It is all over. No more watching World Cup matches at work, no more constant updating of the twitter pages looking for jokes and tidbits.
So Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0, AET, in a match that after the first half looked poised to descend into a bloodbath. The lingering image in a lot of viewers' minds today might very well be that of a super-slo-mo Nigel de Jong horizontally stomping Xabi Alonso's sternum.
The second half was better, as Zonal Marking notes, due to attacking substitutions by both coaches that opened up space at both ends of the pitch. He also talks about Robin van Persie's role:
Robin van Persie was playing an intelligent role by dropping deep to the left to distract the centre-backs, allowing Robben the opportunity to make runs on their blind side – once a straight ball found him and he shot straight at Casillas, another time van Persie’s flick-on put him through, but he was eased out by Puyol.
van Persie will no doubt look back on this tournament wistfully and sadly knowing that he never really got rolling, although on a team with Robben and Sneijder, not getting the ball is bound to happen. Not to be a van Persie apologist, or anything.
Cesc Fabregas, on the other hand, can hold his head high, knowing that Spain attacked with renewed sharpness upon his arrival in the 87th minute and that his pass set up Spanish delirium.
Here are some other Arsenal links for today:
- Arseblog points out, quite rightly, the utter hypocrisy of the punditry that chastizes the Netherlands for their play against lovely, flowing Spain, but that lionizes Stoke when they approach lovely, flowing Arsenal in the exact same way.
- Arsène Wenger has reportedly more or less told Barcelona to go away completely. Which they should.
- The Renegade Sportsman meditates on what the World Cup has shown everyone about the nature of football fandom/support.
- And finally: Rocky.
Have a good Monday, everyone.