EPL 2006: Day 14 (Arsenal 3 – Blackburn 0)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
November 28th, 2005 • 10:56 am

If José Mourinho is still wondering why people are finding his Chelsea team boring, he only needs to compare his team’s game at Portsmouth on Saturday with Arsenal’s game against Blackburn. There were numerous flaws in the Gunners’ performance, but at least they provided the entertainment, with three memorable goals. Will anybody remember the goals scored by Chelsea at Portsmouth?

I am not saying that the Blues don’t score the occasional spectacular goal themselves, but it’s certainly not an essential part of their style. On the other hand, the fact that Robin van Persie is part of the Arsenal team and the fact that he scored such a beautiful goal in the dying moments of the encounter on Saturday are not coincidences. They are, to put it simply, the mark of Arsène Wenger’s genius.

And when you see a young player take matters into his own hands on the pitch and create and score with such awesome aplomb, from such an impossible angle, you can only share in the crowd’s emotion and admiration. It’s one of those rare moments where the manager, the players, and the spectators all feel as one—even though all they can do is watch and applaud.

OK, at that stage of the game, victory was pretty much assured, and in the big scheme of things it was not a particularly important goal. But maybe part of the magic was precisely that it came out of nothing, that it was unnecessary. A pure goal—just for the beauty of it.

It’s still hard to imagine Arsenal catching up with Chelsea this year. It’s still hard to imagine them going very far in the Champions’ League. But at least they are still the reigning champions when it comes to style and entertainment.

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