Song and Diaby’s industry provides the basis for Birmingham win

Andrey Arshavin wrapped up a late win for Arsenal but Lee Bowyer’s goal ensured the Gunners had to work hard to earn the three points.

Only two points were dropped last season by Manchester United against teams outside the ‘big four’ in comparison to Arsenal’s fifteen and it seems manager Arsene Wenger is going some way in correcting that stat this campaign. The Gunners have now scored 27 goals in eight games making them the highest scoring club at this stage in Premier League history.

“We’ll out score you” has been the mantra and the way Wenger’s team line-up reaffirmed that adventurousness. Eboue was favoured ahead of Bakary Sagna at right back for his more direct style while Fabregas looked to push up close to van Persie whenever possible. And they made a blistering start to the game going ahead by two goals in a space of a couple of minutes. First van Persie did well to control Song’s pass before firing a trademark angled shot into the right corner. Abou Diaby then doubled the lead, getting on to the end of a Rosicky cut back. Despite all the tactical evolutions in the past few years, arriving late in the penalty area is something which defenders have not got their heads round yet and if the gangly midfielder can repeat the same movements more often, he is sure to get around ten goals a season.

However Diaby will ultimately be judged for his outside play and luckily for him, this time he didn’t disappoint. Continuing on from his role as the auxiliary left central midfielder, he provided ample cover for Rosicky to flourish as the Czech midfielder made a lively start to the game before tiring out. But Diaby kept on grafting and linked up play well and along with Alex Song provided the base for the attacking players to shine. Theo Walcott’s comeback was cut short but it not before the winger made an encouraging start to the game on the more direct right flank. Robin van Persie was as unselfish as ever and his movement across the line created space for others while Fabregas produced a more all-round performance in the heart of midfield.

The Gunners probably made their most impressive start to a game this season, stroking the ball and moving around the pitch with much conviction but as it reached the half hour mark, complacency started to creep in. Vito Manonne’s error in judgement gifted Birmingham a way into the match and soon the jitters kicked in. The restlessness of the fans seemed to transcend to the players and despite coping with Birmingham’s threat fairly well, only a goal looked like it would ease the players’ nerves. As it was Andrey Arshavin coolly slotted in a deadly Arsenal counter attack to confirm the win as Arsenal continued their winning streak at home.

Arsenal 3-1 Birmingham City: van Persie 16, Diaby 18, Bowyer 38, Arshavin 84.

ARSENAL: Mannone (6), Eboue (7) (Wilshere 90min), Gallas (6), Vernaelen (6), Gibbs (6), Diaby (7), Fabregas (7), Song (7), Walcott (7) (Arshavin 33min, 7), Van Persie (7), Rosicky (6) (Sagna 72min)

BIRMINGHAM: Hart (7), Carr (6), Ridgewell (6), R Johnson (6), Dann (7), Bowyer 97), Larsson (7), Ferguson (6), Carsley (6) (Phillips 79min) Jerome (5) (O’Connor 61min), McFadden (5) (McSheffrey 70min)

Yellow cards: Arsenal: Song Birmingham: Hart, Ridgewell
Referee: J Probert
Attendance: 60,082


12 thoughts on “Song and Diaby’s industry provides the basis for Birmingham win

  1. It was an all round performance from the team. The first goal was a good piece of skill from both Song and RVP. The second was a typical Arsenal goal(exquisite passing, good build up and teamwork). The third was a deadly counter attack. Diaby played well today. Controlled the left side. He was sharp defensively and was happy to help out up front.
    A good rounded display from Arsenal. The defense can still improve imo.

  2. Yet another soft goal conceded when birmingham offered little overall.

    These clangers in defence are very worrying for me. At the end of the day its 3 points and 3 goals.

    Onwards to Alkmaar then upton park next week

  3. I for one agree that while the sloppy goals can be avoided, I am not too concerned by this. My only concerns are that no players get injured. While the team continues to play this sort of football, we will defeat any opposition. This team is looking even better than the team of 2 seasons ago which had flamini and hleb in it. If no major injuries then we will be in 1st position by the new year. That’s my prediction. We have the best attacking team in the country.

  4. Yeah diaby played well today.. and finally and hopefully he wakes his idea up and put in such performances, keeping things simple, keeping the passes short and defense like how he did today. Offensively he did great scoring a goal and getting into dangerous position, defensively he did well today.

    Seriously, he can be good like today if he keeps the passes short and not dribble too much. against birmingham, diaby did not dribble much and instead chose to pass short. That was a great display. If diaby fully understand how to keep the play simple, then he would be a great player to have alongside song, denilson and nasri.

    Hopefully he knows what his problems really ar, and from there improve and show us what he is really capable of. With a much improved diaby, alongside denilson and nasri, then Song’s departure in January for the ANC would not be too much of a problem.

  5. Generally i think Arsenal played well but one thing should always remain in the minds of the player and that is CONSISTENCY. No matter how good a team is without been consistence in their performance that means TROUBLE, if d Arsenal players can always be on top of their game then THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

  6. Cesc played quietly well, delivering one assist and consistent with his final passes throughout.

    But for one bad pass that I remember, Gibbs was also pretty solid and composed. He was a the right place to head away a lobbed ball – his height will be a factor helping him compete with Gael.

    Maybe an experienced keeper would punch the ball away for good, but I wonder why the Mannone incidence wasn’t a foul on the keeper. Larsson was moving toward Mannone in keeper’s protection area, blocking his right arm and having no chance of touching the ball.

  7. Diaby certainly improved on his last showing.Must wait and see if he will maintain and improve on this kind of display.Still find him to be slow thinking but hoping to see Denilson and Nasri back, they are both a cut above him in midfield.

  8. I was at the game and Diaby did dribble and lose the ball a few times. But only once was he high up the pitch and we then struggled on the counter.

    I suppose I am nit picking as overall he had an ok game and his finish was good despite it being a tap in he took it nicely.

    Now we need him to be consistent as he can just as easily have a shocker against west ham.

    That said I think our squad is looking very competitive but I pray that gallas and vermaelen stay fit. I would love to see a CB bought in january, not necessarily a huge splash of money but someone who can add to this area of the squad.

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