Thursday, November 24, 2011

Van On Fire (part 1)

The revival continues, with one man's name a constant in the headlines.

Norwich 1-2 Arsenal

Away at Norwich, Arsenal threatened to revert to the old stereotype. First, chances were squandered. By Van Persie himself, and by the worryingly profligate Gervinho. Then, an achingly soft goal was given away. Mertesacker hesitated in dealing with a bouncing ball, and was mugged by Morison, who slipped the ball past Szczesny.

Arsenal bounced back to level. Walcott had already been denied a goal for himself by a brilliant goal line clearance. This time he made one, beating his man with ease, and crossing low into the six yard box, where Gervinho completely missed his attempt at a flick and Van Persie tapped into the unguarded net.

After half time, the Ivorian was again guilty of a missing a gilt-edged chance. Van Persie released him with a wonderful through ball, and he seemed to have made space to slip the ball past the keeper, but mishit his shot and allowed Ruddy to save.

Van Persie made no such mistake with the next big opportunity. Norwich lost it in midfield to Arteta, Song took over, drove forward and, given the choice of aiming for Gervinho or Van Persie, naturally took the latter option. The Dutchmansteadied himself and clipped a gorgeous right-footed finish over the keeper and into the net.

No comments: