Category Archive: Match Reports

Arsenal blown away by impressive Leicester

Leicester City 2 Arsenal 0
Vardy 68 Maddison 75

Arsenal were blown away by an impressive Leicester City side with two quality goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison, to go into the international break with a loss and a sad indictment of play for Unai Emery’s side. In the second year of a two year deal, Emery was brought in to succeed Arsene Wenger who enjoyed 22 years at N5, but the results by his successor suggest that there remains much work to be done. Fifty Arsenal games now under his belt and Emery’s numbers show no improvement on Wenger’s final fifty games. In truth, the Gunners had been drifting for a lot longer than that. The Foxes on the other hand won the Premier League three years ago with Arsenal the only side to beat them at home and away that year. This Arsenal side however are so far off the Premier League pace, one has to wonder what can be done to galvanise the likes of Pierre-Emercik Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil into action. The early phases of play at a rain sodden King Power stadium suggested that the Gunners three man defence – David Luiz, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers might have suited the visitors. Goalless at the break, Vardy fired in after some neat passing through a stationary Arsenal defence. Vardy then turned provider after another slick move that was once the Arsenal hallmark for Maddison to strike low past Bernd Leno.

Arsenal concede late leveller at Vitoria Guimaraes

Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Arsenal 1
Duarte da Silva 91, Mustafi 80

Arsenal took a late lead but conceded in time added on at Vitoria to draw 1-1 meaning that they gave up their winning run in the Europa League. Needing another win to secure qualification to the last 32, the Gunners failed to spark in atrocious conditions in Portugal despite taking the lead through Shkodran Mustafi’s header from Pepe’s free-kick. The hosts had been technically adroit and full on running in the reverse fixture at the Emirates a fortnight ago and looked to produce the same again. At home however they rallied having levelled and may have secured all three points were it not for poor finishing. Duarte da Silva’s scissors kicked past Emiliano Martinez from Marcus Edwards cross as a static Arsenal defence watched on punished the visitors. However the points were shared and the Gunners will now hope to cement their place in the next round when they host Eintracht Frankfurt later in the month.They may yet qualify earlier if Standard Liege lose to Frankfurt on Thursday.

Arsenal pegged back after taking the lead against Wolves

Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton Wanderes 1
Aubameyang 21 Jimenez 76

Arsenal were pegged back by a determined Wolverhampton Wanderers after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given the Gunnerrs a first half lead at the Emirates. The visitors had continuously tested the Arsenal resolve, with Bernd Leno having to make two crucial saves to keep his side in the match. Wolves however kept on probing, their leveller had been coming. Raul Jimenez out jumped Sokrtais and Calum Chambers to nod in Joao Moutinho’s hooked cross to make it 1-1. Although Arsenal had Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka amongst the striker force on the pitch at the final whistle, Wolves keeper Rui Patricio was rarely threatened, despite the efforts of Mesut Ozil who was cheered throughout the match on a rare start in the Premier League.

Arsenal bow out of Carabao Cup on penalties after ten goal thriller at Anfield

Liverpool 5 Arsenal 5
Mustafi (6, og), Milner (43, pen), Oxlade-Chamberlain (58,) Origi (62, 94) Torreira (19), Martinelli (26, 36), Maitland-Niles (54 ), Willock (70 )

Arsenal bowed out of the Carabao Cup after a ten goal thriller against Liverpool at Anfield. Joe Willock’s spectacular long range effort was on course to put the Gunners into the last eight of the competition until deep into time added on when Divock Origi’s scissors kick at the Kop, sent the game into extra time. The Reds had taken the lead after Shkodran Mustafi tried to clear the ball, only for it to go in past Emiliano Martinez. Both sides had a youthful look about them, while Mesut Ozil was given a rare start under Unai Emery. The German was coolness and calm personified in the Gunners’ midfield and had a hand in everything Arsenal created. His pass to Bukayo Saka enabled Lucas Torreira to slot in the leveller, and then the visitors took the lead from Gabriel Martinelli. The Argentine teenager struck high past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher on 26 minutes. Ten minutes later and Martinelli had his second after a swift move from the left to sweep in Saka’s cross. Hold onto the two goal lead before the break? Arsenal can’t seem to hold onto any lead. Although Harvey Elliot went down with minimal contact from Martinelli, James Milner struck homer the resultant penalty.

Arsenal squander two goal lead, then denied winner by VAR in draw with Palace

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 2
Sokratis 7, Luiz 9, Milivojevic 32, pen, J Ayew 52

Arsenal were controversially denied a late winner at the Emirates when Sokratis thought he had grabbed his second goal of the afternoon against Crystal Palace. The Gunners had fired themselves into the lead on seven minutes when their Greek central defender struck his effort into the net after Palace failed to clear a Nicolas Pepe corner. Two minutes later and the other centre back David Luiz followed up to double the Arsenal lead, again from another Pepe corner and all the indications were that the home side would go on to dominate their London rivals. Palace however had other ideas, but will give a massive thank you to VAR. Wilfried Zaha looked to have flung himself to the ground as Calum Chambers left out a clumsy leg. Referee Martin Atkinson booked the Palace winger, only for VAR to rule that it was a penalty and the yellow card should be rescinded. Luka Milivojevic sent Bernd Leno the wrong way from the penalty spot to halve Arsenal’s lead. Palace drew level in the second half when Jordan Ayew was allowed to head in from James McArthur’s cross. When Granit Xhaka was substituted for Bukayo Saka, cheers rang out in N5, the Arsenal captain reacted by waving his arms and cupping his ears to his supporters who had clearly not taken kindly to his slow departure from the pitch.

Pepe delivers two late stunning free-kicks as Arsenal beat Vitoria

Arsenal 3 Vitoria Guimaraes 0
(Martinelli 32), Pépé 80, 92) (Edwards 8, Duarte 36)

Nicolas Pepe came off the substitutes bench to deliver two stunning free kicks to score, for the win over Vitoria Guimaraes which keeps Arsenal on top of Group F. Trailing 2-1 after 75 minutes, Pepe replaced Alexandre Lacazette, and five minutes later, the Gunners were level. The Ivory Coast striker has taken his time to get to grips with the the English game, and had only netted once, from the penalty spot since his £72m summer arrival from Lille. That changed when he struck a sweet free kick to beat Miguel Silva from twenty yards. With time running out, the Gunners seemed to have rescued a point. Camden born, former Spurs player Marcus Edwards struck after eight minutes to give the visitors a shock opener. Vitoria were good value for their lead, their technical game and movement off the ball ensured that skipper for the night Hector Bellerin would have to get his players up for the fight.

Emery’s questionable tactics sees Gunners cut down by Blades

Sheffield United 1 Arsenal 0
Mousset 30

Unai Emery came to rue his team selection which saw Arsenal cut down by Sheffield United on Monday night in the Premier League. The only goal of the game came after the Gunners failed to clear a loose ball from a corner, enabling the unmarked Lys Mousset to tap in from six yards. The sight of fit again Kiran Tierney, Rob Holding and Alexander Lacazette all on the substitutes’ bench where they also found Dani Ceballos and Lucas Torreira proved to be a massive faux pas for Emery.If they were all fit, then why didn’t they start? Once again, an Arsenal team had the overwhelming share of possession, 68%, but once again they failed to make that count. In fact, Blades’ ‘keeper Dean Henderson had only to deal with a long range effort from Granit Xhaka, and that was it really. Nicolas Pepe horribly squandered a side footed effort after a slick passing move which should have seen the Gunners level. On his current form, and just a solitary penalty to his name so far this season, many Arsenal fans are wondering why he commanded a £70m fee. By the time Ceballos, Lacazette, and the talented Gabriel Martinelli all came on, United had gotten accustom to sitting deep and denying the visitors any end product to their creativity. Bukayo Saka was shown aa yellow card for diving, the decision seemed harsh as his marker definitely had an impact of the teenager’s tumble. Emery will be upset too of course. But when your team has had ample time to prepare after an international break for a tricky away day in the north, then surely his side has to be doing better than this.

Luiz opens his Arsenal account with the winner over Bournemouth

Arsenal 1 Bournemouth 0
Luiz 9

Arsenal moved back into the top four with a performance which was more workmanlike than spectacular, yet the only goal of the game saw David Luiz open his Gunners’ account with a first half header from Nicolas Pepe’s corner. That proved to be the only goal of the game and also the winner. That it was scored after nine minutes, and all the indications were that the Gunners – with Aubameyang, Pepe and teenager Bukayo Saka in attack would add to their opener. Faced with a resolute Bournemouth who dug deep, and that however didn’t happen. The Cherries responded well after the break and Callum Wilson should have drawn his side level after a strong run to skip around Bernd Leno. But his choice to cross rather than shoot enabled a shaky Arsenal rearguard to clear the danger and claim all three points.

Martinelli scores another double as Arsenal see off Standard Liege

Arsenal 4 Standard Liege 0
Martinelli (13, 16), Willock 22, Ceballos 57

Gabriel Martinelli is getting used to scoring at the Emirates. Having bagged a brace in in the Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest, the Brazil teenager get the Gunners off to a perfect start in their Europa League group F game with a powerful header past goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. On his second Arsenal outing, Kieran Tierney provided the assist. The former Celtic left back showed a strong game at both ends of the pitch and wreaked havoc on a night when Liege were chasing shows. Unai Emery made ten changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Shkodran Mustafi along with Tierney contented to another clean sheet in a game which Emilano Martinez had very little to do. There surely is a case for this Arsenal back line to start in the Premier League, or at least three from that four. Whisper is carefully, but Mustafi seems to have gotten over the flaws in his game which had many at the Emirates pulling their hair out.

Arsenal shine in five star performance to thrash Forest in Carabao Cup

Arsenal 5 Nottingham Forest 0
Martinelli 31, 92, Holding 71, Willock 77, Nelson 84

Five star Arsenal thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0 at the Emirates stadium to progress to the last 16 of the Carabao Cup. Goals from Rob Holding on his return, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and a double from Gabriel Martinelli, ensured that the Gunners went in the hat for the last sixteen. Not only that, but the clean sheet will have done wonders for the confidence of the Gunners defence who have been so hit and miss of late. None of that was evident here, as marshalled by Holding, debutant Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi impressively held firm against Forest who they last entertained twenty one years ago at Highbury. At the Emirates, Emiliano Martinez wasn’t called into action until the 70th minute when Albert Adomah threatened. Other than that, it was Arsenal who looked lively throughout. Watching on the sidelines alongside Unai Emery, his assistant and former Academy manager Freddie Ljunberg will have been happy to see graduates Willock and Nelson get on the scoresheet.