Monday, 25 October 2010

A Fantastic Day Of Sport

Well what a day I had. Two of my teams getting massive wins helped put a smile on my face that'll probably last all week. The mighty Arsenal travelled to the blue side of Manchester and returned with a morale boosting 3-0 victory. To make things better, the Browns shocked the world by beating the reigning Superbowl champions in their own stadium, recording a historic win in the process. So you could say I'm feeling pretty happy this morning.

First up was the Arsenal - City game which kicked off at 4pm. I was still at work when the game began but slyly managed to follow the game through BBC Sport's updates on the internet. As soon as the clock struck 5pm, I was out the door and quickly in the pub for the second half. I missed Nasri put us 1-0 up but have since seen the goal and it was a real beauty, a lovely finish from a confident player who has started this season brilliantly. I of course missed Man City's red card too but I have heard it was deserved. And last of all I also missed Cesc's penalty miss, not one of his best efforts I understand. However, I did catch the second half, so I feel obliged to comment on what I did see.

Despite City playing with 10 men the game had a very open feel to it and they looked pretty dangerous going forward even thought they had the disadvantage. But as the game wore on, it was obvious City just didn't have it on the day. Arsenal soon began to dominate possession and ensured the win when Alex Song put us into a 2-0 lead. A ball into Chamakh was cut out by the City defence but thankfully it fell to Song on the edge of the box who rifled it past Joe Hart for his second league goal of the season, and his second in the space of a week. City pressed on but couldn't break through thanks to Fabianski. The young Polish stopper had a great day, recording a deserved clean sheet, which is apparently our first one away from home for 10 months. His saves against Silva and Boateng were particularly impressive. With the came coming to a close, Wenger gave a run-out to Theo and Bendtner and it was the latter who rounded the match off with a delightful finish. The tireless Nasri managed to keep the ball from going out and then played a superb ball into the path of Bendtner, who calmly slotted the ball around the onrushing Hart to make it 3-0. A fantastic away win and just what the Gunners needed to re-establish our title aspirations, while putting Manchester City firmly in their place at the same time. You can have as much money as you like, but it will take some time before they gel as a team and start winning trophies.

After Arsenal's victory, it was time to turn my attention to the day's NFL games and the Browns. There was no way Eric Mangini's men were waltzing into New Orleans and beating the Superbowl champions I thought, and I was not alone; Nobody expected a Browns win, certainly not the people around me in the pub and the pundits on the TV. But the Browns came through for me, and battled to a hard fought 30-17 win. Unfortunately I was not in a position to watch the game. At the pub, my friends and I had to make do with the Rams - Buccaneers game, which was entertaining but obviously I would have preferred to have been watching our miraculous victory at the Superdome. Still, the Rams lost in the last 10 seconds, and my friend Simon (the only Rams fan in the room) nearly broke down in tears at his team's collapse. Commiserations mate, I feel your pain.

So it's now established that Reggie Hodges is the best punter in NFL history, right? My tongue-in-cheek comment aside, that fake punt and his amazing run was really something special, especially the way he glided past Lance Moore and kept chugging his way to the 10 yard line where he was finally stopped. His 68 yard run set up a Browns field goal and as we know every point counts in the NFL, especially when you're facing the Saints in their house. In fact, the Browns had a very successful day as far as trick plays were concerned. Cribbs's lateral pass to Eric Wright on a punt return was impressive, as was Peyton Hillis's pass to Colt McCoy. When plays like that come off and work to perfection, you really have to give credit to the players for executing, as well as Mangini for taking the risk. Of course, credit must also go to Rex Ryan and his defense. When was the last time Drew Brees threw 4 interceptions in a game?! I doubt he even did that in high school! Obviously Brees had an off day, but you have to give major props to the Browns for being there in the right positions to make those big defensive stops. David Bowens is feeling on top of the world no doubt, with his two interception returns putting the cherry on top of yesterday's win. Just an amazing day for the Browns and I feel so proud to be one of the faithful. I don't care if I'm from Cleveland or not, there's no reason for me not to celebrate this win like any other Browns supporter. I love it.

So the Browns head into their bye week full of confidence and Arsenal are back to second in the league, hot on the heels of Chelsea. Sunday October 24th 2010 was a fine day indeed, one I expect I'll remember for some time.

Thanks for reading.

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