Arsenalist

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Arsenal vs. Sevilla Highlights: Gunners finally lose, luckily it doesn’t mean that much

Posted by Arsenalist on November 27, 2007

Sevilla 3, The Arsenal 1

A bad, bad game by Arsenal. We didn’t need to win this game but even so this was a performance which stunk of careless passes, missed defensive assignments and even laziness. Eduardo put us up early and after that we simply switched off and expected Sevilla to run away with their tails between their legs. That didn’t happen. You could look at our first loss of the season as a burden being lifted, it’s better to lose here when there’s little at stake than concede valuable ground in the league table. However, it’s not the loss that bugs you so much (even though the prospect of finishing second isn’t great), it’s the way we lost.

A weakened side which featured the return of Philippe Senderos was presented and Senderos was back up to his old tricks, giving away balls, letting headers go over his head and scrambling to make up for his undoings – the first Sevilla goal a direct result of his carelessness (video below). Senderos never had the quality of a first team Arsenal player and today was further confirmation of that. The Arsenal defense were worked heavily all game and the midfield’s inability to maintain any possession had a lot to do with that. It got so bad that Wenger brought in Rosicky to inject some sanity into a midfield which was giving away balls for fun. Cesc Fabregas was talking out as a precaution after a slight hamstring pull.

Gilberto’s best days appear to be behind him and I’m doubting that he’ll even get a charity contract from Wenger. It’s completely apparent now why Arsene Wenger chose Gallas as captain over Gilberto but in all fairness to the Brazillian, he hasn’t really gotten any playing time this year where he could establish a rhythm. Asking him to perform against a motivated and determined Sevilla attack might’ve been a bit much, same goes for Senderos. Denilson stepped in at midfield and although he’s a fine player his control just wasn’t there today. The communication between him and Traore was often poor resulting in Sevilla to easily pick off passes between the two.

There weren’t any bright spots except perhaps the play of Eduardo and Bendtner, unfortunately our midfield failed to supply any sort of ammunition to our two strikers. Well, I should say one striker because we had the 4-5-1 deployed with Bendtner up front, a formation that hasn’t yielded much success and should by all accounts be ditched in favor of a traditional 4-4-2. Packing the midfield never was our thing.

It’s best to forget a performance like this and attribute it to severe levity. Arsenal are now two points behind Sevilla and if the status quo remains, we’ll be playing a group winner in the Round of 16. And you just know it’s going to be Barcelona.

Check out the match report and make sure to latch on the feed. The BBC match report has the post-match interview with Arsenal captain Kolo Toure who praises Sevilla. It also mentions something about Arsene being sent to the stands, pretty mundane stuff, let’s just move on.

Eduardo 1-0 ’11: Download

Keita 1-1 ’24: Download

Fabiano 1-2 ’34 (plus phantom freekick): Download

Kanoute 1-3 (foul + penalty) ’89: Download

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