Slavia Prague 0 Arsenal 0
Well, that was a snoozefest. A job well done, however, and a sixth consecutive clean sheet in Europe (with sixteen goals scored in that time) means Arsenal will again be playing in the knockout stages of the Champions League this season.
It was a turgid affair, and in truth if either side deserved to win it, it was the hosts, who forced Almunia into a couple of very good saves and could’ve perhaps had a penalty on another day. But a goalless scoreline sums the match up perfectly.
With so many changes made from the weekend, and the next match not until Monday, against Reading, plenty of our players will have had an excellent rest, crucial as we build up to the hectic Christmas schedule.
The reserves will play in the Carling Cup, and may yet feature heavily in the final two Champions League matches as well, depending on how important Wenger feels winning the group is. With Seville now just one point behind us after winning in Bucharest, the next match is the key. A draw in Spain should seal it, as pointless Bucharest are unlikely to put up much of a fight at the Emirates on the final day. It’ll be interesting to see where the priorities lie.
But it’s a nice position. A lesson for Rafa Benitez, in fact – qualify, and then rotate. Your players still get the rest, but you don’t run the risk of crashing out despite winning a match 8-0. You muppet.