Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Up For Grabs Now

West Brom 1-2 Arsenal
Tottenham 2-2 Everton

At this moment, it's Tottenham who feel as if they're living Groundhog Day.

Their form is threatening to collapse again, and again it coincides with an Arsenal revival.

Again, Tomas Rosicky is proving something of a catalyst. His brace at the Hawthorns put Arsenal in control against West Brom.

After twenty minutes, Arteta pinged a pass over the home side's rearguard for Gervinho to chase. The Ivorian twisted and turned before curling the ball rather tentatively in the direction of the far post; if it was probably a poor shot Rosicky made it into a great cross by bursting into the goalmouth and stooping to nod emphatically past Foster.

Early in the second half, a quick break saw Ramsey make inroads down the right before passing infield to the Czech, who took a touch into the air and smashed a volley straight at Foster. There was too much power on it for the keeper to handle, the ball dropped, and Rosicky was first to react to blast a second effort into the corner from close range.

At that point the Gunners looked in complete control but the match almost turned on a moment of rashness from Mertesacker. A ball over the top found Long, whose chested control tempted the German into a slide for the ball, but he missed it, felled the Irishman, gave away a penalty and was sent off.

Morrison's penalty was poorly directed but well struck and squirmed under Fabianski to set up a nervy finale.

Arsenal's nerve failed somewhat, but their luck did not. They couldn't string any kind of move together, couldn't relieve the pressure in any way, and Wenger's changes invited pressure rather than trying to regain some kind of foothold.

Three times West Brom should have equalised, but McCauley fluffed a close-range header, Lukaku blasted just wide from eight yards, and Long shot high when through on goal in stoppage time.

Spurs missed Bale on Sunday against Everton- and with Lennon and Defoe also out, they were less penetrative than usual. After an Adebayor opener inside a minute, Everton turned it around either side of half time with a Jagielka header and a brilliant solo effort by Miralas. With time ticking away, Kyle Walker stormed forward brilliantly, cut back, and when Adebayor placed his shot against the inside of the post, the rebound fell kindly for Sigurdson to net the equaliser.

Arsenal trail their neighbours by a couple of points but with a game in hand.

They are now in control of their own destiny.


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