Arsenal 5 – 0 Aston Villa
1 – 0 Adebayour (19)
2 – 0 Henry (25)
3 – 0 Henry (47)
4 – 0 Van Persie (71)
5 – 0 Diaby (80)
With Tottenham being taken apart at St James Park, these three points are vital in the race for fourth place. One defeat in eight games, a run including six wins, shows that this team has finally got into gear and is capable of launching a proper challenge to Chelsea next season.
Aston Villa may have started reasonably brightly enough but it became obvious early on that they were a team shorn of confidence. Indeed for Adebayours opener, heading in Henrys’ cross off the underside of the bar, two defenders chose to defend the line rather than attack the ball as it came over the area – a sign that they do not feel that they have the ability to defend properly.
Henry made it two with a simple lob over Sorensen having yet again sprung the Villa offside trap whilst his third came from a deft backflick from Adebayour, which Henry then curled around Sorensen who appeared to think it was going wide. With a match in Turin on Wednesday the Frenchman was withdrawn to protect his energy. Van Persie replaced him and showed immediately he has not lost the goalscoring knack during his injury lay-off when his happy feet dragged the ball back several times before planting the ball in the far corner from a seemingly impossibly angle. The Ghost of Patrick Vieira remained at THOF seeing Diaby charge from end to end, lashing the fifth into the roof of the net.
The downside is the injuries picked up by Fabregas and Eboue – both are rated as 50 – 50 for Wednesday which in Wenger speak means they will make it for Wednesday but I bet he wishes that he’d taken my advice yesterday and rested the mercurial Catalan ahead of the Juve tie.
Todays Tunes come from The Quantic Soul Orchestra – thanks to Chippo for putting me on to this one. Two songs from the album Stampede which you are strongly urged to purchase. Whack this one on the stereo and be transported back to Harlem, 1970…