Lacazette and Koscielny score to beat Chelsea

Arsenal 2 Chelsea
Lacazette 14, Koscielny 39

Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscileny scored in a dominant Arsenal first half to beat Chelsea at the Emirates. The only surprise was that more goals weren’t added in a pulsating London derby. A dominant early exchange and Arsenal could have been four goals to the good had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from two chances he would normally have buried. The quick feet of Lacazette in the area however gave the Gunners the lead as he clipped over Kepa at his near post. Six minutes before the break and Koscielny rose unmarked to head in, the ball finally glancing off his shoulder as the Gunners doubled their lead. The win was tempered however with the sight of Hector Bellerin crumpling in a heap in what appeared to be an injury to his left knee. The Spain defender had to be stretchered off with Mohamed Elneny coming on as substitute in the 72nd minute. The Blues enjoyed long periods of possession, but it came to nothing as Arsenal held on for a massive three points and a confidence booster for the rest of the season.

Arsenal succumb to West Ham loss at the London stadium

West Ham United 1 Arsenal 0

D.Rice 48

Arsenal succumbed to their first loss to West Ham in 13 years when Declan Rice pounced to slot home from Samir Nasri’s assist at the London stadium. The Gunners started with some imaginative play and mounted several attacks on Lukasz Fabianski’s goal, with one shot from Alexandre Lacazette worthy of the game’s opener. Matteo Guendouzi too saw an effort lift just over Fabianski’s goal from 25 yards, but the visitors were unable to get their rewards. Mesut Ozil was once again missing. Having declared that training had gone well on social media, the German was not amongst the 18 man squad. How Arsenal could have done with his creativity when ideas and vision began to run down. West Ham took the lead three minutes after the re-start, when 19 year old Rice placed home from Nasri following Granit Xhaka’s weak header to clear from a corner. Buoyed by an expectant crowd and Felipe Anderson’s drive, West Ham easily went through the Gunners midfield. Unai Emery brought on Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira for Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi on the hour mark. Arsenal solidified marginally, but found their hosts and Rice in particular were having the game of their lives with some intelligent defensive cover. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had great chance to get his 15th Premier League goal of the season, but skied his effort when under pressure from a last ditch defensive tackle.

Willock at the double as Arsenal see off Blackpool to progress in the FA Cup

Blackpool 0 Arsenal 3

Willock 11,37 Iwobi 82

Joe Willock grabbed a first half double to help Arsenal progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. The 19 year old reacted first to head past Mark Howard after Aaron Ramsey saw his free kick come back off the goal frame. Comfortable in possession, the Gunners worked a free-flowing move involving Iwobi and Carl Jenkinson whose cross from the right evaded several Blackpool defenders, but Willock was at the far post to finish for the second goal. Ramsey was the orchestrator of the Arsenal attacks. Playing in a deeper role, Ramsey displayed all the brilliance of a player who the travelling Arsenal fans chanted “we want you to stay.” His earlier pass to find Eddie Nketiah was perfect, but the young Gunners forward could only find the side netting. Nketiah could and should have netted a first half treble, his next effort from Ainsley Maitland-Niles unselfish pass went wide of the target, and when one on one with Howard, Nketiah placed his shot which the Blackpool keeper held. Armand Gnanduillet gave Blackpool hope when he danced through the Arsenal defence, but Petr Cech made the save at his near post. Alexandre Lacazette came on for Nketiah after 64 minutes, and the France striker was instrumental in the move also involving Ramsey which saw Iwobi finish after substitute Blackpool keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi had saved Ramsey’s initial shot.

Arsenal bounce back from Anfield loss with Fulham thrashing

Arsenal 4 Fulham 1
Xhaka 26, Lacazette 55, Ramsey 79, Aubameyang 83, Kamara 69

Arsenal bounced back from their loss at Liverpool with a 4-1 thrashing of Fulham at the Emirates. Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were on target as the Gunners ran out for a comfortable win. There was a scare for the Gunners when Fulham saw Ryan Sessegnon squander two good chances to get the Cottagers off the mark. They did finally register when substitute Aboubakar Kamara tapped in to make it 2-1. But Arsenal just stepped up through the gears to finish strong with two further goals. Only some fine saves from Sergio Rico kept the Gunners scoring below four. Talentd 17 year old Bukayo Saka came off the bench to make his Premier League first team debut for the Gunners.

Arsenal thrashed at Anfield as rampant Liverpool provide Emery a reality check

Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1
Firmino 14,16,65 pen, Mane 32, Salah 47, Maitland-Niles 11

Arsenal received a 5-1 thrashing at Anfield as Liverpool provided a reality to check to Unai Emery’s side. That 22 game unbeaten run in all competitions under Emery seems to have masked over a number of personnel cracks, even if that results sequence involved draws against Liverpool at the Emirates and against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Liverpool are in menacing form, and their attack trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino who grabbed his first treble for the Reds showed their title intent to the rest of the Premier League of . The Gunners had an early chance when Alex Iwobi forced a fine save from Alisson. With their next move, Arsenal silenced Anfield by taking the lead. Ainsley Maitland-Niles slotted home after a testing cross from Iwobi. Not used to being behind, the Reds were level within three minutes through Firmino. Stephan Lichsteiner’s attempt to clear came off Shkodran Mustafi and Firmino tapped into the empty net. More defensive woe as the Brazilian slalomed past the Gunners ineffective backline to put Liverpool ahead. Mane increased the lead from Salah’s cross, while Salah himself struck from the penalty spot after he was caught by Sokratis in the box. Arsenal were all over the place defensively, and while matters marginally improved when they only conceded once more after the break when Firmino struck from the penalty spot following Sead Kolasinac’s push on Dejan Loveren, their luck couldn’t have gotten any worse as Aaron Ramsey couldn’t finish from Iwobi’s pass, while Alexandre Lacazette was denied a nailed on penalty when he was caught by Nathanial Clyne.

Aubameyang strikes again but Arsenal pegged back by Brighton

Brighton 1 Arsenal 1
Locadia 35, Aubameyang 7

Pierre-Emerick Aubamryang scored his fifteenth goal of the season as Arsenal looked set to grab a second festive fixtures win in succession. However they found themselves pegged back when Jurgen Locadia pounced to level for the home side ten minutes before the break. The Gunners could and should have been out of sight by then, with Aubameyang seeing two golden chances thwarted by Mat Ryan. The Australian back peddled to tip over the bar from the Gabon striker from Matteo Guendouzi’s pass. With his side still in the ascendency, Aubameyang was favourite to double their lead from Lucas Torreira’s through ball, only to see Ryan dive down to his right and make the save. Unai Emery made three changes from the side which beat a tenacious Burnley, and although the point here is more than Arsenal’s last visit to the south coast at Southampton, he will be frustrated having seen his side dominate without taking full advantage while defensively Arsenal seem to be unable to get any coherent strategy.

Aubameyang double inspires Arsenal win over Burnley

Arsenal 3 Burnley 1
Aubameyang 14, 48, Iwbobi 90 A. Barnes 63

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double either side of the of the break inspired Arsenal to get back to winning ways with a well earned win over Burnley at the Emirates. Aubameyang finished off a neat patient build up move for the opener, where Mesut Ozil’s pass out to the left for Sead Kolasinac to pull back for the assist was just brilliant. Ozil was named captain for the day, and his jinking run and blocked shot late on enabled substitute Alex Iwobi to pounce for Arsenal’s third goal. Aubameyang had already given the Gunners their and his second by that stage, another free flowing move involving Kolasinac from the left again, Alexandre Lacazette and finally Aubameyang to rifle in from ten yards to beat Joe Hart at his near post for his 12th goal of the season. Burnley had given the Gunners a few nervy moments following Ashley Barnes profiting from the Arsenal defence dithering when trying to clear their lines. That strike heartened the Clarets at 2-1, but Arsenal found the strength and the substance to finally overcome a dogged opponent. Aubameyang is now top of the goal scoring chart and more goals will surely follow in the Gabon strikers first full season in the Premier League.

Arsenal suffer Carabao Cup loss to Spurs

Arsenal 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Son 20 AllĂ­ 59

Arsenal suffered Carabao Cup elimination in their quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates after Son Heung-Min and Dele All struck in either half to ensure the visitors were in the hat for the semi-final. In the draw after the game, Spurs were paired with Chelsea while Carabao Cup holders Manchester City will face Burton Albion in the other semi-final.

Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run comes to an end at Southampton

Southampton 3 Arsenal 2
Ings 20, 44, Austin 85 Mkhitaryan 28, 53

Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run in all competitions came to a sudden end at Southampton where Unai Emery’s side were beaten 3-2. The Saints new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s winning home start was a combination of his new methods of high energy, high pressing and closing down when out of possession. Arsenal never really got going on a heavy pitch and under constant rainfall. It was similar to the Gunners encounter with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park where they couldn’t hold out for the win and allowed Palace to grab a point. Here they were much more “generous,” with Bernd Leno coming out to a Shane Long cross which he didn’t need to. Charlie Austin had the simple task of heading in the winner on 85 minutes. Danny Ings had twice given the Saints the lead with two headers, and twice Arsenal responded through Henrikh Mkhitaryan to level. When Emery brought on Meust Ozil for the last 20 minutes to replace Alex Iwobi, it was a bold move. Emery has stated that some games aren’t right for Ozil and has therefore has omitted the German as he did in the win at Bournemouth. Returning from a back injury, perhaps brining Ozil on here wasn’t the best thing to have done and especially when Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny would have given more bite to the Gunners’ rearguard. All flicks and tricks, it’s great when Ozil gets going but you will raraely see a defensive shift from the talismanic German. His misguided trick deep in the away half was pounced on by the Saints defence to counter and launch the move which led to Austin’s winner.

Arsenal secure Europa League group with win over Qarabag

Arsenal 1 FK Qarabag 0
Lacazette 16

Arsenal finished their Europa League group phase with a routine 1-0 win over FK Qarabag at the Emirates stadium. Alexandre Lacazette latched onto Mesut Ozil’s pass after the Gunners re-gained possession deep in the opponents half to strike hard and low past Vagner for the only goal of the game. Unai Emery made nine changes to the starting eleven with the youthful energy of 17 year old Bukayo Saka in particular proving that the Arsenal academy system is doing some great work. Joe Willock shone in midfield, as did Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. After a five match absence due to a back spasm, Mesut Ozil returned as did Laurent Koscienly for his first start since rupturing his Achilles in last season’s Europa League semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid last May. Mohammed Elneny and Carl Jenskinson provided some experience as did Sokratis who will miss Sunday’s trip to Southampton due to suspension.