The curse of the boo boys strikes again

Just when will Arsenal fans learn? First Adebayor, then Ashley Cole, and now Nani. Every time the Gunners faithful harasses an opposition player they produce a piece of game-defining magic to quickly hush (or in Ade’s case infuriate further) their critics.
The Portuguese winger found himself subject to the wrath of the home fans after some rather theatrical reactions to two early challenges. They soon died out however after he evaded three Arsenal players with ease before chipping the ball towards Park Ji Sung at the back post. Manuel Almunia did his best to deny the Korean a tap in, but only engineered to palm the ball into his own net. Prior to this moment of brilliance/horror (delete as appropriate) it was Arsenal who had looked the most likely to break the deadlock.
Andrey Arshavin found himself in shooting positions on three occasions, but failed to test Edwin van der Sar with either of them. The third opportunity came as a result of a powerful Fabregas run from midfield, as Cesc bullied Paul Scholes before playing in the Russian who proceeded to scuff the shot. For the Spaniard it was the highlight of a rather subdued game.
For much of the first half it had the look of a battle between two very evenly matched sides. The title hopefuls exchanged short five minute periods of dominance as they sought to score the first goal of the game. That honour of course went to the visitors.
As Arsene Wenger is surely now aware, Manchester United with a lead is a dangerous prospect. His side experienced the champions at their counting attacking best in last seasons Champions League semi-final, and United’s second goal was horribly reminiscent of Ronaldo’s goal on that miserable night. This time it was Wayne Rooney applying the finish, after the England international had instigated the move that saw Nani race away from Gael Clichy with ease.
As Arsenal capitulated, Nani might’ve made it three. After tireless work from Rooney,  the winger found himself twelve yards out with the ball at his feet, but the shot flashed remorsefully wide of Almunia’s goal.
At this point the home players and fans alike were desperate for the half time whistle. After a bright start things had gone much the way they did against Chelsea earlier in the season. Despite enjoying their fair share of possession, and creating more chances on goal Arsenal had looked vulnerable throughout, and could consider themselves fortunate not to be further behind.
One man who would have been especially grateful for the interval is Gael Clichy. Since making his return as a second half substitute at Bolton, the full back has struggled to reacquaint himself with the pace of the Premier League. Terrorised by Ashley Young at Villa Park on Wednesday night, the Frenchman had an even more torrid time against the resurgent Nani.
The hosts emerged into the second half with the urgency of a side that had 45 minutes to save their season. Unfortunately for Arsenal however, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were in no mood to relinquish their lead. Instead they extended it just five minutes after the break with another fine counter attacking move. With Arsenal committing bodies forward in desperate search of a goal, Park found himself with near exclusivity of the opposition half. With only Vermaelen for company, the winger carried the ball almost 40 yards before coolly sliding the ball into the net to end any lingering hopes of a comeback.
Throughout the misery, the Arsenal fans must be commended for their relentless support. Every attack was met with an optimistic roar, and they were rewarded with a consolation goal through a deflected Vermaelen volley.
Before the game,  Wenger played down claims that the loser would be out of the title race. After this humiliating setback however you have to think that any further defeats would render the hunt for the Premier League title a two horse race. Lucky for the Frenchman that it’s only Chelsea up next then. Boooooo.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know