In another great display of attacking football, in which Newcastle target Andrei Arshavin, who said in January he would love to sign for Newcastle United , was again outstanding, Russia were just too good for Holland tonight, and won 3-1 after extra time, in another great game to watch.
Andrei Arshavin – just brilliant – again – for the Russians
On the last two displays of this Russian side, they have to be fancied to even win the tournament, as their skill was there for all to see tonight – again.
They were 1-0 up in the second half, after another fine goal by the gifted Roman Pavlyuchenko after 56 minutes, his 3rd goal in the competition, in a move that Arshavin had initiated.
But Russia only had themselves to blame for being taken into extra time, as they went far too much on the defensive, and with just 4 minutes to go in the game, they allowed Ruud Van Nistelrooy to score an equalizer the Dutch hardly deserved.
But then in the second period of extra time it was Russia’s skill that paid off as Arshavan again displayed pure magic.
On the left wing, with just 8 minutes to go, he somehow managed to get in a tantalizing cross that evaded Van Der Sar, and substitute Torbinski, tapped the ball home nicely.
And just to show that wasn’t a fluke, Arshavin himself went through to score Russia’s 3rd and decisive goal after 116 minutes.
He brilliantly moved past the tired Holland defenders, who had been given the runaround for most of the game, and shot the ball past Edwin Van Der Sar.
The Holland and Manchester United goalkeeper had been Holland’s best player, as he had saved his country with 3 excellent saves in the first half alone.
But it was a deserved win by this Russian side, and coach Guus Hiddink can be very proud of his great accomplishments over the last two years – what a coach.
The commentators on the ABC channel in the US, kept mentioning that big clubs in Europe were after Arshavin, but they only mentioned one by actual name – Arsenal.
It’s hard to see how Newcastle can still be successful in attracting Arshavin to Tyneside, but miracles are still possible, especially when Kevin Keegan is now back at the club.
If we are ever to get back into the top four in the Premier League, then some miracles will be needed, and sooner rather than later.Â Â 😀