It’s been a topsy turvy year for Arsenal Football Club. From the lows of thumpings at Anfield and Stamford Bridge, to the highs of lifting two pieces of silverware. Here are Arsenal’s 10 best games of the year.
10. Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 13th September 2014
(Arsenal – Wilshere 63, Sanchez 74; Manchester City – Aguero 28, Demichelis 83)
Arsenal garnered only one point from an exciting Premier League clash against Manchester City, despite putting the defending champions on the backfoot several times during the match. Danny Welbeck made his debut in Arsenal colors, and almost put the home side ahead after a poor back pass from David Silva, but only managed to strike the post, with only Joe Hart to beat. Jesus Navas was running Arsenal ragged and assisted Sergio Aguero for the opening goal in the 28th minute, a low finish past Szczesny. Arsenal equalized only in the second half, when some fine passing played in for Jack Wilshere, who beat Hart with an angled finish. 11 minutes later, Arsenal had the lead, as Alexis thumped home a volley off a Wilshere header. When it looked like Arsenal would hold on for a win, Demichelis struck an unmarked header with 7 minutes left to play.
9. Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Arsenal, Premier League, White Hart Lane, 16th March 2014
(Arsenal – Rosicky 2)
Arsenal edged Tottenham in a tense encounter at the Lane. The Gunners, a side ravaged by injuries, took the lead with only 72 seconds played as Tomas Rosicky unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt past Hugo Lloris. Despite Sp*rs creating several chances, Arsenal defended their hearts out to seal a vital 1-0 win on their way to secure a top-4 finish in the Premier League. The best moments came after the match, as Arsenal players took selfies on the pitch, much to the bemusement of the Tottenham faithful.
8. Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal, Champions League Group Stages, Turk Telekom Arena, 10th December 2014
(Galatasaray – Sneijder 88; Arsenal – Podolski 3, Ramsey 10, 29, Podolski 92)
Arsenal’s second string put in a commanding display at the Turk Telekom Arena, to put to rest some ghosts of the recent 3-2 drubbing at the hands of Stoke. Much maligned German international Lukas Podolski put Arsenal into the lead with a typical thunderous left-footed volley, after having been put through by Aaron Ramsey. The in-form Welshman turned scorer 7 minutes later, when he latched on to a Chamberlain pass to make it 2-0 past Sinan Bolat. After Podolski had struck the post, Ramsey scored a contender for Goal of the Season, with a rocket of a effort. After a cleared corner, the ball fell to Ramsey, 30 yards from goal, and he unleashed an unstoppable first-time shot which ended up at the back of the net, stunning some of his own teammates. Wesley Sneijder scored a consolation free-kick in the 88th minute, but Podolski restored the 3 goal win with a simple finish in the 92nd minute.
7. Arsenal 2-0 Borussia Dortmund, Champions League Group Stages, Emirates Stadium, 26th November 2014
(Arsenal – Sanogo 2, Sanchez 56)
After consecutive losses in the league to Swansea and Manchester United, Arsenal registered a much needed 2-0 over struggling German side Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund, whose Champions League form is a complete contrast to their domestic form, where they languish in the relegation zone struggled to get their game going against a determined Arsenal side. With many fans concerned over the inclusion of Yaya Sanogo in the squad, the young Frenchman put the home side in the lead with just over a minute played, after a one-two with Santi Cazorla. He could have made it 2-0 in the 9th minute when he was put clean through, but he typically made a hash of it. It didn’t matter, as Alexis scored a beauty in the 56th minute, past Weidenfeller, under close pressure from Neven Subotic. Arsenal’s passage to the knockout stages was made simpler with this vital victory.
6. Arsenal 4-1 Galatasaray, Champions League Group Stages, Emirates Stadium, 1st October 2014
(Arsenal – Welbeck 22, 30, Sanchez 41, Welbeck 52; Galatasaray – Yilmaz 63 (pen))
Danny Welbeck showed the Arsenal faithful what he is capable with a stunning hattrick in the Champions League Group stage game against Galatasaray. It was only the first hattrick in the young England international’s career. Welbeck beat Brazilian inernational Felipe Melo, before sliding the ball under Fernando Muslera for his first goal. The second goal was a gift, as a wayward back header from Aurelien Chedjou allowed Welbeck to race on to it, to beat Muslera again. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez combined for the third goal, before Welbeck made it 4-0 in the second half, lifting a Chamberlain pass over the keeper.
5. Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur, FA Cup 3rd Round, Emirates Stadium, 4th January 2014
(Arsenal – Cazorla 31, Rosicky 62)
It was easy peasy against expensively assembled Sp*rs, as the Gunners entered the 4th Round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over their North London rivals. Young German Serge Gnabry put Santi Cazorla through for the first goal, who scored past French international keeper Hugo Lloris with a fine shot. Arsenal finished off the game with a beauty from Tomas Rosicky who robbed a sleeping Danny Rose near half line, ran the length of the pitch before beating Lloris to put the Gunners 2-0 ahead. The enduring image of the night was Theo Walcott signalling the scoreline with his fingers to the Sp*rs faithful as he was stretchered off later in the game.
4. Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool, FA Cup 5th Round, Emirates Stadium, 16th February 2014
(Arsenal- Chamberlain 15, Podolski 47; Liverpool – Gerrard 59 (pen))
A week after Liverpool knocked the wind out of Arsenal’s sails, the Gunners extracted a measure of revenge from the Merseyside club by knocking them out of the FA Cup with a gritty performance on a balmy evening at the Emirates. Liverpool made the brighter start of the two sides, as Arsenal nervously held on. But, it was the Gunners who took the lead, when Yaya Sanogo’s miscued shot rebounded off Gerrard, right into the path of Chamberlain who scored past Brad Jones to make it 1-0. Liverpool, with the attacking brilliance of Sterling, Sturridge, Coutinho and Suarez were held off by a stern Arsenal defence. 2 minutes after the break, the Gunners doubled their advantage. Mesut Ozil released Chamberlain on the right, who cut back for Podolski, the German finishing with aplomb with his right foot. 2-0 Arsenal. Steven Gerrard halved the deficit with a penalty 12 minutes later, but despite all of Liverpool’s chances, dives, and oh a wrong call by the ref, the Gunners held on to ensure progress.
3. Arsenal 4-1 Everton, FA Cup Quarter Finals, Emirates Stadium, 8th March 2014
(Arsenal – Ozil 7, Arteta 68(pen), Giroud 83, 85; Everton – Lukaku 34)
Arsenal comprehensively beat another Premier League side to make their way to Wembley for a FA Cup semi final showdown with defending champions Wigan Athletic, by beating Everton 4-1. Arsenal made early strides, as Mesut Ozil latched on to a Cazorla pass to slot home the opening goal on just 7 minutes, his first goal in 2 months. Young Everton keeper Joel Robles kept further efforts from Sanogo and Chamberlain out, before Everton found an equalizer. The talented Ross Barkley crossed in for Kevin Mirallas, whose shot was bundled home by his Belgian compatriot Romelu Lukaku. Everton had the chance of the game on 54 minutes, but Ross Barkley missed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled by Gareth Barry on 68 minutes, and Mikel Arteta converted the resultant spot kick. There was no looking back after that as substitute Olivier Giroud scored twice in 3 minutes to knock the Toffees out.
2. Manchester City 0-3 Arsenal, FA Community Shield, Wembley, 10th August 2014
(Arsenal – Cazorla 21, Ramsey 42, Giroud 60)
Arsenal returned to Wembley, 3 months after breaking their trophy drought, to face Premier League champions Manchester City in the traditional Community Shield clash, in emphatic fashion. With new signings Callum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez on display, the Gunners got off to a flying start, taking the lead in the 21st minute, with a neatly placed finish past Wily Cabellero. Arsenal looked fluid in midfield and solid in defense, as Manchester City struggled to get any sort of grip on the game. Yaya Sanogo helped Ramsey make it 2-0 in the 42nd minute, before Olivier Giroud’s wonderfully dipping shot in the second half sealed a dominant display, sending out a message to the rest of the league.
1. Arsenal 3-2 Hull City, FA Cup Final, Wembley, 17th May 2013
(Arsenal – Cazorla 17, Koscielny 71, Ramsey 109; Hull – Chester 4, Davies 8)
Arsenal ended their 9 year trophy drought in typical Arsenal fashion on wet afternoon at Wembley. Coming into the game as favorites against Hull City, the Gunners were caught on the backfoot within 8 minutes of the game, as the Tigers scored twice. First James Chester poked the ball home from close range, before Curtis Davies latched on to a stray ball to make it 2-0. They almost made it 3-0, through Alex Bruce, but for a timely clearance off the line by Kieran Gibbs. Santi Cazorla scored a fine free kick on 17 minutes to make it 2-1. Both teams battled hard for the next goal, and it was the Gunners who got their equalizer, as Laurent Koscielny swivelled home from close range. It was befitting that Arsenal’s best player this season, Aaron Ramsey score the winner that would end a painful period, trophy-wise for the club, as he drove home a backheel from Giroud. It was a classy finish on an emotionally absorbing afternoon. The smile on Arsene Wenger said it all!
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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