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Arsenal 1 - Roma 0

Champions League

Emirates Stadium


Attendance: 60,003

Referee: Claus Larsen

1 - 0
van Persie (pen) 37
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,003
The Teams
De Rossi
van Persie
Game Statistics
Goal Attempts
On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
I have checked the stats and we should have scored more than once! Still - we didn't concede and though I haven't checked any stats I reckon that is probably as significant in these contests. Everyone performed well tonight but just lacked that little extra composure that might have made the scoreline a little more impressive. What Eboue does well is good. Strong running, accurate and quick passing all let down by a lack of composure and intelligence at the critical point. He'd win over some fans if it weren't for that, at this level, serious flaw. Denilson, who must surely be beginning to win support, put in another really strong performance 73 passes, 85% and 6 ball winning tackles. I saw a stat as Diaby came off after an hour which showed that he had covered more than 8 km. That's Flamini territory. He also passed quickly and accurately, won the ball well on occassions and got off a couple of shots at goal. It'll be slow turning support in his favour but if he remains fit and can get enough games in the centre he might just do that. Roma struggled to match our tempo and their centre backs in particular found it hard going against RvP and Nasri. That's a combination we have seen a few times in the latter part of this season. It has yet to disappoint me. Unlike Baptista - the air in Islington just doesn't seem to suit him.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 24 2009

Time: 10:41PM

Your Comments

It seems to be that the difference between an effective Diaby and an ineffective one lies in his work rate. To cover 8km+ is impressive stuff. It was one of the chances he could take to stake a better claim in the middle and he did well. Was he injured though? Great summary there, Amos, agreed on everything. The Roma keeper's last name is Doni I believe.
Typo: -be +me
Yes - Doni it was indeed. Thanks for pointing that out.
I have to put in a word for Denilson again, AWsaid he would be a massiveplayer and he was tonight. When oh when are people going to see how gifted this boy is? You don't have to run around like a headless chicken a la Flamini to be a good DM, intelligent positioning will see you excelall day long. Unfortunately,most fans only notice the phoney, bulgy veined chest beaters. I also have to say Eboue was terrific, fullof verve and confidence and Diaby, a player I have little time for was excellent too. The extent to which the game changed when he came off was enormous. I also have to say that Gallas is a man I really want to dislike, but when he defends like he did tonight-and has done for the last couple of months, you just can't.
Little Dutch
What Little Dutch said (minus the wantibg to dislike Gallas part) but I'd also add Nasri. He was great. But Denilson, if he does that game in game out in the prem I'd choose him over most PL players in that position. The only guy who I'd criticise is Nik, poor poor finishing.
But at 1-0 we have to be confident for the 2nd leg right
We had the chances to kill the tie right there and then but we didn't do it. This team need to be more ruthless. I don't know where Bendtner gets his often publicised overconfidence from but it ain't from his finishing. Denilson, Diaby, Nasri all had a good game, which begs the question: If they can turn it on against MU, Chelsea and in the CL why don't they do in against Sunderland? Do they just pick their matches?
walcott on the left, nasri on the right ,fabregas in the middle, and eduardo up front.....we wouldve smashed Roma out of sight...silver lining.....i can see eboue or bendtner getting the last minute winner in the final...if we ever get there again
fran merida
actually that should be walcott on the right and nasri on the left...but you should know where i am coming from, inregards to our inability to score in open play again
fran merida
I have to say Ramsey looked electric for the very short time he was on
the yza
Amos how much ground did Nik travel? It seem on three occasions his failure to score was due to control the pass given, but for all his missed efforts his overall attack, pass and defense became evident once he was substituted. He is young, and as the boss said strikers need more time to mature. IMO, I'll take the missed goals because I feel he will become a very good player for us. Agree with your comments LD.
Baptista had the dirtiest tackle of the game. More so than De Rossi or Mexes. A frustrated lash out in which he had no intention of doing anything except rupturing Diaby's achilles. Once Diaby went out, our flow going forward was ruined and the match was destined to end 1-0.
Gael-Force, I think its because the bigger teams dont show us as much respect and as a result dont park t he bus. When we have spece we can dominate and looks threatening. Thats why, anticipating we go through, I'd rather get a Barcelona/Inter Milan than a Porto/villerreal.
I7, i take your point about parking the bus. In an open game, Arsenal are a match for any team. However, i still felt more desire, more runs, more solidarity and more joy from the players tonight. That's because it was a big match. Even Diaby was moving instead of rocking on his heels. Top players need to get fired up and produce no matter the opposition and our boys need to learn that. We did not create enough chances to score against Sunderland and when we did Vela, Bendtner and RVP did not have the poise to score. As for last night, Eboue could have made himself a hero and start on his road to redemption but he shanked his 1v1. As i saw the action i wished it was Rvp on the ball.
I felt really positive about the team after the game, but I won't utter the words "turning a corner" yet. I made that mistake after the Cardiff game. I know, I know, Cardiff are no Roma, but you can see where I'm coming from. PL is our bread and butter, it'd be nice to put in a couple of good performances in that too!
I agree with you AlwaysGunner, I thought Bendtner was excellent last night, and if it weren't for his inability to shoot straight he'd have been in contention for MOTM if you ask me. I think Wenger should have brought Eboue off instead of Bendy .... not because Eboue played badly, but because Bendter seemed to be the catalyst of so many attacks, his work ethic was excellent. It was a great team effort last night really nice football to watch, just extremely disapointing we didn't put this game out of sight.
It was all about Denilson last night. Having a more attacking partner means he can get on with what he does best, breaking down play, getting tackles & blocks and then passing the ball of easy. I feel with Song sometimes they just are trying to do thesame job and lack creativity to open up defenses. Shame we couldnt of doubled our lead, but it makes it more interesting when i go to Rome as i will be sh**ing myself.
About 5/6 years since we lost a home CL game. Inter Milan i believe was the last in 2003/4 season.
Slight correction there Paul, Chelsea were the last side to beat us at home in Europe, in April 04. You could say Inter were the last European side we lost to at home.
Little Dutch
I er, meant European..... I forgot about Chelsea, tried to bury it away as we probably would of won the cup if we had beaten them. Thanks for opening up old wounds
Gael-Force I'm also praying they put in that kind of performance against lower teams from now on. Against those teams though we absolutely have to take our early chances. If we had scored early against Sunderland (RVP's little chip), we would have gone on to win 3 or 4 nil most probably. We need Diaby to be fit because with Song in there with Denilson there's no attack minder CM.
I'm with NavyDave, I'll wait until the Fulham before I get my hopes up for our league form.
Take out Diaby and Eboue (who played very well in my opinion) and put in Fabregas and Arshavin - that is a proper midfield. I mean top top top quality. Then Eduardo for Bendtner. You can't get much better.

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