Report: Arsenal 2-0 Cardiff

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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.

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134 Comments on "Report: Arsenal 2-0 Cardiff"

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Der Springer

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.

Doctor Satan

The first 88 minutes felt like I was fighting Muhammed Ali while blindfolded.

Well done Mik Bendtna!

Rufusstan

Hard not to love a guy who is willing to shank himself for the cause.

Whatever the future brings, today Nic is a Gooner

VT

Reminds me the Nik of a few years back, when he was scoring crucial late goals for us. Today’s goal looked every bit like the one he scored after a Denilson long range effort – first to react and score off a good goalie save (was it birmingham?)

ALynch

That was Hull away in 2010 I think, thought the exact same thing myself. Very similar to when he nicked a winner against Wolves extremely late in the same season. Fair play to the chap. Also a quick word for Monreal who was absolutely flawless today. No other squad can boast the calibre of our 2 left backs. UTA

L

Its Hull City

Heroldgoon

I can safely say my that game too acouple of years off my tender heart.

This is the stuff of champions. Bendtner you sweet man you!

Heroldgoon

See i can barely even write proper english.

Bolarinwa Mayowa

Is there a way we can make TR7 playing every games? And great to see some wilsheres today

texasgooner

I don’t know what to say about Theo. Beautiful goal for sure, but all the chances he wasted…I didn’t think he had a good game at all.

jack jack jack

His runs and crossing were excellent all game.

texasgooner

That’s true, maybe I am not giving him enough credit. Definitely should have scored earlier, though. Maybe he is finally living up to his potential

alexcutter

He essentially placed the ball on Per’s head. Twice.

Dracular

88min of hypertension..whew!!

Bishop

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.

Jagger

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.

Crispy

Almost poetic that last line………. Beautiful.

Scribe

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.

WizardOfOzil

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.

Glocken

Phew! Great stuff to fight till the end by the boys. Now let’s smash the spuds on Saturday!

GooneRon

Hey Nick and Theo, Happy 2014 to you too.

Serge

Always loved Bendtner 😀

texasgooner

Bendtner now has more goals from open play than Soldado this season

Xxxrob

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 🙂

Mooo

Boring, boring Cardiff.

Bunburyist

“…a bag of dicks”

===

I love Louis CK, too.

arsenalista

Oh come on. They defended decently. And in the end the pressure told.

ckmma

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.

with the left and the right
with the left and the right

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.

AllGunsABlazin

I wouldn’t want to be Cardiff’s manager in the first place

Sanjeev

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.

Momo

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

Mos

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

German Gunner

If it was Chelski or shity he would not be feeling for Cardiff, cunt

COYG

mozilla

Thank you bendtner !! Oh and Wilshire assist was just as good as the goal.. TOP OF THE PL ..COYG YESSSSSSSS

4rs3n4l

ALL HAIL LORD BENDTNER!!

Bonjour

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!!

Eiregun n

Phew

j0hnire

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

Arsene nose

Bendtner for president!!

Comedian

fuck yeah. we are such a tease.

Scribe

You like it more when its hard to get.

Rejected

All TGSTL sins have been forgiven

Swedegunner

SUUUUUPER SUUUUUPER NICK!!

Gooneritis

I’m done with this club if they keep winning like this. Really. I think I might be dead.

Redsy

Good man Nik great to see the commitment and fight today even when things were getting a little frustrating.

GooneRon

That Cardiff bus was really parked.

Momo

Bendtnered*

Park wasn’t even on the bench

rozterlists

ONE FUCKING NICKLAS BENDTNER!

big Chief from Antarctica
big Chief from Antarctica

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!

Der Springer

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.

Javanese Gooner

Ah oh, I hope Bendtner is not injured …. Podolski is not up yet to become the CF.

goonytunes

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?

David

Great win. A real character win! I thought Wilshere/Carzola were very good today.

TV5

Next!!!

Penis

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.

Bendtner's hair band

Climatic new year! Let 2014 be Bendtner’s breakthrough year!

Sanjeev

Get in!!

JSergio

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

Daniel

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!

abc123

Bendtner has completed his shift for 2014

garyfootscrayaustralia
garyfootscrayaustralia

So have you, with a comment like that.

Just be pleased he scored and get on with it.

Walcott's ex sideburns
Walcott's ex sideburns

Lovely performance, well-deserved win. P.S. gotta admit Bendtner is in a decent shape

WizardOfOzil

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.

RNM

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 !

GunnerdareMacedonia

Maybe something the team practiced in training stop moaning.

Erwandy

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.

COYG!

Lovegood

How to football:

1. Give the ball to Rosicky.

2. Watch him get the plays rolling.

3. Win games.

Der Springer

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.

weedwacker

He was great today. Drove the team forward at every opportunity. 10/10 for me today.

Geezer

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.

AIC

Unfortunately, I have to say Podolski was very subpar today. Maybe LW is his best position afterall.

arsenalista

yeah, he seems lost through the center. doesn’t make the right runs.

goonerbynature

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).

goonerbynature

*second ball

Big L HoP

Clearly

Rufusstan

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.

NCGunner

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!

nc

Stepehn

I for one welcome our new Danish overlord.

Eiregun

Watch out gym

Feng

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..:)

A N Other

Dear arsenal. Can we have some easy games please? I have been on the edge for last 6 games.

Steve

Like someone else said 88 mins of hypertension!!

Noble by Bendtner

New contract please?

neutral

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.

goonerbynature

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

TopOfTheLeague!

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.

Wilkö

“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.

Der Springer

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. 🙂

Naija Gunner

Never be in doubt when Bendtner plays for Arsenal.

COYG!

Die Hard Gunner

My heart was in my mouth the whole 88 minutes. Oh! To be a GUNNER. Top of The League Baby

gooner odst

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

Jack Jumblies

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.

Randy Pan the Arsenal Fan
Randy Pan the Arsenal Fan

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.

gooner odst

Tan looks like the kind of villain to have a Sharktopus tank… and they swim in acid.

Vincent Tan

MIIIICK BENDNTNAAAARRRR????

OHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Beagleboy

Bendtner Te Absolvo! Theodus nos rejoicamamus! ‘Allelujah!

Mimir

Sensei Bendtner

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