Sunday, October 31, 2010

Arsenal 1 - West Ham 0

Sorry for the delay in posting comments on yesterday's London Derby, which Arsenal pulled out late on an excellent headed goal by Alex Song. The Gunners dominated the match, but West Ham defended doggedly. Twice the Hammers were saved by the goal post, once on a blistering free kick from nearly 40 yards out by Samir Nasri. But in the 89th minute, Gael Clichy clipped a beautiful cross inside the six-yard box, which the diving Song headed into the back of the net.

I wouldn't say the Gunners were lucky to get the 3 points yesterday. They earned the victory, but the difficulty of the match was another indication that the Gunners have not yet found the same form in the Premiership that they have shown in their Champion's League and Carling Cup matches, admittedly against lesser opponents (so far). After piling up goals in those matches, they waltz back into Premier League ties with what seems to be a false sense of confidence, only to find that they have to work much harder to gain the points.

On the plus side, the Gunners are definitely getting healthier and deeper with the return from injuries of Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott, both of whom have come back in fine form. Still to come are Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshire, and Thomas Vermaelen. The key to the entire season, however, is that Cesc Fabregas must stay healthy. They look a completely different, and lesser, side, when he is out of the line-up.

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