Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shock Defeat: QPR 2 - Arsenal 1

This always looked a dangerous match for the Gunners, away to Queen's Park Rangers, a relegation-bound team that beat Liverpool at home last week. Arsenal came into the game having won seven Premier League matches in a row, creating a real risk that they would underestimate a lowly opponent. They did, and it cost them. The Gunners failed to match QPR's aggression and commitment. Throughout the match, the Gunners lacked the quick, incisive passing that has been a hallmark of their recent run of good form. Even more unusually, it was two defensive lapses by the usually reliable Thomas Vermaelen, which led directly to both QPR goals. The loan Arsenal goal, which tied the game in the first half, came from good combination play by van Persie and Theo Walcott. Walcott's first shot rebounded right back to him off the post, and with the keeper out of position he had a wide-open net in which to guide his second effort. It was to be the only highlight of the match for a Gunners side that had loads of possession but few truly threatening attacks on the QPR goal.

Even if a let-down like this was foreseeable, it was still a shocking loss. Arsenal simply can't afford any more efforts of this poor quality, if they are to finish in Champion's League position, let alone third place in the league.

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