Song and Denilson resume double act as Arsenal defeat Standard

Samir Nasri and Denilson were in amongst the goals as Arsenal strolled past Standard Liege to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

For great crime fighting double acts read Batman and Robin, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, Crockett and Tubbs, and now you can safely add Alex Song and Denilson to that list. When everyone else attacks, these two resist all temptations and hold up the fort behind them. 14 games had passed since the duo lined-up together and their selflessness as the double-axis in front of the defence was part of the reason for Arsenal’s scintillating football, particularly in the first half.

Song even had time to get forward in that period as the Gunners produced wave after attack and with only twelve minutes on the clock could have scored three. As it, was Arsenal needed a little help from Standard Liege’s left back Landry Mulemo to take the lead, misjudging a long ball from Thomas Vermaelen to let Nasri in and he tucked the ball past Turkish U21 goalkeeper Sinan Bolat. Denilson wrapped things up in the last-minute of the half with a Ronaldo-esque dipping shot which swerved all over the place before finally landing in the middle of the net. By the time the Brazilian was replaced, Arsenal had taken their foot of the pedal but such was the expertise of the midfielder, his substitute Tomas Rosicky looked to be asking his colleague for some pointers before making his way on the pitch.

Carlos Vela surprisingly got the nod ahead of Eduardo and the forward produced a lively display if not having the individual effect he would have wanted. His movement off the ball and combinations with others pleased the manager and overall, the side had more variety and dynamism than the display at Sunderland. In a sense it was easier for Vela to adapt because of the personnel on show, allowing the side to play a more quicker game than at the Stadium of Light. Nasri on the right looked to support Vela by coming inside as the Mexican drifted usually towards the left which freed up space for Emmanuel Eboue to drive forward. The midfield shield of Denilson and Song, the former slightly elongated to the left allowed Cesc Fabregas to provide support higher up as the interior.

But Arsenal’s evening was overshadowed somewhat by the unfortunate injury to Kieran Gibbs who could be out for three months with a metatarsal injury while Gallas hobbled off with a boxer’s bruise above his eye and an ankle injury.

Arsenal 2-0 Standard Liege: Nasri 35, Denilson 45
Red Card: Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez 83

Arsenal (4-3-3): Almunia (7), Eboue (7), Gallas (7) (Silvestre 6), Vermaelen (7), Gibbs (7), Fabregas (7), Song Billong (8)*, Denilson (8) (Rosicky 7), Nasri (7) (Walcott 6), Arshavin (7), Vela (7).
Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Eduardo, Traore.

Standard Liege (4-5-1): Bolat, Camozzato, Sarr, Felipe, Mulemo, Goreux, Witsel, Mangala, Carcela-Gonzalez, Dalmat, Mbokani.
Subs: Van Hout, Victor Ramos, Rocha, Traore, Gershon, Nicaise, Gohi-Bi.

Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria)

Arsenal Team Statistics Standard Liege
2 Goals 0
2 1st Half Goals 0
11 Shots on Target 1
10 Shots off Target 6
4 Blocked Shots 2
10 Corners 2
13 Fouls 19
0 Offsides 3
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 1
87.1 Passing Success 67.1
29 Tackles 38
89.7 Tackles Success 76.3
73.1 Possession 26.9
57.7 Territorial Advantage 42.3

15 thoughts on “Song and Denilson resume double act as Arsenal defeat Standard

  1. Vela is very good at twisting and turning away from pressure, outstanding technician. I hope Wenger plays Silvestre at LB bcuz set-plays for chelsea since our team is short in height especially without Diaby, Bendy & RVP [our tallest players]

  2. Missed the match. By the analysis, I assume we played a 4-2-3-1. Some blogs are criticizing Vela. How did he play? I think Song and Denilson will be retained for Chelsea along with Nasri.

    1. I should have explained interior. It was a 4-3-3 as always although the interpretation makes it a 4-2-3-1 at times as Denilson naturally likes to stay back. Fabregas as an interior, means he’s dictating or initiating play and was once again the heart of the team although there was more roundedness in this performance than at Sunderland.

      In Brazil, the left sided central midfielder is called the ‘Meia Esquerda’ who is more attacking and the right one is called ‘Meia Direita’ who is more defensive. Just switch them around I say and you get Fabregas and Denilson. The reason I used the Spanish term (interior) as it is more relevant because the Brazilian terms could be thought of as more attacking.

    2. A lot of people have said vela looked “rusty” – I think this is mainly because he hit the post with an easy chance from a corner, and he completely mis-hit one shot.
      On the plus side he played the lone front role as well as anyone could really for arsenal. His control was superb, he tended to release the ball at the right time, didnt give it away often (which is extremely tough in that position) and on another day could have had a couple of chances. His movement was good and a couple of times the final ball to him wasnt quite good enough.
      My only problem with him was that a couple of times he peeled right and received the ball, and could have shot, but refused to hit the shot with his right, and instead tried to turn the defender or pass to a teammate (one of these instances lead to his fluff-shot). Apart from that I couldnt be happier with him as a replacement for rvp. They play the role in quite a similar way except i suppose robin’s height means he can challenge for headers a bit more effectively at times.

    1. Yes i know he is taller but Traore is awful in the air [timing and leap isnt good] and as long as MS stays back and sagna attacks from his side then we dont have to worry about MS’s recovery speed to stop counter-attacks.

      Also bcuz MS is CB by trade, he is used to marking players at setplays whereas Traore has always been put on the post for very good reason apart from Saturday against sunderland when he was put on the edge of the box which is still not in the main danger area. So do your research before typing.

      out of Chavs’ potential line-up, only Lampard out of the 6ft tall players will not go in the box if he is delivering the setplays.


      -Ivano[6ft 2]-Alex[6ft 2.5]-Terry[6ft 1]-Cole[5ft 8]

      –Essien [5ft 10]—

      –Lampard[6ft]—Ballack[6ft 2.5]

      —-Malouda[5ft 10]–

      –Anelka[6ft 1]—Drog[6ft 2.5]—

      Even with MS in the team we will still be short in terms of matching players to their players. Hopefully we can scrape a win

      1. Thanks for the unnescessarily aggressive ‘do your research before posting’. The two links were research, and aimed to add to the debate rather than an attack on you.

        Since Sunderland was Traore’s first competitive appearance of the season and he was not on a post, are you talking about when he was on loan at Pompey last year or his old appearances at Arsenal? Although he’s not outstanding in the air, I’ve never noticed him being particularly bad.

        I don’t deny that Chelsea have a lot of height, and as you mentioned, that will be a problem whichever left back we pick. What they also don’t have is a natural right-sided midfielder (unless J Cole plays there). Fat Frank, etc, all prefer coming inside, which will mean that whoever plays left back for us is likely to have a lot of space ahead of him to attack (compared to other areas on the pitch). Traore offers a great deal more than Silvestre in these forward areas. For that reason, I’d pick him.

  3. Bravo to all the gunners.

    The retuen of Denilson and the combination of Song(African pride at mighty Arsenal) should be the pick of the night and this is what we must expect out of them on sunday.
    This was like the display they had at oldtraford,though we went on to loosing the game.

    Am expecting Theo to getting strong coz he has put on the most expensive,he must therefore upto the expectation.

    Go gunners.

    1. I agree – for me if wenger thinks traore can handle the pressure, then he should pick him, as it is his position. If not I think eboue should play rather than silvestre. His pace is useful, and he’s good at 1-on-1s so might do well against anelka’s skill

  4. Hooray for timely humor: “For great crime fighting double acts read Batman and Robin, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, Crockett and Tubbs, and now you can safely add Alex Song and Denilson to that list.”

    Traore was decent if not stella at left back. He’s a good [third tier] cover and will do a better job on the wing with his speed than Sylvestre if he can maintain defensive discipline.

    I wonder why Standard players turned nasty on us on our home ground. Are our home fans not intimidating enough? It’s infuriating to see people out trying to hurt your players.

    I also kind of wonder why Arsene didn’t play more reserve players at the back. Given the highlights I saw, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. If Senderos-Sylvestre can stop Liverpool, they could have stopped these guys too.

    1. Some of the references may take you back. As for Standard; they looked to be frustrated by the total gulf in quality they sought nothing better than to kick players. Shame.

      Wenger doesn’t really like changes things at the back as you most probably know – but Senderos should play next time definitely.

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