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Arsenal progress to next round of Champions league

A rainy night at the Emirates saw the Gunners progress to the group stages of the Champions league and guarantee £12m to add to the coffers to pay for the new stadium!!!!

The first game under the floodlights should have been a memorable occasion, however a weakened team saw us struggle against a Zagreb side intent on defending a 3-0 disadvantage. It wasn’t until the introduction of Thiery, Gilberto and finally Theo that saw us show any intent and finally edge past Zagreb in the final minute to win 2-1, and secure our first home win in the new arena.

Arsene chose to put out a weakened side, perhaps to rest our premier squad for the task ahead, however this team is clearly not yet performing at an acceptable standard to grace the world’s best stadium. There were flashes of brilliance from Van persie, and Freddy had a solid game, when not being brought down by a cynical Croatian. Cesc was fairly anonymous, and the defence looked suspect when put under the pressure of set plays, Kolo was left too much to do in this company. Hleb, whilst great when running with the ball has for some reason a lack of confidence when in sight of the goal, perhaps Rosiky will prove to him its OK to have a shot now and again. Whilst we never looked under threat of losing, we equally didn’t threaten the Zagreb goal nearly enough, a couple of goal line clearances aside, we lacked the killer instinct, and whilst Adebayor may have potential, last night he showed just how far he has to travel.

The arrival of Thiery, created a unanimous roar within the stadium and merely the threat of him being on the pitch was probrably enough to unsettle the Croatians, Gilberto steadied the midfield and Theo, showed some of the form we hope he will show in the Premiership, setting up his second goal in as many games for a persistent Flamini.

The crowd at the Emirates is still finding its voice, and it still seems strange to hear chants of we’re the north bank, and we’re the clock end  from people sitting side by side in what is the new north bank. There were a few occasions that the passionate Zagreb fans made considerably more noise, however the introduction of a thrown bottle at Cesc raised the spirits of the home crowd with one common voice more of this please!!!! Lets hope the middle tier of well to do’s rattle their jewellery louder for the forthcoming games.

Also slightly disconcerting is after spending a grand on a season ticket in the lower tier is to find out that the forst 8 rows have very little protection from the elements, still what do you expect for £357m?

Sorry for the lack of new posts recently, I’m now back and look forward to giving you the story from the lower east


August 24, 2006 Posted by | Latest Results | Leave a comment