Match report: Celtic 0 Arsenal 2, Gunners prevail against the Scottish hordes

Arsenal did not show any nerves or fear at Celtic Park this evening despite the early harrassment of the fans and the fervoured desire of the player in hoops. in terms of urgency and aggression, Celtic were the better team for five minutes. the noise was intense, the fans booed as soon as the Gunners regained glimpses of possession.
However against this tidal wave of green and white prevailed the Gunners, Song in defensive midfield was majestic, and one really wonders why we clamour for a replacement for Flamini, when Song can put in performances like this. He was aggressive, he tackled with urgency. and he stopped any central advance from the scottish hordes.
Vermaelen was ice like and precise, and despite many late tackles, Fabregas lead by example and regained the composure of our midfield when the play broke down. van Persie’s work rate was high, and Bendtner though lacking any chances on goal, made his presence felt by supporting Sagna at every opportunity.
In fact it was the work rate of the Gunners as a team that again impressed me. Mowbray had placed the tall Samaras as a threat agoainst our back four, but Gallas and Vermaelen worked well together to thwart the attacks of the Scottish side. The first goal when it arrived silenced the crowd, not purely because of the significance of the away goal, but the cruel irony of it’s execution. Aggressive tactics by Celtic had resulted not only in yellow cards but the concession of a vital set piece from 25 yards. Fabregas struck the ball well and as it curled in towards Boruc’s post with the polish keeper having it covered, Gallas made a square run across the box and and deflected the ball into the opposite corner of the goal off his back.
Celtic 0 Arsenal 1 Gallas 43″
The second half saw a Celtic side somewhat deflated by the late first half strike, the Gunners continued where they left off with good fifty-fifty tackles and a desire not to concede. With the crowd silenced and the Away Boys in good voice, the minutes ticked away as both sides cancelled each other out. The game opened up and and before Celtic had a chance to equalise with increasing pressure, Clichy drove a low hard cross into the danger area and whilst some minutes before a similar scenario saw Gallas deflect the ball past the post, this time the Celtic defender’s lunge diverted the ball into the Celtic net.
Celtic 0 Arsenal 2 Caldwell 71″ (o.g)
The match continued with a rear guard effort from Celtic, however they were frustrated and lacking in potency. Not since 1983 had Celtic lost to an English side at home. Arsenal are used to breaking records and with the second leg beckoning next week, Arsenal have given themselves a almost certain ticket into the group stages of the Champions League and confounded their critics by an industrial yet professional display.
Arsene Wenger has many options to consider. With Song having made a bold claim for the DM role, it seems that the African Cup of Nations might influence Wenger’s buying decisions on this position. The absence of Eduardo was worrying, and perhaps he was injured in the warm up, who knows. We await more news. But the Gunners go on supremely and with the ice cool assured Vermaelen in defence and Song releasing Fabregas to work his magic, this team can really achieve something this season!

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