Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The formation didn’t work, Denilson didn’t perform but Almunia didn’t move. Ratings
By 1970’s Gooner
This was a nervy away Champions League performance. The team lacked composure and leadership. Giving away an early goal didn’t of course help.
For a start the formation which worked so brilliantly at the Emirates failed to work this time. There were two reasons for this.
Firstly Nasri kept himself mostly on the wing rather than come inside and dictate play like he did in the first leg.
Secondly that little maestro, Pizzaro, who only came on as a late substitute at the Emirates started this game and went on to dominate midfield, closing down those spaces that were so easily available in the first leg.
Van Persie was isolated up front with occasional support by the mostly ineffective Eboue and Bendtner. So no real penetration in attack and no real support from midfield resulted in a disjointed disappointing performance.
The most ineffective player was Denilson who had one of his worse games in an Arsenal shirt. He couldn’t tackle, kept giving the ball away and posed no real obstacle to Totti and co when they went forward from the midfield areas.
The defence however stood firm with Gallas and Toure continuing on their good form of late. This will stand us in good stead when our injured players return and the team starts performing as they should.
Almunia was also outstanding with two very good saves in the first half which kept us in the game. His most important save of course was the penalty for which he elected to stand still in the middle of the goal and the Roma player obliged by passing the ball to him!
The most important positive to come out of this game is the greatly enhanced team spirit.
Van Persie 6