Last year; now that was some game. I’d never been so exhausted by 3 in the afternoon. Nothing could follow it but a nap until Match of the Day. I was on a come down. Bouncing off all of N7’s walls. Jubilation is a tiring business don’t you know. It was pure elation, the couple of pints bought by a Gooner at Wood Green Wetherspoons before ducking out when he couldn’t handle it, had long worn off by the final whistle. In fact, one could say our favourite Gooner pint buyer personified Arsenal’s response when the going got tough. Half-time felt familiar. We’d arrived at the Emirates with the gap between ourselves closing at an incredibly pleasing rate, hoping to nick a win but happy with a point. Being 2-0 down served to check expectations. Chamakh of all people had scored the second and didn’t seem to even care. They’d strolled into the half time lead with two soft goals, Benny and Hutton having played unwanted roles. We were sloppy and the occasion passed us by. Still, we all knew we always have one good and one bad half and none of us needed reminding of Arsenal’s fragility the minute things didn’t go their way.
Jermain came on for Aaron and immediately stretched them. He even won a header for Rafa to lay into Bale’s path to slot home an incredibly massive goal. Swift on the counter and suddenly they under the cosh. Rafa loves playing against the Gooners, maybe because their wall fought to palm away the type of free kick that no other team seem to find trouble with. Dowd pointed to the spot and Rafa sent the penalty home. He told the home fans to shh for some reason. A win was on the cards. Koscielny sent a header over when the goal was gaping. Younes had no such trouble. They had no plan other than to scythe down Bale as once again we broke forward purposely, we capitalised from another set piece of all things. We actually mounted a perfect comeback. The first goal came quick, the last left little time for a response. Wenger threw water on himself and captain for the day Bill Gallas trudged off in modest fashion. Arms were flailing, grown men lay under seats having been knocked to the ground, “I’m fine!” whilst those red pizza box seats were being waved in the air. Enemy territory had finally been conquered. This was it, after 17 years. How had we lived through it? We turned to goad the oyster eaters behind us once more only to find out they were mostly Yids.
We wanted to be kept in for hours. They had to use police horses to nudge us towards Highbury and then Finsbury Park. Every time police stopped us we would rejoice. Another opportunity to rub it in to the even more immediate locals. People documented their journey home with video camera and mobile phone. This was no ordinary commute on the Victoria line. Texts flew in, friends didn’t know where to put themselves. The old man, out in the countryside, messaged to ask what the score was. We wooooooon! I replied. It was a game beyond compare for a supporter initiated in the mid-90s. Let’s do it all again. At this rate, they’ll be plenty more.