Dubbed a sequel to the Cinderella story due to how both sides ended the league last season, many eagerly anticipated the clash between the top 2 finishing teams of last season, and it sure didn’t go down according to the script.
The host had won the title in emphatic version last season, losing only thrice (twice to the visitors) and drawing 12 times. Leicester’s fairy tale season saw them finish 10 points clear their closest competition.
The north London side were sitting 3rd on the log with only 90 minutes to the end of the season, but miraculously clinched a 2nd place finish when it all ended.
Saturday’s encounter between both sides was seen as a tone-setting match, but none of the 2 could find the back of the net in what was a not-too-lively game.
Takeaways from the game are highlighted below.
Mark Clattenburg is an Arsenal fan
None other person was deem fit to take charge of proceedings than a referee who had overseen the F.A Cup, Champions League and European Championships finals in one single season.
Definitely the world’s best centre referee, but his failure to make few calls in favour of the defending champions (and perhaps an uncanny resemblance to Laurent Koscielny that hints at some distance-age-long-relative-theory to further buttress the “point”) put that tag to question.
On 2 different occasions, the hosts had 2 spot kicks appeal turned down, while it came as a surprise as to why Francis Coquelin didn’t see red after clearly committing a 2nd bookable offence.
Throw in the new rule that says pulling down the opponent during a corner kick results in a penalty kick and Rob Holding should have had one given against him after pulling down Robert Huth with less than a minute to the start of the match.
Arsenal must sign a striker to keep the top-four dream alive
Monsieur Wenger boldly declared before the game and putting his critics to shame for their lack of tactical ingenuity as a result,
“Is Sanchez a long-term solution through the middle? I think yes. I think it is worth to try as he has the quality to go behind. On the flanks he uses a lot of energy by chasing back and I would like to use his energy sometimes a bit more efficiently by going behind the defenders as he is a good finisher. He has similar qualities to Luis Suarez. He is technically top.”
The comparison game didn’t quite go down well, with the former Barcelona forward cutting a forlorn figure in the number 9 role, while Suarez helped Barcelona with an hattrick as their La Liga defence kicked off.
With 10 days to the end of the transfer window, George Bush has a better chance of returning to the White House than Arsenal signing a top rated striker.
Forget a title challenge. If the team must take another shot at a top 4 finish (basically 4th place finish), a striker must be brought in to complement Olivier Giroud. Enough of the experiments already.
It isn’t over for Leicester City yet
Their title defence dream might have been temporarily put on the back burner following the shocking loss to Hull City last Saturday, but the King Power Stadium outfit mustn’t be underrated once again.
As usual, despite enjoying the least possession or match statistics, they bettered their opponents in terms of clear-cut chances creation, and it might have been a different story if some calls came in their favor.
Koscielny and Holding put up some great defending to put the foxes at bay, and as the league unfolds, Leicester City will only get better. We (neutrals) can’t wait to see what becomes of them as the campaign continues.