No Replay

I started with this picture just to point out that Jimenez did not receive a yellow card for this challenge. I do not care if he didn’t mean to do it, a foul is a foul. Diaby went down in a heap and started clutching his right shoulder. I feared the worst. I assumed that this was another one of those “strange injuries” Diaby tends to pick up.

After being incensed on the ground, Diaby got back up and pressed on as usual. To lose the presence of Diaby right now would be a massive blow. He is majestic at the moment. He’s not Patrick Vieira, and he should not be compared to him. Diaby has provided the thrust that this team sorely needed, and when the substitutions were made, they made a substantial difference.

To recap the first long stretch of action, you need to start with Lukasz Fabianski. He is a very proactive goalkeeper. That means, he’ll come out for balls, catch them when you should, and punch when you can’t catch. He made a stunning save on Stanislas, an effort that could have left us done and dusted. When Diamanti easily beat Silvestre’s attempt at an offside trap, he was 1 v. 1 with Fabianski. Some have blamed the Polish stopper, saying he got a hand to the ball and couldn’t do more. I’d suggest the fact that he got a hand on it, from such a short distance, would reinforce my view that his reflexes are top notch.

Wilshere was ineffective, and Merida’s ideas never came off. Give some credit to Wenger, for the most part, he really did want to win this match. He might have settled with losing the match as well, but he definitely did not want to draw. He brought on Diaby and Nasri for the jejune youngsters because Wenger wanted to win the game.

They made an instant difference, adding initiative and slick passing to the team. Soon, a Robert Green double save only kept us out.

With a touch of luck, the ball fell kindly for Ramsey who dispatched it wickedly past Green and into the net.

1-1, time to go for the kill.

Eduardo rose to meet a Vela cross to score a superb striker’s goal. He may not have confidence shooting the ball with his feet, but that header was a peach. It was placed perfectly, and you knew West Ham was finished.

After the match, we drew Stoke City away. I obviously do not fear anybody, but I would have preferred a minnow. The reason for that lies in the fixtures. This is the series of games after the FA Cup match away to Stoke: Aston Villa away, Manchester United home, Chelsea away, Liverpool home, followed by FC Porto away.

Methinks that the FA Cup may be sacrificed, but for the moment, I’m happy that we’re still in the FA Cup and that Ramsey chose us over Manchester United.

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