There were really only two candidates for Man of the Match in yesterday's FA Cup tie against Liverpool at the Emirates. Budweiser, in all their skunk-smelling beer-soaked wisdom, decided that that player was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and announced that in the 89th minute with the result still in jeopardy (boy would they have felt weird taking that bottle back from Ox if Daniel Sturridge had scored twice in the last four minutes).
But we, we here at The Short Fuse, we're not beer-soaked. Well, okay, Thomas is. And PDB. And probably Aidan. Travis has kids. But OTHER THAN THAT, we are not beer-soaked, so while we appreciated the good work that Ox did scoring a clean-up goal and finding Podolski well for another, we have decided that there can be only one winner of the Mikel Arteta Man of the Match award.
That man is Lukasz Fabianski.
In terms of pure WPA, nobody did more on the pitch yesterday to keep Liverpool at bay than the Other Pole Between the Poles That Make Up the Goal. Here's a brief list of things he did:
- Saves low early against Sturridge to prevent Liverpool Stampede II: The Emirates from starting
- Forces the same man wide enough to only be able to hit the side netting shortly thereafter
- Makes a hilariously good kick save to his right on a ferocious Luis Suarez half-volley towards the end of the half
- Mops up low in front of Raheem Sterling
- Makes a good catch on a Sturridge drive
- Then, in the cream of the crop, stays with Sturridge after the latter goes clean through to dive and palm the ball away from the Englishman without fouling him or letting him past
- And the cherry on the sundae, makes Sturridge tie his boot as injury time looms.
Yep. Good job, Lukasz; nevermore shall we call you Flappyhandski.