Thursday, May 30, 2024

Match Report: Schalke 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal secured an important draw away at the Veltins Arena this evening but could easily have had three points had they not surrendered a two-goal lead to an impressive Schalke.

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud gave the visitors the upper hand before the half hour mark only for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to cut the deficit with the last kick of the first half. The Gunners were on the back foot for much of the second period and it came as little surprise that the Germans equalised when Jefferson Farfan’s shot cannoned in off Thomas Vermaelen.

Although Arsene Wenger pushed his Belgian captain to the left-back position in place of Andre Santos, Schalke began where they left off at the Emirates attacking with guile down the flanks.

Uchida was a whippet-like threat on the right, until injury saw him subbed midway through the first half, while Farfan and Afellay also enjoyed bombing forward at every opportunity. One stinging effort from the latter forced a smart save from Mannone as we gradually awoke from our Old Trafford hangover.

It wasn’t until the 15th minute that Arsenal finally put together a few passes and we even earned a corner, although naturally nothing came of it, or the one after. Then out of the blue we scored.

A long clearance by Mertesacker was headed backwards by Neustadter who completely flummoxed his defence’s offside trap allowing Olivier Giroud to run through on goal. The Frenchman bounded into the area and looked certain to score before kicking the turf instead of the pig’s bladder. Luckily, as the ball bounced off the keeper Theo Walcott nipped in to tap home. 1-0.

We doubled our lead eight minutes later with our second effort on target. Nice interplay between Cazorla and Wilshere worked us into the box before a Giroud challenge pushed the ball wide to Podolski. Our number 9, despite a slip, then whipped in a delicious cross to the six-yard box where our fantastically handsome fox in the box headed home with Gallic style. Lovely stuff.

The Germans came back into things before half time. First Farfan flashed a warning shot over the bar after space opened up thanks to a slip from Vermaelen, before another slip, this time from Cazorla, gave the ball away on the edge of our box. Mertesacker was caught way out of position by a quick flick and Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored with a fine finish across Mannone with the last kick of the half. It was a sickening time to concede. 2-1 at the break.

There was a worry at the start of the second half when Jack Wilshere was left in a crumpled heap by Lewis Holtby and a chance when Giroud volleyed over as part of the same phase of play. After that bright spark, it was backs to the walls stuff.

Huntelaar sprang the offside trap again to get himself one-on-one with Mannone, only for the Italian to spread himself wide and make a fine stop. Mertesacker appeared to block another shot a few moments later with his hand, although he didn’t seem to know much about it. The pressure kept building as Hoger had a shot blocked on the line by Arteta, then Neustadter headed wide from another corner.

When we did get a chance in the final third, we weren’t helped by the referee who prematurely ended an attack just because a Schalke player was injured. A disgusted Podolski was subsequently booked for dissent after lashing the ball at the advertising hoardings in protest.

The pressure was turned on again like a tap. Holtby and Afellay both lashed goalwards from the edge of the box before Schalke finally got the equaliser they’d been threatening. A deep cross from the left was headed downwards by Holtby and lashed across goal by Farfan before Vermaelen turned it into his own net. 2-2.

Our defensive misery was nearly compounded two minutes later when Mertesacker fell on his arse allowing Holtby all the time in the world to find Huntelaar. On this occasion his ball was wayward.

Like a boxer left dazed by an uppercut to the chin, we took time to recover. Walcott hit the post after a surge by Koscielny, only for the flag to be raised, before the tempo dropped. Unusually, Arsene Wenger opted not to make his usual substitutions around the 70 minute mark and instead waited to the 89th before introducing Andre Santos and Francis Coquelin for Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.

Right at the death Theo Walcott could have snatched the win but despite bundling through the middle of the Schalke defence he couldn’t find a finish. It was the last action of four minutes of injury-time at the end of a frustrating night which promised much and delivered a lot less.

Olympiakos beat Montpellier in the other game leaving Arsenal second on seven points one point behind Schalke and one ahead of the Greeks. It’s a very tight group but with two games to go things are still in out hands.

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I’m okay with this. A much better performance and some passion as a bonus.

Runcorn Gooner

Agree but disappointed.
P.S. Does anyone check their studs?
So many players slipping particularly Santi for their 1st goal


one step at a time i suppose


a half decent performance is better than a bad one, and a draw is better than a loss

it was a tough game and its still possible to top the group if they slip up, and qualifying is in our own hands

so lets just move on and try to get a win against fulham.

we just need to hang in there and scrape out 3 points until we can get back in shape

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I will disagree with that a little.

I will change ur statement to

Much more passion and a decent result as a bonus.

Fairly recent Gooner

Huntelaar bid in January? I think I’ve read that he doesn’t like RVP, and he’s awesome, so he’d fit right in surely?


Also, that was quick blogs


Um oka….y. Shame we concedede the two goals but today we were again slightly outshone.


Arteta: Seeing as we were two up, it’s not a good point for us. But before the game, we would have been happy with one point, since it’s hard to play here.


P.S. — has Vermaelen been interviewed post-match all season? It’s always Arteta. (Today, Arteta and Walcott.)


Wenger out


flink off 🙂


naive fans


Shit fan flinky.


Better display that, but if not for don vito we might have lost.


Mannone has really improved a lot this season… I’m pretty proud of the work he’s been doing, especially since there’s been a constant cry from fans for Szsz to return.


mannone was great, if that doesnt shut the moaners the fuck up then nothing will

… well, we know that nothing will 🙂


Second game in a row that he’s my MotM, though that also is an indictment of the players in front of him.

Pleased for Mannone. He’s a good kid.

North Bank Gooner

Don Vito for England/Italy/Mafia Henchmens All Star 11 😉

scez will need to be in some form to get him out of the side, he’s saved us a couple of embarrasing results recently.


Slight deep in form for cazorla me thinks.

The fart out of Chamakh's ass

Credit should be given to Manone, superb game.


Mannone has been fantastic the last couple games. (And pretty consistently good all season, actually.)

the only sam is nelson

we created chances and soaked up plenty of pressure

big improvement on saturday and that’s beyond argument

certainly better than most of us expected or if we’re honest even hoped for

good platform for saturday against fulham, with tony soprano and berbatov to beat that can only be good


What does arshavin have to do get into thid team?Carzola was poor.


He had to replace him 30 min before the end. But Wenger had some other thoughts.

Adam, Watford

I’d agree with the first part in terms of coming on as a sub but against shcalke, his lack of defensive nous or effort wouls have undone us tonight, especially late on in the game.

Carzorla wasn’t poor, maybe just a little tired. Still, I’d like to see Arshavin get more of a run out in the last half hour of games.


You know how rvpunk saved our arses time and again. We now have another, only he’s not a striker, he a goalie. MANNONE.


I am a big Don Vito fan. Never would have seen it coming!


great game, frustrating as tits, but at least we’re back on track


This isn’t too disappointing, the home game was the one to blame.


Their pitch was absolutely terrible. The stadium itself is a gem but the pitch is right up there in piss poor metre.* cough San siro

Gooner in Kiwiland

Definitely a much better performance, a confidence builder ahead of Fulham. Great goals by Giroud and Theo (who must be strengthening his hand in negotiations with every game). Concerned that individual errors cost us both goals, but at least we looked good going forward!

Missing Gibbs

Arsenal and false hopes yet again! Disappointed that we let go a 2 goal lead but that was much better than we’ve seen lately and we can take heart from this performance.

First CL goal for HFB.


Disappointing result having been 2 nil up, but a much better performance. The balance of the side looked so much better with a proper winger on the right in walcot. Podolski looked more confident knowing santos wasn’t behind him or in front of him or anywhere near him.
Defending for the 2nd goal was As bad as it gets but that’s arsenal and we have to live with it these days.
Well done manone another confident display. And as for theo, over to you gazidis, can’t wait to see how the club spin this one come the January sales.

the only sam is nelson

we’re fucked, if theo plays like shit we won’t pay him £100K but liverpool or some other idiots will, and if he plays like a fucking genius we will pay him £110K a week but then city will come along and plonk £180K a week on the table like the cunts they are

either way, we’re basically fucked because there’s no transfer fee involved

if he leaves, he’s another player who will have cashed in on working with wenger instead of repaying him through performances on the pitch


I can’t see us budging on what we have offered him Sam, I don’t think city will want him, I honestly feel his only option will be Liverpool and that’s where he will end up, regardless of how he plays for us. Trouble is like I’ve said before, we have very little options up front now, and we need him more than he needs us and its not a great bargaining position for the club to be in and even less so if results don’t pick up before the window kicks in again. Is he worth 100k a week. I… Read more »


We played better today with him in the team but he didn’t bury the winner when he shoulda


Thought Podolski looked very good, shame they blew the whistle while he got a proper chance at goal.


Yep. Not having Santos constantly occupying the space where he wanted to be helped tremendously. The one time I remember Vermaelen coming forward, he overlapped Poldi and delivered a good cross, like a left back should.
In all fairness, the fact that Shalke had a central midfielder in the right back position didn’t hurt either.


You do all realise that Theo is a massive Liverpool fan?
“I was a Liverpool fan simply because my dad followed them.”


ok nice.. Played ok’ish by the look of things (followed on blog) nice result in germany.. Group a bit tight.. No need for slip ups from now on


I’m always nervous when we score first, never confident we can close out the game. For me I’ll have to wheel out the C word – complacency. Glad Don Vito kept us in it and we came away with something.

What the fuck was the ref doing though? In addition to that Poldi incident, someone did a John fucking Terry assault on Arteta and he did nothing.


The past two games they’ve totally marked Arteta and as a result we have proceeded to not control the game. Arteta is that important! to this team.


Thank &^%$ for that goal-line clearance! We love the “real” captain.

Frantic Gooner

Could have had the win, but I’m not going to be too greedy considering we were outplayed today. Mannone was an absolute stud between the posts and we owe the draw to him. Hopefully the Vermaelen injury isn’t too serious. Good to see our boys show some passion today and wake up. Time to get out of this slump.


I feel we owe a LOT to Mannone this season. Pretty sure he’s the reason we have the “best defense in the league” (or so the “statistics” say). He’s made countless incredible saves.


Better performance than Saturday, that’s for sure, but still not good enough considering we had a 2 goal lead. We used to destroy these teams in Europe.


Sorry. What? When did we use to destroy in form German teams again?


Average european side, group stage fodder a fews years back. Get it right mate, they ain’t no Real Madrid.

Dial Square

Unfortunately,,,neither are we any more…


real madrid drew tonight

against a german team

i guess that they ain’t no real madrid either then


poor result, poor performance. schalke should have had 4 or 5 but for lame finishing and some great saves from mannone.


Better. Not great but better.

A right pisser to concede a 2 goal lead but would’ve chewed your arm off for a draw beforehand.

Well played The Don. Thought TV5 also had a pretty solid game out left. Alright their second came from Farfan on their right, but he’s a proper handful, and their bloke had too much space to get the cross over from the other side.

Onwards men.


the amount of own goals this year is a bit ridiculous


Why is it always Kos or TV? Mert has yet to knock one in… just saying…


Sagna needs to get in on the act aswell………. Oh but wait he likes to score against the spuds. Two weeks then bang!!!!!. Goooaaaal


it was going in already, just a slight deflection, not counted as a real own goal


-1 own goal then

I still think his arguement stands. We’ve enjoyed own goals alarmingly thus far, I guess if we aint hitting it up front something’s got a give on the other end.

Adam, Watford

He was still well out of position, TV5 was too busy thinking he was a CB rather than covering the LB position in that attack.

We miss Gibbs desperately andwe need proper cover in that position.

Santos might provide some sort of cover in left-midfield/left wing but he is certainly not ( d’uh ! ) left back material . . . not unless it’s LEFT BACK IN THE DRESSING ROOM !!!!!!! The old ones are, as they say, . . . erm, the old ones !


Vermaelen needs ‘resting’ desperately,he’s an accident waiting to happen at the moment.
Credit to Vito,solid performance tonight,& not a bad point all things considered….
& Walcott should’ve passed to Giroud for an open goal at the end,but awareness isn’t his game is it?!


I’ll take the point…. and the ref was a cunt. Not that I’m putting the draw on him… but he was a cunt… the ref that is… stupid cunt ref.

Runcorn Gooner

Beat Montpelier at home.Shalke beat Olympiakos at home and we go through.
It’s not all bad.Thanks Vito

Jim Jimminy

First of all…awful referee.

After the last 10 days or so I’ll take that. Frustrating to give up a 2 goal lead, but lately worse things have happened…sort of. But we didn’t concede three so that’s something.

One thing i have noticed is that we don’t we don’t seem to be able to up our game to combat periods when we’re under pressure. Still….baby steps and all that.

Can’t wait for Gibbs to be fit again.


and really feel Carzola needs a rest and i think the fulham game could be the chance.. Could be used as an impact sub.. Give arshavin a run and see what happens.. If it works out.. Another good headache to have on who to start.. would also do both players and our team some good..


Got to agree with this. Cazorla, Arteta and Podolski (who I’m almost positive is carrying some kind of knock) all need a rest.

No problem we’ll just dig into our deep bench… oh wait… shit.


Easy to see why players get injured. Wenger plays Arteta the full 90 minutes every single game (both last season and this season). He looks like he’ll be trying the same with Cazorla. I know they’re our most important asset, especially in terms of going forward, but they won’t be much help on the physio table.


Nice and solid in the first half…pretty crap in the second…Mannone was our man-of-the-match (which says it all)…Shalke are a very average side that we made look great…defending still looking dodgy (both goals conceded were soft)…Despite scoring, Giroud looked no better than Bendtner…Walcott should be given his chance to play as a striker…we will qualify from this (easy) group but have about as much chance of winning it as QPR have of winning the Premier League.


That’s one of the things that bothers me the most honestly. We the fuck is Bendtner fucking about in Italy when we have one cf and chamakh. It makes zero sense.


Yeiy, should have brought bendtner on (were he here), he would have done a far better job than giroud……somebody drown this frog. Oops they cant drown, seems we’re stuck with him. 🙁

Brian Mendoza

Average? The club that is currently second in the Bundesliga only behind Bayern and in front of current champions Dortmund (currently fifth)??

You’re having a laugh mate


Last time I looked, the German League wasn’t exactly the toughest in Europe. TONIGHT, Shalke looked like a very average side – probably no better than, say, Everton. They won’t even make the semis.


no average and they lost the japanese guy early with him playing they might have shredded us


last time you looked? when was that? 10 years ago?

have a look again


We all know your opinions about our team FatGooner. I am constantly amazed at this condescending attitude towards other leagues. German league – average/ Spain – 2 team average league/France – full of frogs (talk about racist attitude! and the brits whinge about serbia after such statements). Get over this self important EPL crap. These teams are way better than most shitty english clubs. They play much nicer football compared to crap doled every week in England. Kick the opponent down and the commentators praise the footballers for “getting stuck in”. Loads of BS. Fact is that Schalke may have… Read more »


We’re back!!! The treble is ours for the taking!!!!!


I think people think you are serious…are you?


Haha goes to show how stupid people are. Of course I’m not serious. We’re going to finish 6th in the league and we will crash out in the first stage of the knockout rounds.


So they have internet under water?. Too bad they gave it to a brain dead frog.


that what I thought, the thumbs on your second comment are a true reflection of the first comment, sarcasm is lost on the internet.

apparently theo is not the only one who thinks we can win the league

unless there is a drastic turnaround then 6th place and out in the first round sounds about right.

with Chelsea the only other serious contender left in the COC, we should really give that a go.


Shame we didn’t nick it but great to see a bit of desire again getting a foot in now and then

Dog Eat Arse

2-0 up, some mental strength and an own goal and it`s 2-2. Just another day with the Arsenal.


To be fair it doesn’t sound like Vermaelen could’ve done anything about it.

Dog Eat Arse

It was irony not a criticism of the performance or individual players. Just said this is how it is to be a Gooner. 2-0 up and… for fuck sake no one gets it anyway so I wont bother.


What do you lot think about Holtby and Farfan?


Heard arsenal is holbys favorite english team, could just be his agent speaking through him.

I’d take him


He’s a fan of Everton.


He’s an Everton fan but has admitted to a German newspaper that he loves Arsenal style of play. I think we should look at him, Arshavin and Rosicky are in their 30s and will leave sometime soon.

Absentia Rose

I think Wenger got a big headache to think about where to play Walcott. He got good game but his final third position kills Sagnas forward runs. Everytime when Sagna got ball, just before final third, walcott cut in a middle and so on left Sagna alone with ball. So either his options are, to try to cross it from long range or more occasionally play it backwards to Mertesacker. It is just useless that we have one of the best attacking rightbacks but we don’t have full use of him. I just hope we got Gibbs back soon enough… Read more »


Mediocre team, this arsenal team. Again they played us off the park, after been two up? It’s unacceptable. And Walcott should’ve pass that ball. He scored a lucky goal and he gave an interview like he is the best striker in the prem! And Giroud kicking the tough like a kid in a school football. We are lucky to come out with a point, couldn’t keep the ball. I tell you guys if we’re waiting for the fair play rules we are well and truly fucked. Because Arsene is complicit with board in desiving us, but I’m not upset any… Read more »


yes, it’s unacceptable.

don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

also, let me know what team you’re supporting after 10 years. and how many teams you’ve run through because they’re ‘unacceptable’.


Alex when did you started supporting The Arse? Last week?
The fact of the matter is that at the moment we are shit, and we’ve been for quite some time now!! And you cannot bring yourself to accept the truth, judging by the thumps down there are few like you around.

No wonder the board and Arsene are laughing all the way to the Bank.


For most of the game we were made to look poor.

Shalke had more time on the ball and passed sharply.
They created better chances and cut us apart at times.
Lucky we did not lose, credit to mannone!

None of our front three look like they can beat a man, at least today they tried.

Anyway, decent result. Bundesliga is getting stronger, shalke would be a test for any side

A N Other

Much better performance. Confidence can get knocked off in a game but takes few games to build.. Today was definately a good start.. Manone looks good and so does defence without santos..


Mannone looks good… our defense is still shaky. Esp. where our “captain” is concerned.


think someone has put an evil spell on him and stolen his studs


I m o.k. with draw. They were better team, but we were better then in last games. Giroud scored, he has a good positioning, even he is o.k. with a ball but he is sooo slow…. to slow for my taste, too slow for Arsenal. Podloski and Per were very good today, but Cazorla had again not very inspiring game. Veramelen was stoned again today. Good to see Walcott starting. We miss someone to put extra spark in the team. Waiting for Rosicky or Diaby, at least on of them…


Did anyone spoted Santos asking for Huntelaar shirt? 🙂

Martin Keown is my hero

Is Mannone our number one then? Based on current form, he should not be dropped IMO. And its not as if keepers enter the ‘red zone’.


Agreed. Despite poor defending, Mannone’s done a great job. Getting more and more confident every game. Would seem foolish to drop him, so long as he keeps this run of form, especially with Szsz having been out for so long with injuries. (Plus, Szsz can be foolish and reckless at times, especially when it comes to fouling players in one-on-one situations…)


You blowing this guy mate? Sounds like someone’s in love.


A point… well dats okay considering our previous performances.
my motm must be don Vito. need to top d group tho
what happened to the customary 70+mins substitutions?


A point… well dats okay considering our previous performances. carzola seems to have lost his mojo,&”captain ” arteta looks tired
my motm must be don Vito. need to top d group tho
what happened to the customary 70+mins substitutions?


I do wish we could give Arteta and Cazorla a rest. The constant stream of full 90-min. appearances is draining, especially for players with work rates as high as these two.


Shalke are a very good team. Ahead of Dortmund who held Real to a draw tonight. I think a German team will win the CL this year x

Dial Square




Bendtner's Ego

My concern is that we did not rotate anyone until the 90′ mark.

That can’t be good for the legs on Saturday if Fullham come at us. Hopefully, we get someone like Ox back.

I’m not holding my breath on Mister Threeweeksaway (Diaby), but it would be nice if he made a cameo at the 70′ mark.


sorry to break everyone’s bubble, but there’s not a hope in hell that Theo is signing a new deal. His mind is made up – I’m sure his agents have been in talks with Liverpool, Chelsea, City and there is no way he will sign. And tonight kind of reminded me about the Theo we all know. Because our form is so dire, we all clamour for Walcott’s inclusion – especially given his impact in recent games. He finished well, but Giroud did all the work – other than that, he made no impression on the game whatsoever – attacks… Read more »

Martin Keown is my hero

I worry that Theo’s good run of form is just him pimping himself.


I don’t even think his “run of form” has been that great — more “consistency… in patches,” against so-so teams. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate him, but don’t think he’s worth as much as his agent think he’s worth.

Dial Square

But is he up to the task, for so long now we have been mediocre, and to be honest Arsene doesn’t look like the man to take us back to the top… I love the guy for what he has done for the club…but i just can’t help feeling his best days are behind him at Arsenal….


We can’t keep the ball because our opponents have realised that if they press us hard they stop us playing.


and lets all take a moment to enjoy man city have 2 points and being bottom of the group

when they go out, nasri can enjoy watching our games on the telly 🙂


Schalke dominated. We were second best, sadly.


I’d also add that the chemistry of our team is affected by the constant identity crisses Arsenal faces with every new season because we keep selling our best players. You can’t expect Wilshere to switch it on immediately after 14 months – he was previously playing with Nasri, Cesc, Song, RVP; now he’s playing with Podolski, Giroud, Arteta, Cazorla. Dunno what’s gonna happen to the DNA of the team when Theo goes, probably Sagna as well. I just hope Wenger has lined up a replacement for Theo (Ben Arfa – worth a punt) and ways to strengthen our team. Can’t… Read more »


Hi Charlie, I have to agree with you on this mate. The problem Arsenal have had over the years has been this constant merry go round of our best players. This has now become a vicious cycle. I know lot us understand the constraints under which Arsene works but at the same time I really wish that he will take a stand and put a stop to this madness. Right now we know that the team is trying to find their voice. But we can only blame Wenger for this situation. As a manager, right during pre-season he should be… Read more »


Couldn’t agree more with you about the footballing side. Was so optimistic at the beginning of the season with all the talent we’d brought in, and the lack of departures. For me, we all knew Van Persie was going. That he left didn’t really convince me about the club’s lack of ambition – because we can’t afford 200k per week (Or perhaps we could if we got rid of Chamakh and Squillaci but that would break our wage structure – which, to me, seems to more absurd and anachronistic year in, year out and almost pretext for the board not… Read more »

A N Other

Spare a thought for Wenger.. he loses his best player every season and still manages to get the team in top 4 and 2nd stage of champions league.. if we had man city and man u team with wenger as manager – we would have walked the league.


I would love to spare a thought for Wenger (and I am one of his ardent supporter) but on this one he has to take part of the blame. I know he can’t control issues like salary cap/contract negotiations etc. but he has full control over issues like team selection, squad rotation, defensive attitude, mental strength and winning desire. Have we ever heard Ferguson whinge about his team injuries etc? No! As a manager, it is up to Ferguson/Wenger to make the best of the cards they are dealt with. To be fair, Ferguson has better resources and players at… Read more »


If you love Ferguson so much how about you go and support them you bag of whinging shite. Ferguson does moan about injuries as do all managers when there team is not winning but maybe your rose tinted view of him doesn’t fit with that. Also as much as you don’t want to admit it they can pay their players considerbally more than we can but hey don’t let that get in the way of a good old moan. And another thing I’m pretty sure we were competing for the title in 07-08 and 09-10 then again with your revisionist… Read more »

A N Other

Irrespective of the reasons. He is doing a terrific job. Just ask Mancini who doesn’t know what to do in Champions league.

H. P. Arsecraft

Manu is NOT better than us player for player (at least last season this season they are). They do have a higher team moral, work rate, they have a game plan and players who knows how execute the plan. They also have a manager, who is a rednosed bastard, who knows how to get every single drop of sweat out of his players. We dont.

A N Other

Seriously you think RVP, Rooney, Wellbeck and Hernandes are no better than Giroud, Podolski, Walcott and Chamakh.

What kind of world do you live in?

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