Managerless Ipswich Beat Arsenal – and it was no Fluke
A couple of points above the relegation places in the Championship, without a manager, and off the back of a humiliating 7 – 0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea, Arsenal’s Carling cup semi-final first leg against Ipswich looked as if it would be a breeze. It was anything but that however, as Ipswich were able to control a lot of the game, make more chances and even win the game through a Tamas Priskin goal in the 78th minute.
Arsenal were not able to cut through Ipswich as they would have liked, and what Arsenal fans would have expected, as predictions ranged from a comfortable 2 – 0 to a 4 or 5 nil thrashing. Walcott had a couple of good chances, but the keeper Fulop stood up strong to save. Fabregas had a clear chance late on, but his view was obscured as the cross came in by a jumping defender, and he wasn’t able to connect as he would have liked, and instead of scoring a tap in, the ball was scuffed/headed wide. It wasn’t Arsenals night, and although putting out a strong team including 11 first team starters, perhaps excluding Denilson, they could not get that goal that they may have been able to build on.
Ipswich worked very hard throughout, chasing lost causes, pressurising the Arsenal players in all areas of the pitch, defending resiliently and eventually getting the winning goal. All of the players had great games, and all worked hard, but Connor Wickham, the young Ipswich striker whom I have not seen play much before looked particularly impressive. He is certainly a big prospect, and will be attracting, if not already, Premier League teams. Its quite amazing that he is only 17 years-old.
Ian McParland stood in as manager as Paul Jewell watched on in apparent delight to see his future team playing with such passion and commitment to the cause. Beating Arsenal is a tough feat, but anything can happen in the cup, as Ipswich have proved.
Arsenal are still favourites to progress to the final by winning the second leg at the Emirates, but now the Arsenal players know, the Ipswich side should not be underestimated. With Paul Jewell being the manager by the time the fixture is played, and probably a more stable team in place, Ipswich will not simply role over and let Arsenal win. They should rise to the occasion and prove that this show of quality was no fluke.
Tell me what you think!
Submitted by DBSFootball