Portsmouth v Arsenal Match Report

Arsene Wenger described Arsenal as focused after last nights 4-1 win away at Portsmouth. For the first time this season, Arsenal appeared totally fixated on the task at hand and completely absorbed on the finer details of their game. The team elected to play with precision, control and aggression that made it the most comprehensive win of the season.
Portsmouth are not the toughest opponent Arsenal will play this year, granted their lowly position and problems off the pitch. They were missing a few key players last night but it was more interesting to watch Arsenal’s own attributes and all-round performance which was different from any other this season.
Three of the goals Arsenal scored were fine-tuned, impressing for different reasons. Samir Nasri drove low and hard after some excellent close control and short passing in the Pompey box, Aaron Ramsay capped off a solo run by blasting home from distance and Alex Song stretched his neck muscles to head in a fourth after Nasri floated to the back post.
Arsenal are the most infuriating team to watch at times when they look for the extra pass, take the additional touch or refuse to shoot. Portsmouth away could so easily have been one of those games where the yellow foam from the armchair finds itself ripped to taters.
Instead, Eduardo and Ramsey linked nicely in the box. Quick touches from Ramsey put Nasri in who got his head down sent the ball in low with conviction. I imagine that is training ground stuff for Arsenal but scoring with simplicity helped put the game beyond Portsmouth early.
Alex Song’s goal wrapped things up. It was nice to see a headed goal from Arsenal and especially for Song just as he departs for Africa. The Cameroonian has been so close to scoring in many games this season, getting forward more often than his position requires. Let’s hope Cameroon are eliminated early and Song flies home to help the team push forward and assist anybody who noticed fantasy football has him listed as a defender.
Before Song‘s goal, Ramsay had the away fans in jubilations behind the Portsmouth goal. Robbing  Anthony Vanden Borre, the Welshman had eyes only for goal with a directness he has demonstrated at club and international level. The finish again was angry in its conviction and was the one that sends a warning to Chelsea and Manchester United.
Of course, there was more to Arsenal’s play than just the goals which I’m sire have been discussed elsewhere. Finishing however was one area that Arsenal were sincere in last night. Opportunities were taken with zest and the right attitude, that synonymous with a ruthless championship winning side.
In addition, title-winning teams always show that little extra sparkle, something that shows the fans where their ambitions lie. Last night I saw that in the celebrations which were team orientated. There were no silly dances or individual pointing-at-the-name-on-my-shirt revelry. It tied together a comprehensive win and one of the best winter periods in recent years.

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