Streaming football – about as much fun as watching football in an actual stream. It seems bonkers that in this day an age you have to go through a pre-match panic with the aim of watching the game on a blurry six-inch screen. Right, moan over.
There were few surprises in Wenger’s starting line-up. Szczesny starting in goal, Santos, Vermaelen and Mertesacker joined by Koscielny at right-back. In the centre of the park Arteta, Song and Ramsey kept their places while Gervinho (preferred to Arshavin), Walcott and Van Persie led the attack.
Five minutes in and Wigan should have taken the lead, only a fantastic block by Santos preventing Jordi Gomez from planting the ball into an empty net. Straight away Walcott and Gervinho worked on the break to set up Ramsey, but the Welshman scuffed an effort wide. It was open.
An advert on my stream proceeded to tell me that studies have proved that busty Russian women like western men. With the game calming down a bit it was tempting to learn more…the screen froze with Andre Santos giving me a dirty look. It was a sign. I stayed put.
A nice move saw Arteta feed Walcott on the right. He flashed a ball across the box and it nearly caught out Gary Caldwell who swung a leg at it and directed it goalwards. Al Habsi’s being a pretty decent keeper took the sting out of it.
After 15 minutes of solid possession Arsenal finally scored. Mikel Arteta taking responsibility in midfield, drove forward and unleashed a fierce shot goalwards. The ball swung a bit before burying itself in the bottom corner. 1-0. A cracking strike although Al Habsi might question how it slipped through his hands. Dare I say it was Cesc-esque.
Two minutes later and Thomas Vermaelen doubled the lead. A corner from the right swung to the back post and the Belgian got a good connection with his head. It clipped the inside of the post and sudeenly it was 2-0 on the half hour mark.
A fine run and ball by Gervinho fed Van Persie in the box again. It would have been 3-0 were it not for a fine reaction save from the Latics keeper. Walcott on the follow up curled the ball over.
As Mark Clattenburg whistled for half-time the stats proved our dominance: 66% possession, with an 86% of our 317 passes finding their man. Not bad.
During the break I waited patiently for the Busty Russian women to reappear. They didn’t and I had to make do with learning that wildfires burn over 4 million acres a year. That’s quite a lot. The advert asked,”what can you do?” I assumed the answer was don’t light fires. I didn’t click.
Five minutes into the second half and Ramsey should have had a penalty. Mark Clattenburg however, decided that being tugged to the floor when you’re trying to shoot isn’t an offence. A ridiculous decision by the man in black, as clear a penalty as you’re likely to see all season.
Walcott crossed for Van Persie but the Dutchman’s header back across the six yard box was cleared as Gervinho waited to pounce. At the other end Figueroa had a long range effort which skipped past the post – a warning that the game was far from won.
Clattenburg harshly booked Song, Arteta flashed another shot at goal. Then my Twitter feed proceeded to tell me that Gervinho had scored. It seemed an impressive feat seeing as we were in our own half…thirty seconds later and I figured out what people were talking about. A Van Persie shot parried by Al Habsi and the Ivorian followed up from close range. 3-0.
Van Persie’s chocolate leg should have made it 4-0 just after the hour. Song was upended on the edge of the box, advantage was played, our captain span in the box but sliced his shot high and wide. It was a great chance, albeit one created by his own brilliance.
A couple of late tackles from behind upended Theo and Song respectively. The Cameroonian was left limping in the centre circle, but Walcott seemed unfazed as he muscled his way through the Wigan defence. Cutting the ball back to Van Persie, the Dutchman finally got the goal his performance deserved. 4-0. It was awesome stuff from two players who are absolutely on fire.
4-0 up and cue a spate of substitutions. Walcott, Song and Gervinho went off, Benayoun, Arshavin and Coquelin the men taking to the field of play. The Israeli almost made an instant impact, but his chip over Al Habsi was cleared on its way towards goal. The game petered out with the away fans loudly applauding and cheering every pass.
All in all, a great win, a confident performance and the unbeaten league record keeps going. That’s six wins and a draw in the last seven. There will be stiffer tests to come, but we can worry about that on another day. Today we beat what was put in front of us…and we did it with a swagger.
I’m off to the pub to find a Russian woman.