Sunday, 4 January 2009


Arsenal 3 (van Persie 46, Gray 50 og, van Persie 84) - 1 Plymouth Argyle (Duguid 53) FAC3

Well it's over, no more than was expected but a great day out for Plucky Plymouth.

9,000 Green Army members made the mass exodus journey to The Emirates, the largest away crowd to grace the new stadium, proven by the lack of facilities - the Gunners had to open parts of the ground that had not been used before, and the lack of sufficient toilets caused a talking point and a bone of contention when many fans missed three goals due to queuing. As were the travel arrangements of coaches littering the surrounding streets and Tube stations closures, London were not prepared for 48 coaches, 1 official train, 1 extra express train provided by First Great Western plus numerous other regular service trains and countless other vehicles converging from across the country.

The Arsenal were expecting to totally run roughshod over the small club and were very annoyed to be drawing 0-0 going into the break due to the remarkable skills of keeper Larrieu. They soon turned that round by scoring 2 within minutes of restart, one being an own goal by new loanee and d├ębutante, Gray. Whatever mistake he made, he immediately took the ball up the other end and allowed the skipper to start the Green come back. Much to the angry annoyance of the Gooners supporters. Things started to come apart for the Pilgrims in the second half as Arsenal went on to stick the knife in with a third, ending the game. But it was more than anyone expected.

Sturrock made 6 changes to the team that he fielded against Cardiff, including his newest player, Gray along with McNamee, Gallagher (who picked up an injury forcing his substitution) with Folly and MacLean warming the bench, and it worked fairly well.

But now the magic is over. Time to concentrate on the league. (Ha!)

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