Report: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid (1-3 on pens – inc goals)

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Result: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid (1-3 on penalties)
Competition: International Champions Cup (pre-season)
Date: July 26th 2018
Venue: Singapore Sports Hub

Arsenal starting XI

Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

5′ – chance Aubameyang

Great work from Reiss Nelson who bursts through, to the byline, and floats a cross to the back post. Aubameyang’s shot deflects wide, and from the resulting corner Ramsey pokes wide at the near post.

11′ – optimism

New signing Matteo Guendouzi, who has looked bright, sees glory from 40 yards out but as you might expect his shot does not trouble Jan Oblak in the Atletico goal.

13′ – chance Aubameyang

Arsenal take a corner to the back post, it’s there to be hit, but the striker whacks it into the ground and wide. The Gunners are dominating territory and possession.

22′ – save Oblak

Arsenal won the ball back well, and broke forward quickly. Aubameyang played Ramsey down the left, and eventually Lacazette shoots for the near post from a tight angle, but he’s denied by the keeper.

24′ – danger

The first moment of danger at our end as Gameiro gets in behind Holding but just can’t control the pass that’s fired into him. Following that Partey hits a shot about 3 miles over the bar.

29′ – Mustafi block

Juanfran sets up Correa inside the Arsenal area but his shot is scuffed and Mustafi gets in the way to help get it clear. Shortly after Vietto fires over from the edge of the Arsenal box.

32′ – Oblak save

Once again Lacazette is denied after being set up brilliantly by Ramsey. From the left hand side the French striker smashes a goal-bound shot but Oblak stands big to make a good stop.

39′ – Oooooooh

Almost a goal for Arsenal. Lacazette’s left footed shot is palmed away by Oblak into the path of Nelson who looks certain to score but the defender gets it clear at the last minute. Bizarrely, the referee gives a goal kick.

41′ – ⚽️ Goal Atletico Madrid 0-1

Correa turns Holding too easily and drives into the box. He lashes in a cross, Vietto gets away from Guendouzi who has switched off for a second and his diving header flies beyond Leon to give the Spaniards the lead, somewhat against the run of play.

📺 GOAL CLIP

45′ – Holding heads wide

From a Smith Rowe corner the defender looks to make up for his part in the goal but heads well wide from 12 yards.

Half-time: Arsenal 0-1 Atletico Madrid

The Gunners were bright, dominated possession, but the Spanish side grew into the game and grabbed a goal late in the half to take a 1-0 lead into the break. All a bit familiar, but old habits, a bit like Bruce Willis, die hard.

Unai Emery makes just one change at the break, bringing on Petr Cech for Bernd Leno, and he wears the number 1 for the first time.

47′ – ⚽️ GOAL ARSENAL 1-1

Emile Smith Rowe picks up a loose ball in midfield, drives at the back four, and then smashes a brilliant shot into the top corner past substitute keeper Adan.

📺 GOAL CLIP

49′ – Ramsey shot

The Welshman has a pop from distance but he doesn’t catch it quite right and it trickles through tamely to the keeper.

58′ – OMG

Arsenal are all over the place at the back, Guendouzi is found wanting, Cech makes a brilliant save, it rebounds to to an Atletico player at point blank range and somehow last ditch defending by Holding sees it blocked over the bar. It’s hard to know how they didn’t score there.

Moments later, Partey has a clear sight of goal in our box, but scuffs his shot wide off Mustafi for a corner, which begets another corner, and from the next one Cech saves a header.

62′ – Changes

On: Sokratis, Mavropanos, Nketiah, Perez, Chambers, Mkhitaryan, Osei-Tutu, Maitland-Niles

Off: Holding, Mustafi, Bellerin, Ramsey, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nelson, Smith-Rowe

Sort of looks like a back three with Kolasinac and Osei-Tutu as wing-backs.

72′ – Sokratis

Arsenal give the ball away too easily, the shot on goal is tame, but the Greek defender gestures for this teammates to calm down and not rush things.

73′ – Cambios

Atletico Madrid make seven changes. Guendouzi comes off for Arsenal to be replaced by Joe Willock.

80′ – tekkers

Osei-Tutu clears with an overhead kick inside his own box!

81′ – Yellow card Chambers

The Arsenal defender is booked for a foul or possibly dissent, I think.

82′ – Chance Nketiah

The striker makes a good run behind the defence, but from a very tight angle and on the stretch, he can’t get any power on his shot and it’s easy for the keeper.

86′ – half-chance

A corner comes to Mavropanos at the back post but he’s not really expecting the ball and his control lets him down.

90′ – Added time

We’ll have 4 minutes of additional time, and if nobody scores then a penalty shoot-out.

90 + 4′ – Nobody scored

An interesting enough game, some nice moments especially the Smith-Rowe goal, but not a lot to learn beyond that. Now, the game will be decided by:

Penalty shoot-out

Correa – ❌
Mkhitaryan – ❌
Hernandez – ⚽️
Willock – ❌
Some bloke – ❌
Maitland-Niles – ⚽️ (Panenka!)
Mollejo – ⚽️
Nketiah – ❌
Adan – ⚽

Atletico Madrid win 3-1 on penalties. Arsenal’s penalties were pretty poor, but it’s not really that important. The first serious run-out of the season is under our belts, and it’s PSG on Saturday.

Full-time: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid (1-3 on penalties)

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ramgooner
ramgooner

We need another winger/striker. A winger if Auba is going to play ST or a CF if Auba is going to play LW. Wish we still had Giroud with us.

Sean
Sean

Aubameyang’s only being moved out to the left because we’re trying to force him and Lacazette into the same team. Another striker is frankly one of the last things we need in this squad right now.

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

Play 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 then. It makes no sense playing one of Europe’s most lethal finishers out wide to accomodate.

Dark Hei
Dark Hei

He did very well on the left. I think he has more space to run with the ball with Lacazette doing the dirty work of getting his ass marked by defenders.

axedsoul
axedsoul

A winger would do the trick. Also, IMO, Auba shouldn’t be made to play on the wings. We should keep him where he is the most lethal, inside the box.

Martin
Martin

Another striker? Aubamayeng and Lacazette are both better than Giroud. We have Eddie and maybe Perez in the wings

ramgooner
ramgooner

Eddie, Perez and Iwobi are not going to get us the PL.
Welbeck is the only real backup. We should have kept one of Walcott, Giroud.

TheCoreDQ
TheCoreDQ

🙁 No Lucas Perez please. Glad to have Welbeck in the squad once he is ready. Lucas is neither a winger or an accomplished striker and Welbeck has a larger upside to his game both offensively and on the defensive.

Dark Hei
Dark Hei

Agree with DQ; watched the match and I think for a backup, Welbeck is 10,000 miles ahead of Perez.

Jimbo jones
Jimbo jones

Completely irrelevant but santi is playing again. So happy for him! https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/26/santi-cazorla-arsenal-villarreal-injury

Love that guy!

Jasper_Tudor
Jasper_Tudor

We have Nelson on the wings too, I feel like we should give him a real chance this season, he is already technical better than walcott. Just needs to start finishing.

Double98
Double98

in min 58 Guendouzi is shoved in the back with two hands and goes down as he was slighlty off balance. Its a clear foul… No idea what ramsay was doing walking around the 6 yard box tho

gooner
gooner

He is a box to box midfielder. Otherwise he’d be a er, to box just

axedsoul
axedsoul

Argh, I can never quite get used to seeing us lose, even if in a pre-season friendly. But it felt good to see the lads back in action. Smith and Nelson seem really enticing, have a feeling that they are going to offer something special this season.

Defensive frailties are still prominent but I guess Emery will figure it out over the next few games. Guendouzi might prove to be a key player, just needs to keep his head straight.

A lacklustre attacking display despite massive possession in the first half but I’m positive that they’ll pickup as the pre-season progresses.

Dunno if anybody else feels this way, but I have a very positive feeling about this season.
COYG!

shokim
shokim

Wonderful goal by ESR! but blimey those penalties were awful!

The Old Git's Whistle Test
The Old Git's Whistle Test

Cech saved more penalties today than the whole of last season I think. 😊 Sounds like a good run-out and Guendouzi could be a cracking signing from what I’ve heard of the game. Keep it up lads.

southpaw74
southpaw74

Maybe,, but probably would of won the shoot out with one of the other keepers in goal

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

Did we just miss three out of four penners? 😁

Double98
Double98

Yes but they were penos not penners.

Who says penner?

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

Hi-brid wording, I think.

C.B.
C.B.

Smith-Rowe looking a great prospect at a young age, lovely dribble and finish. Atletico were missing a lot of their top players and it was definitely a pre-season feel to the match.

Lots of youngsters taking the penalties, good experience if they can learn from it.

Lari03
Lari03

ERS with some fantastic footwork and a goal to cap.

Lari03
Lari03

Actually it should be ESR!

No!
No!

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate!

Duno
Duno

A full blooded lad if you catch my drift.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

Wenger out!

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

I like Parks & Recreation, but I can’t stand Jean Ralphio.
I like Arseblog News, but I can’t stand…

Papastathaplopolopolis
Papastathaplopolopolis

Loved that Panenka pen almost as much as I love this new match report format.

Goonertex
Goonertex

For me, Guendouzi plays a very similar game to Elneny.

C.B.
C.B.

At the hairdresser, yes.

Scott P
Scott P

I dunno. To me he seemed more like an Arteta type. Good passing range, dictated the tempo, and barely misplaced a pass. Always available for the ball. Compared to Ramsey, less running all over the place, less intent to get forward, more picking up the ball from the center defenders and distributing to others around him than trying to get on the end of something.

Scott P
Scott P

Oh crap, spent that entire post thinking you had said Ramsey haha. Fair enough then, I agree with that sentiment more. He seems to have a little bit more swagger/spring in his step compared to Elneny, but maybe that’s just the new player goggles talking 😎

southpaw74
southpaw74

Spring in his step,, thats true,, also wanting a HUGE pay rise by the looks of things

Savage
Savage

Guendouzi is a cross between Elneny and Wilshere. He tackles more than Wilshere, but he has the surging turn and run through the midfield that could set up more chances than Elneny does.

TheCoreDQ
TheCoreDQ

Very similar players on the ball. However, it feels like there’s more to the young french lad than with Elneny.

The only big positive with Elneny is the movement into space that comes with the passing.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

“Guendouzi plays a very similar game to Elneny.”

Ssssssh, quiet you. If Santori hears that, that’s Guendouzi done for.

Rumour has it on a full moon, if you chant “elneny” 3 times into a mirror, Santori appears behind you and hits you with a 50-page thesis on why he hates Elneny.

santori
santori

Just once is enough.

Guendouzi has the nice chap element like Elneny where we need more aggression. Hope Torreira does not get knocked.

I don’t see Elneny as any better than Guendouzi. They are OK players.

You still feel deep midfield lacks depth in capability.

That said, both Elneny and Guendouzi could improve. But will it be enough this season?

Again Torreira is probably one of the better signings this summer (The others have been OK to why bother)

BUT we still have yet to settle him into the squad as well.

Elneny as I have always mentioned, OK off the bench but if there is a buyer, sell and get someone better (and with more experience than young Guendouzi)

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Shambles I say…SHAMBLES!!! 😏

On a more serious note,how many Ballon d’Or is Smith-Rowe winning by 2025? my bet is at least 5.

nycgunner
nycgunner

He might be the first player ever to win the Ballon d’Or twice in the same year.

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

He’s the best player ever to play football.

By Giroud’s Beard!
By Giroud’s Beard!

Greater than TGSEL, Lord Bendtner?

N10
N10

That was rough. After watching WC soccer, yikes.

Smith-Rowe, Maitland-Niles had two best plays of the game, a goal and a beauty of a feed to Nketiah. Guendouzi played pretty well except for the oversight on Atleti’s goal. Overall, I ‘d say the future’s bright.

Mustafi played pretty well I thought. Kola was OK. Rambo had some nice touches.

Auba does not belong on the wings. Never been impressed with Lacazette at lone CF. They either belong right up front together or something else needs to happen.

Pretty Wengerian game unfortunately, lots of possession, little result. Midfield play better, though.

Those penalties were embarrassing, except for Maitland-Niles’, that kid is a BOSS, love it.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

I know it’s friendly and all, but seeing Mustafi did his habit of quickly turning around and blaming other guys (for the first goal) just riled me up a bit.

southpaw74
southpaw74

Shit ain’t we sold him yet

Joblamo
Joblamo

So strange seeing not-Wenger on the sidelines!

Granit (e) hard!
Granit (e) hard!

Not-Wenger?😂😂😂🤣…seriously though, i admit, it kinda felt strange to me too. My eyes kept straying to the touchlines maybe subconsciously looking for him there.

santori
santori

Not that Emery was any more able to beat Simeone.

Olly

FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 1-1 ATLETICO MADRID (AMN WINS THE PENALTIES)

santori
santori

A largely youth Atletico team with some reserve players it has to be said sprinkled in.

Boz
Boz

Like the new layout/style. Keep it going

TdotO
TdotO

A winger
Any winger
Chicken wing…er
Angel wing…er

The team is too unbalanced without a WING…ER!!!

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

What’s Nelson? A fullback?

santori
santori

Too true.

Matthew
Matthew

No comment on the match, but love the post game review format here. Goal clips! Keep up the great work!!

Paul
Paul

ESR looks like a certain Jack Wilshere!

Nameless gunner
Nameless gunner

Not to be negative.. I certainly didn’t see any change in the playing style.. and importantly the apparent style of Emery.. the high press.. I understand it is not easy to change the style of play in a jiff.. but..

Matt
Matt

Still a lot of Wenger in the team, hopefully it will eventually go under Emery

hg hg
hg hg

I would like them to keep some of the Wenger.

Nameless gunner
Nameless gunner

Yup, definitely.. the best of Wenger! The attacking flair

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Did you think some 3 weeks of preseason (some of whom have only been there a week) would somehow change 22 years of ingrained cultural behaviours?

This is why I keep telling people to calm down on the next season “we’re gonna win the league” stuff. Took Pep Klopp and Poch at least a season before their ideas started to come through, but us Arsenal fans never listen and just like to get carried away.

Onenil
Onenil

I agree, we are definitely going to win the league.

santori
santori

There hasn’t been change in playing style.

Not yet anyway. Largely the same formation bc that’s what Emery has at disposal.

Also there has not been any better practise in market purchases.

Sure we did some business early but some of those players are easy to get early anyway.

We are severely lacking in top end quality at the moment.

Matt
Matt

Many positives on the first meaningful game. Still a few bad habits from the Wenger era like trying to dribble inside our box rather than just clear it to the stands, or Holding showing why he cost 3m. Hopefully Emery will fix things like that…

Granit (e) hard!
Granit (e) hard!

– Good work out for the lads, but too early to form any kind of opinion on the readiness of the squad, plus too many substitutions anyway for any kind of attacking potency.
– I know its early days but we need to sort out our ‘new style’ passing from the back fairly quickly…else we get roasted in the EPL
– just as i was sulking and mourning potentially losing the Jeff, thank heavens, i found my self another favourite…Smith-Rowe!…that boy is going to be something special. I think he is ready too. Top talents usually are at that age. I only pray the injury gods favour him, and those around him can keep his feet firmly grounded to allow him take those final crucial steps in his development to get him there

Mpls
Mpls

Ah, confirmation Guendouzi is true Arsenal, watching his mark waltz in untroubled and put it into the net! Joking aside, his passing and possession play looked the part.

Orion
Orion

The new kid’s nickname is Matty G, right? I mean, look at his hair. Give the dude a saxophone and let the soft jazz flow.

eddymc2
eddymc2

Arsenal podcast – I forget which – referred to him as “Kenny Guendouzi”

Lone Star Gunner
Lone Star Gunner

Not bad, not great.

We tried to play out of the back against the press so often and in such comically risky situations I wondered whether Emry instructed the team to play out from the back at almost any cost as a training exercise. Not sarcasm honest question as to whether that might have been the concept in order to test defenders and mids for on the ball aptitude.

santori
santori

Which is similar to Wenger.

What we are fundamentally lacking is someone to quick release to on the flanks who can take it up on his own and complement the likes of Auba.

Also in midfield (Torreirra aside), still haven’t got the player who can drive through the middle. Maybe AMN if we let him feature a bit more.

santori
santori

Firstly its pre-season.

Having said that I don’t think we can say we did that well against a largely reserve and Atletico youth side.

Granted we were also playing some youngsters but toward last 20-25 minutes, we were largely arrayed against a very very young side.

Where we were once feature in CL and Atletico struggled to compete, how times have changed. We hardly measure up to them anymore.

That said, its work in progress. As expected Emery did not employ anything too new.

We largely set up in similar fashion to where Wenger left off in a 4-2-3-1 with Auba left side and later a 3-5-1.

The latter did not offer any more security again considering the fact that soon after, Atletico put on their youth side.

So we cannot definitively say we have made progress defensively just yet.

On to PSG on the weekend.

Clearly we have work to do still defensively with several mistakes one from Holding that led to their goal (plus Guendouzi did not track the runner then another jittery moment from their left with Gunedouzi losing it and Ramsey almost punished for overplaying the ball in our own box.

Other thing of course is our poor penalties. Mhkitaryan you’d expect would put it away. That said, their reserve keeper was in fine form.

santori
santori

As for players –

1) Leno – Largely OK. Germany number one spot is up for grabs so hopefully he seizes on the opportunity this season but up against him on the other end Oblak who made 3 decent saves against Lacazette.

2) Holding – Poor mistake which led to the goal otherwise tidy. Big season ahead for him and you get the feeling Chambers, Holding, Mavropanos are all auditioning for a bigger role or we still have to find solution from market down the line.

3) Mustafi – Two very pivotal stops from the German. He led the team in intercepts last season and is now our ‘Koscielny’. What gets built around him will dictate how we can better perform defensively.

4) Bellerin – Some dcent forays forward but he needs to pick better crosses. Still prefer AMN offering him copetition at Rback frankly.

5) Kolasinac – One poor defensive mistake but otherwise offered good threat going forward and spreading the game wide for us. Again big season to stake his claim ahead of the aging Monreal this season (where is Nacho?)

6) Guendouzi – Good passing distribution and largely a decent presence but you feel its still early for him and if we are using him as back up to Torreira (who still needs to bed in), he may still be a bit green as illustrated in two pivotal moments, one where he did not track back which led to the goal and another where he lost the ball which ended with near calamity for us again. Also a bit flimsy and falls over too easily. Will have to get stronger.

Again he seems to have the nice demeanor much like Elneny where we really require an aggressive personality. That said still early days but we just sold the Jeff whom to me was more a stand out performer between the two (albeit slightly different employment). Hopefully he grows into the PL but reliance on him (even as back up) will be a massive mistake at this point. Elneny isn’t that much better.

Midfield depth is still a bit concerning. Torreira has yet to bed in. Beond him, we are looking at Elneny or Guendouzi or Granit.

7) Ramsey – We played two mids in front of Guendouzi who sat deep. Ramsey is most dangerous slightly higher up. Over complicated things once in the box but otherwise took leadership for most parts. You feel though his position is best higher up closer to the striker

8) Smith-Rowe – Good display by the young lad to carve the goal. Strong in challenges and offers an outlet. That said, still very young and again will be best out on good loan to further develop but otherwise potential and a real handful in the making.

9) Auba – Some decent touches and movement but should have troubled this Atletico side more. Some people now trumpeting him as the new “world class”. I hope he bangs them in this coming season but to me, he is best higher up at apex.

10) Nelson – I thought he was very effective for us. We lack a genuine wide player and Nelson is the closest we have (bar Iwobi) in offering the sort of pace and skill not to mention his crossing is more than decent. Would really like to keep him in first team and have him feature for us this season. He could be the real X factor for us.

11) Laca – Again some people trumpeted him as “world class” but frankly he has failed to hit the heights thus far (even bar injury). 3 decent attempts at goal but the keeper was on to them although Laca could have done better on 2 of the occasions. The other thing is he doesn’t seem to hold the ball well enough. Granted we do not expect him to keep high balls lofted at him ala say Giroud or Welbeck, but he conspired to lose a couple of balls to feet as well against frankly as mentioned a largely reserve/youth Atletico midfield.

Again there is a reason why Giroud starts for France.

I am a bit concern with out attack frankly particularly if we sell Welbeck. Even if we don’t sell him, we need to offer more control and threat on apex. With a fast winger, it may be better to employ Auba up top.

12) Papas – OK but largely untested by a mainly youth squad. He looks heavy. My concern would be mobility. Those who bemoan Per and Giroud in the past but stay silent now. We face teams like Liverpool, Spurs and City. In particular City with Sane, Sterling and Mahrez.

13) Chambers – Again decent but in context with level of opposition we faced.

14) Mavro – similar but have to like his build.

15) Ossu tutu – Grew into the game but again would prefer AMN feature as right back surrogate. Offers so much more.

16) Willock – We struggled last 20 minutes to compose midfield and largely against their youth team. Uncle Joe has some decent points but truly we will need better in PL and he will do better on loan to develop.

17) AMN – Loved his Paneker penalty. AMN is calmness personified. Some good muscular runs through midfield as well and one excellent lay off. Good potential in midfield but again may not be the man to back up Torreira just yet.

18) Mhkitryan – Did OK. Expected more from his penalty.

19) Nketiah – Another surprisingly who missed his penalty. Some good runs from the young man. Again hard choice between Nelson and him to feature in first team league games but you feel Nelson may just have a very slight edge.

20) Perez – Deployed out right where I thought he may have profited from a higher central role switching with young Nketiah. He’s obviously hungry and means business but how to get the best out of him.

The other thing as alluded to in our attack is if we have enough variation without Welbeck (not sure why he can’t feature pre-season on account he barely started for England)

Do not think Perez is the solution to our lack of a natural wide player. He’s more akin to Laca IMO as a box predator. BUT can either hold the ball up and distribute as effectively as OG did?

Still plenty of questions to be answered.

Onward to the next show with PSG.

johar
johar

Welbeck is out because, like most human beings, he needs, and is entitled to, a holiday.

santori
santori

Transition play still slow.

Good to face Atletico even if it was largely their youth team with a couple of reserve players sprinkled in. Defensively they are axiom.

BUT we sorely lack a natural wide player to fully take advantage of the abilities of BOTH Granit and Torreira (in many ways the improved Elneny and Guendouzi as well) in providing accurate long balls from deep to quick release our attack.

We need someone who is BOTH quick but also able to beat a player or two on his own accord down the flanks.

With that, we will better compliment Bellerin out right and Auba on the left or if Auba should be employed on apex then be able to truly execute a 4-3-3 akin to what France did on the counter before teams set in in front of their box.

I suppose on evidence, Nelson is the closest we have to someone who can offer something in this regard and he did well for us first half but we also will benefit from a slightly more experienced player in this regard.

Still question marks also persist in deep midfield beyond Torreira (who has also yet to settle in) so who should be brought in as the potential ‘last signing’ is up for debate.

There is also something to suggest that the Papas signing has not entirely solved issues further back at Cback. The way we play, particularly if our attack slows down, we are too often open to quick counters and mobility will become an issue (There is a reason why Mustafi leads the team in intercepts last season evenif some prefer to tow the easy media line and vilify him ala Flamini for all defensive failings)

How Holding, Mavro or Chambers improve this season may be key. But what if they don’t?