Arsenal (2) – Sutton United (0) – The Gunners’ dream for silverware is alive and well

Arsenal (2) – Sutton United (0) – The Gunners’ dream for silverware is alive and well

As expected, Arsenal beat Sutton United in last night’s FA Cup fixture, but surprisingly enough, Arsenal seemed to struggle against the hosts. Most Arsenal and Premier League fans went into this match expecting an absolute battering by the Gunners, but the match ended in a simple 2-0 victory for the North London club.

Arsene Wenger fielded a relatively strong side, with the likes of Lucas Perez, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi all playing the full 90 minutes. Theo Walcott scored his 100th goal for the former Premier League champions, a feat that is quite impressive for the 27 year old Englishman. Arsenal looked the clear favorites coming into the match, and they were in control throughout the entire game. The Gunners had 67.1% possession during the game, with 15 shots taken, as opposed to Sutton United’s 6. Sutton had a few chances here and there (including a very close shot by Rory Deacon that hit the crossbar), but all-in-all, the Gunners looked comfortable at Sutton. Lucas Perez took home the MOTM award (per Whoscored.com), with a rating of 8.1. During his performance, Perez managed to score the Gunners’ first goal in the 27th minute, but a 69% pass completion rate is very mediocre for the Spaniard. Rob Holding got a rare start for Arsenal, and had a fairly decent performance, making 6 clearances, winning 4 out of 9 of his aerial duels and having an 88% pass completion percentage.

Even though the Gunners did come out on top at the end of the night, it was a historic match for Sutton. Even though they had lost, the fifth-league team put up a solid performance against Arsenal, and brought pride to the lower leagues in English football. Arsenal will not play in this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, but will be back next week to play a big game against Liverpool. All Arsenal fans are looking forward to taking revenge on the Merseyside squad, who beat Arsenal 4-3 in the first round of Premier League fixtures this season.

 

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Arsenal vs. Sutton United – FA Cup Fifth Round — David vs Goliath?

Arsenal vs. Sutton United – FA Cup Fifth Round — David vs Goliath?

Arsenal will be travelling to Borough Sports Ground, in order to play against fifth league side, Sutton United.

There isn’t much to say about this fixture, to be completely honest. Sutton United come off a huge upset against Leeds United, a game in which Sutton beat the former English champions 1-0. The man question here is this — can the hosts recreate magic? The normal spectator will immediately disagree to any who say that yes, Sutton are capable of upsetting against one of the biggest clubs in English football. And that said spectator is right, it is very unlikely that Sutton will make any sort of upset against the London giants.

For Sutton, this game will either go down or history, or will be another expected result. The hosts will either have a match that will forever be enshrined in the club’s history, or they will exit the FA Cup after a match against a 3-time Premier League champion. For Arsenal, this game is an opportunity for fans and club alike to field out younger players, who don’t get as many minutes as they usually do. Rob Holding is one of those names (despite having some Premier League minutes under his belt), as well as some of the younger players in the squad — Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and perhaps even Christopher Willock. Emiliano Martinez is also set to start in goal for the Gunners, seeing that the likes of Petr Cech or even David Ospina will probably have little to no action in goal. Wenger will still probably field some first team players — Kieran Gibbs can get a start, Carl Jenkinson can be deployed at the right-back role and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can start again as a central midfielder – a position which he’s been able to fill superbly over his past few starts.

All-in-all, the odds for an upset here are very unlikely. But then again, the Arsenal squad can look very different to what it looks like on a weekly basis in the highest tier of English football. Nonetheless, Sutton fans can look forward to a (hopefully) entertaining 90 minutes of FA Cup action.

Arsenal (1) vs Bayern Munich (5) – 1st leg Match Review

Arsenal (1) vs Bayern Munich (5) – 1st leg Match Review

Well, where do I start. Let’s get the obvious out of the way — we’re out of the Champions League, again. And not-so-surprisingly, it’s because of Bayern Munich! So, after a bombardment by the Germans, let’s look at some of the talking points of the match, shall we?

The Positives:

Let’s start off with the positives. You’ll be surprised, but there were some positives in this match. First and foremost, Alexis Sanchez. Even though he was limited in his actions (due to Bayern having the possession most of the time, 74.2% of the time to be exact), Alexis was once again, Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. His never-ending running and pressing of the Bayern Munich defenders did play its part, and he was responsible for scoring the only Arsenal goal, although it was after a saved penalty by Manuel Neuer. Nonetheless, cool and calm control by Alexis gave the visitors high hopes going into the second half. David Ospina put a somewhat decent performance between the sticks. Sure, he conceded five goals at the hands of the Bavarians, but most of them weren’t his fault. The 4th Bayern goal, for example, took a pretty massive deflection off of Granit Xhaka that sent Ospina the opposite way and the ball into the Arsenal net.

The Negatives: 

And boy, were there a lot of them. Let’s go from back to forward. Let’s start with the defence. For starters, we conceded five goals, which is always bad, but the worse thing is Laurent Koscielny’s injury. We don’t know how long he is out for (yet!), but even in the eyes of rival fans, Koscielny is considered to be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. Koscielny’s absence will be a huge blow to Arsenal not only in the second leg of this fixture, but also in the Premier League. In the midfield, we had a horrid performance from Francis Coquelin, who had a 67% pass success, to go with a number of aggressive and unnecessary fouls given away. Alex Iwobi also had a horrible night, with 0 tackles, 0 take-ons, and a mediocre 75% pass success. Mesut Ozil also had very “ghostly” night, having been barely felt throughout the entire 90 minutes. Even though the World Cup winner did manage to get 5 successful tackles throughout the match, he showed a lack of courage and desire to disposses the ball off of Arjen Robben, who in the 11th minute, scored a gorgeous left-footed curler due to a shared Coquelin and Ozil defensive mistake(s).

Conclusion:

It seems that again, Arsenal’s Champions League hopes are completely diminished. Does this mean that Arsene Wegner’s contract will not be renewed at the end of the season? Perhaps. Some Arsenal fans have been pleading for Arsene Wenger to be replaced, and this 5-1 bashing at the hands of the German titans would only make those voices louder. For now, Wenger is still Arsenal manager, but will he stay at the club at the end of the season? Only time will tell.

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich – A Champions League Round of 16 Preview (1st leg)

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich – A Champions League Round of 16 Preview (1st leg)

It’s that time. Tonight (15th of February, 2017), Arsenal will go up against one of its most bitter rivals in the Champions League — the Bavarian titans, Bayern Munich.

All Arsenal fans are on edge, and for good reason. Arsenal are coming into this fixture a few days later after a surprisingly though win against Hull City at the Emirates. Had it not been for a clear handball goal from Alexis Sanchez and a calmly slotted away penalty from the #7 as well, Arsenal fans would have been disappointed once again. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are coming off a streak of great results, bar a 1-1 draw against Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena.

But, there is room for optimism in the eyes of Gunners fans. Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich’s head manager, has confirmed that German international defender, Jerome Boateng will not be available for the match against Arsenal, which does hurt the Bavarians, but with the backup of Javi Martinez and  Mats Hummels, there is little room for concern. Xabi Alonso has also been confirmed as to be fit to participate in tonight’s game, giving Ancelotti some choices as to who is to start at midfield for the Germans. In a recent press conference, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that veteran goalkeeper, Petr Cech, will be dropped in favor of Champions League regular, David Ospina for tonight’s match. In addition to that, Lucas Perez has also been ruled out for the fixture, forcing Arsene Wenger to perhaps start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the wing position, which is  a shame due to his superb performances at the middle of the park as of late. Granit Xhaka is also available for selection for the French manager, but Wenger might be reluctant to start the Swiss midfielder due to his consistent disciplinary issues.

All-in-all, there isn’t much to look forward to for Arsenal fans. Fixtures against Bayern Munich have always proved to be a tough time (despite a very solid 2-0 victory for Arsenal, characteristically followed by a 5-1 bashing by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena), and this fixture looks to be no different. The fact that Jerome Boateng is out will definitely be in favor of the Gunners, but even without the World Cup winner, Bayern Munich still look like the more solid team.

 

 

 

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello lads! Welcome to my blog. Here, I will post about any news/rumors that are related to Arsenal Football Club. Those posts will vary from Transfer Rumors all the way to Match Recaps and predictions. I hope that you’ll come along with me on this journey as I share with you my own perspective on one of the greatest clubs in the world.