Arsenal see off Milan to progress to Europa League quarter finals

Arsenal 3 AC Milan 1 (5-1 agg)
Welbeck 39 pen, 86, Xhaka 71, Calhanoglu 35

Arsenal cruised into the Europa League quarter finals with a 3-1 win over AC Milan at the Emirates stadium on Wednesday night. Leading 2-0 from the first leg in the San Siro, it was actually Milan who took the lead through Hakan Calhanoglu’s 30 yard stunner, and the Serie A side looked to be in the ascendancy. Arsenal had strung a few neat moves without really troubling Gianluigi Donnarumma, but going a goal behind sparked another level of onslaught. Danny Welbeck won a controversial penalty when Ricardo Rodriguez was adjudged to have caught the England man’s leg. Welbeck dusted himself down to calmly slot past Donnarumma for the leveller. Another howler from the giant Italian Milan keeper allowed Granit Xhaka’s speculative effort through for a 2-1 lead. Welbeck was then best placed to head home from Jack Wilshere’s cross after Aaron Ramsey’s initial header was pushed out. 3-1 on the night, 5-1 on aggregate and for once the Gunners progressed beyond the last 16 in Europe.

Arsenal show big Cajones to sink Watford

Arsenal 3 Watford 0
Mustafi 8, Aubameyang 59, Mkhitaryan 77

The rebuilding process continues. Three unanswered goals with Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on target, as well as Petr Cech finally claiming a record 200 Premier League clean sheets. For now all seems right in the Arsenal camp. Watford had beaten the Gunners last October, and afterwards, their captain Troy Deeney questioned Arsenal’s “cajones.” With the score at 3-0, the Emirates faithful asked him what the score was, the Hornet’s striker’s afternoon had become all the more miserable when Cech saved his second half penalty with the score then at 2-0. The Gunners rallied and should have won by a greater margin, but following their 2-0 Europa League win over AC Milan in the San Siro, this represented the perfect build up to Thursday’s return clash at the Emirates against the Rosseneri.

AC Milan shattered by Arsenal in San Siro stunner

AC Milan 0 Arsenal 2
Mkhitaryan 15, Ramsey 45+4

Not many would have predicted the outcome of Arsenal’s Europa League last 16 first leg clash at the San Siro. Coming into the tie, four consecutive defeats on the bounce, poor form and rumours of dressing room splits had not contributed to the best preparation at the home of one of the European football’s giants. However from somewhere, the Gunners began to fire and fired themselves into a two goal first half lead. Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first Arsenal goal, initially winning back possession before smartly finishing off from Mesut Özil’s pass, and with a deflection off Milan skipper Leonardo Bonucci. In first half stoppage time, the German was at it again, this time finding Aaron Ramsey following some pacy play out from Danny Welbeck.

Thierry Henry in frame as tame Gunners surrender on South coast

Brighton 2 Arsenal 1
Dunk 7, Murray 26, Aubameyang 53

The count of consecutive losses now numbers four games and judging from another abject performance, there appears little in the way of Arsenal being capable of arresting that appalling form. Lewis Dunk has an unfortunate knack of scoring own goals, but he chose Brighton’s game against the Gunners to finish off at the right end after Petr Cech failed to deal with a corner. Glenn Murray scored in his side’s second after Lauren Koscielny gave away possession, heading past Cech who was at error again. Under the cosh for most of the half, Arsenal grabbed a lifeline on the south coast, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slotted in from Granit Xhaka’s pass. Before the break, Arsenal could have been level, but Koscielny saw his header hit the post. The Gunners search for a leveller would prove to be ill founded, despite Mesut Özil seeing his shot well saved at the near post. Further pressure now mounts on the shoulders of Arsene Wenger, who not only seems to be unable to get an effective game plan going, but crucially, appears to have hit a brick wall with his players.

Déjà Vu, as City inflict more pain on Arsenal

Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3
Bernardo Silva 15, David Silva 28, Sané 33

We could have all just stayed at home and given Manchester City the points. Judging by the empty seats at the Emirates, thousands had concluded just as much. On the pitch, and Arsenal merely opened the door and allowed City to walk all over them. When a chink of second half light appeared and Arsenal were awarded a penalty, with the game already 3-0 to the visitors at that time and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang couldn’t get beyond Ederson. The Brazilian keeper comfortably saving. Bernard Silva had given City a stunning opener, David Silva did likewise and when Leroy Sane capped off a swift passing move (yes the kind the Gunners once inflicted on their prey) the match was well and truly over. No leadership, no heart, no idea. The Gunners were firing blanks at City who had turned up with missiles. Arsene Wenger watched on, forlorn and employing methods beyond their sell by date. Pep Guradiola symbolises how the game has sprinted on as Arsenal continue in the slow lane. Following Sunday’s Carabao Cup mauling at the hands of City, Wenger felt his side would always be up against it.

Poor Gunners blown away by City

Carabao Cup final
Arsenal 0 Mancester City 3
Aguero 18, Kompany 58, Silva 65

If you continue to play like that, you’ll always get turned over. No leadership, no plan and having gone a goal down to Sergio Aguero, no back up plan as Arsenal capitulated in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley. A push in the back of his marker Shkodran Musrafi wasn’t seen, and in any case, why was the German in front of Aguero in the first place ? City didn’t need any help, but got more of the same when Vincent Kompany slotted home, the goal stood despite Leroy Sane in the line of view of David Ospina. No excuses for City’s third, David Silva rammed home from a sharp angle to complete the misery and inflict the Gunners worse ever cup final result.

Arsenal limp past Ostersunds to Wenger’s frustration

Arsenal 1 Osterusunds FK 2
Kolasinac 47, Aiesh 22, Sema 23
Arsenal 4-2 agg

Arsenal stuttered and staggered into the Europa League last 16 with a nondescript and unimaginative performance against Ostersunds at the Emirates stadium. 3-0 up from the first leg in Sweden, the Gunners were stung into a two goal first half deficit mid way through the first half, and in real danger of elimination. Only Sead Kolasinac’s early second half reply eased the fears after the Gunners had been two goals down. Calum Chambers appeared to have the last touch on Hosam Aiesh’s effort and seconds later Ken Sema powered past Hector Bellerin to fire low past David Ospina. Shocked and in disbelief the Emirates faithful looked to be witnessing a new low for Arsene Wenger’s men and boos rang out at both half time and at the end of the match. Wenger has to get his side back up for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and said the showpiece Wembley final coupled with the first leg lead may have been a factor in Arsenal’s poor showin

Arsenal make Europa League progression at Ostersunds

Ostersunds FK 0 Arsenal 3
Monreal 13, Papagiannopoulos og 24, Özil 58

Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 Europa League last 32 win at Ostersun. Playing on an artificial pitch and in temperatures well below freezing, the Gunners scored twice early on through Nacho Monreal after keeper Aly Keita had fumbled Alex Iwobi’s cross, and then an own goal from central defender Sotirios Papagiannopoulos as he attempted to deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross. Having made the poorest of starts, the Swedish side began to play, but were unable to trouble David Ospina. The Colombian however was called on to make a late penalty save from Tom Pettersson. By then, Mesut Ozil had added a third Arsenal goal which in effect means that Arsenal have ‘progressed’to the last 16, but they will still want a strong outing when the return leg comes around at the Emirates on 22nd February.

Wenger laments Arsenal North London derby loss to Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 0
Kane 49

The very least you expect from your team in a derby is that they turn up and fight. In a North London derby? Well it’s par for the course to stand your ground, but should you fall short, you know that you gave it everything and went down fighting. Unfortunately Arsenal did neither. Tottenham Hotspur turned on the power and the pace, and having held them to 0-0 at the break, Harry Kane rose above Laurent Koscielny to head past Petr Cech from Ben Davies’ cross. Kane and Spurs could have been out of sight but for some good saves from Cech. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henri Mkhitaryan, so lethal against Everton, failed to have any impact on proceedings with the Armenian making way for Alexandre Lacazette on 65 minutes. Finally Arsenal threatened Hugo Lloris’s goal with Lacazette blazing one over and moments later when he did beat Lloris, he saw his effort go agonisingly past the upright. It would have been a late twist to the tale, but that didn’t happen as Spurs inflicted a 1-0 Wembley loss on the Gunners.

Ramsey treble as Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan also shine in Everton rout

Arsenal 5 Everton 1
Ramsey 6, 19, 74 Koscielny 14, Aubameyang 37, Calvert-Lewin 64

If this was the future for Arsenal, then it looks to be in very good hands indeed. Home debuts for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and what followed was a total demolition of Everton with an inspired “old boy” Aaron Ramsey grabbing a memorable hat-trick. The goal of the game however was the cutest of finishes ever from Aubameyang which made it 4-0 at half time. Yes there was more than a hint of offside about it, but what a finish to get Arsenal’s record signing up and running for the Gunners. Ramsey opened the scoring, Koscielny doubled the lead with Ramsey’s second soon following. Aubameyang had earlier stumbled at pace but got his shot away only for Jordan Pickford to save with his legs, but this time his sublime finish from Mkhitaryan’s cross was pure magic. Dominic Calvert-Lewin came of for the returning Theo Walcott and he headed past Petr Cech before Ramsey smartly despatched Mkhitaryan’s cross for an Arsenal fifth and the match ball for the former Wales captain.