's most ridiculous transfer) off it as well.
is it just me or did the game yesterday look like it was played in slow-*****ing-motion? I thought there was something wrong with the transmission. I can't get myself around the performance of certain players: is Adebayor being lazy or is he just completely out of form? Apart from a couple of crosses, there was no service, no penetration, nothing on the creative side, no spark...
th41, Denilson was our best player on the day. I know it is hard for a limited person to see his merits, but he was.
AG - Why grumble? Because something is obviously wrong somewhere along the lines. Wether it's at board level with them lying and saying there is money when there isn't, wether it's Wenger's stubornness, I don't know but Wenger tactics and football philosophies are still exactly what this club needs. If you want to walk around with your eyes closed with your fingers in your ears saying "na na na na, I can't hear you" then fair enough, I won't waste MY time arguing with you, but when I see this players on the pitch week in week out, it's plainly obvious to me that there is something fundamentally wrong.
I agree with Rocky, but I disagree with some of the players he dislikes. My list would be: Almunia, Toure, Silvestre, Walcott (as a winger), Diaby, Song, Ramsey, Eboue, Adebayor (this season) and Vela. Not up to it this year.
I don't dislike them Tom ..... lol ..... Just not sure they're good enough as a squad. As back up players or one or two of them in the starting line up, but as a collective they just not good enough.
As I said I don't want to argue because its just a waste of time. Lets look back on a bit of past history; flam how many times was the cry get rid of him he's no good? RVP, what a waste of space get rid of him? Theo, too small no chance why did the boss waste money on him? I could go on and on and on and if you were honest you would agree those comments have been made. Even the latest and I think the lad will prove to be a champion for us Denilson? What is wrong we have four ont one or two but four outstanding players with injuries. If just two of them had been available over the past number of games i.e. Ces and Theo do you think we might have won a few more than just draws? Last but not least you say quote 'Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Denilson, Diaby, Song, Eboue, Bendtner, and to some extent (though it could just be form) Adebayor are all distinctly average. ' I work that out to be almost half of the squad yet they have not lost a match in the past nine,(admittedly half are draws), not bad for a team missing four of their star players, and considering some of those were injured. If you have so much admiration for the boss how could you ? You consider them to be average; that would suggest the boss is average? Yes i do walk around with rose coloured glasses, that's my opinion I love this team and will always defend them. They have performed above average over the past nine games, considering the disadvantages they have had to put up withIMO.
Thats if you consider Theo a "star" and you consider Rosicky a man capable of football.
Tomf you're being incredibly unfair to Rosicky. Being injured and ignored is one thing, his talent and usefulness to the team being disregarded is another.
Who disregarded his talent? I think you are mistaken thinking that I don't rate him.
I knew what you mean, that's why I thought it's a little mean to say so - being injured is not his fault and I wonder what has he done to deserve this rudeness.
T14 in short yes to both.
But T14 you will be like all the rest lets get rid of them they are no good and before you can blink an eye will be saying what a great up an coming player they are I've heard it all before and will hear it all again. But I suppose you think the boss is an idiot too and paying big money to keep him is just a waste of time. But you T14 know best I am prepared to think the Boss knows best. There in lies the rub.
AW is sticking with the youngsters for their obvious potential , Walcott, Fab, Denilson ,Diaby,Vela etc all have bags of natural talent and will undoubtedly get better. However I believe certain other players have reached their potential and will not get any better. Its simple...if you want to win the Prem and the champions need world-class performers all over the every position...not just here and there....and those players have to perform week in week out. Average does not cut it. Sad to say that too many of our players are plain average. I remember the days not too long ago when we debated who from Manure or Chelski would get in our first team and concluded that very few would. Now ?......take your pick !!
I am not asking for players to be sold from this squad, for gods sake! We are short on numbers, as it is. I do think that some of them are good squad players but are CURRENTLY not good enough to start regularly (Diaby, Song, Eboue for instance). You can blame the injuries all you want, but Wenger knew that this squad was only an injury or two away from this position and did nothing to rectify that. I'm not counting Eduardo & Rosicky in this btw. There's a difference between wearing rose tinted glasses and not acknowledging reality, mate.
On that 'ability' in front of goal i say good luck hanging on to your UEFA cup spot Arsenal.
Okay prits my last words on it. You now admit that the past history I spoke about is true. and suddenly we are now down to just two players who cant make it, (I don't agree) but that is your opinion. I do face reality but your a bit like my kids when they were growing up "I want this I want that' ,. As i told them we cant afford it and you will have to make do with what weve got. There all adults now doing very well (much older than you) I and the missus managed them well just like the boss manages this club not well but the best IMO in the world. The trouble is you have not faced the real hard times following this club and until you do you will whine whine whine like the rest. I've said my opinion and I will leave it there.
REMOVED. All opinions are allowed on Vital, no abuse please. [Edited by TheFear]
Tom14 if that was for me I hope you changed hands. How sad that you have to swear at a fellow gunner fan. Tutt Tutt.
You are a human, therefore you can be criticised. If you are an Arsenal fan, a Villa fan, Chelsea or a Spurs fan, acting like a dick head warrants a response. Change with the times, you may have seen the bad old days, but those days have gone. Its like a manager saying "We would have taken a draw at the beginning so I am happy with the result" after the opposition had a red card, their star player got injured and you go ahead on the 80th minute. You change.

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