Report: Arsenal 2-0 Cardiff


Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski

Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Ryo, Gnabry, Bendtner

Arsenal went back to the top of the league with a late, great 2-0 win against Cardiff at the Emirates today.

Arsene Wenger brought in Nacho Monreal at left back, Mathieu Flamini in midfield and gave Lukas Podolski a start up front as he shuffled his somewhat injured pack.

The game was played in horrible conditions, driving rain and wet pitch made for a scrappy start as the teams sounded each other out. The most interesting thing about the opening 10 minutes was the linesman getting two offside decisions wrong against Theo Walcott.

Arsenal trying to find the England winger over the top was an unsuccessful feature of the opening period, and when Jack Wilshere found his range, Walcott could only put the ball wide on the stretch as he came in at the back post.

That was followed by an odd moment when Arsenal got a free kick just outside the Cardiff box but with Cazorla and Walcott on the pitch, Bacary Sagna was the man to take it. The right-back’s effort hit the wall however.

Moments later Wilshere created another good Arsenal chance when he set up Cazorla on the edge of the Cardiff box but the Spaniard’s powerful left-footed shot went well wide. Jack was involved again when he drove into the Cardiff box was tripped by Medel but referee John Moss waved play on.

Jordan Mutch had the visitors first shot on goal in the 28th minute but Wojciech Szczesny saved with his legs, before great play from Cazorla set up Walcott but his left-footed effort hit the side netting when he really should have got it on target.

Wilshere again was the man to try and make things happen but after combining with Walcott his shot was blocked, and the half descended into the kind of tedious hungover fare that I would provide if I was all 22 players and was too half-drunk to run.

Towards the end of the half Lukas Podolski got the ball in a dangerous area, but his pass to Cazorla was blocked. It summed up a fairly insipid half of football and there was no breakthrough on either side as the teams went in level at the break.

Bacary Sagna had the Gunners first effort of the second period, flashing a left footed shot wide after a Monreal cross deflected into his path, while a Podolski effort was blocked after good interplay with Cazorla.

Cardiff were shouting for a penalty when a Noone cross deflected off the left-back’s hand on the edge of the Arsenal area, and in fairness you’ve seen them given. The Bluebirds keeper, David Marshall, was booked for time wasting as he took an age over each goal kick, and once more Jack Wilshere was Arsenal’s most dangerous player, cracking a shot off the post from a tight angle.

In the 65th minute Arsene Wenger made a double substitution to try and get on top of the game, bringing on Bendtner and Rosicky for Flamini and Podolski. A couple of minutes later Per Mertesacker should have opened the scoring, heading a Walcott cross wide from 8 yards, and the BFG had another chance from a corner but again headed wide at the back post.

As Arsenal increased the pressure, with most of the game being played in the Cardiff half, Jack Wilshere dragged a shot wide and a Cazorla effort took a nick off a defender making it easier for the keeper.

Despite all the pressure Cardiff had some moments of danger in the last 10 minutes, shooting over twice in quick succession, while at the other end good combination play saw Rosicky and Cazorla combine, but with no end product. A Walcott cross just evaded Bendtner’s head and a Sagna looping header was cleared from under the crossbar as Cardiff dug in.

However, in the 89th minute Arsenal finally got the goal they were looking for when Nicklas Bendtner finally broke the deadlock. Monreal crossed it from the left, Sagna headed it at goal, the keeper saved but the big Dane was on hand to smash the rebound into the top corner from close range.

In scoring he injured himself, pulling a muscle, and was immedaitely replaced by Thomas Vermaelen. Theo Walcott went up front and straight away sealed the game for the Gunners. Jack Wilshere flicked the ball into Walcott’s path in the Cardiff area, and the winger dinked it over the keeper to make it 2-0.

It was a tough day at the office for Arsenal, but they got the goals they needed to back on top of the league.


  1. Bendtner! I love you. All is forgiven. TODAY… you are the greatest striker that ever lived.

    p.s. Theo, I love you too.

    Jebus…what f’ing relief.

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    • Oh mine, what a start to the year. I was almost giving up and on the life blog, blogs was talking about us having 22 shots and just 3 on goal and then from no where oh my God. Nick, you are truly The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived.

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    • It was quite close. But the pleasing thing was that the waves after waves of attack didn’t start in the 80th minute, they started right after the substitutions in the 65th with everyone giving 110%. That is what I missed most in yesteryears: Arsenal battering the opposition until the opponents hold up a bloody fist holding the key to their goal.

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    • You ever terrified football muggles by going seemingly insane about a football match?

      When that tension goes man…

      My Gf is giving me very strange looks.

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    • Can’t tell which is worse. Watching us defend a one goal lead sitting deep, or watching us trying to break down a team who’ve parked the bus. Different kinds of anxiety with equal amounts of shouting.

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  2. Commentator: “you have to feel for Cardiff, they defended so well…”

    Uhh no, you don’t, fuck them, they didn’t try to win the game at all they had 10 men behind the ball from the first whistle. cardiff can eat a bag of dicks.

    Top of the league 🙂

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    • To be fair, if you were Cardiff manager and your most expensive player is a defensive midfielder, then I think your tactics kind of choose themselves, bloody annoying though.

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      • agreed. Chelski playing defensively in inexcusable because they have the quality to attack and put teams under sustained pressure with Mata, Hazard, Oscar, etc. But Cardiff don’t have that kind of quality the best you can hope for is to sit behind the ball, be organized defensively and hope to catch a break on the counter. They did that pretty decently for most of the match but there’s only so much pressure you can take until you breakdown and our quality won out in the end.

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    • And they didn’t defend that well. Easily could have been 2-0 or 3-0 after 70 mins.

      Shame when the actual game doesn’t fit the narrative they want.

      Oh, and could the broadcast not have shown Tan and Ole just a bit more? Hardly saw them.

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    • The commentators were idiots

      82nd minute: “Surely a goal will win the match”

      Thanks for the insightful comment, the thought never occurred to me at 0-0

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      • What that usually means is that one goal scored by either team would’ve been enough to win the game since it didn’t look like either team were able to score at that point and with just 8 mins left of the game whoever scored first would have won the game. It is a common commentator cliche

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    • BENDTNER! He wants to be the “perfect product” to sell to his next club at the end of the season. Well, he’s more ready than ever. Since coming back to the Arsenal he’s been more focused and hardworking than at any point in his career, and also has a decent goalscoring record too (if you look at the minutes played, not appearances), better than that stretch of games at the end of 2009-10 when the skunk was injured and he filled in. Fucking well done!!

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  3. I just unclenched my buttocks. Damn that was tense, Thank the samurai lords for Bendtner! Thankfull some bad calls By the ref didn’t cost us.. AGAIN! we are top of the league. COYG

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  4. Bendtner’s work rate has definitely gone up. You can’t knock him for that anymore and what a goal. Certainly on his way to redeem himself whether he stays or not.

    Hard fought win! Bring on the scum!

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    • I don’t know what his injury status is or what his impact is to “team spirit” on the training field BUT, by his cameos on the field, I think he has shown himself an able backup to Giroud. At this point, I would say keep him and, unless “something special” comes along, stand pat for strikers.

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  5. Got away with it big time there. For once, I am not going to take the piss and advocate the #JUSTICEFORCHU campaign. We were so languid in the first half, we continue to do that and we say goodbye to our title chances.

    Also what the fuck is up with Santi Cazorla? I mean he was alright today, by no means bad, but he seems a shadow of the player he was last year?

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  6. When I find myself in difficult moments in my life, I often ask, “What would Bendtner do?”

    The Jarl sacrificed himself for our sins today. Let’s all pray for Bendtner, our lord and savior.

    I’m not going to hold it against Cardiff for playing the way they did today. They’re a club in a period of instability, you can’t really fault them for playing like the away side and trying to leave the Emirates unscathed.

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  7. Unbelievable Second half effort from everyone. Theo take a bow, most of your balls in today were awesome. Deserved.

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  8. Brilliant win but terrible for my heart! glad to see bendtner doing well and hopefully in the summer he can go and lead the line for another team. bring on the spuds!

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  9. It had to happen, we had to score or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

    Something Unitedesque about winning it so late. Our self-belief will be sky high now.

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  10. What’s up with Sagna taking that free kick ? Every player that his contract running out will be given permission to shoot the free kicks? Exactly like walcott was given to shoot every FK when he negotiated his contract.
    I hope that method will prove itself again.

    Oh and TGSTEL saves the day once again !

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  11. FUCK! massive psyco tension for 88 minutes! Only Arsenal could do this to me.

    TGSTEL is AWESOME! Rosicky too.

    But MOTM have to be Wilshere.


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    • After the last game “John” was questioning what Rosicky does that we all rave about claiming that he does f’ all. Given his way of thinking, today will not change anything, but what he gives is drive, urgency, and a huge desire to win that is infectious to all his teammates.

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      • John had me pretty riled up. Impossible to win an arguement with someone who is using goals scored and assists as his shield. The difference after Rosicky came on today was there for everyone to see. The tempo of the game increased. Rozza should retire here.

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    • I think he lacks the anticipation of a proper goal poacher, and is better lurking at the far post or running on to the second goal. Still, I’m sure he can do a job for us there with a couple of games acclimatization if need be, and Walcott’s an option too(if, that is, Bendtner is out for a bit).

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    • There was a Giroud shaped hole in the attack in the first half. We adapted better later on, but many of the early moves seemed to be aimed for a tough 6’3″ Frenchman who just wasn’t there.

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  12. Thats the definition of pure guts right there. Nicklas Bendtner, Sagna with great hustle to get a good head on that cross….Monreal with the cross and then Jack and Theo with the cherry on top.

    Fantastic boys all around, determination at its finest.

    Come On You Reds!


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  13. all I can say is whew…and…

    Penis: could you change that name pls..felt very uncomfortable seeing it and the word “unscathed” together in the same post..:)

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  14. Walcott still has some problems, but he is really getting the job done. It can only help his form to keep scoring goals like this.

    Bendtner is a good squad player, if he screwed his head down and accepted his role in the team I’d be happy if he stayed until the summer or beyond.

    Only drawback is City and Chelsea both taking 3 pts, at least one or both of Sp*rs and United will drop points, not that it matters one bit.

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    • By the end of today, either one of Spurs/United will be 11 points behind us/both of them will be 10 behind us!

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    • C’mon mate, he was quite good today, was involved throughout the game. And had good plenty of decent crosses and a goal to wrap it off.

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  15. “All is forgiven”
    Er no. Lets not get carried away or be hypocrites. It takes more than a single goal.
    BUT great attitude and commitment. I hope this is a sign of a new, re-invented mature Mick Bentnaaaaar.
    I think the score flattered. Winning ugly is important, but against Cardiff, it should have been a demonstration of our firepower. Not convinced, but relieved and VERY happy.

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    • Given the huge release of endorphins caused by the Bendtner’s goal, I think we have the right to “get carried away”. Leave sober thought until another day. 🙂

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  16. Bloody hell, we do like making it hard for ourselves don’t we. My heart is in bits right now and what with all the alcohol flowing about it doesn’t do any…wait actually the last 10 minutes sobered me right up.

    Better get the beers in then. Well done Theo you lifesaver, well fucking played. Too bad for Podolski, he didn’t seem particularly involved in the CF position so I guess his best position is trolling it hard from the wing and feeding off a big CF like Giroud. Sometimes we put great expectations on people who do a great job doing what they do best. Big thanks to santa Niklaus Bendtner, could have easily skyed that over the bar and blamed something random like Obama. When you get chances you have to stick em in no matter the opposition.

    Welcome to 2014 everyone! woohoo

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  17. The Greatest Striker Who Ever Lived: Chapter 2

    Well, so much for the first decade of my career when I reached unheard depths of vanity, fecklessness and boorish behavior. It was the very beginning of 2014 when someone grabbed me by my 200 quid boxers (as i was posing for yet another ridiculous selfie) and lifted me high, so very high, and shouted in my ear. “Vake the fuck up! Are you a footballer or nach? You insult your shirt! Our shirt!”

    It was that moment that something changed in me, like in the movies, when the needle drops.

    We won that game against Cardiff, I remember that game because I injured myself scoring the goal (not trying and failing to do the Usain Bolt thunderbolt pose, as the kids in the cancer ward like to tease me) and for the look Vincent Tan gave me, like he KNEW.

    I was no longer one of his junior confederates pledging to join the Legion of Evil. I was a new man.

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  18. Maaan, you come straight out of a comic book. Screw you Mr Tan man!!

    Great result today, Theo bossed it – very impressed with him.

    Good luck to Sjolskaer in Tan’s snakepit. Must be a serious wedge of cash if he’s thinking of taking that job on.

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  19. All game I was sitting thinking: ‘this is the new Arsenal, its just a matter of time’.

    85 mins get a bit twitchy, 89 mins a sliver of doubt, but again they come through.

    Onwards and upwards, to the neighbours.

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  20. Still confused about Sagna taking a free kick… Anyway, superb performance by Jack Wilshere and a well deserved win in the end. Great save from Szczesny to keep the clean sheet as well. This team really has everything to win the title!

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  21. Hi chaps, totally unrelated but im trying for tickets for the upcoming fulham match. Ive tried the official site and viagogo, probably sold out but anywhere I should be looking?

    COYG by the way!

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  22. what a hard game! cardiff were hard on defense, but we fought and got the 3 points. Now bring on the “forever in our shadow” people.COYG!

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  23. Today, Bendtner is our king. He is indeed The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived. We will follow him to whatever end, our brother… our captain… our king.

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  24. Wow! What a resilience performance to focus and get the job done. Typically, this was a fixture in the past Arsenal would have dropped points especially on a day like this when everyone probably had a celebratory glass of champagne too many. Well done lads!!

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  25. My bloody fucking job. Third game I had to miss in a row

    Sometimes I wonder is my job really worth all the trouble… then I realize that I have no other option

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  26. Top of the league!!!

    Just shows how much better Jack can be when played as the attacking central midfielder. Wonder if we’ll start to see the best of him now as he’s sure to get a few more opportunities there.

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  27. Szcz–>Mert–>Ros–>Wils–>Art–>Caz–>Walc–>Mon–>Sag–>Bend


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  28. Wow, I wouldn’t believe at the start of the season that I will ever feeling worried of bendtner getting injured. Now with giroud already out injured, I’m worried with bendtner injury.. He scored a goal that may prove to be important in our title-winning.. Hope he can find a good club in the summer and have a good career there, of course with premier league medal with us..

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  29. There’s one really weird dude voting thumbs down on every single comment. There’s not one post that doesn’t have at least one negative vote. How strange.

    Stuff of champions today – if it was Man Utd, you know what they’d be saying…

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    • Well spotted Ian, you might want have a look at that Blogs. But why, negative thumb-down person, and where do you find the time?

      Big balls on display today. Jack’s attitude is back where it should be-even after the penalty incident (ffs) he shut up and played the game, his best for a long time. GREAT goal from Theo.

      And as for The Mandarin, fearsome stuff from him today. Get well soon big man. So proud of this team.

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    • So where are all those media pundits lauding Andros Townsend when Walcott was out?

      Spurs, the great pretenders. Close but no cigar.

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  30. Tense win! Seems like we are building a really firm resolve as a team – fantastic! Hope Micky B gets well soon. I think it’s well overdue for his personal redemption. This whole team seems to be pulling in the same direction which gladdens the gooner in me! COYG

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    • bad luck Bendtner.

      I mentioned after the last several matches that I thought he was good considering he has a limited time at it.

      Good goal by him but what Arse luck with the injury.

      Oh well, that’s us I suppose!:D

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  31. So City struggle to edge it 3-2 and the media calls it ominous. Arsenal continue to retain tops pot despite injuries, maintain a clean sheet and score 2 and the media says we are struggling to edge it.

    Chelsea they say have not got into gear where we have players to hit form yet in jack already causing mayhem playing at a lower level and they think we are at our limit.

    …good win today against a Cardiff side with incentive to impress a possible new gaffer.

    There seems to be a mini race now for the top spot with us leading by slenderest of margins City and Chelsea.

    then Mugmashers (every ex-Liverpool media personalities unabashed favorites) have dropped and are in a tussle with Everton and Spurs for the 4th spot/Europa.

    …never mind United of course which I am quite sure they were all quite certain were going to be in the hastings where they thought we would (again) struggle for 4th if lucky.

    Listening to Shaka Hislop and that idiotic Venezuelan chap on ESPN’s site is hilarious. They keep shifting the post and now the big test is in February. Having failed in the last big test and still maintained top spot, would you feel give them some indication of the tenacity and depth of the squad at the moment (even despite recent injuries). But alas, they are media pundits.:D

    Happy New year everybody!

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  32. Maybe the most telling stat of our Premiership season so far is: most clean sheets – Arsenal (9). Fewest goals conceded – Arsenal (18, or 0.9 per game). We are much, much harder to beat this season (continuing where we left off towards end of the last) with proper gritty performances like Newcastle away, a strong, organised defence, fewer individual errors, and a decent keeper playing well.

    Like Arsene says, it is about resilience, team spirit (it’s clear for all to see this season) and consistency. Add to that plenty of goals at the other end and this is why we’re top of the league.

    Why shouldn’t it continue to the end of the season? COYG.

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