Jan 1, 2014, 12:32 PM EST
Arsenal’s back atop the Premier League after wearing down Cardiff City on Saturday for a 2-0 win.
The Gunners were nothing less than dominant but needed 88 minutes to notch the match’s first goal.
The constant knocking was rewarded when Nicklas Bendtner easily collected a doorstep rebound and slotted home in the 88th minute, giving Arsenal their late winner. Theo Walcott added insurance moments later to ice the match.
The game began and the clock struck 13 just after Walcott slid onto the end of a cross to the left side of the area, but the speedy Englishman could only put the ball into the outside of the net.
Arsenal found some danger in the 16th minute when Gary Medel found himself out of position and made a poor tackle. The free kick came just outside of the 18 and Bacary Sagna blasted the ball into the wall.
Cries for a Jack Wilshere penalty in the 25th minute went unheeded after another hatchet job from Medel. Moments later, Walcott sent a strong effort just over the bar.
To be fair to the Gunners, they hadn’t converted upon 35 minutes despite absolutely dominating possession. Cardiff seemed content to block shot after shot from distance.
Arsenal maintained their edge for the first 10-12 minutes of the second half before Cardiff began to mount a true challenge, troubling Wojciech Szczesny on a couple occasions.
And then, it was just more for Arsenal. Free headers, corners, open looks from inside the area… nothing would come. Per Mertesacker‘s header glanced off the post in the 69th minute.
Walcott was inches off all match, as his free kick in the 76th minute looked wonderful but went just over the bar.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini (Vermaelen, 65), Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski (Bendtner, 64)
Goals: Bendtner (88), Walcott (90+2)
Cardiff City: Marshall; McNaughton, Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Medel (Gunnarson, 61), Kim, Noone, Mutch (Cowie, 67); Campbell (Maynard, 80)
Nov 26, 2014, 10:19 AM EST
Eight Champions League matches take place today as Arsenal and Liverpool will both look to rebound from Premier League losses.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:25 AM EST
Spanish defender Sergio Ramos questioned some players loyalty to the national team, which didn’t sit well with Cesc Fabregas.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:35 AM EST
The Aston Villa striker will be looking for minutes as he heads down the ranks to the Championship on a one-month loan.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:45 AM EST
Four Premier League defenders found their way onto FIFA’s shortlist for the 2014 FIFPro World XI.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:15 PM EST
There were a lot of fouls in the first leg of Los Angeles and Seattle’s Western Conference final, and some were quite serious.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:45 PM EST
Like many fun to watch goals, the magic of the shooter is magnified by the mistakes of the defenders.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:00 PM EST
“I think they have to accept we were too strong for them,” added Mourinho.
Nov 25, 2014, 9:16 PM EST
We’ll be following who else comes calling for the Princeton man.
Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs thinks Chelsea’s the top dog, compares Louis van Gaal to Alex Ferguson
Nov 25, 2014, 8:05 PM EST
Giggs calls the Stamford Bridge club “head and shoulders above the Premier League” on the strength of their back four.
Nov 25, 2014, 7:13 PM EST
These will be hot in the summer. But are they hot now? What do you think?
Nov 25, 2014, 6:51 PM EST
Eleven players had their options declined on Tuesday, but Colorado says they could be back with the club in January.
Nov 25, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Recapping all the action from around Europe after a pivotal matchday in UCL play.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Berahino scored in the next match after his arrest, but has since gone cold.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:32 PM EST
Rogers talked about how working with gay and lesbian youth organizations made him realize the impact he could make as an openly-gay player.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:22 PM EST
City’s late show sets up pulsating clash in the Italian capital next month.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EST
Citizens grab last-gasp win to boost their chances of making the last 16.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Five different players netted as Chelsea picked up its largest road Champions League win since 1999.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
Suarez is off and running for Barca with a goal of exceptional class. What else did you expect?
Nov 25, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
The only other active players in the Top Ten are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (44) and Thierry Henry (50), who obviously isn’t active with a UEFA Champions League club.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
With top-quality players hardly ever available in January, the Portguese international could be a hot commodity in England.
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