Off-topic: Birmingham 2 Arsenal 2 (The draw that never should have been)


Today was a very bad day. First, Martin Taylor decided to inflict the usual strategy against Arsenal: "kick them off the pitch." He did so. Literally. Eduardo da Silva was stretchered off with his shin bone coming out of his socks (picture below). Disgraceful. Wenger's right: Taylor should be banned from the game for life. As it stands, it looks bleak as to whether 25-year old Eduardo will ever be able to play again.

Such was the day. It happened in the third minute of the game and completely dampened Arsenal's mood for the first half, when Birmingham put a ball in the net near the end of the half. After the half, however, the team came alive and Walcott drilled home his first two Premiership goals.

Taylor snaps Eduardo's leg

Arsenal looked to be in cruise control to take home the win and maintain its five-point lead over Manchester United. But it wasn't to be.

Adebayor selfishly shot when he should have passed to the (admittedly obnoxious) Bendtner. That goal would have sealed the victory. There were also a number of chances that went begging as Hleb and Fabregas wrongfully chose to pass away several opportunities in or near the edge of the box that really should have been rifled at the net.

Even so, the game was won...until Clichy, normally so diligent, strolled for a ball that even a saunter would have collected. Birmingham collected the ball, Clichy panicked, and ended up tackling the Birmingham player in the box. No, it shouldn't have been called a penalty - Clichy collected all of the ball and little of the player. But in such circumstances it's not surprising the ref gave the penalty kick, which Birmingham scored.

A very, very frustrating match. The game should have been Arsenal's. As it stands, Eduardo is out for at least the rest of the season and Arsenal are looking like they're chasing second place rather than commanding first place. Manchester United decimated Newcastle - Arsenal simply cannot give up such easy points and expect to hold off United.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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