Date:Thursday December 31 2009
Where to start with this one, basically Arsenal were better in every dept. Better in attack, defence and midfield, I reckon even their half-time tea tasted better.
All the off-field crap boiled over on to the pitch, the players and management may claim otherwise, but this was the most disjointed performance since the manager took over, the fans are confused, the players looked it and even our previous owner doesn't know who is in charge!
Pompey were forced to leave out O'Hara due to suspension, but one look at the team sheet and it told a story, Mokoena and Hughes were both in, Pompey were looking at containing, any attacking ideas were being shelved. I feel for Mokoena a bit, every game he has started in the league we have lost, he is an honest enough player, but frankly not good enough, Hughes was always a crowd favourite, he has his limitations but always gave a 6/10 performance, trouble is his limitations are starting to become more evident in a struggling side.
Begovic was between the posts once more, all signs seem to lean to a departure from our ex-England 'keeper.
Pompey started brightly enough, Boateng in particular shone in blue, he had one well struck shot turned away, and Piquionne looked lively once more.
After 15 minutes of stalemate Arsenal found their composure, the Wenger way is well known now, the ball was on the ground and moved around sharply, Ramsey in particular standing out.
On 25 minutes, Pompey were nearly in, a floated ball over the top caught out Arsenals' high line, Boateng controlled the ball but bought it down to close to his body and his next touch squirted it away from him.
A couple of minutes later and Pompey's riendship with lady luck took a turn for the worse, Eduardo fired in a free-kick form the edge of the box, it took a massive deflection off of Kaboul and squirted inside the near post, questions will be asked however of the point of having a player on the post after Hreidarsson failed to stop it.
Arsenal slipped into cruise control now, they passed around Pompey's labouring midfield and increased their lead just before half-time, Nasri converting after a well worked moved culminated in an opening.
The second half slipped back into the same groove, the fans were venting their anger at the directors box now though, Arsenal were still playing it around however, Boatenfg left the field after an awkward fall and Ramsey decided to increase the lead, first he dispossed Vanden Borre, then he shimmied inside and hit a fierce left-footed drive that left Begovic helpless, the class gap evident.
Pompey seemed dead on their feet, but out of nowhere Belhadj played a one-two of sorts with Vanden Borre and smashed home, a glimmer of hope perhaps?
No chance, Nasri lofted a cross over a Pompey defence in disarray and Song headed home Arsenals fourth, game well and truly over.
Pompey could of got another back in the final minute, but Vanden Borre's cross was missed by Piquionne on the edge of the box when he really should of done better.
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Date:Thursday December 31 2009
|14. Dag & Red||33||10||11||12||-2||41|
|18. Bristol Rovers||33||9||12||12||-2||39|
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