Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck
Subs: Macey, Monreal, Mustafi, Nelson, Xhaka, Willock, Nketiah
Arsenal went through the Round of 16 of the Europa League despite being beaten 2-1 by Östersunds FK at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger’s team selection included Hector Bellerin despite the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, while Jack Wilshere played in midfield.
With a 3-0 lead from the first leg, the Gunners weren’t exactly full on from the start and the visitors took advantage, having the first chance of the game from close range but the effort was blocked by Rob Holding.
There was further danger in the 10th minute when Nouri took his eye off the ball when he’d just have had Ospina to beat, and Sema forced Ospina into a save in the 18th minute. Arsenal had yet to threaten the visiting keeper.
Nice work from Bellerin down the right saw Wilshere shoot but it was blocked out for a corner, and then the visitors made the most of the fact Arsene Wenger’s side were not switched on at all.
In the 23rd minute, they worked it down the right, Aiesh was played onside by Chambers and he slotted home. 1-0. Just 69 seconds later they doubled their lead.
After Iwobi lost it, they played a hopeful long ball forward, Sema held off Chambers, and fired a shot across Ospina into the far corner. 2-0.
There was little response from Arsenal, Wilshere shot over the bar from a good position, and Ghoddos hit a free kick on target after Maitland-Niles had been booked for a foul as the Swedes played with 10 men due to injury.
They took the lead into the break, at which point Arsene Wenger replaced Maitland-Niles with Granit Xhaka, and in the opening minute of the first half got a goal back.
Kolasinac, Bellerin got down the right, crossed it, defender made a bollix of it, and the Bosnian smashed it in from close range with his right foot. 1-2.
Welbeck did well to create a chance for himself, but his decision to try and chip the keeper from 2 feet away from him showed his lack of confidence. Ostersund had another great chance to score when a corner was flicked on, but Ospina saved at the feet of the attacker.
Elneny had a pop at goal but it was straight at the keeper, and that was followed by Danny Welbeck doing exactly the same with his head from close range after being set up by Iwobi.
Joe Willock came on with around 15 minutes to go in place of Wilshere, Arsenal had some crosses which didn’t find Arsenal men and the visitors really were the better team on the night.
Although the Gunners had a two goal cushion, it was almost cut to one in the 83rd minute when Islamovic flicked a cross from the right just wide of the post. Kolasinac got forward well, Willock had a shot blocked and Iwobi shot over but we don’t want to make it sound like Arsenal were dangerous because we weren’t.
The referee fell over, Welbeck had a shot saved, Iwobi went off with cramp to be replaced by Nelson and in the end the game was put out of its misery by the final whistle.
Not exactly the preparation you’d want for a cup final.