Well, here we are, kids. 2014. And Arsenal start this year off the way they ended last - with a scrappy win over a team that maybe they should have steamrolled, but with a win nonetheless.
Cardiff looked very Cardiffian in the first half, and it would have seemed like only a matter of time before Arsenal scored; Arsenal were fairly dominant, except in the penalty area where it would have been nice to have some of those great moves turn into something on the scoreboard. Still, Arsenal never really looked to be in anything other than control in the first half.
Then, the second half started, and Arsenal decided that they didn't need to play any more; Cardiff had the run of things for the first 15-20 min of the half, and Arsenal's defense, not much in need in the first half, was called on to carry the team until the attack decided to wake up.
And what woke up the attack? The Greatest Striker To Ever Live, of course! He and Rosicky were brought on in the 65th minute (for Podolski and Flamini, respectively), and 20 minutes later, Bendtner made his mark on the game, after Cardiff keeper Steven Caulker cleared a Sagna header off the line but into Bendtner's orbit, and Little Nicky Ponytail made no mistake, stabbing home the ball to give Arsenal the 1-0 lead they'd been looking for since early in the first half. Theo Walcott added one in injury time to seal the deal.
Of course, this being Arsenal, the win came at a cost - Bendtner appeared to have hurt himself while scoring, and limped off in the 90th minute. Still no word about the severity of the injury.
So here we are, January 1, and the view from the top of the table is pretty sweet, isn't it? Happy New Year, everybody.