EPL 2005: Day 17 (Arsenal 2 – Chelsea 2)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
December 12th, 2004 • 6:14 am

Mmm, so close. So close to a victory. So close to a Thierry Henry hat trick. Still, the Gunners didn’t “deserve” to win, once again, simply because of the poor defending on set pieces. It is rather unbelievable that Arsenal keeps conceding goals on free kicks and corner kicks. Surely everyone must see that there’s something wrong here, and that it’s not down to the keeper.

Almunia had a good game, in fact, and was not to blame on either goal. On the first goal, I’d say that players like Bergkamp and Henry were to blame. Bergkamp missed his header, and Thierry didn’t even jump. End result? Terry jumps and scores. How predictable was this?

The second one was more of a freak goal, but was again on a set piece. And that’s unforgivable.

Because of this, yet again, Arsenal gave away the lead, not once, but twice. Thierry was in scintillating form, but not the rest of our strike force. Yet Pires had a moment of brilliance and Thierry simply should have scored the third goal for the Gunners. There was no keeper in the goal! He should at least have had a shot on target.

The mid field was pretty good, considering the youth and inexperience of the players involved. And Campbell had a great game in the back.

Ultimately, however, in spite of the half-time substitutions, Chelsea played for the draw, and got it. It’s a decent result for them, but they definitely did not demonstrate any kind of superiority over the Gunners. Were it not for our chronic problems with defending set pieces, we would have won this game. The second Henry goal was a bit controversial, but as long as the rules don’t state unequivocally that the person who takes the free kick has to wait until the referee blows the whistle each and every time, then this will continue to happen. Graham Poll clearly said to Thierry Henry: “You want to take it? Go ahead and take it…”, and Gudjohnsen was right there and didn’t do a thing to try and block it. Tough luck, but that’s the way it is. It still wasn’t easy to put the ball where Thierry put it, with all these players in the way, so he took his chance. It could have gone either way.

Elsewhere, unbelievably, Everton have won again, and are now in second spot, one point ahead of Arsenal. Good for them, I say. Chelsea are still five points ahead, but the race is far from over.

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