This was a game that was meant to shape Arsenal's immediate future amongst Europe's elite and they really shot themselves on the foot. The Gunners started the strongest but "we've been there before" seeing Arsenal dominate teams and being undone by one nasty and costly error. Before you could say Jack Robinson, Per Merteshacles and Thomas Gammalin connived to allow Gareth Bale spring the offside trap and get his 15th strike in the EPL, the highest a Welshman has gotten in a single season. Moments later, lightning struck twice, same situation, same culprits but different scorer, Aaron Lennon.
Pundits gave much credit to the Arsenal backline at the beginning of the season, with lots of kudos going to Steve Bould for moulding the Gunners defence, but the once impregnable defence has been raped continuously at an alarming rate. If Arsenal will ever win a trophy (except from the Emirates Cup) Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertasacker will have to be disposed of or remoulded. Vermaelen is now an opposite of what we saw in his debut season, Mertesacker lacks pace, Koscielny is inconsistent. Tottenham's win yesterday was built on a very solid defence, Michael Dawson was rock solid, and come to think of it, AVB almost sold him off to QPR during his Spurs shake up, Jan Vertonghen had another eye catching game, won tackles, made interceptions, and dominated aerial duels, Kyle Walker has a way of keeping his best for the North London derbies and he was in his elements yesterday.
Are there positives for Arsenal? Definitely yes, 10 more games to go and anything can happen but you get a feeling that Spurs would be mentally prepared for this run-in considering their last season melt down, but Wenger would be happy that Chelsea have also joined the scramble for Champions League places, that means its game on. The Big question now lies; can Arsenal go through the next 10 games unscathed?
ROSY 2013 FOR ROSSONERI
This was a team that almost sacked its gaffer for poor results but since New Year's day, AC Milan have not lost a game in the Serie A. the club bought Mario Balotelli who has added more value to the team. In this massive three pointer against Lazio, Milan had it at the back of their minds that a win will propel them to third on the log and their mission was helped by Candreva who got sent off early in the first period and Milan took over, the Barca win confidence still evident in the team and they put Lazio to the sword in grand style, Balotelli didn't play which ensured Pazzini took the limelight with a brace. The Rossoneri are third right now and with Napoli playing back to back draws, Milan will have the right to believe that they can give second place a shot.
Juve and Napoli cancelled each other out in a feisty clash but the sour point in the game was the Edinson Cavani elbow on Giorgio Chiellini but the spirit of the game won as both players showed sportsmanship after the game.
Roma won last night at the Olimpico but the highpoint was Francesco Totti's 225th Serie A goal, making him the second all-time scorer in the SerieA , Antonio Di Natale also netted his 150th goal for Udinese in their win over Pescara.
AND THE DOMINANCE IS OFFICIALLY OVER
Inconsequential as the tie might be, but this game was important for the Special One, this was the game that was going to break the shackles of the Barca domination over Real Madrid. Second string line up it seemed like but the same spirit was still instilled in the team, Benzema struck first but Barca replied and from then on it was all Barcelona, but we knew we had seen all of these before and came on Ronaldo who gingered the team up and Real got the winner through Sergio Ramos a player whose relationship with Mourinho has been questioned. Messi once again looked disinterested and Iniesta anonymous, Jordi Roura should try to give Messi some rest because he needs it. In the last 7 clasicos, Mourinho has won four and lost just two, this shows one thing, Mou has found the formula his nemesis. But they need to stop basking in the euphoria of this win and focus on the battle at Old Trafford as they continue the search for La Decima.