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Arsenal 2 Olympiakos 3 – Quick Reviews Part 11

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Arsenal 2 (Walcott 35, Sanchez 65) – Olympiakos 3 (Pardo 32, Ospina (O.G) 40, Finnbogason 66)

Man of the Match – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Arsenal crashed to a second successive shock defeat in the Champions League Group Stages, this time to Greek champions, Olympiakos. Having already lost at Dinamo Zagreb, the Gunners knew nothing less than a win would do, considering they have ties with German giants Bayern Munich coming up. To qualify, Arsenal will now have to repeat the feat of Galatasaray in 2012-2013, who qualified, having lost their first two group games.

David Ospina was again preferred in goal, with the manager citing an injury problem to Petr Cech as the reason for selecting the Colombian. Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey, too were named on the bench, with Gabriel Paulista, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain getting respective nods.

The opening half hour of the game was a cagey affair between both sides, neither able to take the mantle. But, in the 32nd minute, the floodgates opened. After a defensive mixup between Gabriel and Koscielny, the ball was played towards the edge of the box, where Pardot hooked the ball towards goal. It deflected off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, into the net. Arsenal, however were level, less than 2 minutes later, when Alexis played in Walcott. The England striker created a bit of space, and glided the ball past Roberto, the Olympiakos keeper.

5 minutes later, the visitors were in the lead again, thanks to some calamitous goalkeeping from David Ospina. From the corner, he caught the ball, and managed to drop it behind the line. Arsenal now faced an uphill task in the second half, not helped by the fact that Olympiakos dug deep to defend, and an injury to Laurent Koscielny, who was replaced by Per Mertesacker. Arsenal got reward for the persistence in the 65th minute, when Alexis headed home from a Walcott cross to level matters.

Arsenal managed to self-destruct seconds later, as Iceland international Alfred Finnbogason scored the easiest goal one could score, to seal Olympiakos’ first win on English soil.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 25, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Leicester City 2 Arsenal 5 – Quick Reviews Part 10

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Leicester City (Vardy 13, 89) – Arsenal 5 (Walcott 18, Sanchez 33, 57, 81, Giroud 93)

Man of the Match – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Alexis Sanchez looked like Alexis Sanchez again, as Arsenal powered home to a brilliant 5-2 win at the King Power Stadium, against Leicester City. With the season so far being nothing more than mediocre, Arsenal’s glut of goals could revive their season. The Gunners looked fluent, creative and played their trademark style of football. Leicester are no easy opposition, mind you, and the Gunners had to dig in after going a goal down.

Per Mertesacker took his place along side Laurent Koscielny, while midweek hero Mathieu Flamini started in place of the injured Francis Coquelin. Flamini, himself had to be replaced, on 21 minutes, due to an injury, by Mikel Arteta. England international Jamie Vardy put the home side into the lead, with a fine finish from a tight angle, in only the 13th minute. Theo Walcott equalized 5 minutes later, as he caught Leicester with his pace.

Arsenal were in the lead, 15 minutes later, when Sanchez scored his first goal of the season, poaching home from a Bellerin cross. He scored his second, 12 minutes after the restart, a close range header bobbling in after an Ozil assist. He sealed the game in the 81st minute, with a low, powerful drive past Kasper Schmeichel. Jamie Vardy would score again, 8 minutes later. The game was sealed with a fine Olivier Giroud finish in extra time.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 2 – Quick Reviews Part 9

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Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Chambers (O.G) 56) – Arsenal 2 (Flamini 26, 78)

Man of the Match – Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal)

There was finally some cheer in the Arsenal ranks, after the Gunners knocked out Sp*rs from the League Cup. Yes, it had to be them again, didn’t it! Having lost to Dinamo Zagreb 2-1, and a controversial 2-0 loss at Chelsea, Arsenal really needed this respite.

The changes were rung in, with 10 changes being made to the side that started at Stamford Bridge. David Ospina came in between the sticks, while Callum Chambers partnered fit-again Per Mertesacker. Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs were the full-backs. Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta started alongside Aaron Ramsey, Joel Campbell and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Olivier Giroud ploughed up front.

It was the most unlikeliest of sources to give Arsenal the lead. Dutch international Michel Vorm could only parry an effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the area, and Mathieu Flamini was the quickest to react, punting the ball home. Left-back Danny Rose saw his penalty appeal being rejected, before Tottenham equalized from a Nacer Chadli shot, which deflected in through Callum Chambers.

However, the match-winning moment came 22 minutes later, when Mathieu Flamini superby volleyed home a flat shot, to seal Arsenal’s place in the next round, a trip to Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0 – Quick Reviews Part 8

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Chelsea 2 (Zouma 53, Chambers (O.G) 90) – Arsenal 0

Man of the Match – Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

Arsenal’s harrowing week continued, as they crashed to a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, in controversial circumstances. Petr Cech returned to his old stomping ground, while Bellerin, Monreal and Walcott all started. John Terry started from the bench, and Kurt Zouma was named in his place.

Much of the pre-match talk surrounded the frosty relationship between the managers, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. With no handshake offered or taken between the two, at the Community Shield game, Mourinho ensured there was one this time round, albeit any warmth in it. He stood at the players entrance, waiting for Wenger, and offered his hand, so Wenger wouldn’t miss. The Arsenal manager shook back, but didn’t bother looking at the Chelsea manager.

It was only a prequel to what would turn out to be a fiery contest between London’s premier clubs. The first half of the match was a contest of two midfields, trying to outdo each other, and it burst open right towards the end. Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who had been kept under hooks by Laurent Koscielny, so far, vented his anger by hauling Koscielny to the ground, having already put his hand into the Frenchman’s face moments earlier, when contesting a ball. Gabriel Paulista came to help his teammate, and confronted Costa, only to spark some shoves and pushes. Both men, who have had a spat in the past, whilst playing for Villarreal and Atletico Madrid respectively, were shown yellows. Costa continued to rile Gabriel, which ended in the Brazilian kicking out at Costa. Close television footage showed Gabriel didn’t even touch Costa. Mike Dean decided to send off Gabriel, a victory for Costa. The Brazilian born Spanish striker left the field eventually in the 82nd minute, with only a yellow card, despite another off-the-ball incident with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, late on.

10 man Chelsea took the lead, in only the 53rd minute, when Zouma headed in a Fabregas free-kick. From there on, it was smooth sailing for the blues. In the 79th minute, Arsenal were reduced to 9 men, when Cazorla received a second yellow for a foul on Fabregas. Arsenal’s miserable afternoon was compounded when a shot from Eden Hazard bobbled into the net, off Callum Chambers.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Dinamo Zagreb 2 Arsenal 1 – Quick Reviews Part 7

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Dinamo Zagreb 2 (Pivaric 24, Fernandes 58) – Arsenal 1 (Walcott 79)

Man of the Match – Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb)

Arsenal’s Champions League season got off to the worst possible start, as they slipped to an uninspiring 2-1 loss to Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Arsene Wenger made several changes to the squad, with David Ospina coming in for Petr Cech, Kieran Gibbs in place of Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Debuchy in place of Hector Bellerin, Mikel Arteta instead of Francis Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in place of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud took the place of Theo Walcott.

Giroud struggled to have any sort of impact and criticism of him not being clinical enough, resurfaced. His free header was palmed away by Dinamo keeper Eduardo. His next effort struck the post, but he failed to convert the rebound. He was then yellow carded for showing dissent. Dinamo got a lucky lead, when a shot by Croatian international Josip Pivaric was saved by Ospina, but it struck Chamberlain and went into the back of the net. Cruel.

Dinamo were happy to soak up pressure from Arsenal, who were struggling to make inroads of any sort, into a team, that was on the back of a 42 game unbeaten streak. In the 39th minute, Giroud was sent off with a second yellow card, for a silly foul on Ivo Pinto. Arsenal had to play 51 minutes of normal time with 10 men on the pitch. In the 58th minute, Junior Fernandes headed in Dinamo’s second goal.

Substitute Theo Walcott, who had scored a hattrick for England on this very ground, scored in the 79th minute, with a fine finish, but Dinamo held on to register their first win against English opposition.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Arsenal 2 Stoke City 0 – Quick Reviews Part 6

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Arsenal 2 (Walcott 31, Giroud 85) – Stoke City 0

Man of the Match – Jack Butland (Stoke City)

After a loss to West Ham on the opening day, and a goalless stalemate against Liverpool, Arsenal returned back to winning ways at the Emirates Stadium, with a hard fought 2-0 win over new-look Stoke City. Gabriel Paulista started in the centre of defence, alongside Laurent Koscielny, with Theo Walcott keeping his place in the starting line up.

Stoke City have considerably improved their rugby team, by actually adding some footballers over the transfer window. Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri joined from Inter Milan for £12 million, while they also managed to snap up Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay from Barcelona on a free transfer. Other captures include former Real Madrid forward Joselu from Hannover 96, Shay Given from Aston Villa, Glen Johnson from Liverpool and Phillip Wolscheid from Bayer Leverkusen. From the above, only Shaqiri and Joselu would start this game.

Walcott had two opportunities to score early on, the first of which he skewed wide, and the second was a weak effort, which England keeper Jack Butland easily collected. Arsenal took the lead in the 31st minute, when Theo Walcott latched on to a long ball from Mesut Ozil, to dispatch it behind Butland. Butland kept Arsenal at bay for most of the afternoon, making 10 solid saves, and it only took a 85th minute header from Olivier Giroud, for Arsenal to seal 3 vital points.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 

Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1 – Quick Reviews Part 5

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Newcastle United 0 – 1 Arsenal (Collocini (O.G) 52)

Man of the Match – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)

Arsenal slaved to a 1-0 win at St. James Park, against 10 man Newcastle United. Arsenal have now scored 3 goals in 4 league games, including blanks against West Ham United and Liverpool. While the win was much needed, the manner in which it came, was definitely laborious. St. James Park has been a happy hunting ground, with the last loss coming in 2005, when the Gunners fell to a Nolberto Solano goal.

Newcastle were a player down, when Serbian striker Aleksandr Mitrovic was sent off, after only 16 minutes for a rash tackle on Francis Coquelin. Arsenal had lions share of the possession, with 74%, but failed to break down Newcastle, and struggled to create opportunities of real danger. Theo Walcott was presented with a chance, but he could only shoot it over the crossbar.

Arsenal required an angled drive from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain in the 52nd minute to deflect off Argentine international and Newcastle captain Fabricio Collocini’s legs to beat Dutchman Tim Krul, on an unconvincing afternoon of football.

Arsenal next face Stoke at home, before travelling to Zagreb, to kickstart their Champions League campaign.

Jai Arsenal :)

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in 2015-2016, Match Reviews

 
 
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