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Mush's Match Report

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The Valley

Boxing Day

Attendance: 27,111


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.

Star Player

Jose Antonio Reyes - As usual, put in so much hardwork, but this time with end product. He ran with the ball well, passed when needed and scored the all important goal.

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann

Not much to do, but did what he had to, and well.


Back to his usual position and looked better for it.

Kolo Toure

Quick, strong and commanding. We'll really miss him when he leaves for the African Nations.

Sol Campbell

Was awesome in the air, won everything and didn't give the Charlton player a sniff. One or two very important challenges.

Pascal Cygan

Not bad.......for Cygan!!!

Freddie Ljungberg

Played for the shirt. Ran hard and worked his socks off, a different Freddie to what we've been seeing the last couple of weeks.


The invisible wall. You don't notice what he does, but plays a very important roll, although he could do with working on his distribution.

Cesc Fabregas

Played his 50th Premiership game today, is he really only 18??

Alexander Hleb

I thought he would come into the game today after the game against Donny, but disapointed a little.

Thierry Henry

Played like he wanted to play for Arsenal. He has been very disapointing recently, but put in the graft today.

Jose Antonio Reyes

What a performance. I'm not suprised he gets subbed every game, this guy never stops running and working for the team, he must be knackerd. If we had a team with the same attitude as Reyes, we wouldn't be in this position now.

Manager Rating

Thought it out well for this game, got the players firing again and hopefully will carry it to the next game. Made sensible substitutions too.

Opponent Rating

Charlton were very unlucky to have Danny Murphy sent off, but he only has himself to blame.

Date:Monday December 26 2005
Time: 4:02PM

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