Date:Monday December 26 2005
With Arsenal's shoddy away record playing on the minds of all Gooners across the world, 3 points were essential on this freezing seasonal day.
With RvP out with an injury, Jose Antonio Reyes was handed the responsibility of partnering Thierry Henry upfront, and he did so with a performance of a player who's been playing well all season.
The game got off to a slow start with some players looking like they'd had a bit too much turkey the day before, with Gilberto having the first effort from distance, nae bother for the keeper.
With 20 minutes gone, Reyes interchanged passes with about 300 different players and got free down the left, with a superb first time pass finding Ljungberg stood all by himself I was on my feet celebrating already. The Swede however looked very unconfident and lacked conviction, the keeps made a great save and the traveling Gooners left frustrated.
The two teams exchanged chances with nothing being too clear cut, when right on half time Charlton conceded a freekick 25 yards from goal. Up steps Titi.
It was a wonderful strike but just a little too high and clipped the bar on the way through, the relieved Charlton fans made their way for a pie and a pint.
The second half was a different story, Arsenal came out all guns blazing, desperate for 3 points and they didn't disapoint.
On 58 minutes Thierry Henry was sent through after making a great run only for Sorondo to block his shot. The ball came straight back to Henry who instantly hit a shot, the keeper reacted well and made a good save, but the ball balloned up in the air to the waiting Reyes to dispatch the simplest of chances with his right foot from 5 yards. Ace.
With 20 minutes to go Charlton conceded a free kick, and Danny Murphy reacted by slamming the ball down on the floor. Unfortunatly, Murphy had already been booked and, rather harshly, was handed a second yellow card.
Charlton never really had a chance after that and Arsenal peppered the Latics sticks, closest being a Thierry Henry freekick that Myhre did well to save.
All in all a good performance which should restore a little confidence.
Happy Christmas, Happy Gooners.
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Date:Monday December 26 2005
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