Cardiff 0 Arsenal 0
(FA Cup Round 4)
A replay will be needed if we are to progress in this season’s FA Cup after a fairly low key performance saw us fail to break down a decent Cardiff side. In reality, we were lucky not to be chasing the game after an opening half an hour in which the hosts had numerous chances. That said, Almunia was barely tested in the whole match, due to some fairly woeful finishing.
That wasn’t exclusive to Cardiff, however, Adebayor in particular missing a gilt edged opportunity in a second half dominated by us but again lacking in actual chances. Nasri and Van Persie had a couple of decent efforts each, and were at times the only two willing to take a shot on. There was so much overplaying going on around their crowded box, and the final ball (especially Sagna’s crossing, for once) was poor.
That isn’t to say that no-one played well – Van Persie and Nasri again looked lively, Fabianski was good in goal, and young Gibbs had an excellent game deputising for the suspended Clichy. Even Song, who had been poor in the first half, livened up in the second.
Ramsay, on the other hand, wilted under the focus he was given prior to the game, and was having one of those days where nothing went right. He’ll learn from this experience, far quicker than another man in the midfield who again showed us his worst. Eboue was booked for diving in the first half, and was otherwise largely anonymous until showing disbelief that he was being taken off in the second. His self-confidence is impregnable, it seems.
So it’s back to the Emirates in just over a week, with another home tie against West Brom or Burley should we get through, a kind draw to say the least.
Elsewhere, it is the last week of the transfer window, and with each day passing we are one day closer to having to play Eboue for the rest of the season. Ugh.