Arsenal closed the gap on Chelsea and Sp*rs with a 1-0 win over QPR at the Emirates today.
The game began in scrappy fashion and the visitors made the first chance but Szczesny saved well from Shaun Wright-Phillips.
It took Arsenal some time to get into their stride but once they did dominated the rest of the half and should have been ahead at the interval. The best chance fell to Robin van Persie who latched onto a Vermaelen ball over the top of the QPR defence, but from just inside the area the captain lashed his shot just over the bar.
Arsenal should have had at least one penalty too. When a corner was cleared Luke Young clearly handled Laurent Koscielny’s shot as he came out to block it but it seems that even a defender picking up the ball and dribbling across the area like Magic fucking Johnson wouldn’t give Arsenal a spot kick these days.
Martin Atkinson then missed another handball in the area and compounded a dreadful first half by first booking Thomas Vermaelen after Laurent Koscielny might possibly have fouled Wright-Phillips, then booking Djourou after an outrageous Joey Barton dive.
After a series of corners at the end of the half, Aaron Ramsey saw his goalbound volley headed off the line by Barton to leave it level at the break.
Early in the 2nd half Arsenal suffered another injury blow when Thomas Vermaelen was forced off and replaced by Francis Coquelin.
They should have been 1-0 up in the 56th minute when Aaron Ramsey played in Theo Walcott. With just the keeper to beat he screwed a shot wide. A terrible miss from a player who had an off day.
His colleague on the other side, Andrei Arshavin, was having a similar kind of day (week/month/career) but found the moment of quality to create the goal. QPR gave it away in midfield, Arshavin played a beautifully weighted ball in behind the defence and Robin van Persie didn’t have to break stride to make it 1-0.
Arshavin then went off, replaced by Rosicky, as Arsenal looked to protect the inexperienced midfielder at left back but The Coq acquited himself very well and came out of the game with lots of credit.
QPR pushed for a little while, Barton did some diving and also whacked Mikel Arteta in the face but got away with it, but Arsenal always looked more like scoring without ever really looking like scoring. Gervinho missed a good chance after RVP set him up at the near post but after seeing Walcott’s miss it didn’t even compare.
A nervous final 15 ensued but Arsenal held out for a very welcome three points – especially as Sp*rs drew with Swansea and Chelsea lost 3-1 to Aston Villa.
Now, I’m off out to celebrate, so play nice in the comments, remember we won and have a very happy new year Arseblog News readers.