March 5, 2016: English Premier League – Week 29

Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal

It was absolute madness at White Hart Lane today. Arsenal was on a rollercoaster ride to hell and back. Just when every flaccid-brained Gooner in the world was typing “Wenger Ou…” into Twitter, Alexis saved the day and the teams went level on the day.

      • Wenger went with a very different squad. With Cech, Koscielny, and Monreal injured, Ospina got the start in goal, Gabriel the start alongside Mertesacker, and Gibbs on the left. No surprise there. A bit more surprising was his decision to move Ozil to the left forward position and have Elneny play central mid, move Alexis to striker and start Danny Welbeck on the right. A very different set up than we’ve been playing recently, but actually one that I’m ok with.  This frees up Ramsey to move to the right where he’s able to be more offensive and still able to make runs into the center. I also think Alexis is best used as a spear tip and someone to cause havoc in the back line and less as someone to make things happen at midfield which he’s been having to do lately.
      • Early action was dominated by the Spurs. Arsenal was content to sit back and defend, or at least it looked like it since they never could seem to control the ball at midfield. Every chance Arsenal had to make a break the final pass in was just not falling for them or was just a straight up bad attempt.
      • Coquelin was lucky not to be booked for a yellow on a pretty risky tackle in our half and not long after that forgot he wasn’t a goalie and grabbed the ball while lying on the pitch at midfield. He was booked and that would really come back to haunt the Gunners in the second half.
      • Arsenal got themselves on the board with an absolute beauty of a goal. Welbeck was sent into the area on the left and switched the field to Bellerin who was sprinting into the box. He one timed a cross/shot which Ramsey backheeled into the back of the net. The goal seemed to jumpstart Arsenal to life because there were a few more decent opportunities right after that and they seemed to mostly control the remainder of the half.

 

The second half delved into a Kanye West on Twitter level of madness. It’s really only explainable by seeing it, so here we go:

Coquelin gets sent off

    • Coquelin, who previously was under the impression he was Ospina, had another bout of split-personality and #FlamJammed the Gunners real good with this one

Tottenham struck lightening twice immediately after

  • Watch the ineptitude of Mertesacker at the start of this play. What is he even doing back there I never know what he’s doing! Mert! Get the meatloaf!  BTW, Cech would have saved this. Ospina had made some nice saves on the day, but his height killed us here. Kane’s strike is superb but I truly believe a 9 foot Cech would have saved this.

Alexis returns to being Alexis and magically scores an equalizer

Love this fiery little guy. I wish we were friends so I could play with his dogs and just say inspirational quotes around him all day. He’d definitely wink and be like “good one” and mean it non-ironically.

Dier fouls Giroud so bad while on a second yellow and DOESN’T get a red card which was total B.S. even the announcers were like “say whaaaaat?”

I can’t find a clip of this but it basically looked like this:

 

Other indiscriminate madness:

  • Handball in the box on Tottenham that was called as incidental
  • Ramsey was fed beautifully by Alexis for what should have been the winner but instead of one timing it he took a dribble and some dude on Tottenham slid in to save the match
  • Kane unleashed a beautiful shot from about 25 yards out on the right side that Ospina had to palm over the bar
  • and then there was this…

Gabriel remembers he’s on Arsenal and almost Arsenals the living sh*t out of this game right at the end

  • If this had gone in and cost us the point I probably would have been not surprised at all and just gotten up and gone straight to the ocean and threw my entire apartment in it one item at a time.

In the end, it’s a draw and the teams stay level in the top four. Of course, Leicester can’t stop winning so this is a huge result for them. Despite all that, as a Gunner fan, I’m excited to see Alexis back on the board and us to take a point from a match on the road that easily could have gotten away from us.

 

Alexis chasing Ramsey for a hug

-Hoff