Arsenal started brightly, dominating the first 15 minutes, but the match soon settled into a cryonic torpor as Hull defended doggedly with an eye towards earning a replay at home. We did ourselves few favors, putting most if not all of our shots straight to Jakupovic, who also added a number of fine saves to frustrate us on the few genuine chances we did create. Even the additions of Alexis, Giroud, and the Ox couldn't do much to turn the tide in our favour. Mike Dean was uncharacteristically unbiased, although he did overlook an early handball that denied Elneny. Four minutes of stoppage time seemed to only prolong the frustration, and we've added one more fixture to our quest to defend the FA Cup. Credit Hull for fighting hard; they've earned the replay. Well, get down the poll...
20 February 2016
19 February 2016
Let it be said: as Bayern are to Arsenal, so too are Arsenal unto Hull City. For a third consecutive season, Arsenal square off against the Tigers. For a third consecutive season, Arsenal should be strong enough to force their way past those Tigers into the FA Cup's sixth round. That's not to say it will be easy; Steve Bruce has his squad atop the Championship with promotion squarely in his sights. Tempting though it may be to look past him towards Barça, we have a cup to defend.
18 February 2016
Arsenal have a busy week ahead, with massive fixtures against Barcelona in the Champions League and Manchester United in the Prem threatening to overshadow Saturday's FA Cup clash against Hull. After having won the FA Cup two times running, some might start to suffer from a certain indifference. Surely it would mean more to our season to set aside the FA Cup (been there, done that; no?), see if we can't shock the Catalans, and go into Old Trafford to put another nail in Van Gaal's coffin? Then again, we're rounding back into form after January very nearly ruined us, and with a late charge into the final third of the season, who better to cap it off with a winner in a third straight FA Cup—and possible double—than Tomáš Rosický?
16 February 2016
Whoa. Could the madness have reached any more of a fever pitch? A wild, wooly weekend has made the run-in one for the ages. Even if the eventual champions finish on fewer points than usual, this past weekend's results suggest that the top four have in fact created some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack, setting up a madcap dash that could very well come down to the last day of the season. In a week in which the top four all squared off against others in the top four, one seeking more drama and scandal would have to find a telenovela. Just six points separate all four, with a another six separating fifth. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen; the rundown is about to begin...
Walcott. Welbeck. Čech. These are the players who will have garnered the headlines in Arsenal's dramatic, daring win over Leicester. Walcott and Welbeck, after all, arose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of their hobbled careers to score goals perhaps more-vital than any they'd score before. Čech delivered yet another performance worthy of his reputation, denying Leicester on several occasions and even finding time to punk Jamie Vardy as if to remind him of who's who. It was if Čech was saying to the penalty-earner, "you want to go to ground? Fine, I make you go to ground". Done. Dusted. However, the real hero of the match is one whose performance won't earn any marquee billings, consisting of so much donkey-work as it did: Olivier Giroud.
14 February 2016
The dressing room had the air and appearance of a cup-final. Having defeated Leicester in stirring, stunning fashion, exhausted and exhilirated players whooped and celebrated as if they had won it all. All that was missing was the champagne. As players milled about, two Gunners in particular made eye contract across the room. Each let a slow grin dawn on his face, a grin that was part celebratory, part relief. Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott, all but forgotten, had reappeared with a vengeance. It was only natural that they sought each other out to cherish the triumph.
The leaders do what they do best—earn penalties—when Vardy took advantage of a clumsy tackle from Monreal to go to ground just before halftime, and he made no mistake from the spot to make it 0-1. However, Atkinson saw enough from Simpson, sending the defender off early in the second half, and ten-man Leicester were backed up against the wall. Sure enough, five minutes later, Theo Walcott, having come on for Coquelin, coolly scored on a half-volley from Giroud's header, and the game opened up. Then, the incredible end: Danny Welbeck scores the winner in stoppage-time. Can you believe it? Get to the poll!
Several recent events suggest that a long-dormant Chilean volcano, which has been showing increasing activity since January, may be likely to erupt. The mountain, known as the Nevado de Durácell, reaches over 1.68m in elevation, and has a set of pectorals totaling over two square meters in area. He has a long record of eruptions, with historical documentation from the 17th century. Radiocarbon evidence suggest that the most recent eruptions that took place about six matches ago. The Nevado de Durácell complex, which had previously averaged about one eruption per match, had been relatively quiescent since an eruption in late 2015. Sticking roughly to that schedule, the complex began to show signs of returning to activity with an earthquake in January 2016. Long story short, Alexis is a rumbling volcano who's ready to explode.