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Fabianski, You Are The Weakest Link…Goodbye! – VIDEO highlights and Player Ratings


By Fab4.

Arsenal’s season limped towards the finish line with another inept display against a very poor Blackburn side who knew the only way they had a chance of scoring was to pile as many players as physically possible on top of our goalkeeper at every set piece. Unfortunately for Arsenal, those tactics worked a treat and resulted in two goals following more uncertain goalkeeping from Lukasz Flapianski.

Arsenal began brightly and should have taken the lead when speedster Theo Walcott raced clear and cut back for Carlos Vela, who despite being under pressure from a Blackburn defender, should have tapped into an un-guarded net to open the scoring, but scuffed his shot wide of the post.

It didn’t take long before the deadlock was broken with a goal that was more fitting from the George Graham era. Merson takes an in-swinging corner, Bould flicks on at the near post and Adams heads home from close range. Replace those names with Nasri, Sagna and Van Persie and Arsenal have a 0-1 lead at Ewood Park.

0-1 Van Persie (13)

Van Persie came close to doubling the advantage with a 25 yard free kick that Robinson did well to turn round the post and that’s about as good as it got as Arsenal decided to stop trying to play football and the game became all about Blackburn set-pieces and if/when Fabianski would make a howler.

At every single set piece, from throw ins, corners, free kicks and even free kicks in their own half, Blackburn would swarm the 6 yard box with players, crowding our keeper and making his life difficult. Not pretty, but very effective. As our useless Pole took no command of his area, never stuck up for himself and gave the Blackburn bullies anything back, just stood their relying on Sol Campbell to protect him. Could you imagine Jens Lehman just standing their getting pushed about like that?! He would have floored 2-3 of them, or at least give them a cheeky elbow to the ribs to let them know he wasn’t going to be messed with.

Blackburns tactics paid off just before half time when Fabianski came for a corner through a whole host of bodies, the flap we all knew was coming dully arrived, the ball fell to a blue/white shirt who fired a low ball across the 6 yard box finding Dunne free at the far post via a couple of deflections, and the midfielder tapped home for 1-1.

1-1 Dunne (43)

Shortly after half time Blackburn should have taken the lead when Pedersen was through on goal but Fabianski made a great save to deny him. He then made another save from a powerful drive by Junior Hoilett. This is the problem, we know Fabianski can be a decent shot stopper it’s just the rest of his game that sucks.

Anyway, in between the set-piece side-shows there was very little decent football being played by either side. Arshavin replaced the in-effective Vela but he made very little difference. He looked largely un-interested and scuffed a chance to score. Perhaps he has one eye on playing for Barcelona next season already.

Blackburn then took the lead and Fabianski was once again found wanting. Pedersen’s corner was swung right at the heart of his 6 yard box, Fabianski got nowhere near it and Samba headed home from no more than 3 yards out.

2-1 Samba (68)

Arguably the goal should never have stood. Although the goalscorer Samba was doing no more than making a nuisance of himself, Dunne was backing into Campbell which not only stopped the defender from making an attempt to clear the ball, he forced Campbell into pushing Fabianski behind his line and stopping him from making a challenge as well. A clear foul.

Eduardo came on for Eboue but never got in the game, the only real half chance came through the only player who looked capable of scoring, Robin Van Persie, when he turned Salgado in the area before appearing to lose his footing while trying to get his shot away. Replays showed Salgado had made contact with the Dutchman, but it would have been a generous penalty.

There was to be no grand stand finish and Arsenal lost their third game from four and played as if they knew they had very little to play for. Unlikely as it seems, if Tottenham beat City tomorrow they will only be two points behind us. So the players better make sure they turn up and put in a proper shift again Fulham or we could endure the embarrassment of the Spuds finishing third. Unthinkable!

Arsene predictably complained after the match about the tactics used by Fat Sam, but sorry boss…I can’t back you on this one. If we all knew Fabianski is our weak link, then I’m sure Sam Allardyce knew and why wouldn’t an opposition manager target him? You should have expected those sort of tactics and found a way to counter-act them. However, i do agree that there were probably several incidents that the ref could have blown up for on both goals. But that doesn’t mean you can complain about the tactic to target our keeper. Why not go and buy a proper goalkeeper who managers can’t target?!

Player Ratings:

Fabianski 5, Traore 5, Sagna 6, Campbell 6, Silvestre 5, Diaby 6, Nasri 5, Eboue 6, Walcott 6, Vela 4, Van Persie 7. Subs: Arshavin 5, Eduardo 5

Match Highlights:

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