Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The scoreline did not reflect AFCB's performance

Eddie Howe was not dismissive of his sides attempts to live with Arsenal on the pitch. He was keen to stress that the side matched Arsenal for long periods of the game, and that if some decisions had gone their way they could have come away with a result.

While the points did not materialise for AFCB they did give a good account of themselves if we ignore the moment of madness for the first goal. The Cherries were fielding a side with a few changes from the regular starting 11 and hat should be seen as encouraging. The side also scored, be it from the penalty spot, but they had not managed that in their last to games against Arsenal.
AFCB at the Emirates.
While the scoreline reads 3-1 here was the feeling that AFCB were always in the game and when hey drew level there was no sign that they were the lesser force. While the crowd enjoyed their passing and attacking-play, AFCB still found it hard to really test Petr Cech in goal. Apart from Brad Smith's attempt at the end of the firs half the Arsenal back line rarely saw AFCB's attacks get a run in on goal.

The difference between the two sides for me was Alexis Sanchez. Even if he had not scored two of the three goals and another Arsenal player had scored them, it was Alexis that was pulling the strings and moving around the pitch to cause the most problems. AFCB still lack that player to take a game by the scruff of the neck and to hurt other teams by constantly drawing fouls and punishing poor bits of play. Arguably, AFCB fans and Eddie Howe wants Jack Wilshere to come in and do that job, but he has not had that kind of influence on games yet. AFCB will have him available for the visit of Liverpool when they'll need to take the game to the opposition in that way if they are to get anything from the game. 
I can't fault AFCB for their overall team spirit and energy though against Arsenal. They stuck to their task. It is that something special that they need to find in games to bridge the gap to these top teams.

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