Big clubs aren’t supposed to rely on the late winner against over-matched teams. Even in Europe, where super clubs tend to build up the risk of playing minnows away only to regularly dispense with them by several goals. Yet, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal had little in the way of answers against Anderlecht, trailing in Brussels until late in the game. Arsenal won, sure, but it’s how they won that can’t leave them feeling comfortable.
Arsenal’s late winner also needed a late equalizer, but the precedent was there. Wenger spoke about Champions League managers knowing how to handle the last five minutes. That’s key all over the soccer world, with fatigue and stress creating opportunities for teams. If Arsenal felt like they’d already blown it against Anderlecht, what did they really have to lose?
“I know by experience that the last five minutes in the Champions League – the nerves play a part. We had to get into these five minutes without conceding the second goal. Of course, if they had scored the second goal, it was game over. I had hope. It didn’t look like it but it happened and that means we took all the risks and in the end, it paid off. It’s a little bit of a gambling situation that happens in this kind of games and it worked tonight. It did not look obvious, that is for sure.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
- Real Salt Lake finishes off the regular season with a win, but is this a club threatening in the Western Conference or one in need of an off-season transition?
- The LA Galaxy spend on StubHub Center. Ok, that mostly means a new video board. As the press release noted, the Galaxy reduced the cost of season tickets for 2015.
- The New York Red Bulls win with their reserves on their way out of the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.
- It’s probably worth a reminder that MLS hasn’t officially said what happens to Chivas USA after this season.
- Toronto FC and MLS choose not to announce a player move that happened before the start of the season. Doneil Henry spent 2014 on loan to Toronto FC rather than under contract to MLS.
Retired, but Demerit still part of the Whitecaps – from The Province’s Marc Weber: Watching from the stands, or on TV, DeMerit’s gone through the full range of fan emotions.
Three years after considering leaving the game, Greg Garza sees his career thriving – from Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep: Garza almost walked away from the game of soccer.
RSL’s season a success, with more work to be done – from The Salt Lake Tribune’s Kurt Kragthorpe: “We played good soccer against them,” he insisted. “We’re not scared of anyone.”
Sounders shifted their training regimen and that has helped – from The Seattle Times’ Matt Pentz: Routines can also, though, breed stagnation.
UEFA opens doors to closed stadium sanction rethink – from Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw: But Europe’s governing body insist no rules were broken when CSKA were ordered to play City at an empty stadium as punishment for a series of offences including racist chanting, only for around 650 fans to get in anyway.
What is going on at Arsenal? – from World Soccer’s Brian Glanville: Now it emerged that Arsenal have paid out £3 million for Kroenke Sport Entertainment for something called its advisory role, whatever that may mean.
Why brainless Balotelli is just part of Brendan Rodgers’ greater struggle at Liverpool – from The Mirror’s Ed Malyon: As far as last night goes, swapping shirts is probably a stupid idea when your side is getting humped at half-time.
Who’s making German football look bad? – from Backpage Football’s Scott Schroder: Here’s a club that has made almost nothing but terrible, irresponsible decisions for decades upon decades and has ruined everything nice it has ever had.
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