Arsenal (2) 3 - 0 (0) Watford|
Ashburton Grove, Saturday 14th October 2006
Hoyte Toure Djourou Gallas (Clichy 80)
Walcott (Hleb 62) Gilberto Cesc Rosicky (van Persie 75)
The line-up was as expected,
but with Theo Walcott starting for Arsenal for the first time.
Theo was nominally playing on the wing, but made his first impact
from the centre circle when Cesc Fabregas passed forward out
of defence. Theo took the ball forward and played a perfect pass
wide right for Thierry Henry. The skipper got to the side of the
box and opted to try to dribble through 2 defenders rather than
cut back for Rosicky. He failed, but it worked out alright as
the ball was cleared straight to the Czech who took it on his
chest and drove a first-time shot which Watford's young keeper
Foster did well to parry. It fell to Emmanuel Adebayor, following
the ball in on the left of goal (nice to see), and you have to give
the keeper a lot of credit for recovering in time to make
the second save as Adebayor hit it goalwards first time with his left foot.
Then Walcott popped up on the left, hitting another beautiful pass
forward for Cesc to run onto. Foster came out but Cesc went past him,
down the line just inside the left edge of the box, but his shot from
a narrow angle hit the side-netting and there was a defender who
might have got to it anyway.
Watford had their moments too. A poor kick from Jens Lehmann
went straight to Tommy Smith who fed Marlon King
down their right wing. Johan Djourou got a foot to his cross into
the 6 yard box, but only succeeded in helpging the ball across
the face of goal where Francis nearly managed to get a crucial
touch on it. Francis got to the outswinging corner and turned it
forward, Lehmann seemed to hesitate allowing King to get to it
first, but perhaps the Aresnal keeper just did enough - as
he closed King down the Arsenal-supporting striker only managed to
knock the ball over the bar.
We broke out of defence with a ball sprayed right to Rosicky,
he put it up the wing for Adebayor and, via Fabregas, got the ball back
as he continued his charge forward. But Tomas's first touch was just
a tad too strong allowing Foster to close him down just enough
to get a hand on the ball as Rosicky tried to lift it over him.
Rosicky playing like Freddie, I thought. Nice.
We got the breakthrough just after thge half hour. Adebayor won
a freekick on the left, and Cesc lofted it tiwards the far
side of the box. Adebayor got his head to it and nodded it
goalwards, a deflection off of Stewart's shoulder leaving
the unlucky Foster stranded.
Henry nearly got on the scoresheet when he took the ball off Walcott,
poked it between 2 defenders, ran round them to collect it, and
hit a shot from outside the box that almost curled in enough to
beat Foster at his left hand post. Soon after, though, just before half time,
the Arsenal captain did make it 2. A defender committed himself as the
ball was nodded forward, missed the ball and left Henry clear on
goal, running into the box and slipping it past Foster as a
challenge came in to take him off-balance. Lovely finish.
Rosicky was having a bright game, and nearly made it 3 early in the
second half with a beautiful early shot after a nice first touch,
which Foster did well to turn round the post.
Then Henry raced up the inside right position, and could have
had a go himself but instead spotted Adebayor and Alexander Hleb
(on for Walcott) tracking his run to the left, and slipped the ball
into their path to give Adebayor an easy finish for 3-0.
Nice to get a really convincing win at the Emirates, but not many
teams are going to come and have such a go, defending so high up, and letting us play
our own game. Following a very dodgy start to the season, we're now
up to 4th in the table,
just 5 points behind Chelsea and Man Utd with a game