30 March 2013

Arsenal 1-0 Reading: Halftime Report

An 11th-minute goal from Gervinho, assisted by Cazorla, has given Arsenal an early lead over Reading, who have never really threatened aside from a header from Mariappa in the opening minutes and a tricky deflected cross in the 28th minute that Fabianski handled well. I look like a veritable psychic, having predicted big days for Gervinho and Cazorla. Both have looked bright and quick, with Cazorla in particular making absolute mincemeat of the Reading midfield. He found Gervinho cutting into the box brilliantly and put it right on Gervinho's right foot (knowing perhaps, that the Ivorian only uses his left for standing on and alternate foot-steps). Gervinho put it home no problem and could have had a second but dilly-dallied and allowed a defender to step in front of him before he could shoot, forcing him to actually use that left for a harmless shot. Good God, the man actually set himself up for a lefty shot in the 42nd that was quite good, if a bit high.

Stuart Taylor was lucky not to have been booked for a harsh tackle in the box against Giroud, who himself has looked sharp as well and could have had an early goal of his own if not for a decent save from Taylor in the 4th.

After an quiet start, Tomas Rosick√Ĺ came to life in the second 20 minutes. I'm adding him to the list. One goal or an assist from the Czech in the second half.

Right, then. By the numbers:
  • Possession: Arsenal 72%-28% Reading
  • Shots (on goal): Arsenal 16 (2), Reading 2 (0)
  • Passing Success: Arsenal 88%-71% Reading
  • Corners: Arsenal 5-1 Reading
All in all, a solid first half, but it would be nice to send a second goal home. The chances have been there, so the finishing will have to get tighter in the second half.

Elsewhere, Spurs look to be handling Swansea quite well, up 2-0 at the break on goals from Vertonghen and Bale. Chelsea, by contrast, are struggling at Southampton, down 2-1.  Let's hope Southampton can make their former manager proud by hanging on to that one, and more importantly, hope that Swansea can pull one back on Spurs. Second half action coming up...