Arsenal Times
Arsenal Defend Well in Russian as Fans Defend Whittington
By Boris Mellor
March 16 2013

Thousands gathered in the rain to protest at the selling off of one third of the Whittington Hospital’s, at all staff accommodation to be demolished plus the cutting of the A & E service. Many Arsenal fans have expressed their support for the campaign including Piebury Pie (Though why the vegetarian pie is called a “Vieira” I will never understand).

I bumped into quite a few Arsenal fans I know, and even a few Tottenham ones, but a truce was called for the sake of a good cause. If you don’t know what or where the Whittington Hospital is the answer is it’s the only major hospital in the borough of Islington, and where Arsenal players are often  photographed at Christmas visiting sick children.

Having listened to most of the speeches, including an excellent one by an elderly female consultant who described the decision in the vernacular (rhymes with rowlocks) I decided it was time to find somewhere to watch the match. I got a very crowded bus home quite quickly and met up with Noble Trojan in my local.

Russian commentary

The match was being shown in Russian without sub-titles, and very good it was too. I felt it was much better than the Sky English commentary and must say I didn’t recognise anything biased in the pundits comments. There again I didn’t recognise anything they said at all, but it did not detract from the enjoyment.

It took a little while to work out what the line-up was, but it soon became clear that Flapianski was keeping his place and the Captain was organising the bench. Diaby had been let out by the Whittington for the day, but Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta (Typo Arteta played) and Rosicky were rested.

Just as at Bayern Arsenal were quick out of the blocks, and the Ox was unlucky not to score in the first few minutes, the ball just missing the net and clipping the bar. Swansea then had a little flurry but the rest of the half was mostly Arsenal.

The teams went in 0-0 at halftime just when Swansea had started to build up a little pressure again; but Arsenal’s defence had been, for the most part,  solid, and they had also the majority of scoring opportunities. Twice in the same week the Gunners had kept a clean sheet in the first half.

This was certainly one of Arsenal’s better performances at Swansea, and it would continue into the second half. The second half was even better but there were too many sideways or after you Claude passes in the box. It was beginning to look like a stalemate, not that Swansea were making any chances by this stage.

On 74 minutes the deadlock was broken, when Monreal got hold of the ball in the box and managed to smash the ball home though a crowd of Swansea players. On 90 minutes Gervinho made the game safe by scoring his quota of second half of season goals with an excellent shot that vormed its way past the Swansea keeper. The ethos of Munich had lasted another fixture. Two clean sheets in a row;  where did that come from? This raises a lot of questions that will be left for another day, for the time being its good enough to enjoy the warm glow of a successful day when Islington had defended well away, and back in the borough. However it will take a lot more work to secure the trophies of saving our local hospital and getting 4th place.