Monday, September 18, 2006

Arsenal 1 - Manchester United 0

Well, they finally did it and without the much heralded Thierry Henry. Worse than that, Robin Van Persie came up injure, too. Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger devised a masterful stroke of genius ... play 4-5-1 against Man U. (4-5-1 is 4 defenders, 5 midfielders, 1 striker)

Normally, I hate 4-5-1, too BORING. But Manchester United could never get past Arsenal’s midfield. From the on set, Arsenal went on the attack on the shoulders of Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, the Togo international. I had never seen Adebayor play but I was pleased right away. He looks about 6'3" and has the legs of a 7 footer. At the 80th minute he was still plugging away, running, challenging, lurking amongst the ManU defenders. Note that Arsenal was playing 4-5-1 which means Adebayor, as a striker, was doing double work at times.

There were many close moments including a finger-tip save by the Arsenal goal keeper delivered by Manchester’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (a.k.a. Baby-faced assassin.) Arsenal had their chances, too, but they were playing ball possession all the way by bringing tons of energy and exacting passing.

On a Manchester turnover, the ball came to Cesc Fabregas and it seemed to stick to him as if on a rope. Cesc slid it over to Adebayor and the big man knocked it in at the 86th minute.

Now, for a Roman Catholic sidenote: Adebayor (picture at right) crossed himself three times as he left the pitch so he is going on my list of Roman Catholic all-stars. I’ve been participating in’s Fantasy league and for fun I was thinking of constructing an all-Roman Catholic team. Adebayor would make a good pick.

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