vanpersie_2

Not the prettiest, not the quick free flowing football that we saw against Portsmouth, Tottenham and Seville but it is another 3 points and another game unbeaten which will strengthen the squads belief just that little bit more.

Just like the weekend performance against West Ham it was another hard fought, team effort which has once again showed that Arsenal are no pushovers.

Alex Hleb started the match on the left wing with Emmanuel Eboue coming in on the right hand wing. Hleb is more effective on the left hand side of the pitch. He drives inside and can use his eye of the needle passing alot easier from that area.

Eboue is pretty much the opposite at the moment. He doesn't seem to be able to beat players at that moment. His right wing performance against Inter Milan in pre season still gives me hope.

The match started at a quick pace and it was Steaua Bucharest who had the first sight of goal and a cross was headered over the bar.

Valentin Badea did manage to show how to head the ball into the net but it was correctly disallowed for offside.

Cesc Fabregas who is in hot goalscoring form this season must have thought he was playing in last seasons team when he hit over the bar from 6 yards following good work from Van Persie and Hleb.

Steaua Bucharest closed us down and didn't let us have time on the ball. Arsenal seem to have improved passing and keeping possession under pressure. The players already know what they are going to do with the ball before they get it, especially Cesc, Hleb and Van Persie. Bucharest defended deep and had midfielders behind the ball whenever Arsenal got on the ball.

On 19 minutes Dica fired a long range drive just past Manuel Almunia's left hand post.

We almost took the lead on 39 minutes when Clichy's left wing cross was deflected towards the Steaua net but the goalkeeper managed to just stop the whole ball from going behind the line.. close stuff.

Flamini had a shot saved on 41 minutes. That seemed to be the problem during the first half, we didn't have enough attempts on target. We had a very good share of the possession but our moves seemed to break down in the final third.

Half time, 0-0. Arsenal dominating but haven't managed to find the target.

Much like the first half, the second half started quickly and Badea was caught offside when clean through on goal.

Steaua Bucharest had the best chance of the game to break the deadlock. Substitute Iacob bent his run to stay onside and powered forward towards Almunia's goal he had a teammate square in a good position in the box but he decided to go alone and tried to curl it around Almunia but only managed to scoop the ball over the bar.

Eboue was replaced for Gilberto to tighten up the midfield as Bucharest were starting to get back into the match and control possession for the first time in the match.

Iacob was punished because on 75 minutes Adebayor drove into the box in the left hand channel and saw Cesc Fabregas screaming for the cut back, Adebayor's cut back went behind him but found its way to Van Persie who was lurking around the penalty spot to control a left foot shot high above the keeper. At long last.

With a 1-0 lead Arsenal started to pass the ball and keep possession very well until the final whistle. It wasn't a perfect performance as I said but we had a job to do and we can come away from Romania knowing that we completed the task.