Report: Anderlecht 1-2 Arsenal (inc. goal clips)

180

Starting XI: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Flamini; Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla; Welbeck.

Subs: Huddart, Bellerin, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Campbell.

Arsenal bounced back from one-nil down to score twice in the final moments to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Anderlecht. A lacklustre encounter burst into life when Honduran international Andy Najar headed the Belgian side ahead with 19 minutes remaining and the home side had several chances to double their lead. However, just as the Gunners were edging towards their second defeat in the group, they levelled with through Kieran Gibbs’ cool 89th minute finish. Then, deep into injury-time Lukas Podolski pounced from close range to seal three vital points.

Pre-game

Nacho Monreal was selected at centre-back for the second game in succession with Arsene Wenger opting to field the returning Calum Chambers at right-back in place of Hector Bellerin. In the centre of the park Mathieu Flamini retained his place despite the availability of club captain Mikel Arteta. Aaron Ramsey made his first start since the North London derby alongside Wilshere with Cazorla, Alexis and Welbeck leading the line. On the bench 17-year-old Ryan Huddart provided back-up to Emiliano Martinez, who was making his Champions League debut between the sticks.

First half

Arsenal didn’t have to wait long for their first chance. Less than three minutes were on the clock when Alexis Sanchez’s dancing feet made space on the right for a low ball into the area which Santi Cazorla wildly swiped at. Shinning it with aplomb the ball flew into row Z. Little did we know that would be the highlight of a terminally boring 45 minutes.

The home side, full of youthful energy and buoyed by a fervent crowd packed into a tight stadium, weren’t shaken by the early scare. A team not afraid to run with the ball at pace, they probed down Chambers’ right a couple of times before trying their luck against Monreal in the middle. The Spaniard was soon booked for a foul on Zoro Cyriac.

Anderlecht kept plenty of men behind the ball but Alexis, Cazorla and Welbeck continued to cause them problems in the early stages. Cazorla hit the wall from a free-kick after Welbeck was felled on the edge of the box. Not long after the England man headed over from a cross by the Chilean. Another effort just after the half hour was blocked before it could trouble keeper Silvio Proto.

As has regularly been the case this season, the final ball from midfield was too often lacking in quality. Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere were particularly guilty of surrendering possession too easily. That being said, one fine long ball by the Welshman did find Alexis who plucked the ball out of the sky before shooting high and wide.

Aside from Frank Acheampong’s pace on the break, the occasional lapse in concentration from Mathieu Flamini and a few Anderlecht corners the Gunners back four didn’t have too much to worry about. On his Champions League debut Damien Martinez barely had a touch before the break, but then again neither had his opposite number.

Second half

The second half was much livelier from the off. Conte had a shot for the home side deflected wide by a Monreal block. Moments later Alexis’s back flicked an effort straight at Proto after a deft free-kick into the box by Cazorla. He should have done better.

The Chilean was at the heart of all Arsenal’s good work. More scurrying behind the Anderlecht defence afforded him room to pick out Ramsey, who took one touch and hit his shot wide. If there was a positive from the effort it was that he got himself into a decent position.

Martinez’s first save came on 57 minutes as he dealt with a low drive from Cyriac, then he watched as Dennis Praet fired over wildly. As the game became more stretched Cazorla should have given the lead, but his tame shot was easily saved.

The Gunners were made to pay for their profligacy and hesitancy. With 19 minutes remaining Anderlecht took the lead. Dennis Praet sprinted from a central position on the edge of the box behind Kieran Gibbs’, collected the ball, spun and dinked a ball into the box that Andy Najar headed low past Martinez. The Honduran had started the move and his finish was very tidy.

In response Danny Welbeck and Mathieu Flamini were withdrawn and Joel Campbell and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain thrown on. Alexis moved into a central attacking position. Despite the change in personnel it was the home side who should have extended their lead. Awful defending was matched only by a comical finish from Vanden Borre that came back off the cross bar.

An Alexis free-kick came close to levelling the game, but could only find the side netting. Desperate for a goal Lukas Podolski was sent on in place of Wilshere. By this point Arsenal had completely lost their shape and Anderlecht attacked at will. Martinez was forced into a couple of decent saves as the Gunners defence wilted under pressure.

Somehow, with two minutes left, we equalised. Out of nothing Calum Chambers whipped in a fine ball to the back post and Kieran Gibbs produced the calmest of volleyed finishes to bury the ball in the back of the net. (1-1)

By the end of Gibbs’ celebrations the game had moved into stoppage time. Amazingly, pumped by the goal, Arsenal found a winner. Alex Oxlade-Chamberalin charged into the box, Gibbs crossed to Alexis and after the Chilean’s cross was blocked it fell to Podolski who smashed home from two yards out. (1-2)

Anderlecht were absolutely stunned and it’s fair to say the travelling 1,000 Gooners were too. Not long after the final whistle blew. It’ll go down as one of our greatest escapes in Europe. It doesn’t really hide the deficiencies in the performance, but at the same time it kinda does!

So, three points out of nothing moves us up to six points. Dortmund destroyed Galatasaray to maintain their 100% record so we stay in second position ahead of the return game against the Belgians.

Happy Birthday Arsene.

guest
180 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mooro

Anderlucked

Dracular

shouldn’t a player that scored 15 goals last season be having more playing times this season? #POLDI#AHA

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

#OVERALLCONTRIBUTION #REDARMY #AHA

crouch End Gooner

Not this again, he’s a great clutch player who you can bring on and get you a goal, but isn’t that great when he starts.

Loke

Yes, it Takes to much to loose your place in our team. We have several subs like Poldi and Campbell who are rearing to go, but no matter how shit we play, they never get the chance to prove they can do better. Cause unless a Wenger favourite gets injured, he can score 2 own goals a game or just pitch a tent in midfield and go to sleep for 90 minutes and still keep his place in the team.

YouTube Graduate

Damn you. You have taken my real name. I will now give birth to an eight-legged horse. That’s just what I do.

David S.

Did you see Poldi’s performance against Southampton? I did and I don’t blame Wenger for not using him much.

Arsepedant

I think Poldi has become a specialist for us. If he’s on from the start, he’s usually pretty ineffective, as if he’s trying to conserve enough energy for the whole 90 minutes. But if he comes on as a sub, he’s much livelier and scores goals. Perhaps Wenger does know a thing or two after all …

Harish P

I’d like to see us start against Sunderland in the 4-4- 2 with Alexis and Podolski up front again, just to see.

With the way we’ve played this season so far, might be nice just to try something different for a game.

Remember the invincibles

So lucky. The centre-halfs are only comfortable on the ball. Embarassing goal to concede, chambers at fault and yet another headed goal. Ugh. We were so bad offensively. Thank god for the comeback. Santi was absolutely the worst player on the pitch for me. Poor touches, random poor passes. Sanchez, easily the best again. Ramsey was decent.

Flamini's Therapist

Santi worse than Jack?

rossi88

Whole team poor bar alexis.

Loke

Yes, it is allmost like the final season with van Persie where one player is carrying the rest of the team on his shoulders. This time that burden lies with Alexis.

Arsepedant

There’s a lot of hyperbole here. We weren’t brilliant today but we weren’t shit either. The problem going forward was a bunch of misplaced passes in the final third – balls either hit too short or behind the intended target. And since that seemed to happen so consistently, especially over short distances where the ball never left the ground, it makes me wonder if Anderlecht might not have let the grass grow a bit longer to slow our ballwork down. It’s a tactic that has worked against us before (never so blatantly as in Milan recently). We’re used to passing… Read more »

Atletico Islington

It’s not hyperbole, we were genuinely shit. Looked very vulnerable throughout the game to a much weaker side, made very few clear cut chances, the team chemistry wasn’t there (that Flamini dummy, dear oh dear), Chambers kept disappearing, Wilshere lost the ball countless times, it was shit.

arsenalista

better than anderfucked

Mohan

I am fine as far as we are winning. It feels good!

Lacku

What just happened?

Temi

My sentiments exactly

Fuzz

fucking massive let off

hg

We scored twice at the very end.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Someone has to let the boys know that they are allowed to start playing before, not after, 88 minute mark.
Defensive issues still remain, probably won’t get resolved until January, so we have to survive til then.
Undeserved 3 points, I’ll take it.

Remember the invincibles

Someone? That would be the manager.

Hi-brid

Hell will freeze over before Poldi gives up. #aha

neutral

right after Gibbs scored I said (all to myself) “come on Poldi, score the winner”, 30 seconds later…

what a way to end a thoroughly unenjoyable evening

Mooro

Nothing surprises me about this team anymore. Literally nothing.

Atletico Islington

I still have no faith in the Arsenal FC staff, regarding fitness and injuries, squad rotation, player performances and tactics, but that was a pretty fabulous end to the game.

Those miraculous, admittedly undeserved, three minutes could be just what our season needed.

Gargoyle

They said the same thing about the Community Shield. Don’t speak too soon.

Phil

The Community Shield, the comeback against Everton, the trouncing of Galatasaray, this… they’re all little sparks. Sooner or later, one of them will set the season alight.

I hope.

La Défense

BONKERS!

I’m pleased, but still doesn’t excuse a SHIT performance otherwise.

Lol @ shellshocked Anderlecht players…

Mr Meeseeks

Top rated comedy on iMDB

Sheffield Goon

More cracks, more paper applied. An inept display of management.

But well done lads in the end.

D

Well done the players, as for the manager, please don’t get me started. 2 more years of Wenger.

neutral

Wenger does not know how to prepare a team, only how to prepare players. the lack of game plan, lack of movement, slow passes without intent, or worse behind the player slowing the counter attack. there is no urgency in the play, usually because there are no options, nobody making themselves available -just players standing around next to their markers waiting for something to happen. Anderlect were stronger and made sliding tackle after sliding tackle, we almost never won the one on one’s, and they showed great vision with some of their passes. while Arsenal could not find any space,… Read more »

stoptheinjuries

birthday luck for the manager … he is due one

DöubleDöubleDöuble

Never in doubt.

bodiroga

Alexander the Sanchez

Henley Gooner

Well, what a surprise. put a proper cross into the box, and we score. Play the ball into the box again and we score. Simples.

crouch End Gooner

Are you Paul Ince?

gooner stuck in cornwall

#aha

Ben

And Liverpoo got served.
Sweet!

WizardOfOzil

Did Anderlecht think they were going to deny us our last 16 exit this year? Dream on.

gooner odst

To Bayern of course.

Rad Carrot

Bloody hell, didn’t see that coming five minutes ago.

But a win is a win. At the moment, I’ll take three points over a convincing performance.

A Yank

So lucky.

crouch End Gooner

We were up all night to get lucky.

flappylegs

So Wenger gives Podolski less than 10 minutes and he still makes the difference! Might have looked like an easy chance but that was a clinical finish. Not much else to be excited about though.

neutral

composure, he could have kicked it against the defender or keeper, but he knew right where to put it (at least it looked that way…)

DirtyAlexis

He scores when he plays
He scores when he plays
Lukas Podolski
He scores when he plays

MTZ

His minute to goal ratio must be through the roof!

Arsepedant

Which is why I think he’s better as an impact sub than as a starter. If he starts, he drifts in and out of the game. When he comes on as a sub, he’s focussed.

Like neutral above, right after Gibbs scored I shouted at the TV “Come on Poldi, find us another one now” and sure enough, a minute later …

flappylegs

Yeah I agree, impact sub, but you have to give him a chance to make the impact. Last nights game was calling out for podolski at half time.

GU1TAR-D3MON

We won… So obviously chuffed to bits…

However, we have some truly deep underlying problems in the team right now. Devoid of any confidence or ideas… Pretty much felt like the Hull game never ended…

Again another bright light in that game was Alexis Sanhcez. Never gave up and he won us that game… Wish we could have 11 Alexis’ on the pitch sometimes…

neutral

Yeah, we were garbage and can count ourselves lucky, if we win the next game and Dortmund theirs we are through to the last 16, where, unless improvements are made, we will be slaughtered.

Was that the same team that played so well against City?

I see better decision making at the weekend pick-up game I play in.

DAMOBOT

Bouncebackability is back. Not a good performance but got the needed result. Nuff said !!!

Arteta's hair

Don’t know whether to laugh o cry…

A Yank

Do both. Let us know what it’s like.

Temi

If I was Arsene, if I loved Arsenal, I would quit after this season and join the board…

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

And replace him with whom?

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Keep in mind, the man that is in charge likes his dollars. As long as Arsene delivers plenty of those to him (which he’s doing), mustache is satisfied.

Aussie gooner

Can’t blame the manager when we lose (which I do) , then says it’s the players when we win. Well done Arsene on some nice substitutions and keeping the players pushing till the end

bergkamp's hooped sock

Respect for you.

johnny

I don’t know if i’m alone here or not but i’ve reached a point where i’m still more frustrated than elated with that win. I’m a right Negative Nancy or Realistic Ron whatever your perspective. Same problems over and over again with one of probably the worst Managers in the CL at the moment in charge. Sentiment to what he has done before doesn’t change that. That performance sucked yet it was so typical Arsenal in recent years. Creat f*ck all all match then ride the wave of momentum the last 5 mins. It’s Anderlect ffs even sp*rs have won… Read more »

Tony Hall

Pleased we won obviously but that was a fucking dire performance.
I feel really sorry for Alexis, he is a class above everyone else and I would not blame him if he was thinking “wtf have I done”

udy

Lucky us. Didn’t deserve anything from the match today given our performance. But we have been at the receiving end so many times over the years when we deserved but didn’t get anything that it probably was about time. Probably ironic that #poldi#aha whom wenger has do royally ignored gave him 3 pts as a birthday present.
Finally, what the hell is wrong with the boss. He increasingly looks unwilling to use our subs even when we are dire…. and its not thr first time he’s done that this season…

Arsepedant

Seriously? One of the subs whom he brought on at exactly the right time scored winning goal!

Goon

Horseshit

We better find another gear for the weekend where we must win or fourth place will be a stretch

Yar

I’m so torn. I love Arsenal, never do I want to see them lose. But that was fucking awful to watch, and besides a couple performances this season we have been shït. Our inability to make simple passes is just baffling. Something needs to change

Tony Hall

yeah it’s called new management

Clock End Mike

When class players like Santi, Aaron and Jack are rubbish, like they were mostly tonight, we don’t say “right, they should go, replace the lot of them”, we look for them to pick up and improve. But when the team plays badly and a class manager is deemed not to have a solution, people say “we need new management”. It’s illogical. I don’t believe Santi Cazorla, for example, is past it. I believe he can recover his scintillating form. Likewise, I don’t believe for a moment that Arsène Wenger is past it. Whether his 84′ substitution of Podolski for Wilshere… Read more »

David

Players has bad and good games, even messi and ronaldo has those games. Wenger has failed in winning trophies for the team for 9 years until last season FA CUP and meaningless Community shield. 9 years > some games in which players can be rubbish

kona cadabra

well david he did have to manage a whole transition phase and the repayment of the stadium. arent you a bit off target asking for titles when the emphasis was to simply make top4 and get the 30m of the champions league every year? did you really expect arsenal with their 15-20 million budget per year to go beat chelseas united and cities and barcelonas and bayerns for the worlds biggest trophies? you must be mad then….

David

@ kona kadabra

Dortmund could beat all those teams u cited, and they barely has better budget than us and they’ve actually being fighting (semis, finals) for the ucl lately, so yeah, im sorry that i want my team to do better than “fight for top 4 every season and get out in the round of 16” and playing (gonna put it bluntly) boring sideaways passes with no aim and no game plan.

timmeh

So what? Do you think Dortmund is some small club? Dortmund has won the Champions League mate. Dortmund was huge in the early mid 90s. Dortmund is my team in Germany. Sammer, Chapuisat, Moeller., Sousa, remember them ? Where was Arsenal back then? Dortmund, today, has one Bayern Munich to deal with at home. Arsenal has three of those and another 4 clubs on more/less similar ability/spending ability. You can not compare the two. Arsenal chose to build, fund and repay their own ground and sacrificed titles for a good part of two decades, maybe more. Wenger has managed to… Read more »

Robstar

In the keane vs vieira tv programme the interviewer asked vieira what the best thing about wenger was he said “he trusts his players to do the right thing”. Then he was asked what’s the worse thing vieira said ” he trusts his players to do the right thing”. This group of players cannot be trusted so it’s up to the manager to step up and get the best out of his team. Wenger is lacking in this department so must go. We could have Messi and Ronaldo and we would still draw with Hull because of Wenger.

Gooneron

Only one Alexis

palace gunner

Fast paced game anderlect look pacey on counter, a few gd subs then look two important goals in less than two mins coyg

texasgooner

Quick poll: Do you still think Arsene is the right manager for this team?

Thumbs up for yes, down for no

Atletico Islington

He’s not been poor enough to warrant a sacking so early in the season but I could understand if people wanted him to leave come summer if we don’t significantly improve. He won’t though, the board are absolutely terrified of losing him.

sambo

Just note that without wenger we would not have Sanchez…. We would not have half the players we have lol

crouch End Gooner

Yeah, people don’t realise the stature Wenger has abroad. As usually, foreigners understand football better than us.

David

those are just assumptions we make, but isnt sure that without wenger (and maybe with another manager, let’s put klopp or guardiola as example) we wouldnt have those kind of players…

kona cadabra

hehe… guardiola will ask for players that the board cant afford …….. what do you do then ? Listen mate…we are not Real Madrid or Bayern…when Wenger came we were 50 years behind such clubs and within 18 we can stand shoulder to shoulder in terms of brand name recognition, stature and fame and only lack in the statistic count of major trophies. those will come too. with time. A club that stood between places 164-127 in uefa rankings , sits at position 6 without winning the damn thing…… have some respect please. p.s: when arsenal had its greatest team… Read more »

David

Dont get me wrong, i’m deeply thankfully with wenger and love the guy, but a change need to be done either with him on charge or with someone else

And you gonna say we cant afford the likes of Javi Martinez, Tiagos, Lewandowskis on frees?

Ben

Lovely goal by Gibbs!
Nice to see 6 Arsenal players in the box for the 2nd goal.

Henley Gooner

Amazing. One minute out of it, and playing the worst football for years, and yet if we beat Anderlect at home, we’re through already.

frank

so we fucking should be in this group. that was absolutely awful

Emilio

So happy and relieved with this win, but at the same time I can’t but feel for Anderlecht. They had an enthusiastic, bright performance, and some of their young players were outstanding. I guess in the end it is the experience which made the difference. Hope that this win will give us a confidence boost because honestly until the 80th minute, all you could see was huffing and puffing. We just don’t seem to click as a team, and it looks like the Wilshere-Ramsey partnership is not working. Anyway I think that this win could prove to be massive in… Read more »

Arsepedant

Dortmund is a strange team this year, middle of the pack rubbish in the Bundesliga yet twatting everyone in the CL. Hopefully the Bundesliga version of them shows up at the Emirates next month.

Tony Hall

And on the subject of players when is Aaron going to start playing again like he did last season because he has gone backwards this season.

MTZ

When he’s not bumping into Wilshere every time he turns. It looks like we’re trying to play two players in one position.

Arsepedant

And yet not so very long ago all anyone could talk about was how wonderful a partnership Wilshere and Ramsey were developing. Unfortunately, since then, one or the other or both has been out injured pretty near 100% of the time. Patience, folks – it’s takes more than a handful of games to build something like that.

A Yank

He’s gone backwards and Jack looks kinda, well, terrible. When he came off on the weekend, we scored. He came off today, we scored two.

H. P. Arsecraft

We won and I am happy about that but this can’t go on. We got to get a working gameplan with stability from the back. They are headless chickens running around without a thought in their heads. No lines, no structure, no responsibilities. Madness.

Wenger can’t fix this. His time is up and in all honesty he should have gone five years ago. Money was never the issue.

Szczesny's left thumb

Both mediocre. One only had to be worse.

palace gunner

Happy birthday mr wenger coyg

GHunner

Reminds me of Bayern-MUTD in ’99. Shifty performance and 2 late goals from the winning side.
Really really happy for Podolski.
That being said, is our team really that bad or is our manager just clueless in how to use them? Smh

David

I wouldnt say our team is that bad, we have some very good players (Alexis, Ozil, Santi, Kos, Walcott, Ramsey, Jack) but i think the system and style we try to play doesnt suit us anymore, specially cuz is a predictable way to play. I dont wanna put the blame enterely on wenger, cuz sure he is the manager, but the players are, at the end of the day, whom goes in the field and play, but i do think him has a part to play and is his stuborness to not change the system. We have quick, pacy players,… Read more »

John

Can anyone who said that ozil’s injury might be a blessing in disguise please jump off a cliff?
Thanks,
John

Alexstratz

Arsenal losing until the 89th minute. Scores 2 goals and win. Someone needs to make a meme out of this.

On another note, is it me or Podolski showed his index when coming on, saying “give me 1 chance, I’ll buy it for sure”?

Alexstratz

*bury

Arsepedant

“buy” worked as well.

Benvnc

Wow, literally in the last minute they start playing like the team we are supposed to be. Can’t wait for Theo to return some… Effort into the side.

AlDente

to shout verbal abuse at someone and their team on their birthday they must of really upset you, how quick can emotions change wow. Poldolski i love you! like really love you, like in a 3 piece KFC meal i’d give you 2 pieces.

DialSquareGoon

Arsenal starting to specialize in late goals… Not sure how I feel about that…

Witoldo

Gala were far, far worse than Anderlecht.

Witoldo

Why did my reply show up under the wrong comment?

Interesting to see where this one will appear.

Mootilated

Easily the worst performance this season. Im happy with the three points but today is evidence that we need a massive change somewhere.. a dire performance against the worst opposition we have faced so far. Shambles.

Witoldo

Gala were far, far worse than this Anderlecht side.

Virus-infected Aston Villa were too.

David

Im sorry, both mediocre perfomance once again, we were lucky Anderletch didnt scored a second. Hope Poldi dont go away anytime soon, he might dissapear in games, he might not be flashy and all but the guy is effective and right now thats what we need, no passes sideaways that leds to nothing. Pleased with the comeback, not pleased with (again) another poor perfomance. We’re oh so predictable right now.

At least we’re almost qualified for the round of 16

Arsepedant

If you’re going to say we’re lucky Anderlecht didn’t score a second, you have to also say Anderlecht are lucky they weren’t down 3-0 by the time they got their first. Cazorla wasted a chance three minutes in where it was easier to score, Sanchez had a free header from five yards out that he somehow contrived to skim off his back, and Cazorla had a good shot saved shortly after that. Anderlecht’s miss when they were 1-0 up was no different from any of those, so if you’re going to mention one of the misses, then please mention all… Read more »

David

You mean the shot that cazorla sent to the stands? the “missed header but hit my back” by alexis? yeah, kinda hard to count those 2 (ok will give the alexis one cuz it was actually on target) as real chances

Melbourne gooner

Fark…I left home for work just before 85th minute

Sol4real

for lack of words we were totally shit, we are waiting till Jan to get this season off, i mean what the hell do we have to do to get a decent performance from this team

Merson's grin

Why did AW wait till we were a goal down to make changes that were obviously needed? I am finding hard to feel confident about ant Arsenal game right now, including Sunderland this weekend. This match and Hull on Sat are two of the worst performances I can remember. BTW, I remember the 1971 double.

Arsepedant

I also remember the double of 1971, that was the year I became a supporter. And since then, there have been many, many games that were far worse than today’s. Four certain away matches from just last season alone spring immediately to mind. A match at Old Toilet four or five years ago. A match against Sheffield United in 06-07, when at the time we were top and they were bottom and they beat us 1-0. I remember the same sort of hyperbole then, van Persie is shit, Song is shit, this kid Fabregas is shit. Evidently you don’t remember… Read more »