Charlton play well, get nothing
Charlton were done no favours by referee Mark Clattenburg who had an appalling game marked by a blizzard of yellow cards. He dealt with van Persie's off the ball assault on Hasselbaink with a yellow card and ignored what was a clear handball in the box by Gallas.
Charlton fans should not be downhearted by this performance. We played as well as we have done this season and if we can maintain that standard against lesser teams than Arsenal, Premiership survival should not be a problem.
The match started rather tentatively with Arsenal playing the ball around at the back and ten minutes passed before Charlton launched their first real attack. Hreidarsson received a yellow card for a foul on charm merchant Hleb, but van Persie blasted the resultant free kick well over the bar to the jeers of the Covered End.
Hreidarsson turned provided with a header but Bent had little time to control the ball and shot wide. Henry showed his magic with a turn just in front of goal with the resultant shot going just over the bar. Lisbie messed up a chance, conceding a throw in.
Hreidarsson released Hasselbaink on the right and the striker selflessly crossed the ball to Bent who had an open goal in front of him to put the ball in the back of the net. The Gooners complained that it was offside, but Arsene Wenger had the grace to admit afterwards that it wasn'y.
A trip on Lisbie was ignored by the referee and Arsenal won a corner, but the shot went over. Van Persie went for Hasselbaink off the ball, it should have been red, but the referee contented himself with a yellow.
An angled ball was then played from near the goal line to an area on the other side of goal clear of Charlton defenders, allowing the lurking van Persie to score and make it 1-1.
Hasselbaink received a yellow card. An Arsenal corner was well defended by the striker with a header. Darren Bent was breaking away, but was penalised for colliding with an Arsenal player who was trying to obstruct him. A Bent header went wide. Fabregas received a yellow card for a blatant trip.
A poor kick by Reid allowed Arsenal to win a corner which was punched out by Carson.
Half time: Addicks 1, Gooners 0
Faye was replaced by Kishishev at the beginning of the half. Lisbie drew a save. Then on 49 minutes an angled cross from Eboue found van Persie who scored a phenomenal goal from distance.
Hasselbaink won the ball and drew a save. Carson made a save. The keeper then created danger by playing the ball out to Fortune who wasn't expecting it or ready for it, showing a lack of understanding between keeper and defender.
Kishishev then drew a save which led to a Charlton corner, followed by a second which was disappointingly poor. Arsenal then won a couple of corners at the other end. Arsenal won a free kick near the corner flag but it was cleared.
Lisbie beat two Arsenal players but then his shot into the box was intercepted by the hand of Gallas, but all Charlton got was a corner. After Hughes had won a free kick after a late tackle by Toure, Lehmann went down and demanded treatment, contrasting with the determination of Lisbie to stay on when he was felled in the first half. Lehmann spilled the free kick at the expense of a Charlton corner which he caught.
Arsenal were awarded a free kick against Kishishev but Hreidarsson headed it out. van Persie was replaced by Rosicky and Charlton brought on Ambrose in place of Reid.
Hughes put in a good pass to Hasselbaink at the far post. It was a golden opportunity to make it 2-2, but his header went just wide.
At the other end Carson made a good save at the expense of a corner and then another good save from Rosicky who had burst through. Charm merchant Hoyte got a yellow card for time wasting.
Carson save from Henry and the ball was then cleared by a defender. A Charlton free kick was poorly taken and wasted. Kishishev received a yellow card for a foul. Charlton continued to battle, but failed to make the breakthrough.
Bryan Hughes went up to Clattenburg at the end of the match to give him his views about his refereeing, but Dowie ushered him away. There have now been three matches where we played well enough to get a point (Chelsea, Portsmouth, Arsenal) which would have taken us out of the danger zone. I am far from despondent, indeed I have been heartened by most of our performances.
Match analyst Monty Martin considered that it was good all round team performance by Charlton and hence awarded the Silver Bone to manager Iain Dowie to show that we are keeping the faith and have respect for the way in which he has tried to freshen up the side. Scott Carson made some great saves which kept the score line respectable. El Karkouri had one of his better games as did Fortune who was more composed than usual. Young was perhaps not as evident as he is in some games, having few chances to advance forward. Hreidrasson was perhaps a little subdued after his early yellow card, but generally played well. Faye was impressive and his disappearance at half time can only have been because of injury. Hughes had a rather a good game, making some good passes, including one that Hasselbaink should have scored from. Reid was energetic and committed, but his lack of match fitness sometimes showed. Lisbie is the target for some derision, but this performance showed that he is perhaps better played as a winger than a striker. He showed some real skill in outwitting Arsenal players. Hasselbaink was provider for Bent's goal, but otherwise had little impact on the game. Bent took his goal well, and was generally impressive. He missed a golden chance to equalise towards the end of the game. Kishishev battled away after he came on and even had an attempt on goal. Ambrose made little impact when he came on.
Hiss of the Match Juneau the Soccer Cat asked her sister Amber to help her give a double power hiss to referee Mark Clattenburg supposedly one of the hopes of Premiership refereeing who turned in a very poor performance.
Crowd rating: Very quiet for a lot of the game, although they livened up when we were fighting for an equaliser. 3/10.