"They think the goal post is up there." That was the attempted humor from my dad (who with my younger bro, are the ManUre fans in my family) last Mon morning local time when the Gunners kept blazing the football in front of the opposition goal (against Wigan at the Emirates), to which I finger jab myself waist side while trying to laugh. :P
Nevertheless, dad's words echoed in my mind this morning as I sat through the last dozen minutes of normal game time & the half hour of extra time of the Arsenal-Bolton Wanderers replay match at the Reebok Stadium. During that period, the Gunners blazed a clear goal bound shot (to be fair, it hit the post) & yet another penalty in extra time. Arsenal was leading most of the 2nd half of the match, thanks to Adebayor scoring the Gunners. Then, ever poor at defending set pieces (& somewhat similarly woeful at taking corners), Bolton scored the equaliser to push the game into extra time. Had a dreadful feeling that Gooners everywhere will once again see our supposedly bogey team beat us.
Thankfully, Arsenal is also fast becoming known as the comeback team i.e. conceding leads only to draw the match or win it close to the end. That's drama & romance of the game, but at times, I can do without the suspense & thriller of leaving the sucker punch to the 11th hour. Hence, in extra time, though the Gunners rode their luck when a Bolton shot on goal similarly hit the post, Freddie Ljungberg scored, Baptista blazed his penalty shot (Gilberto blazed the 1st penalty of the match) but Adebayor capped the 3-1 scoreline with his goal in the dying minute of extra time stoppage time.
I left for work after the 3rd goal & arrived in the office a bit later today, but had a satisfactory grin on my face.
Till later, live long & prosper.
P.S.: Jens Lehmann (since Almunia gets the Carling Cup run & some FA Cup matches) , Thierry Henry & Cesc Fabregas were rested for this match.