Thursday, January 25, 2007

Schadenfreude Special: The Beast Scores a Hat-Trick as Arsenal draw 2-2 with Spurs

If Arsenal:Spurs::Georgia:Georgia Tech, then imagine how much pleasure you would get out of this scenario as a Georgia fan:

UGA plays Tech in football in a game that is the equivalent of the NIT tournament for football. Tech wants to win badly and they play their best team. For UGA the tournament is almost an afterthought, so Right plays only freshmen and sophomores to give them game experience. The game is at Bobby Dodd. Tech races out to a 21-0 lead and they are celebrating like they just won a national title, because they are putting one over on big brother. In the 2nd half the baby Dawgs completely dominate and come all the way back, on the road, against Tech's best team, to earn a 21-21 tie (let's say there is no OT in this competition). This would bring you immense schadenfreude-laced joy. Well that is essentially what happened on Wednesday.

Carling Cup Semifinal 1st leg
Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal.

Highlights & analysis
Wenger, Jol, Fabregas interviews

1-0 Berbatov 12'
2-0 Baptista o.g. 20'
2-1 Baptista 64'
2-2 Baptista 77'

Spurs played their best team. Arsenal played only 3 starters and the kids. Hell 2 of those 3 starters are still kids (Senderos, Cesc). Average age of the Arsenal outfield: 20.

Spurs went up 2-0 after 19 minutes thanks to a good header aided by clusterfuck communication in the Arsenal defense, and a Baptista own goal after a dodgy foul awarded by Graham Poll have Spurs a free kick on the edge of the box. Then at the end of the half Baptista missed from 4 yards out with the goal at his mercy when he miskicked.

The Spurs fans celebrated, yelled, and sang as if they had just won the Champions League, as they were finally putting one over on big brother. So you can imagine my Nelson-ish joy as Arsenal completely and utterly dominated the 2nd half, Baptista scored two goals, and the kids came back against Spurs first team in Spurs stadium to earn a 2-2 draw. The crowd just got quieter and quieter as the 2nd half went on, their lead was erased, and they realized that they were being dominated by teenagers. The traveling Gooners sang "2-nil and you fucked it up!"


So now Arsenal have 2 away goals in the bank for the return leg next Wednesday. It's hard to see them losing to Spurs at the Emirates but you never know. Chel$ea await in the final that most closely correlates to the NIT tournament in college basketball. It's nice to win but certainly not cared about anywhere near as much as the league, the FA Cup, or the Champions League.

That's 7 goals in 2 matches for Baptista; of course only 6 were for Arsenal, but it still could have been even more- he missed a PK against Liverpool and that super sitter at the end of the first half. Surely dude is ready for a run in the first team, and with Van Persie out with a broken metatarsal he should get into the rotation with Titi & Adebayor sooner rather than later.

Is 19 year old Cesc Fabregas the best player in the premiership? If not, is he clearly the best midfielder? The more I watch him control games the more I believe in such bombast.


Brain said...

Is the FA cup going this weekend? Who does Arsenal draw? Predictions?

Brain said...

Please, for the ignorant, please explain "own Goal".

Kanu said...


Arsenal host Bolton in the FA Cup 4th round, which is the round of 32 (32 teams left).

Own goal is when a goal is scored by the defensive team into their own net.

Look at this goal:

It's a goal for Tottenham but no one on their team scored it - Baptista, an Arsenal player, inadvertently kicked it into his own goal, thus the term own goal. It is abbreviated on score sheets and match reports as "o.g.", not to be confused with Original Gangsta.

moin said...

Cesc is still only 19?


I don't think Cesc can be called best player in the EPL just yet. Cristiano Ronaldo is better thus far. Then you have Drogba. Lampard has been good too, but he's much more of an attacking player. Though I guess none is really a midfielder in that mode.

The only thing missing from Fabregas' game is the physicality. He lacks that component to really take over matches like Keane and Vieira did.

Kanu said...

Yes, Moin, but he is getting there - he has gained 3 kilos so far this year and is being dispossessed and outmuscled less and less, so I think it is only a matter of time. Case in point was the first goal against ManUtd last weekend:
he got stuck in, battled, and won the ball and initiated the sequence leading to the goal - I am seeing this more and more from him this season. He is also dispossessing opposing players more and more.

Yeah, dude turns 20 in May - fucking nutty. Think of this - he could pretty easily appear in 4 world cups and even possibly a 5th, althogh he would be 34 at that time.

moin said...

He still needed a bit of help from Rosicky on that one. But yeah, I see your point. :)

I don't see Cesc playing effectively until he is 34, unless he moves back to CB, which means he would have to get much more physical and better in the air. It's possible I suppose, but there's that.

Not to mention that the defensive midfield play-maker role is the one position that Spain seem to be able to produce quite abundantly: Xabi Alonso, Albeda, Serna, Iniesta, Xavi, and Baraja, etc. Gonna be tough to always stay atop that group.