Now that we have had a look at Arsenal’s 10 best games of the season, here’s a look at the worst!
10. Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal, Premier League, Etihad Stadium, 14th December 2013
(Manchester City – Aguero 14, Negredo 39, Fernandinho 50, Silva 66, Fernandinho 88, Toure 95 (pen); Arsenal – Walcott 31, 63, Mertesacker 92)
Manchester City continued their incredible home form by trouncing Arsenal 6-3 in a goal fest at the Etihad. Theo Walcott made a return to the starting lineup for Arsenal, but it was Sergio Aguero opening the scoring with an acrobatic effort off a corner. Theo Walcott equalized on 31 minutes, with a simple finish past Romanian Pantilimon, before Negredo tapped home City’s second from close range, just before half time. A loss of possession resulted in Brazilian Fernandinho curling the ball past Szcsesny, before Walcott scored a beautiful second to reduce the deficit to 3-2. 3 minutes later, David Silva made it 4-2 after a well worked move. From there on Arsenal looked tired and sluggish in midfield, losing the ball far too often. Fernandinho scored again to make it 5-2 in the 88th minute. Mertesacker’s goal in the 92nd minute seemed like consolation, but Yaya Toure added the cherry on top of City’s cake, scoring a penalty in the 95th minute. The match culminated in a spat between compatriots Mertesacker and Ozil.
9. Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal, Premier League, Old Trafford, 10th November 2013
(Manchester United – van Cunty 26)
Arsenal emerged as the losing side in a rather closely contested game between two sided matching in quality, in an intense encounter at Old Trafford. The difference turned out to be a fine header by Robin van Cunty, and his celebration thereafter did create a furor among the Arsenal faithful. To add to that, it was another accomplished performance from Wayne Rooney, so often the thorn in Arsenal’s side. The Gunners enjoyed pockets of fine passing, yet failed to breakdown a stringent United side. Giroud, Ozil, Bendtner all missed some good opportunities to score, as the Red Devils closed the gap between the two sides on the league table.
8. Napoli 2-0 Arsenal, Champions League Group Stages, Stadio Sao Paolo, 11th December 2013
(Napoli – Higuain 73, Callejon 92)
In a dour match, Napoli defeated Arsenal 2-0, yet failed to qualify to the knockout stages of the Champions League, with Arsenal just about catching the last boat, after Dortmund beat Marseille 2-1 in France. Both sides were locked in an intense physical, midfield-oriented and scrappy football battle, which was interrupted far too often by the referee’s whistle. Gonzalo Higuain, who chose Napoli over Arsenal in the summer, put the home side ahead in the 73rd minute, with a fine left footed shot. The Italian side looked content with the result, as Dortmund were unable to find a winning goal in France. As news poured in of a Dortmund goal, there was a barrage of attacks, with another Real Madrid import Jose Callejon scoring in the 92nd minute. But, it was a case of too little too late, as Arsenal made it through to the next round. Just about.
7. Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund, Champions League Group Stages, Emirates Stadium, 22nd October 2013
(Arsenal – Giroud 41; Borussia Dortmund – Mikhitarayan 16, Lewandowski 83)
Arsenal’s fine unbeaten streak of 12 matches came to an abrupt end as Borussia Dortmund produced the perfect away European performance to take home 3 points. Dortmund’s first goal came on 16 minutes, when the in-form Aaron Ramsey misplaced his pass, only for Armenia international Henrikh Mikhitarayan to score the opening goal. Mesut Ozil was given a hard time by his former rivals, as Dortmund efficiently marshalled the midfield. However, a misunderstanding between goalkeeper Weidenfeller and Subotic resulted in Giroud capitalizing and scoring the equalizer for Arsenal. The Gunners looked industrious in the second half, creating more opportunities, but the lethal Pole Robert Lewandowski struck the winner with 7 minutes of normal time to play.
6. Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 17th August 2013
(Arsenal – Giroud 6; Aston Villa – Benteke 22, 61 (pen), Luna 85)
Arsenal got off to the worst possible start in the new Premier League season, losing at home to an average Aston Villa side. Despite a bunch of debutantes, Aston Villa were made to look like a superior side on an error-strewn afternoon. However, it was the Gunners who had the better start, Olivier Giroud tapping home the opener past Brad Guzan in just the 6th minute. A physical battle ensued, as both sides looked to play ugly. Agbonlahor and Benteke were causing many problems for Arsenal’s defensive pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny, and the Villains equalized on 22 minutes, when Agbonlahor was bought down by Szczesny. Benteke missed, but scored off the rebound. Both sides had some opportunities, clear and tough to take the lead, but no one did till Villa in the 61st minute. Koscielny was harshly adjudged to have bought down Agbonlahor, and this time Benteke made no mistake in dispatching the penalty. Minutes later, matters became worse as Koscielny was sent off, and Antonio Luna made it 3-1 to the visitors, as Arsenal poured men forward in search of an equalizer.
5. Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal, Premier League, Brittania Stadium, 1st March 2014
(Stoke – Walters 76 (pen))
Arsenal’s title challenge looked to be slowly fading away as they slipped up at Stoke. In a dull afternoon of football, barely any chances were created. The Gunners looked insipid and Stoke were happy keeping Arsenal at bay. The decisive moment came when Laurent Koscielny was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area as he went for a challenge with Jonathan Walters. Walters scored the ensuing penalty ensuring Arsenal’s drop to 3rd position.
4. Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich, Champions League Round of 16 First Leg, Emirates Stadium, 19th February 2014
(Bayern – Kroos 54, Mueller 88)
Arsenal were again undone by a red card on the European stage as they slumped to a home defeat to Bayern Munich for the second season running. Despite Arsenal’s faltering domestic form, optimism was still high ahead of the Champions League clash with mighty Bayern. The shocking news was a start handed out to rookie striker Yaya Sanogo, preferred to Olivier Giroud. Both sides started the match at a quick pace, and Arsenal forced two saves from Manuel Neuer off Sanogo and Chamberlain, who was causing Austrian left back David Alaba plenty of problems. The big chance of the match fell to Mesut Ozil on 14 minutes, when he beat Jerome Boateng in the penalty box, and his compatriot bought him down with a trailing leg. However, Ozil’s weak penalty was saved easily by Neuer. Arsenal lost their direction after the miss, as Bayern started rolling the ball around. The Gunners suffered a setback when Kieran Gibbs had to be taken off due to a hamstring injury. But, 6 minutes later disaster struck, as Szczesny was sent off for colliding with the onrushing Arjen Robben in the 37th minute. Robben made the most of it, but Bayern missed the penalty as Alaba screwed it wide. The Gunners stood no chance in the second half as Bayern drew their tanks closer. Toni Kroos scored a beauty in the 54th minute, leaving Fabianski with no chance. Arsene Wenger would have been happy with a 1-0 loss, but Laurent Koscielny went too far ahead late on in the game, allowing Mueller space to convert the second goal for the visitors.
3. Everton 3-0 Arsenal, Premier League, Goodison Park, 6th April 2014
(Everton – Naismith 14, Lukaku 34, Arteta (O.G) 61)
Everton stepped up their pursuit of 4th place, with a thumping win over a subdued Arsenal. Steven Naismith scored the opening goal after Lukaku’s initial shot was saved and the Belgian striker made it 2-0, 20 minutes later, after he heaved his way through Arsenal’s leaky defence. The afternoon was made more miserable as former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta scored an own goal on his return to his old stomping ground, when he was pressurized by Kevin Mirallas. This win put Everton just one point behind Arsenal, with a game in hand, and 5 games left for the Gunners to play in the season.
2. Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal, Premier League, Anfield, 8th February 2014
(Liverpool – Skrtel 1, 10, Sterling 16, Sturridge 20, Sterling 52; Arsenal – Arteta 69 (pen))
Arsenal were thoroughly demolished in a 20 minute blitz of super attacking football by Liverpool. Arsenal arrived at Anfield, top of the table but were made to look like a pub side suffering from a bad hangover in the opening minutes, as Liverpool carved them open again and again. With barely a minute gone on the clock, Slovenian defender Martin Skrtel put Liverpool ahead with a header from a Steven Gerrard’s corner. Arsenal had barely got the ball rolling, when Liverpool and Skrtel struck again. Steven Gerrard provided the assist again, as Skrtel’s header glided past Chamberlain on the goal line. Liverpool should have added a 3rd just seconds later, but his chipped effort went just wide. Then, a low cross from Sturridge failed to find Suarez. Then, the Uruguyan unleashed a powerful volley straight at Szczesny, who managed to save and Kolo Toure missed with the goal gaping open. Arsenal were clinging on to their lives, but on 16 minutes it was 3-0, as Sterling converted rather easily from a Suarez cross. 4 minutes later, Sturridge beautifully made it 4-0 collecting Coutinho’s pass from the deep. There was absolutely no way back for Arsenal, who barely mustered anything going forward. Defensively, well they held on till half time, and 7 minutes after half time, when Sterling scored his second and Liverpool’s 5th. Arsenal got a consolation goal back, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled in the penalty area by Steven Gerrard. Mikel Arteta scored to make it 5-1, but the scoreline was still an embarassing one.
1. Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal, Stamford Bridge, Premier League, 22nd February 2014
(Chelsea – Eto’o 5, Schurrle 7, Hazard 17 (pen), Oscar 42, 66, Salah 71)
On what was supposed to be a momentous occasion for Arsene Wenger, who reached the milestone of 1000th game in charge of Arsenal, it turned out to be one of the most shambolic displays in the Frenchman’s reign, as Arsenal were ruthlessly taken apart by Jose Mourinho’s rampaging Chelsea side. Samuel Eto’o scored with just 5 minutes on the clock with his left foot, and just 2 minutes later German international Andre Schurrle scored a similiar goal. The comical/disastrous/strange moment of the match came 10 minutes later, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stupidly handled the ball in the penalty area. In the melee, Andre Marriner sent Kieran Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity much to Arsenal’s fury. Eden Hazard scored the resulting penalty. All so typical Arsenal. Chelsea 3-0 up inside 17 minutes. Then came a period of brief solidity, as Brazilian Oscar scored an easy goal having been set up by Fernando Torres. Arsenal’s 10 men displayed some sort of steel in the second half, but couldn’t prevent the Blues from scoring. Oscar doubled his tally and then new signing Mohomad Salah, beat the offside trap to score an easy goal past a bewildered Szczesny. A rather disastrous display on a day that was supposed to be a memorable one.
While you are about it, follow Blazing Cannons on twitter. @blazingcannons
And do like, the Facebook page as well.
Go ahead you lazy bum, that’s all I ask of you!