Thursday, February 14
We Love you Arsenal, We Do
Last weekend’s trip to Sunderland rewarded us with our second set of three points from two extremely tough fixtures, and heading back to Newcastle for our particular after-match activities, it felt hugely satisfying.
Living off the south coast as I do these days, the north-east is a part of the UK that is a very long way from my home. Flying has almost become second nature to our generation, especially with the incredible deals that can be had with the many 'budget' airlines now in operation, and our mid-morning arrival after a short flight from Southampton felt extremely civilised.
Taking in our usual haunt for this fixture, we very much enjoyed the
refreshment from a lengthy real ale list resembling a cross between fantasy fiction and items from your local hardware store!
The away section at the Stadium of Light is now high up behind the goal at the opposite end from every previous visit. A change, but an excellent vantage point nonetheless to see us totally dominate a first half where the only surprise was the narrow lead we took into the break, with Santi's fine finish the very least we deserved.
Slim the lead might have been, but it proved so crucial. A satisfying rearguard action in the last 25 minutes or so saw us come away with the three points our overall performance deserved. Being down to 10 men provides the main explanation for the pressure we were under, and even then Theo was extremely unlucky to not finish the game off when he hit the post.
An enormous three points for our league campaign was celebrated with gusto long into the night, while thoughts turned to the FA Cup during the nauseating flight home on Sunday morning!
The road to Wembley has included three superb games so far and, with our visitors from Ewood Park having absolutely nothing to lose, I expect another good match on Saturday. I have no problem with it being another fantastic spectacle, as long as come five o'clock, it is us in the hat for the quarter final.
'We're all on the march with Arsène's Army...'