Thursday, March 30, 2023

Report: Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb (inc goals)

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Cazorla, Campbell, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Gibbs, Chambers, Ramsey, Reine-Adelaide

Arsenal kept their Champions League hopes alive as goals from Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez helped them to a 3-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb at the Emirates this evening.

There was one change from the team that lost to West Brom at the weekend, with Joel Campbell replacing Kieran Gibbs. Enthusiasm for this fixture was in short supply, with lots of empty seats in the ground, but after a little bit of visitor pressure in the first few minutes, it was the Gunners who created the first chance.

Joel Campbell got down the inside right channel and pulled it back for Santi Cazorla but the midfielder could only pull his shot over the bar. Olivier Giroud had a half-chance from a Mesut Ozil corner, Campbell set up Alexis well but the Chilean couldn’t get his shot away from inside the box, and it looked as if Arsenal were most likely to break the deadlock in the opening stages.

News filtered through of Bayern goals against Olympiacos. Arsenal dominated possession and territory but found it hard to fashion clear cut chances,  until the 29th minute that is. Keeping the ball well from a deep position, Arsenal worked it out wide to Alexis, he crossed from the left, and Ozil stooped to head home from close range. 1-0.

The lead was doubled just 3 minutes later. After a Cazorla pass went astray, Dinamo had a chance to clear but their defender played the ball to Monreal. He drove into the box, squared for Alexis who finished into the bottom corner for his first goal in eight games. 2-0.

Ozil was in the mood for more, a fine run through the Zagreb defence gave him a sight of goal but the keeper got just enough on to direct it around the post, and Eduardo again denied the German when Monreal set up him up for a shot inside the box.

The game could have been out of sight at the break, instead a two goal lead was just reward for the way Arsenal played in the first half, and with Bayern leading 3-0 it was all going well.

The second period began much like the first with Cazorla testing Eduardo from distance, and then palming away a Giroud header from the resulting corner. Dinamo fired a shot not far wide and the Gunners might have been further ahead when Bellerin broke up field but the defending from Pinto was exceptional to prevent the pass that would have presented Alexis with a clear chance.

Campbell then volleyed wide with his right foot from inside the area, and the Costa Rican forward could have had a goal if an Alexis return pass from his break up-field had been better. Arsene Wenger then made his first change of the evening, bringing on Aaron Ramsey for Olivier Giroud in the 67th minute.

Moments later Arsenal had a third. Fantastic work down the left saw a nice Flamini flick to Campbell, he came inside, played a beautiful pass through the defence which Alexis picked up, went outside the keeper and finished from close range. 3-0.

The visitors almost got one back when a Koscielny clearance from inside the 6-yard box rebounded off one of his own men, but Petr Cech got down well to make the save. Alexis felt he should have had a 76th minute penalty but it would have been generous in fairness, while at the other end Cech made another save to deny Soudani.

There was a double change then with Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy coming on to replace Bellerin and Cazorla. For a moment there was great sadness that we didn’t get a little bit of The Jeff, but hey, it’s a small complaint on a night like this, and that pair are more likely to be needed over the next few weeks than the young Frenchman.

There was almost some added gloss with a fourth in the 88th minute. Alexis held the ball up, dinked a little ball over the defence, Ozil flicked a back header just wide with the keeper coming out.

In the end, the win was just what the doctor ordered, and it means that we go to Greece for the final group stage game knowing exactly what we need to do to make it to the knock-out stages.

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Wenger's smaller lesser used coat

– Campbell was fantastic tonight, did everything you could have asked of a right winger.
-Flam is tenacious and doesn’t actually lack pace for a DM but I fear he doesn’t have the tactical disipline to deal with big teams.
-Both our talismen özil and Sanchez were fantastic but why were they not taken off around 60 mins with the game won?
– Overall a good performance and result 🙂

Good result tonight, but we should of never lost to that lot away in the first place. Its going to be a very difficult game away in Greece, all they need is a draw, and we cannot end up in the Europa it would be a shocker for our League ambitions.

Coq au Vin

But we can win Europa league and we all know we haven’t got an ice cube’s chance in hell to win UCL.

Read this about how we need to increase EPL coefficient or 4th may not be good enough anymore:


Yeah I totally, we wont win the Champions League this year. But I’d rather be in it than the Europa League.


Next game is on Sunday so four days to rest Ozil and Sanchez…


Really big away performance need at Norwich to put last weekends horror show at West Brom behind us.


Speaking von Özil y Sanchez:

Are they becoming our modern day Deutsche Bergkamp and Chileno Pires?

Coq au Vin

‘Bellerin broke up field but the defending from Pinto was exceptional to prevent the pass that would have presented Alexis with a clear chance.’

Those are some rose tinted glasses your wearing/drinking… The square ball was on before he decided another touch would show the world his blinding pace. And guess what? The defender matched him and got a touch.


Was this a practice match? As a practice for what’s going to happen in Greece? We’re coming for you Olympiakos!


Back to winning ways, good to see Aexis on the scoresheet! COYG!

Tom Thumb

What is this wizardry, the ref just blew the whistle and you have a report up already.


If you want to understand wizardry, just ask Mesut!

Tom Thumb

Him and sanchez were outstanding, great game from Joel too


If you love wizardry you love Ozil!

Wenger has a large Coq

Not much happened in the last 20 minutes to write about (not complaining) so I think that would explain when the report was written


Proud of that!


Good response.


Can someone please explain what happens with the goal differential now when we play Olympiacos and what we need to do to qualify?

Mein Bergkampf

Win by two to have better head to head result.


We need to beat them with a two goal difference since they beat us 3-2 at home, and qualification is based on confrontation rather than goal difference


What happens if our boys go out there and win 3-2?

Tom Thumb

We’d go through on goal difference


Shot for the info, Thumb-man!


3 or more and a win then!

Tom Thumb

We can beat them by one goal too,as long as its 4-3 or higher,but I’d prefer a 2-0,my nerves won’t handle a 4-3


I believe you’re right – a 3-2 win won’t do it. A 3-2 win ties us on head-to-head points, goal difference, and away goals, and I think the next tie-breaker is overall goal difference. We’re currently -4, Olympiakos is -1.

Fuck the what-ifs. Just win by two.


I’m wrong. See my correction below.


Other way round: we’re -1, they are -4.
So a 3-2 win would suffice.


Sorry. I was too slow.


Yep, as the others have said it’s head to head, so think of it as a knockout game where we lost the first leg 3-2. Away goals count, too. Only difference being if we win 3-2, I believe it goes to goal difference (and certainly we don’t have extra time).

Tom Thumb

You’re correct bestie,if we win 3-2,the head to head is tied 3-2 both games,so it goes to goal difference and we’d be through


The definitive ruling: 17.01 If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order given to determine their rankings: a. higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question; b. superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question; c. higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question; d. higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question; e. if, after… Read more »

Coq au Vin

Thanks for the very thorough explanation. Only a fellow pedant could cover all the possibilities.

Eddie McGoldrick

Another (I think simple!) way to put it:

The 2 games you have played against the team you are level on points with are looked at as if they’re a 2-leg knockout game (so overall goals scored over the 2 games first, then on away goals if needs be.)

If still all level at this point, then it goes to the overall goal difference of each team in the group at the final standings (same as a regular league table rules.)

Anonymous Physicist

Sorry arsepedant, but you’re not exactly right. If we win 1-0 or 2-1 Olympiakos don’t go through on (c) head to head goals scored, but on (d) head to head goals away from home. The same if we win 4-3, 5-4, etc: (d), not (c).

David C

I think first tie-breaker in UCL groups should be goal difference of all the games and not just head-to-head record, especially considering the stupid away goal rule. Goal difference across all games uses more results.

Let’s just go smash them in Greece anyway and we don’t have to worry either way.


I agree. The only thing that being better in a head-to-head comparison with one team means is that you were worse than that team against the rest of the group. A group standing should be determined exactly the way a league standing is – because a group is nothing more than a small league! Overall points, followed by overall goal differential, followed by overall goals scored. If still tied, then you can go to overall away goals and the UEFA coefficient. But you should never use head-to-head anything.

Anonymous Physicist

Goal deficit has two disadvantages though:
– It is uneven in that some teams will have nothing to play for in the last round, so may be more likely to concede extra goals (this is true for getting points as well though, not just for scoring goals).
– It opens you up to match fixing opportunities, where a team that’s going out anyway can influence who goes through by conceding more goals (see Zagreb 1 – Lyon 7 in the 2011 group phase, which send Lyon through at the expense of Ajax).

St. Cathorla

Two scenarios for the Arsenal to progress:

1) Win by 2 goals or more in Greece
2) Win 3-2 in Greece

Always a trickier tie in Athens, but the motivation/desire/good-at-footballness the lads showed today makes me feel confident. COYG!


No that’s not right.

1) Win by 2 goals or more in Greece
2) Win and score 3 goals or more in Greece

(since we can win 3-2, 4-3, 5-4 etc)

Mein Bergkampf

Good result. Solid performance. It is strange how Wenger has been reiterating just how tired Alexis is and then plays him for a full 90 mins when the game was over in the 31st minute and Ozil, one yellow away from a suspension and also the victim of a gruelling schedule in recent weeks. All’s well that ends well I suppose. Well done fellas!


Alexis looks like he needs to KEEP playing – what a fucking player!


Talking about Alexis, how much more dangerous were we when he went up front? More of that please Arsene!

Titty Twistah

Making all the doom and gloom merchants look stupid again. You can’t win em all. Ramsey back in the side is a blessing. Plus Ozil and Sanchez are sex Gods.


Anyone that says Joel Campbell isn’t Arsenal quality can fuck right off. 10/10 for him tonight.


Certainly better than Gibbs on the left
maybe Zagreb made him look good…
Regardless he played some great passes and had some good takles

Flamini held his own, but was not tested
did you see him yell at Ozil for not crossing in the 40th min?
so much for good buddies when you could have scored

Good thing our next three games in the PL look winnable
bad thing is West Brom looked the same way

If our players were fit…oh we would be so good

David C

bit critical of Gibbs. I don’t think he was the problem in last week’s loss and his first touch is sublime.

Titty Twistah

He is a top utility player. His lack of shooting technique is pretty cringey at times … I mean he’s no slouch but he’s no Sanchez either. Today he had a chance and his volley looked so awkward. But he tries fucking hard which amounts to much and he tracks back, and he is pretty fast, and his passing is good. His pass to Sanchez today was sickening. I just am happy to have him around.

A kick in the Debuchy

In his defense, he didn’t have much time to react to that ricocheted ball he attempted to volley and considering we’ve even seen Sanchez fail to convert those kinds of chances this season. Anyway, I’m also glad to see him do what he’s doing.


We need to keep in mind the level of the competition tonight and their lack of defensive organization. Campbell did have a solid game as did every single player on the pitch (with the exception of Chambers in his brief spell). Campbell needs to show he can compete consistently at the pace of the PL and against the variety of styles of teams we play. Many players have looked great in CL matches against lower league teams over the years, especially at home. Not to say Campbell can’t get there, just hasn’t show enough yet in my opinion in the… Read more »


^^^ This.

I’m not creaming myself over Campbell’s performance as much as others are, but I will certainly agree that he was much better today than on the weekend. The problem is, I’ve only ever seen Campbell have two good matches in an Arsenal jersey – Swansea, and today. The rest of the time he’s looked as if he was playing for the other side.

He was pretty good today, but he’s got a long way to go before he convinces anyone that he’s moved up the pecking order in a fit squad.


It’s the same old bullshit when a player doesn’t perform to the required standard. The “off with his head” crowd comes out in force. It’s fucking pathetic!

Glad to see Campbell making progress. We need him and he’s doing well for us.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Well that was simple enough. Not dead in CL yet.

Me So Hornsey

It has to be a 2-0, 3-1, 4-2. 4-3 victory in Athens but a 1-0 or 2-1 to us is no good.

No idea what happens if it’s 3-2 to us, maybe goal difference?

Javanese Gooner

arsenal through on goal difference


Goal difference then

Toast with Butter and Jam

Alexis’s neck touch was a thing of beauty

Goone's Farm

I like how he glitched right after that, like he had to pause to contemplate how magnificent of a player he is 😀

David C

only thing better was that backwards Ozil header that just missed!


That would have been goal of the century if it went in.

Getso gunners

Glad we are back to winning ways and sanchez scoring again

Rip Van's Winkel

Good performance from the people everyone was concerned about, Campbell and Flamini,
and Özil ran the game brilliantly.
Zagreb obviously didn’t get their supplements tonight, so well done Arsene for bringing that to the table.


Apart from the dude that outpaced Bellerin that time. He must have been on something good…

Reality Check

you can’t keep the pace for as long as Bellerin tried also the other guy had a head start on him.


Yeah that guy had a 30 yard head start when bellerin started running and bell’s touch was in his direction. Plus he had the angle. He was shitting his pants that whole time


And Bellerin’s touch put his continuing path to the ball through the defender instead of past him. If he’d touched it to the outside he had the guy beat hands down.

dum dum

Well played the Arsenal. All of the players played well. But Campbell, what a great performance. I mention him by name since it was unexpected for me. Alexis and Mesut were awesome!!


Campbell was unbelievable. I know it’s only Dinamo but the boy’s got game. He keeps his place on the weekend regardless of who is back.


Campbell is beginning to catch up to the expected level. He should definitely keep his place in the team and move Ramsey to the middle of then park


Great game. Campbell was VERY impressive today…took players on and made some very good passes. More of that from him.
Ozil and Alexis were Awesome as well. We had some great combination play today.
Lets go to Greece and do the same.


Campbell on the right does what Ramsey does: he’s all over the pitch. Campbell’s biggest weakness is vision I believe, but some other wizard is running the show.


Can’t agree with that re vision. That pass for the third goal was sublime.


And the cut in and pass to Alexis for the first goal.


vision was pretty good for Sanchez’s third, I did not think he had those types of passes in him

he had a few other good through balls, I eagerly await by the numbers to see his stats


uh Sanchez’s second…

Die Hard Gooner

Good game. Winning 2-0 at Olympiacos’s homeground is going to be tough but still possible. we have to win. Otherwise we will be joining the Shit from down the road in the europa league. no more glorious failures. The europa league will hammer our title chances. COYG.

Coq au Vin

I think you’ll find that lot is actually ‘up the road’ and near Enfield.


Meh, if we do drop down to the Europa League the Scum will be out of it by then. And if they aren’t, we’ll put them out of it quickly enough.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Great game. Now scenario for the final game – * Win for Arsenal by 2 goals or more – Arsenal through * Win for Arsenal by 1 goal, as long as Arsenal score 4 goals or more – Arsenal through. However what happens if its Arsenal 3-2? Any ideas With the aggregate scores tied, will the 2nd place be settled on Goal Difference? If yes, then Arsenal are well ahead on GD right now. So then, a win by a difference of two goals or more definitely sees Arsenal through, or a win by 1 goal difference as long as… Read more »


Campbell looking the part tonight.
Ozil and Sanchez fervent and effective too.
Chambers out of sorts for the short time he was in the pitch. Hope he finds his feet.
Overall a goodnight for us. Bring on Olympiakos.


I have only one question, everyone stating that we need to beat Olympiacos by 2 goals, but what if we beat them with same result 2-3 ?

Die Hard Gooner

I think next comes goal difference. They will be on -5 and we will be on -1 if we win by 3 goals to 2.


They will be on -5 and we will be on 0. It’s currently -4 and -1. But the gist is correct, we advance with a 3-2 win.

Abou Diaby Institute of Medical Science and Technology

A thoroughly entertaining performance. So many little tricks and flicks and touches and tight passes

I really like the look of Campbell

All that’s left is the simple matter of smashing the Athenians. I have sent emissaries to Sparta and Corinth to seek their aid and counsel. I foresee a glorious victory

Naija Gunner

Loving this…COYG!


I thought Cazorla was superb!


Mesut Ozil is fifth dimension.


Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the minds true liberation

Yep, that’s Ozil.

Man Manny

Just how good is Mesut Ozil?


A very good performance from him. Love the fact that he was actually taking shots on goal, though he missed 2 sitters. Just what we need from our 42mil man. The more he becomes a goal threat the more the other players will be open and even more assist for him.


Fifth dimension good, apparently.


I want The Jeff


Winning by 2 goals against Olympiakos in Athens is going to be hard as fuck… but Bayern won 3-0 there and 4-0 at home. We should be able to at least get a 2-0 victory then, as long as we don’t have too many injuries. From now on, no nonsense attitude in the league to get some victories without the need to over-commit energy.


I know it’s not what we want (some would argue it’s the worst possible outcome) but am I right in thinking we’re guaranteed europa league now due to a better head-to-head against Zagreb?


Er, to be clear, that is (I think) it’s champions league or europa league, we can’t finish 4th and go out of europe altogether. Forgot the rather crucial “at least”.


You are correct. We can now only finish second or third in our group. We cannot finish last because we hold the tie-breaker against Zagreb.

Petits Handbag

Go to Greece with no other game plan than score. Make the game as open as possible and constantly get the ball to Mesut. His current form is giving me 90 minute boners which is worrying since the missus only gives me twenty.


After today olympiakos is well beaten….


When we were 2-0 up and Ozil’s shot was saved by the keeper – Flamini wasn’t happy.

What are the chances it was because he was disappointed for Ozil rather than that Ozil didn’t pass to him?!

Man Manny

Sanchez Giroud Campbell
The odd man out was Giroud. If we had Walcott or his like in the No. 9, we would have destroyed them with up to six goals.


Nonsense, Ollie put a good shift in, I don’t understand so much hate for someone who gives so much for the team.


How can you call that nonsense? Dont be so dismissive of peoples opinions – engage & discuss.

Man Manny

Not hate Vonnie, take it easy. I love Giroud; only talking about the dynamics of the game and tactics here. The 3 other guys would have been better served by speed and agility rather than strength. I felt the counter was slow because of Giroud. Nobody is hating anybody here.


Agree 100%. Girouds obviously a good player but as our line leader the way we play is dictated by his limitations. Against poorer opposition like tonight our individual talents will do the job for us but against better teams we become more insipid


Giroud made the first goal happen with his really fast yes really fast, run!


Disgraceful turn out tonight. Too many fickle fans.oo many with the over simplistic and defeatist attitude that they rather see us in Europa. If these fans were our team, we’d never win anything. Its when the going gets tough that we should dig in, keep calm and carry on not provide a tetchy and edgy atmosphere. We should give the team encouragement and support. This is a team with Flamini (unfairly castigated often as a poor player) and Campbell who was outstanding today particularly with the assist. We need to go and win it by two goals in Greece. Frankly… Read more »

David C

I don’t get it. If you’re not going to go to the game then sell your tickets or give them to somebody, perhaps a fan that can’t afford the prices…


Campbell looked lively this evening. Here’s to more of that while Theo is out- perhaps we can use him in the central role (off the bench) to give Giroud a rest.


Did Sanchez have to play the full 90 minutes? I expected to see Jeff.


We won 2-0 away against Monaco last season, when we desperately needed goals. Surely we can win 2-0 away against Olympiakos.


Wenger is just paying lip service to the idea of resting him. There was an opportunity today to do it.


Something must have been bugging Giroud. Didn’t look happy today.


Arsene said he had an ankle knock from before, so he was playing a bit injured.


Love covers a multitude of sin; A win covers a multitude of issues.

Gooners' Goon

All i’ll say is this…if that sublime Campbell’s pass to Alexis had been made by Ozil,Iniesta,Messi etc, we’d all be raving about how ‘extraterrestrial’ they are. Campbell was brilliant,simples. Next,Norwich.


Blogs and does any team in Europe have more 3:0 wins than us this season so far?
Long may it continue

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