Could someone just give me a quick summary of how we played? Didn't get to watch the game yesterday and hearing reports we weren't too good despite the scoreline.
We played well first half, without ever reaching the Arsenal standards. Went in 1 up with a nice move and finish from Ossie, and Stekelenburg kept it from being 2 or 3 nil at half time, with a couple of good saves. They really didn't have a single chance in the first half, just one shot that was scuffed narrowly wide, from outside the area. Pienaar was probably our standout player.
We came out very poorly in the second half, lots of sloppy passing, and they were first to every ball. They'd clearly had a rousing half time team talk, and really started putting us under pressure when we were trying to pass it out from the back. We started to be outnumbered and dominated physically, and McCarthy's absence was really felt.
They have a couple of very good chances to equalise, which they wasted, and we still retained a threat on the break, but chose some of the wrong options in attack, like in some other games.
They got a contentious penalty (although I personally think it was a pen), with Barry coming together with Kacliniclic and Berba did his usual stroll, wait and pass into the corner. At that point we looked shaky, and a few on here felt like we might end up losing it.
Then we upped our intensity, and some of our passing was crisper and more incisive (again not to the standards of the Arsenal game), and we got through with a lovely move between Pienaar and Lukaku, with Seamus tapping into an empty net. After that we largely retained control, Barry got a scrappy goal from a corner, and Mirallas lashed a late one in, past Stekelenburg, which he definitely should've saved. They seemed to collapse a bit mentally after our second goal, having fought so hard to get back into the game.
All in all, a fluctuating display, with some nice moments. Our mental fortitude and spirit were probably our best qualities on display, and as the poll shows, Pienaar and Coleman were our best players. It'll be nice to have McCarthy back in the middle.