Cardiff City 0-3 Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey fantastic against his old side (video)
Arsenal remain top of the table after their 3-0 victory over Cardiff, pulling seven points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea, both who play tomorrow.
Right from the start, it looked as though there’d be no chance for Cardiff. It took just a minute for Jack Wilshere to hit the woodwork, jumping on to a ball from Aaron Ramsey and letting fly from the edge of the area. But Cardiff didn’t let it get them down, with the Bluebirds grabbing a great chance ten minutes in. Kévin Théophile-Catherine got away down the right and sent in his cross, but Frazier Campbell’s header went just wide.
Fifteen minutes in, Olivier Giroud missed a wonderful opportunity to put his side ahead. Again it was Ramsey with the through ball, but the forward thought he was offside and stopped clean...only to look over and see there was no flag raised. Needless to say, Arsène Wenger looked none too pleased.
But the Arsenal manager couldn’t help but smile when Ramsey put his side ahead just before the half hour mark. Mesut Özil took off down the left while Ramsey timed his run perfectly in the center. The Welshman got his head to the cross and left David Marshall no chance as the ball looped into the back of the net. The whole of Cardiff City Stadium rose to its feet and, with mutual respect, Ramsey did not celebrate his goal against his former club.
The hosts weren’t quite as accommodating after the restart, however. Once again, the dangerous Ramsey was busy getting the ball into a dangerous area. He pulled back for Giroud to take a shot and, with Marshall out of position, it looked like it would be simple enough for Arsenal to double their lead. Instead, Cardiff defender Ben Turner came rushing in to rescue his side.
Shortly after, the Bluebirds very nearly managed an equalizer, with Frazier Campbell rising above Kieran Gibbs to send in a header. It was only impressive reflexes from Wojciech Szczesny that kept Cardiff out of the game -- and seconds later, the Arsenal goalkeeper was back again, this time stopping a shot from Steven Caulker. The pressure continued, with Peter Whittingham’s shot blocked before Szczesny was called into action again, this time preventing a goal from Kévin Théophile-Catherine.
But it was Arsenal that had the last word, scoring two in the second half and sealing their lead at the top of the table. It was Mathieu Flamini, grabbing his first goal in his second stint with the Gunners. Özil was once again the provider, setting up the Frenchman to send it into the top right corner. Then it was Ramsey getting his second, off a lovely counter attack. Ramsey fed Theo Walcott, on moments before for Özil. Walcott looked like he had half a mind to take the shot himself, but instead returned it back to Ramsey, who had no trouble putting it in for Arsenal’s third goal.
Cardiff: Marshall, Taylor (Cornelius 87), Caulker, Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Odemwingie 65), Kim (Noone 75), Mutch, Cowie, Theophile-Catherine
Subs not used: Lewis, Hudson, Gunnarsson, Bellamy
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere (Monreal 81), Ramsey, Ozil (Walcott 90), Cazorla (Flamini 77), Giroud
Subs not used: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Gnabry
Goals: Ramsey 29', Flamini 86', Ramsey 90'