Category Archive: Match Reports

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.

Swans beat Gunners in Mkhitaryan first Arsenal outing

Swansea 3 Arsenal 1
Clucas 34, 86 J Ayew 61, Monreal 33

If Arsenal play again like this away from home, then sadly the result will be a sorry conclusion. That was the case at the Liberty Stadium, when having taken the lead through Nacho Monreal, the Gunners’s contrived to concede an immediate leveller as Sam Clucas struck, and then two goals of almost comical proportions doomed the Gunners. The season of giving was alive and well in Wales last night as firstly Petr Cech was left to attempt to clear a horrendous back pass from Shkodrn Mustafi, enabling Jordan Ayew to get a gift of a goal, and then Laurent Koscielny was beaten as Clucas stole in for his second of the night. The night started so well on a wet and wild Wales night when Mesut Özil picked out Nacho Monreal at the far post to half volley home. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a second half substitutes appearance replacing Alex Iwobi, but even his introduction wasn’t enough to save Arsenal’s embarrassment.

Arsenal see off Chelsea to reach League Cup final

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
Rudiger og 12 Xhaka 60, Hazard 7 (2-1 agg)

Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea in an exciting Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Emirates stadium. Eden Hazard ghosted his way in from Pedro’s assist to beat David Ospina after 7 minutes. The lead would last only five minutes however when Nacho Monreal headed towards goal, the ball then clipping Marcos Alonso and then Antonio Rudiger. Having been overrun for most of first half, the Gunners started to fire efficiently with a return of their passing game. Alexandre Laczette saw his cross reach Granit Xhaka who prodded past Willy Caballero for a 2-1 scoreline. Rejuvenated and in the mood, Arsenal grew as the visitors seemed to tire. Jack Wilshere drove from midified and Alex Iwobi when one on one with Caballero should have finished but the Blues keeper got down well to make the save. With more warrior like Gunners defending, Arsenal held on and will now face Manchester City at Wembley in the final.

Arsenal thrash Palace as post Alexis Gunners fire in style

Arsenal 4 Crystal Palace 1
Monreal 6, Iwobi 10, Koscielny 13, Lacazette 22, Milivojevic 78

Arsene Wenger asked for a response after the loss at the Vitality stadium last Sunday and his side waited all of 22 minutes to deliver one emphatically. By then, the Gunners were back and firing, with four unanswered goals and looking in ominous mood. Wenger had stated that should Alexis Sanchez’s controversial move to Manchester United not be finalised by Friday’s deadline, he would select the Chile striker for this game. Alexis remains an Arsenal player for now, but Wenger wisely omitted him and that seemed to liberate an Arsenal side who now played as a devastating team. Back from injury, Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal the lead on six minutes which Iwobi doubled four minutes later. Returning captain Laurent Koscielny struck three minutes after that and midway through the half, Alexandre Lacazette finished off the move of the game and an assist from Özil. Alexis who? Arsenal were in scintillating form as Crystal Palace looked out of their depth and bereft of ideas, although Luka Milivojevic grabbed one back for the South London side on 78 minutes, Arsenal were in truth home and hosed well before then. A couple of negatives in that Monreal seemed to pick up another knock and was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Petr Cech’s wait for his 200th Premier League clean sheet continues.

Arsenal lose at Bournemouth and prepare to lose Alexis

Bournemouth 2 Arsenal 1
Wilson 70, Ibe 74, Bellerin 52

Arsenal suffered their fifth away loss to give Bournemouth their first ever win over the the Gunners. Jack Wilshere was on loan at the Vitality stadium last season and that spell helped resurrect his overall game. Wilshere has been in dominant form of late, but not even his ability was able to thwart the Cherries. However it started off so well for Arsene Wenger’s men when Hector Bellerin struck with enough power from Alex Iwobi’s pass to beat Asmir Begovic. Unable to add to their opener, the hosts gathered a head of steam to score twice in four second half minutes. Callum Wilson prodded in past Petr Cech and then set up Jordon Ibe for his first Bournemouth goal. The Gunners were now lacking creativity and any semblance of an attack. Danny Welbeck almost punished a defensive mix up, but Begovic saved. Earlier Ainley Maitland-Niles struck the bar, but Arsenal were unable to further trouble their hosts. Alexis Sanchez was left out, and was a massive miss. Wenger later denied that the Chile striker refused to play. A deal to facilitate his exit from Arsenal is imminent he confirmed and that spells for more desperate times ahead for the Gunners.

Arsenal and Chelsea play out Carabao Cup semifinal first leg stalemate

Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

For the third time this season, Arsenal and Chelsea played out a draw, and this one was the exact result replica from when the two sides met here in the Premier League. One week ago at the Emirates stadium, Arsenal and Chelsea produced an entertaining 2-2 draw and goals were certainly expected in this Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. Both David Ospina and Thibaut Courtois were hardly given a thorough examination on the night, although there were four calls for the VAR system, all of which were declined for respective penalty decisions. Chelsea were kept out by some excellent defence from the Gunners, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers in particular rising to the occasion. Cesc Fabregas had the Blues best chance of the first half, but headed at Ospina. The Columbian did well to deny Alvaro Morata , Andreas Christensen and Victor Moses, with Alexandre Lacaztte blazing over the bar when a composed finish was needed. Jack Wilshere was indomitable in midfield, given the captain’s armband for the night, his ankle injury was the last thing he needed. Mohamed Elneny replaced Wilshere on 57 minutes.

Forest fire Arsenal out of FA Cup

Nottingham Forest 4 Arsenal 2
Lichaj (20, 44 ), Brereton 64 pen, Dowell 85 pen, Mertersacker 23, Welbeck 79

Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup with a humbling 4-2 drubbing at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest. It was the first taste of defeat for Arsene Wenger in the 3rd round of the competition and despite his making nine changes, this was not the result he would have wanted in what may be his last taste of the FA Cup. With seven FA Cups under his belt, and three from the last four seasons, Wenger has certainly done well in the competition, but now with the Premier League surely out of the Gunners’ reach given Manchester City’s lead, it seems the focus will now very much switch to two trophies which have eluded Wenger namely the League Cup and the Europa Cup. Arsenal have been to the finals in both of those competitions, but having gone behind early against Forest, never looked like emulating their Wembley FA Cup success from last year.

Late Bellerin leveller caps a brilliant 2-2 with Chelsea

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2
Wilshere 64, Bellerin 90+2,Hazard pen 67, Alonso 84

Hector Bellerin grabbed a stunning late leveller to earn Arsenal a point in a thrilling London derby which lived up to all the hype with both sides genuinely going for the win. Eden Hazard’s controversial penalty after he was adjudged to have been caught by Bellerin saw Chelsea get back on level terms after Jack Wilshere had given Arsenal the lead with a stunning left foot drive. Having clawed their way back, the Blues then looked to have sealed the win when Marcos Alonso prodded in from close range. With six minutes remaining that seemed to be that. Arsenal however dug deep and from a central position, Bellerin latched onto Alonso’s poor clearance. The Spain defender combined the right amount of pace and precision to beat Thibaut Courtois in the second minute of time added on as the Arsenal players and fans celebrated as the away end suddenly fell silent.