Last Day Of 2016

I forgot to blog about what I did on the 31st. Well, I woke up after 10:30 am and settled in front of the laptop till noon. I had planned to treat two young ladies from work – two very young ladies who I have trained when they first joined the company we work for as I am a trainer – who I am close with. I’ve been meaning to treat them for lunch or dinner for several weeks as they live in a hostel/paying guest and food isn’t that great there. They told me they enjoy going out on Sunday to eat at a nice restaurant whenever they are still in town.

So as they had plans to go shopping in the morning, I told then that I would meet them around 1pm. I fixed the venue for Golden Dragon in Ravipuram as they didn’t know most places here but they said they loved Chinese. And it’s my favourite place to go for lunch or dinner. We met a little after 1pm and we took a table. They wanted fried rice so I ordered that and Golden Dragon’s special dragon chicken and Hong Kong chicken. We enjoyed the nice meal till they had to go (they had been working the later shift the previous day and had only had a couple of hours of sleep)  and I walked them out. I then took an Uber to Center Mall.

I had booked a ticket for the 3:20 pm screening of the film Assassin’s Creed and it was so boring! I managed to stay awake (I was feeling sleepy too as I had little sleep the previous night though I was doing a 2:30 pm to 11:30 pm shift) and needed my coke and caramel popcorn to keep me awake. About 20 minutes after the interval I couldn’t bother to stay in my seat and so I walked out, went to the loo, returned my 3d glasses and went to the Big Bazaar outlet for a few things. About 20 mins there and I was back on my way home. As my folks were going to go to some place for the night, I thought I’d just stay home, drink some vodka and eat a pizza.

So I ordered a pizza from Dominos and a Sprite which I added to my vodka and enjoyed a few drinks with my pizza dinner until 11pm. I started watching tv shows and a movie and went to sleep quite late. Even after I switched the lights off at 3am I couldn’t go to sleep till about 5 am. I’ll post a blog entry about what kept me awake in a day or two. I feel good about 2017 and I am ok with what happened.

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 0

Olivier Giroud’s incredible scorpion kick set Arsenal on the way to a victory over Crystal Palace which moved them up to third in the Premier League. With a cross from Alexis Sanchez delivered behind him, Frenchman Giroud elastically reached the ball with his left foot, looping it over his head and in off the underside of the bar. An Alex Iwobi header gave Arsenal a scrappy second before Palace briefly rallied to force saves from home goalkeeper Petr Cech. The win moves the Gunners back to within nine points of leaders Chelsea, while Palace stay 17th, two points above the relegation zone. The visitors have won only once in 13 league games, with manager Sam Allardyce awaiting his first victory since taking over from Alan Pardew.

Giroud marked his return to the Arsenal starting line-up on Boxing Day by scoring the only goal in the win over West Bromwich Albion, and followed up here by pulling off one of the most memorable moments of this or any other season. Indeed, it was made all the more remarkable for its echoes of a similarly breathtaking goal scored by Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the defeat of Sunderland on Monday. If anything, Giroud’s was even more impressive, an acrobatic finish to a head-high cross delivered from the left by Sanchez at the end of a pacy Arsenal counter-attack. As the ball arrived, a sprinting Giroud turned to stick out his left foot, flicked the ball over his head and saw it arc over the leap of Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, off the woodwork and into the net.

Arsenal lost ground in the title race with defeats by Everton and Manchester City, and began this game in fifth place following Tottenham’s win at Watford. Giroud’s goal was the highlight of an otherwise lacklustre first half in which the only other moment of note was the Frenchman missing his kick attempting to meet a cross inside the six-yard box. Still, the Gunners’ threat was always apparent, particularly in the shape of the forward running of full-backs Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, who tormented the Palace defence throughout. Monreal was involved in the second goal, providing a cross that was not dealt with, Iwobi heading in despite the efforts of Palace defender Joel Ward on the line. Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in his past six starts for Arsenal in all competitions.

Sam Allardyce has never won at Arsenal as a manager in all competitions, drawing four and losing 12 of his 16 visits. Since joining the club, Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 88 goals for Arsenal in all competitions (56 goals, 32 assists) – 26 more than any other Gunner. Arsenal have won 130 of their 200 Premier League games at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger (65%) – they won 72% of their league games at Highbury under the Frenchman (134/186). The Gunners have kept consecutive Premier League clean sheets at home for the first time this season, last doing so in their final three games of 2015-16.