Category Archive: Match Reports

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.

Arsenal reduced to ten men, then come back from going behind to beat Villa

Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2
Pepe, 59, pen, Chambers 81, Aubameyang 84, McGinn 20, Wesley 50

Arsenal were reduced to ten men when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card for a tackle on Neil Taylor. Aston Villa were leading 1-0 at the time when John McGinn ghosted in past a static Arsenal defence to strike the game’s opener. Villa were worthy of their lead and had chances to extend it, but Bernd Leno and some shaky Gunners’ defending held. Matteo Guendouzi was impeded in the area for Arsenal to get the chance to draw level, and one which record summer signing Nicolas Pepe stepped to to take ,beating Tom Heaton from the penalty spot. Less than two minutes elapsed from the score being level however when Wesley profited from Jack Grealish’s run to put the West Midlanders back in the lead. Arsenal then laid siege to the Villa goal, Guendouzi cracked the post and the Gunners pressure yielded reward when Calum Chambers cleverly chipped Heaton to restore parity on 81 minutes. Arsenal then took the lead for the first time when Aubameyang stepped up to despatch a free-kick past the static Heaton. Villa had late claims for a penalty when the ball brushed Sokratis’ s arm, but play was waived on, and Arsenal clung on for a win that lifts them to fourth spot in the Premier League table.Bukayo Saka was given his first Premier League start on the back of good performance and goal in the Europa League game at Eintracht Frankfurt last Thursday.

Arsenal begin Europa League campaign with win at Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt 0 Arsenal 3
Willock 35, Saka 85, Aubameyang 87

Arsenal began their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt with goals from Academy graduates, Joe Willock, Bukaya Sako and leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The hosts were reduced to ten men after 79 minutes when Dominik Kohr picked up a second yellow card for a cynical foul. The Bundesliga side were in the game up until that point when the score was 1-0 to the visitors. Emiliano Martinez made some telling saves in from of another shaky Gunners’ defence, which enabled Willock’s opener to be the platform from which to build on. 18 year old Sako was enjoying the freedom of a large pitch, however his final ball and shot selection pointed to a frustrating night for him. That changed in the 85th minute when Saka let fly from yards to beat Trapp. The youngster wasn’t finished there either. Two minutes later he won possession and cut in a ball as the on side Aubameyang finished off then move with strong low shot.

Arsenal squander two goal lead to then cling on at Watford

Watford 2 Arsenal 2
Cleverley 53, Pereyra, pen, 81 Aubameyang 21, 32

Arsenal squandered a two goal lead at Vicarage Road to allow Watford to claim a point when it could have been more. The Gunners were clinging on at the end as the inspired Hornets who having gone down 2-0 in the first half, came with wave after wave of attack against a seemingly startled visitors. It could and should have been much for the Unai Emery’s men who saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pounce twice just past the half hour mark. More Arsenal goals seemed inevitable, but newly arrived Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores sent his men out for the second half with a message to win the second period. However, Arsenal had a massive hand in allowing their hosts back in the game. Emery’s reliance of his players playing out from the back would cost the Gunners dear. It almost happened in the first half when with his back to the onrushing attackers, Matteo Guendouzi was mobbed, but the ball was recovered. No such luck when Sokratis tried to find the young France midfielder from his own area, only for Tom Cleverley to slot past Bern Leno. David Luiz then conceded a penalty as Roberto Pereyra raced through, and made no mistake from the spot. Arsenal were out on their legs, and out of ideas. Abdoulaye Doucoure saw his burst and late effort denied by Leno, while at the other end, Ben Foster was a virtual spectator. Emery has to accept that he doesn’t have the manpower capable of playing out from the back, anything other the that and the Spain coach could find it a very difficult season in N5.

Arsenal recover from two down to salvage a point in North London derby

Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Lacazette 46, Aubameyang 73, Eriksen 10, Kane, pen 40

Arsenal fought back from a two goal deficit to grab a point at the Emirates stadium in the first North London derby of the season. Arsenal had seen summer signing Nicolas Pepe go close, but with their first attack, the visitors took the lead. Christian Eriksen was on hand to tap in after Bernd Leno spilt the ball from Erik Lamella’s shot and then Granit Xhaka’s moment of madness gave Spurs a penalty when the Swiss midfielder needlessly hacked down Son Heung-min for Harry Kane to slot home. On the stroke of half time, Alexandre Lacazette fired in at Hugo Lloris’s near post. The Gunners then lay total siege to the Spurs half after the break and got their reward when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poked in from Matteo Gunedouzi’s through ball to level 2-2. Sokratis thought he had won it for the Gunners, but looked on as he was judged to be offside when beating Lloris.

Arsenal suffer loss at Liverpool

Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1
Matip 41, Salah 49, pen 58 Torreira 85

Liverpool handed Arsenal a reality check with with a 3-1 win at Anfield. The Gunners had started the Premier League season with two wins out of two, as had their hosts, but the gulf in class of personnel between the two sides ensured that Mohamed Salah’s brace and Joel Matip’s headed opener just before the break would mean that the Reds maintained their 100 per cent winning record. Arsenal did get on the score-sheet late on in the second half when substitute Lucas Torreira beat Adrian from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s assist.

Ceballos shines as Arsenal beat Burnley

Arsenal 2 Burnley 1
Lacazette 13, Aubameyang 64, Barnes 43

Arsenal secured their second Premier League win in as many games with a classy but testing encounter against Burnley at the Emirates. Alexandre Lacazette swept Arsenal into the lead after he held off the attentions of two markers before nutmegging Nick Pope. Enjoying the lion’s share of possession Arsenal couldn’t add to their tally with Pope denying Matteo Guendouzi after a neat move involving debutant Dani Ceballos. The on loan Real Madrid midfielder enjoyed a memorable debut for the Gunners, and the question as to why Unai Emery readily dispensed with the services of Aaron Ramsey has found an answer in parts. The trick will be to keep him at Arsenal, while onlookers in the Spainish capital will have other ideas. For the season at least however he is a Gunner and the N5 faithful rose to acclaim a new hero following his industrious display and late second half substitution for Lucas Torreira. When Ashley Barnes levelled just before the break, the Gunners had a fight on their hands. Pope continued to frustrate the Arsenal front line, but could do nothing to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s low shot after Ceballos won back possession high up the pitch. The Gabon striker’s second goal of the season proved to be the winner for a stylish Arsenal who also gave David Luiz and substitute Nicolas Pepe their home debuts.