Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah, Wilshere, Welbeck
Petr Cech saved a penalty from Troy Deeney as Arsenal got revenge against Watford with a 3-0 win at the Emirates this afternoon.
Arsene Wenger made six changes from the team that beat AC Milan during the week, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles deployed at right-back while Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey were rested completely.
The Gunners had the first sight of goal early on when Mesut Ozil played through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the striker’s effort was saved well by the keeper. Richarlison shot wide at the other end, but in the 8th minute Arsenal were ahead via Shkodran Mustafi.
It wasn’t dissimilar from the goal he scored against Sp*rs earlier in the season. Ozil curled in a free kick from the left hand side, and his fellow German rose highest to head home. 1-0.
The visitors looked to respond quickly and Cech was forced into a good save from Doucoure after he’d been set up by Richarlison. Elneny and Kolasinac combined for the Bosnian to fizz a low cross to the back post which Aubameyang just couldn’t quite get to in time, before Arsenal had a real let off.
Xhaka gave away a free kick outside the box, Richarlison forced Cech into a save but he could only parry it to the feet of Pereyra who blasted over from close range. Almost immediately, Ozil almost doubled the lead after great play saw him one one one with Femenia, but the Watford keeper saved with his leg.
Rob Holding deflected a cross just over his own bar as Watford pressed for an equaliser, and in injury time Cech made a fine save from a Richarlison header to ensure the reds took the lead into the break.
There were no changes by either manager at half-time, and Watford began the second period well with a succession of corners. Mustafi picked up a yellow card and Arsene Wenger’s men found it hard to cope with the pressing from the visitors who were certainly on top.
So, it was very much against the run of play when the Gunners doubled the lead just before the hour mark. Mkhitaryan picked it up, drove through midfield and slipped the ball through to Aubameyang who went around the keeper and rolled the ball home to make it 2-0.
Almost straight away though, Watford had a chance to get back into it when they were awarded a penalty. Troy Deeney, with his big fat cojones, stepped up and at long last Petr Cech saved from the spot and Deeney remained a big fat bollix. Stick those cojones up your jacksie, tubs.
Up the other end Mkhitaryan was taken out in the box, it was as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see, but somehow Martin Atkinson did not point to the spot. Danny Welbeck came on to replace Iwobi in the 67th minute, and Calum Chambers replaced Mustafi five minutes later when the German went down with an injury, leaving Arsenal with a fairly inexperienced and makeshift back four.
However, the game was made safe withArsenal worked it down the left, Ozil’s low cross was deflected to Aubameyang who played it back to Mkhitaryan and the Armenian’s shot found its way through and into the net. 3-0.
Jack Wilshere came on for Mkhitaryan with 13 minutes to go, perhaps a shame not to give some minutes to Reiss Nelson. Welbeck forced a save from Ferminia, and while there was some late danger from Watford the result and the three points were never in doubt.
This winning thing is nice.