In the 22nd minute of this game a keeper who has played at the top level throughout his long career had a brainwave: he thought he would try & gate-crash last minute voting in the Ballon d’Or.
As the ball was played back to Southampton goalie Artur Boruc there looked to be no danger. There was no opponent near enough to him at that crucial decision making stage.
So he attempted to emulate Messi & Ronaldo.
Heck, with a dropped shoulder, a shimmy & a drag-back he thought he was Messi & Ronaldo – except for one minor difference – he was nowhere near as good.
With Giroud suddenly on him and pressurising the unfortunate Pole all bets were off. As were plans to write an acceptance speech thanking Sepp Blatter for his World Player of the Year trophy.
For the ex Celtic legend suddenly turned into your dad at a BBQ.
He suddenly turned into your dad at a BBQ who has had a few drinks and tries to execute a Cruyff turn to beat three excitable toddlers and a yapping Jack Russell. With a beachball.
Yet instead of your dad falling over after being robbed by a pack of nippers and a canine, making friends and family smile ruefully and shake their head at how daft he is before going back to their overcooked burgers - Boruc to his horror finally realised he wasn’t being a half cut father at a boozy BBQ, but, was actually playing in a Premier League game.
Alas, by then it was too late, as a gleeful (and disbelieving) Giroud slotted the ball into an empty net.
Such things tight games are decided on.
If such things tight games are decided on in a title winning season for Arsenal is far too early to call.
But Arsenal once again won ugly against a determined and impressive Saints side packed with flair, potential and no little grit. It was a good three points for the Gunners to win as the South Coast side fully deserve their plaudits and will surprise a few people this season – if they haven’t already.
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They certainly surprised those who pick the televised games – for when was the last time first vs. third was played at 3pm on a Saturday?
With English talents like Shaw, Clyne, Lallana, Rodriguez & Ward-Prowse, coupled with the experience of Wanyama and, er, Boruc the Saints have a bright future under Pochettino. (Who, incidentally, was a player I witnessed in the flesh ‘tangling’ with Michael Owen at the Sapporo Dome to win that Beckham penalty in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the Japan & Korea 2002 World Cup).
Not bad for a club that had started with a ten point deduction in 2009. In the third tier.
Good luck to them. Especially against Man City and Chelsea.
Speaking of which, yes it was a decent Blues performance against West Ham. But have you seen how poor West Ham have become under Allardici?
Allardici might be an alter-ego - who in a parallel universe would rival the coaching flair of a Wenger, the savvy of a Mourinho and the trophies of a Fergie – but that’s only in your head Sam. What on earth have you turned West Ham into?
As for Arsenal, Ramsey gave us a sublime back-heel flick, Wilshere a subtle chip, and with the game won late on at 2-0 Giroud an audacious volley – which admittedly only threatened those left in club level.
Yet it was a sign of how far we’ve come that my initial thought was goal difference might be crucial come May, let’s not waste half chances - certainly not with a fit again Theo Walcott screaming for the ball on the other flank.
I thought our defence looked solid, our midfield - even without the suspended Flamini showed fight, guile and controlled aggression with Arteta displaying superb tactical discipline, whilst our attackers practiced persistence.
All in all a good day.
Unless you're Artur Boruc.
Follow Layth on twitter @laythy29
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