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Great performance, great result. Going into the Liverpool and Arsenal games, I would have been happy coming out of it with a 5-7 point lead at the top. It's up to 9 now and I dare say we've come away having taken them both out of the race. Only Spurs and City remain in with a shout, and City were 2 mins away from being out of it themselves. Still a ways to go, but it's been a significant week.

Some thoughts:

1) Hazard. Brilliant. He's been a bit quiet over the past month so it was great to see him back to his best. His goal was a thing of beauty. An amazing moment and it won't be forgotten.  

2) The Kante-Matic shield was at it's best. Arsenal could find no way through them. This was best reflected by the fact that Conte didn't go to 3 in the middle until after the 80th minute. Usually he changes it a bit earlier but we were in such control that there was no need to change it. 

3) Once again, I'd like to emphasize just how immense Alonso is. So underrated and often criticized. I often see people refer to him as the weak link, which is absolute rubbish. He actually had the highest average position in the team, which is insane. I know Kante is superhuman and all that, but Alonso's stamina is absurd; he covers that entire side for the full 90 minutes. For the first goal he was just past the halfway line when the cross was being worked. We know what happened next.

4) Shout out to a few others. I know Diego was a little frustrating but you can't fault his attitude. Worked his arse off and was desperate for a goal. I'd rather he be aggressive and actively looking for a goal, than passive and stuck out in wide areas. Pedro was excellent and has been a real star for us this season. Azpi was amazing, as usual. What a player. 

5) We really are a well drilled, training ground team. Some of the moves are almost robotically orchestrated. One such example is ball from one of the CB's out wide to Moses, who runs towards it and hooks it forward with his left foot to Diego. Diego either holds it up or plays it first time to Pedro/Willian who makes a run in behind. That's one of our get out moves from our own half and we do it half a dozen times a game. 

6) A final word on Arsenal. They really are a joke. No heart whatsoever, and that's epitomized by Ozil, who struts around aimlessly and behaves like hard work is beneath him. Wenger too, approaches a game as if scouting the opposition is beneath him. We want him to stay. 

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Ham   
24 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

Great performance, great result. Going into the Liverpool and Arsenal games, I would have been happy coming out of it with a 5-7 point lead at the top. It's up to 9 now and I dare say we've come away having taken them both out of the race. Only Spurs and City remain in with a shout, and City were 2 mins away from being out of it themselves. Still a ways to go, but it's been a significant week.

Some thoughts:

1) Hazard. Brilliant. He's been a bit quiet over the past month so it was great to see him back to his best. His goal was a thing of beauty. An amazing moment and it won't be forgotten.  

2) The Kante-Matic shield was at it's best. Arsenal could find no way through them. This was best reflected by the fact that Conte didn't go to 3 in the middle until after the 80th minute. Usually he changes it a bit earlier but we were in such control that there was no need to change it. 

3) Once again, I'd like to emphasize just how immense Alonso is. So underrated and often criticized. I often see people refer to him as the weak link, which is absolute rubbish. He actually had the highest average position in the team, which is insane. I know Kante is superhuman and all that, but Alonso's stamina is absurd; he covers that entire side for the full 90 minutes. For the first goal he was just past the halfway line when the cross was being worked. We know what happened next.

4) Shout out to a few others. I know Diego was a little frustrating but you can't fault his attitude. Worked his arse off and was desperate for a goal. I'd rather he be aggressive and actively looking for a goal, than passive and stuck out in wide areas. Pedro was excellent and has been a real star for us this season. Azpi was amazing, as usual. What a player. 

5) We really are a well drilled, training ground team. Some of the moves are almost robotically orchestrated. One such example is ball from one of the CB's out wide to Moses, who runs towards it and hooks it forward with his left foot to Diego. Diego either holds it up or plays it first time to Pedro/Willian who makes a run in behind. That's one of our get out moves from our own half and we do it half a dozen times a game. 

6) A final word on Arsenal. They really are a joke. No heart whatsoever, and that's epitomized by Ozil, who struts around aimlessly and behaves like hard work is beneath him. Wenger too, approaches a game as if scouting the opposition is beneath him. We want him to stay. 

Spot on.  

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paulw66   
On 2/4/2017 at 11:34 AM, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

Fabregas on the bench again.

lets hope that finally pays off today.

Finally? We were top of the league before the game, with Fabregas not playing much. What was your point?

On 2/4/2017 at 1:23 PM, Ibn Battuta said:

. Hazard clearly carrying something. 

Well..........

On 2/4/2017 at 1:29 PM, WHYSOSLOWYEH said:

If he is injured, then get him off, we can't afford passengers

Passenger?

On 2/4/2017 at 2:30 PM, OfWolfAndBiggs said:

Great performance. Kante and Matic were superb. 

Cech to Fabregas is just glorious!

I have to say, I didn't enjoy seeing Cech screw up against us. Would much rather we'd have scored a convential 3rd goal. Did enjoy Fabregas doing the damage though,

On 2/4/2017 at 3:10 PM, Droy was my hero said:

 

Neville was right about the "half-cheat" counter-attack positions of Pedro and Hazard, and the Arsenal FBs failure to deal with that.

I don't think there was anything wrong with Alonso's challenge for the goal (as some internet comments are claiming) but there was certainly a Red card elbow on Hazard later on.

 

What did Neville say?

Alonso goal was fine. Just a normal jump for the ball

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1 hour ago, paulw66 said:

What did Neville say?

Alonso goal was fine. Just a normal jump for the ball

Beginning to change my mind about the goal - probably was a foul - but the kind that often doesn't get given.  On balance this season refs seem to me to be only mildly against us this season (eg Gabriel did not get a Red) which when allowing for internal bias means probably they are fair.  All because we were so crap last season of course.

Neville pointed out that Pedro+Hazard were taking up half - counter-attack positions rather than dropping right back (Half-cheat), and that the Arsenal's FBs were failing to deal with that.

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Ham   

IF the ref had given the Alonso goal as a foul he would also have had to send Alonso off as that could easily have been given as dangerous play as evidenced by the fact that he's out cold in mid-air, before he hits the ground. He makes no attempt to brace for the landing.

If it was the other way around I'd have demanded it. Having said that I think the only reason it wasn't given is because nobody saw Bellerin get injured in real time.

It took a few seconds for Cech, others and then the ref to even notice he was injured. Had the ref seen it, Alonso would have been off.  

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paulw66   
59 minutes ago, Ham said:

IF the ref had given the Alonso goal as a foul he would also have had to send Alonso off as that could easily have been given as dangerous play as evidenced by the fact that he's out cold in mid-air, before he hits the ground. He makes no attempt to brace for the landing.

If it was the other way around I'd have demanded it. Having said that I think the only reason it wasn't given is because nobody saw Bellerin get injured in real time.

It took a few seconds for Cech, others and then the ref to even notice he was injured. Had the ref seen it, Alonso would have been off.  

Don't agree at all.

Even if he gives a foul, his eyes are on the ball, and his arms are in a perfectly normal position to get required leverage in the leap. As someone commented yesterday, you can't "jump like a penguin" when trying to head a ball.

Just because Bellerin got caught, it doesn't make it a foul, and it certainly doesn't make it dangerous play.

I didn't see Cahill getting hauled over hot coals for headbutting Mason. Same logic; a genuine attempt to head the ball that went accidentally wrong. 

I can entertain the notion of a foul here, but not one of dangerous play. 

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Ham   
6 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

Don't agree at all.

Even if he gives a foul, his eyes are on the ball, and his arms are in a perfectly normal position to get required leverage in the leap. As someone commented yesterday, you can't "jump like a penguin" when trying to head a ball.

Just because Bellerin got caught, it doesn't make it a foul, and it certainly doesn't make it dangerous play.

I didn't see Cahill getting hauled over hot coals for headbutting Mason. Same logic; a genuine attempt to head the ball that went accidentally wrong. 

I can entertain the notion of a foul here, but not one of dangerous play. 

The forearm gets there first though Paul. Accidental or not, my opinion is that this could easily have been given as it could have been interpreted as dangerous because of the end result.

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paulw66   
Just now, Ham said:

The forearm gets there first though Paul. Accidental or not, my opinion is that this could easily have been given as it could have been interpreted as dangerous because of the end result.

Game of opinions! 

I think that would have been outrageously harsh

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Ham   
Just now, paulw66 said:

Game of opinions! 

I think that would have been outrageously harsh

Agreed. I understand the decision that was made and I'd also have understood if he was red carded.

Very glad he wasn't by the way. 😊

We should remember this one whenever the question of refs/the media having an agenda crops up again. 

One in the plus column.

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FWIW, none of the commentators or pundits (including more back in studio) thought it was a foul (amazingly, Whinger not only saw it, but, not so surprisingly, thought it was a foul!).

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