Arsenal answers back: Minus the panache with gumption

Those fighting qualities which seemed to have disappeared during the City and Man Utd games resurfaced yesterday against Standard Liege.
Yes, it was Liege doing the siege in the first three minutes with Arsenal’s self inflicted wounds as Eduardo errant back heel found Elaquim Mangala who blasted his shot into the left corner of goal. Vito Mannone looked disgusted at the cheap giveaway. Even worse was to follow as Eboue was turned inside out by Milan Jovanovic and then fouled in the box by the barest of contact by Gallas. The penalty was converted. Just awful defending and Mannone was probably correct in thinking this would be a long night for him.
Abou Diaby sparked the comeback slipping in a pass for Nicholas Bendtner who ran at an angle and smacked the ball between the goalkeepers legs. The new Bendtner. Diaby’s feat was quite impressive as he managed to stave of the challenges of two Liege players. Arsenal were in the match before half time. But it was an atypical outing without the fluid and precise passing.
The equalizer came in controversial fashion with Fabregas posting a free kick that hit Song on the arm and Vermaelen was on hand to toe the ball in. Handball and offside. And as errant Eduardo’s back heel was with the first goal giveaway, equally serendipitous was his knee in the winning goal. Different anatomical parts, different results. Even Gallas would have been impressed. The Liege goalie was furious at Alex Witsel for missing his enforcement. A strange sort of subtext there.
So a lot of luck and gumption. But as Arseblog correctly points out we could do with some breaks. The performance itself was erratic with quite a few players who could be treated as no shows. Cesc has slipped into subterranean mode since his bright start. Song, Eboue, and Clichy continue to made questionable decisions. This is getting to be a trend. With Almunia out with a virus or possible “Error Coli” and Fabianski out, Mannone might see more action than previously thought or we can be comfortable with. The list of questions is getting long.

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