What happened last night was pure magic. Maybe the Football Fairies decided to pay the Emirates Stadium a visit and sprinkle some fairy dust on the field and on the stadium seats. So when the fans come a-visiting when their team lopes out the tunnel to face their long-time rivals in what could be seen as a pulsating match, that they would have some belief that their team could turn over a new leaf.
Yes, I think that’s probably what happened.
Let me say something: When I see Arsenal pitted against a strong rival, my first thoughts are, “Oh, the match is going out the window. They won’t win. They never did! They’re so inconsistent that they are probably just consistently inconsistent.” Does that make sense? I have faith in them to play a game but it’s always against a much stronger team that they’d slip and slide and fall over. So when I saw that their weekend game was at home against Manchester United, I instantly felt that I shouldn’t be watching the match for fear of watching them lose.
And I woke up this morning to a fresh batch of news and headlines that chased away my Monday blues. Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United. Really? OH MY GOD WOW THAT’S THE BEST NEWS I’VE EVER WOKEN UP TO! No, really. Let’s backtrack and see what happened at the Emirates Stadium, shall we?
The game began just like any other, the two teams jogging out from the tunnel and spilled out onto the field, waving to their fans, thanking them for their support while the match officials prepared the game. The whistle was blown and the match kicked off. Arsenal were in control, decisive as they shared the ball among their teammates. Manchester United looked like they needed more sleep. Sluggish and lacking in control were the causes of the three goals scored. Arsenal knew that, and they punished them for it. Into the first five minutes came the first goal scored by Alexis Sanchez. It happened in a blink of an eye, too quick for my eyes to catch it so only upon the slow-motion replay was I able to catch that cheeky little back heel of a goal. The ball connected with the boot of Sanchez and rolled in. That was most certainly a cause for celebration! The whole stadium erupted in a cheer of frenzy as Sanchez reeled away, leaping into the air with a whoop of joy.
That was sweet. So sweet of Mesut Ozil to set up the goal for Sanchez that he decided to help himself to a goal as well. A well-timed pass from Theo Walcott allowed Ozil to follow through and slotted the ball home at the right-hand corner which left Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea a little lost for words and didn’t know which direction to turn to.
And the rough ocean waves returned to a sea of calmness. Arsenal settled into a groove of long-ball passing while Manchester United struggled to make amends. On the stroke of the 20th minute, Arsenal struck again, with Alexis Sanchez picking up his second goal of the match, and Arsenal’s third, with a superb strike from 18 yards out! Another neat assist from teammate Ozil, Sanchez dribbled the ball just within range and thrashed the ball high into the top left corner of the goal. Game, set, match! Sanchez wrapped things up with class and sealed the deal for the Gunners. Manager Arsene Wenger was seen leaping out of his seat jubilantly, pumping his fists with happiness as he should be since his team finally showed some integrity and force on the field.
Looks like the unexpected 3-2 loss to Olympiakos didn’t affect them so much. If any, it brought out the determination in a club that prides itself on being top class, and its players proved to critics that they were not down yet. And they most certainly aren’t out either. Job well done, boys! I’m so proud of you.