I am still having trouble getting over the fact that we somehow managed to get 3rd place in the table, and almost equally as important, finishing above Spurs. Having such a terrible start at the beginning of the season, I thought for sure that we were going to be outside of the top 4 for the first time since Wenger’s arrival. However, despite all of the problems we faced, we still managed to pull off an incredible winning run on getting us to 3rd place. This is where I believe the team got off of their low confidence ego and finally started to get some confidence instead. Anyways, here are my top 3 games of the season.
Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal
This game was against our west London rivals, Chelsea. Going to the Bridge is never an easy thing to do, and having only won their once in our last 6 years, I was not expecting to get a result. The game started at a really strange tempo, with their being chances galore at both sides. Chelsea finally took the lead through Frank Lampard before we leveled it at 1 when Van Persie tapped home. John Terry then put Chelsea ahead right before the half. Arsenal started with a bang in the second half with Santos and Walcott scoring. Juan Mata than scored a goal from distance late into the second half. The match looked in jeopardy before Terry slipped and Van Persie excellently beat Cech to score. Van Persie than completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute when he hit a swerving shot past Cech. So a big win against a team that looked to be our competition for 4th place, with Tottenham at the time, looking to cement their place in third.
Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
This was probably our game of the season, and what a game it was. Tottenham ahead after just 20 minutes and it looked as if we were out of the race for the top four, let alone the top three. However, Arsenal shot into life with a sagna header and a Van Persie curler right before half time. The game was looking good, with most Arsenal fans hoping that half-time wasn’t going to come. Rosicky completed the comeback just a few minutes after half time, with a lovely finish over Brad Friedel. Amazingly, Arsenal still wanted more. Theo Walcott then got into the act with a neat finish after somewhat bobbling the ball at the beginning of the move. Walcott then scored again after another beautiful pass from Alex Song. The game finished 5-2, a result really showing the story of how the game unfolded. More importantly, this game started Arsenal’s confidence run and Tottenham’s downfall.
Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City
This game ended up being a very important victory towards the end of the season. Most people before the game all thought that City was probably going to win, showing no faith in Arsenal after they had a pathetic performance vs QPR the preceding weekend. Arsenal was in total control from the beginning of the game with Vermaelen actually heading a Van Persie header onto the bar, unknowingly. Walcott also hit the post in the second half before Benayoun missed from 2 yards. It looked like another frustrating performance from Arsenal, before Mikel Arteta showed why we signed him in August. Arteta stole the ball from Pizarro, before unleashing a powerful drive that beat Joe Hart from all of 25 yards. Mario Balotelli than got a second yellow, resulting in a red. This result proved very important towards the end of the season for Arsenal for without the points, we would have, of course, finished fourth.