Report: Arsenal 2 – 0 Lazio (Inc. Goals)

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Result: Arsenal 2-0 Lazio
Competition: Pre-season friendly
Date: 4th August 2018, Saturday
Venue: Friends Arena, Stockholm

Arsenal head into the final stretch of pre-season with a win as they end the match 2-0. The Gunners went ahead through a Reiss Nelson goal on the 17th minute while Aubameyang ended it off with a goal in the second half.

Arsenal Squad

Starting XI: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Chambers, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Nelson, Iwobi, Lacazette, Nketiah

Subs: Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Mavrapanos, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Guendouzi, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang

1′ – WORLD CUP CONTINGENT STARTS

We have a start for our players returning from the World Cup including Torreira, Lichtsteiner and Xhaka. Xhaka captains the side but no Nacho though – not even on the bench. We could use a little bit of Nacho today with Kolasinac out but it’ll be nice to see Maitland-Niles get a start.

2′ – OLD SCHOOL 4-4-2

Seems like it’s a throwback to a classic 2 man forward line with Nketiah and Lacazette leading from the front.

5′ – HIGH PRESSING 

Arsenal players press high up from the front with the defenders situated across the half way line.

8′ – NKETIAH SHOOTS JUST WIDE

Nketiah spins past the Lazio defence and strikes just wide from the inside left area. Good attempt by the lively youngster.

11′ – SPLITTING DEFENCE

Full backs seem to be moving quite high up with Chambers and Holding splitting and Torreira dropping back to make up a back 3. The 2 English defenders look to connect very well with each other.

13′ – OOOHHH SO CLOSE

Lichtsteiner chips the ball for Lacazette who darts into the box and has his volley saved. Good vision from the Swiss defender and even better movement from the Frenchman.

15′ – LAZIO COMES CLOSE TO A GOAL

Lazio hit Arsenal on the counter attack with a cut back for Caicedo who should have done better. That came out of nowhere and we could have gone 1 goal down against the run of play.

17′ – ⚽ GOAL ARSENAL 1 – 0!

Nelson lays off the ball to Iwobi who shoots from the left but the ball hits the post. Nelson showed great movement to ghost into the box and wait for the rebound on the far post for a tap in.

📺 GOAL CLIP

21′ – LAZIO HEADER IN THE BOX

Lazio lofts in a teasing cross from the right hand side but the Arsenal defenders do just enough to put off the striker who managed to get a head on the ball.

25′ – LAZIO CHANCE

Xhaka loses the ball close to the penalty box with a Lazio player bearing on goal. Good cover by Holding to win the ball back before it was too late.

29′ – XHAKA BOOM! ALMOST.

Great layoff for Xhaka to strike from outside the box. Ball goes just over the cross bar. Decent attempt on goal from today’s captain.

30′ – OFF THE BAR!

Holding loses the ball outside the box. Lazio almost punish the Gunners with a cheeky chip over Leno who was off his line but it hits the bar. Lively match so far.

32′ – NARROW FULL BACKS

Without the ball, we’re seeing the full backs tuck in. Wingers have been asked to drop back and cover space on the flank.

33′ – LAZIO SCUFFS A HALF CHANCE 

Murgia, with his back to goal, swivels to volley a shot but his attempt was tame and saved.

34′ – LAZIO CHANCE

Lazio’s header whistles just past the post. Maitland-Niles doesn’t track his runner and Holding was caught almost flat footed as the Lazio man charges in for a header.

36′ – GOTTA STOP THOSE CROSSES, GUYS

Lazio are getting a lot of crosses from deep with our full backs going narrow when defending. Lazio’s forward gets onto one of these crosses and should have scored but flashes it across for his teammate instead of going for goal.

44′ – IWOBI SCRAPPY SHOT

The Nigerian should have done better with a shot from outside the box after he hassled the Lazio defence to win it back.

HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1 – 0 LAZIO

It’s been a lively first half for Arsenal who have adopted a 4-4-2 formation and went in front through a Reiss Nelson tap in. The front 2 have not been as involved in the game as much as they’d like but we see some good partnerships on field. Maitland-Niles and Iwobi seem to have a good connection with overlaps on the left and the midfield 2 of Xhaka and Torreira look solid.

46′ – SUBSTITUTIONS

Off: Nelson, Nketiah
On: Aubameyang, Guendouzi

We play a 4-3-3 formation with Aubameyang on the left and Iwobi far right.

47′ – LAZIO HITS THE SIDE NETTING

Lazio crosses low from the left and shoots just wide from player ghosting into the box. Still haven’t closed out those flanks.

52′ – NO PENALTY?

Lacazette tangles with the defender and the Lazio man had his hands on the striker who fell in the box. Ref doesn’t think it’s a foul.

56′ – DON’T MESS WITH THE LICH

There’s been a bit of tasty battle between Lazio’s left winger, Lulic, with the Arsenal defenders. Lichtsteiner has none of that and makes sure he knows of it with his tackles. It’ll be fascinating to see his no nonsense approach next season.

57′ – ARSENAL COUNTER

The Gunners go on the break with Auba, Lacazette and Iwobi charging in. Lacazette’s finish was blocked but the team looks to be asserting themselves well.

61′ – SUBSTITUTIONS

Off: Iwobi, Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Xhaka
On: Ozil, Bellerin, Mhkitaryan, Elneny

It’s back to the 4-2-3-1, Ozil takes the armband and we get a shaggy haired double pivot in midfield.

63′ – ⚽ GOAL AUBAMEYANG! 2-0

Elneny bundles his way through into the penalty box before losing it to Lacazette. Laca lays it off to Aubameyang who finished it calmly into the bottom corner.

📺 GOAL CLIP

64′ – GUENDOUZI SHOT SAVED

The youngster dances in from the right and has his shot saved by the keeper from a tight angle.

67′ – LENO MAKES FIRST GENUINE SAVE

Luis Alberto shoots from the inside left and tries to curl it around Leno to the far post. Leno saves it comfortably.

69′ – MAITLAND-NILES DOWN

Arsenal fans were left gasping in fear as Maitland-Niles stayed down after a tackle. He looks to be fine after a short break. And… breathe.

73′ – PLAYING OUT FROM THE BACK

The Arsenal defence have been insistent on playing out from the back even under pressure. The DMs have been working hard to make sure there are passing angles for the backline to pass out from. Expect a lot of heart-in-mouth moments in the upcoming season while the team fine tunes their approach to this.

76′ – YELLOW CARD HOLDING 

Holding gets a yellow for a late tackle.

76′ – SUBSTITUTION

Off: Holding, Chambers, Lacazette
On: Mavropanos, Sokratis, Smith Rowe

A new defensive pairing and Aubameyang goes up top.

79′ – AUBA ROCKET SAVED

Aubameyang’s shot from distance is saved by the Lazio keeper and Mhkitaryan’s follow up was saved from a tight angle. More of the same please, Pierre!

81′ – WHERE WAS SOKRATIS?

The backline was breached but Mavropanos covers well. Where was our big new CB signing? Hopefully we won’t be asking that question often during the season.

83′ – LONG SHOT BY ELNENY

Good attempt by the Egyptian but it goes straight to the keeper.

86′ – LAZIO CHANCE

Lovely ball down the exposed left flank as Lazio pull the ball back only for the striker to be inches away from contact. Another let off this evening.

FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 2 – 0 LAZIO

A decent win for Arsenal as they tried a series of formations, surprising us with a 4-4-2 in the first half. We looked solid but unspectacular and there will still be nagging feelings about that defence as we were breached often by the Lazio forwards. The Manchester City attackers may not be so generous with the chances allowed so let’s hope Emery figure out how best to defend and settle on a preferred pairing.

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Jack
Jack

Not the most excited pre season game but that Mkhi nutmeg made it all worth it

Lord_Of_Highbury
Lord_Of_Highbury

I agree…it certainly wasn’t the most thrilling match. As Arseblog says, still some serious question marks with our defending as Lazio repeatedly breached our defence so easily especially in the first half. “Iceman” Niles was solid as usual, a strong cameo from Guendouzi who surely has earned a right to be ahead of Elneny in the midfield pecking order. Leno decent, Nelson put in a good shift, and good to see the man Torreira do his thing. All in all, a solid preseason with far more positives to take than negatives. A promising season beckons!

Paul
Paul

I don’t think Torreira did his thing yet but all was good!

Nacho lover
Nacho lover

Where is Nacho?

Hantal
Hantal

Injured, a small knock apparently

kas
kas

Or Welbeck? Is he leaving this week? Still short of a decent centre back & left back backup

Yas
Yas

Good game. Everyone looked decent against a good lazio side. Thought their captain should have been sent off and Holding getting a yellow is ridicules

would start Genduzi with Torriera in the middle against city

goongot
goongot

I like the way we play from back.But lets not do this against liverpool or city till we perfec tit.

Rev. Sinnerman
Rev. Sinnerman

Maybe not as great as City’s, but I think our tits are just as nice if not perfecter than liverpool’s

Paul
Paul

I am warming to Elneny.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

I think we’ve got some good options and cover in the middle of the park this season. Liked how solid we looked there tonight, I think Guendouzi got caught out once but made up for it. Does anyone know what Xhaka was saying to Nelson after he scored, seemed a bit unhappy about something? First thought it was Nelson didn’t celebrate by the fans but watching the replay i think it was tactical?

TeeCee
TeeCee

“Well done. Do that a couple more times and we’ll be OK.” would seem like the right sort of thing.

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

Good run out for the lads. We’re getting better at playing out from the back under pressure.

My favorite moment though was Liechtenstein showing his edginess. Like the commentator observed, the Lazio man chose the wrong player to mess with

Paul
Paul

I remember when commentators would just commentate on the game letting you know which player did what rather than chatting as they do now. I miss those days…

Martin
Martin

I see we now have Liechtenstein in our team as well as Montreal

Rich
Rich

City will tear us a new one if we play around in our own half like that again next week…..
This is turning into a typical Arsenal summer soap opera…. We’ve got a cloud hanging over one of our best players, who we may have to sell to a rival? Our CEO who’s waited 10 years to take control, now looks to have decided after 3 months…l its not what he really wanted…
And if Rambo leaves? There doesn’t seem to be any type of plan in place to replace him, so we’ll likely re-sign Kim Kallstrom… our efficient and functional summer has all the potential in the world to fall into complete and utter chaos…
I wonder if Monreal is carrying the same type of knock as Rambo?

BennisBergkamp
BennisBergkamp

Real ray of sunshine aren’t you

Martin
Martin

It’s Rich the eternal pessimist

Rich
Rich

You say pessimistic… I call it an accurate observation 👍🏻

afan
afan

its no good burying your head in the sand

A Different George
A Different George

Troll

afan
afan

like it or not ben, that’s the way it is

Stephen
Stephen

It’s not typical Arsenal. It’s typical football. City have drama with Sane. United with Pogba/Maureen. Chelsea with Hazard/Courtois. There’s not a season goes by where there’s zero drama with the “employees” of the club. It’s just the nature of contracts to be negotiated through brinksmanship.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Ramsey can go if he wants to. He’ll be replaced.

afan
afan

you are so right

Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn

Ramsey has lived off the rep of one excellent season and hasnt delivered one full good season (as opposed to an excellent one) ever since. In an ideal world we sell him to barca or some european club, but at the same time I would rather take £40m from a domestic rival than to give him a massive wage that he hasnt merited. In my opinion we have enough centre midfielders (maitland niles hasnt even got a chance yet), but we have holes elsewhere that should be a bigger priority and we could address them with the money from a ramsey sale. Personally I would by looking to buy a left back (monreal is 33) and tierney from celtic at £25m would be an excellent signing, We could then use the extra £15m or so as a loan fee for dembele and the squad and team would be much better than it would be now with ramsey in it.
Some fans buy into the media hype about players and believe that they are better than they actually are – ramsey isnt disciplined enough or suited to playing deeper behind a number 10, and tbh he isnt as good as ozil or some of the other options in the 10 albeit that he would score more goals than them. For a change we have 2 quality goal scoring strikers now and we need someone to create for them more than we need him bringing a mixture of goals and losing possession cheaply with his stupid flicks

Cechmate
Cechmate

This is kind of what ManU fans were saying about Pogba, a lot of times a player is only as good as his team and teammates around him. Our problem is defense and we’re blaming everyone in the team for it. We blame Ozil, Ramsey and everyone else possible. We need a box to box midfielder and Ramsey offers a genuine goal scoring option apart from the striker in our team. More often, we are struck in a game with a lot of ball with the goal scorers marooned and having a Ramsey does help in pulling defenders out of position.

We don’t win matches by just defending, Ozil doesn’t score a lot of goals nor do our wingers (except Auba, if you count him as one) or fullbacks. So, we will require someone of his mould and bear in mind, we have 3 days to go.

To do all you said above, it would take more than a month, so no, let’s not sell Ramsey now, even though he has some fallacies I don’t think he was the reason for our poor season.

yen
yen

Far from ideal, yet I like there are clear ideas behind the way we play. Really interested in how our first XI looks like in a week.

Tanned arse
Tanned arse

My guess is that it’ll be the players that finished this match

Hamu
Hamu

Where is Nacho?

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Minor knock

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Is some knobhead trolling this and just downvoting every comment?

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Attack looks like formidable,defense still a concern but that should improve gradually.hopeful for the next season,whatever is the result against city,preseason had enough glimpses of change to be optimistic.Up the arse!

P.s-Pressure merchants getting spanked by last seasons newcomer of La liga.straight into the veins 🤤

My Arse-nal
My Arse-nal

I don’t think this game is part of the International Champions Cup is it? I’ve just checked the official ICC website and there is no mention of this game. Think each team only plays 3 games in it, which we’ve done. Unless Juventus beat real Madrid later today, it looks like we’ll win the competition.

Hantal
Hantal

If we if ignore spurs it’s currently Dortmund who top the table

My Arse-nal
My Arse-nal

How strange. The table that comes up first on my Google search has us top with 7pts (above Dortmund on goal difference and above Sp#rs because that’s where we belong, but another table has us 3rd with 6pts. Not that it matters really. Bring on next Sunday! COYG!

Bois
Bois

Still do not understand how we got 7pts. From my calculation is it not 6pts? 1 win 2 draws with us getting an extra for winning 1 penalty shoot out.

My Arse-nal
My Arse-nal

Bois, you are correct. I just looked at what the internet was telling me and believed it. That will teach me! Maybe the table I saw that’s got us top with 7 points was done by a Gooner, haha!

Martin
Martin

No as we are joint winners with Spurs. We both have 7 points with same goal difference of 7.

Bois
Bois

That lot from down the road are top with Dortmund second and we third with 6 pts.

bdotm
bdotm

What message was Captain Xhaka desperately trying to pass across to Nelson immediately after the goal? He almost didn’t allow him celebrate

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Im really interested in this. Initially i thought it was because Nelson didn’t celebrate by the fans but watching the replay i think it was tactical? Perhaps that Nelson continued forward and we could have been exposed or that he didn’t need to as Nketia was there (minus the offside!) ? Seems a bit harsh as he scored though?

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Seemed like positioning stuff to me.movement of hands,telling him to cut inside more or outside for or something..frankly no clue but could be something like that.

yen
yen

I thought it was because there was big Lazio chance just prior to our first goal and it was Reiss who failed to spot the run from the guy who eventually put the cross into our box.

No way to check it as this chance wasn’t included in the extended highlights though.

Hantal
Hantal

Anyone able to tell what xhaka said to Nelson?
I assume it was something to do with acknowledging the fans

bdotm
bdotm

He pointed…..and after a while there was some sort of funny hand movement… The timing of that act right after the goal, coupled with the armband on Xhaka is what’s making me very interested in the specifics

Mpls
Mpls

Heh, that would be rich after the World Cup dust up! His gesturing looked to me about tactics. Looked like it was about positioning, movement, or marking up, probably from before the attacking movement. Nelson’s celebration was short, harmless, and about done anyway.

shaka
shaka

I think he was pointing out that he was offside, and that he should be more careful. It was careless to not be onside and can be costly.

Hantal
Hantal

He wasn’t offside, nketiah was

A Different George
A Different George

Nketiah was definitely offside; Nelson was probably a little offside. It’s a friendly.

FatArse
FatArse

Some musings on the positives…

1. I refuse not to get totally excited by Guendouzi. The guy is INSANE 😮. Seriously though, he is one exciting prospect and can’t wait to see if he carries that through this season and beyond.

2. My Arsenal passing out from the back?! 😁 So nice to see the ball being played inventively rather than pass back to the keeper for him to blam upfield. Expect a few BIG errors while the defence/keeper get used to each other though…

3. Some really neat triangles being set up all across the park to provide multiple passing options. I like it.

4. Xhaka as captain makes a lot of sense. He was caption at Borussia M. and I think he has great leadership qualities. Seems like a lot of people spotted him giving orders after the first goal. Maybe captaincy will iron out the sloppiness in his game too.

5. I’m not expecting anything too dramatic for a good 2 seasons, much like the impact Klopp had had at Liverpool. Having said that, loving the Emery regime already.

COYG!

santori
santori

Good win.

Lots of final experimentation :

1) We don’t play a 4-4-2.

We play a 4-1-2-1-2 which is a diamond 4 in midfield (Torreira sitting deep)

We did this with Wenger on helm as well this is nothing new.

As mentioned last season set up is flexible and is tailored to morph fuidly into 4-1-3-2 or 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 depending on where you emphasis Aubameyang or if you drop one of the mids to cover closer to Torreira.

Nothing new but that’s nothing wrong either.

Emery is wise not to tinker as he does not have the assets to do so otherwise. What he wants to do is to get the execution right which has been our problem.

2) Final look at possible pairing at Cback with Chambers and Holding then Sokratis Mavropanos. Chambers looking useful this season, hope he can step up as he has better mobility than Sokratis to offer to Mustafi. Still plenty of issues defnsively to iron out otherwise.

3) Lichsteiner delivery is good, something Bellerin needs more consistency with. On the other flank AMN always looks composed bc he has the recovery pace in case.

What we want to be careful with is we tend to have to push up fullbacks bc the 4-1-2-1 is narrow. That leaves us always susceptible to counters behind.

4) Torreira plugs gaps really well. Guendouzi is also ready to compete. It will be a choice between either Torreira and Granit pairing or Torreira and Guendouzi pairing IMO. Elneny is as per usual back up.

Granit looks the sort of leader we may need in midfield. We certainly need someone who isn’t afraid to dictate the standard.

5) Iwobi. He is dangerous if inexplicably unpopular with some fans.

He is so much more effective for us bc he instigates things. BUT on opposite flank, Reiss IMO can play a massive role this season balancing out Iwobi or Mhkitaryan. He has the tekkers and pace to trouble defenses and cover the fullback at the same time should we commit Lichsteiner or Bellerin forward.

6) Aubameyang is better higher up on apex. He scored when we switched him to top end.

We can also play him wide but I feel the best thing to have is another fast asset left to complement Auba on apex better. That said, the sort of prices we are rumoured to be fetching for say Perez (4.5m) doesn’t bear confidence that we will execute on one more deal before window ends.

7) No sign of Welbeck. Monreal seems to have a slight knock like Ramsey but what’s the story with the Inguland man? He barely featured in world cup so are we ready to sell? Nketiah convinced Emery enough? Perez also rumoured to be on the way out.

If we sell him then maybe there may be impetus for one more addition but would have thought we would have seen Danny today.

King 14enry
King 14enry

Obviously meaningful football is great but I’m equally excited that player ratings are back next game!

Samgunz
Samgunz

We are definitely looking like a nastier team than I’ve seen for quite a while, Lichtsteiner set the tone in under 2 mins laying out that dude with a solid jumping elbow. Welcome to the Lerchtsteiner, just niggly there on with Lilic was it? Holding was at it too, laid out Correa, but generally we just look a bit more of an aggressive outfit all of a sudden, Lazio did not like it, I doubt many teams will, interesting… Torreira looked a little unsure in a midfield 2, fair enough I guess but hopefully he starts catching up on the training and in the swing of it soon. Thought Elneny and Guendouzi did well when on they can both drive with the ball, better than xhaka or toreirra so i wonder which way this midfield’s gonna go… Big selection competition right now for me, I wonder how Emery’s feeling, probably will just drop all the youth, I guess it’s predictable, but what if ??? Iwobi, Maitland Niles, and Nelson could all start, I would love this… Some Rocky, Davis, Thomas shit… Do it Unai!

Lula
Lula

We look flawed and not so great. But this season upcoming is a learning curve. i am just so happy with game and so excited for the citeh game. Logic says we will lose but its the emotion that has me excited. we are building again at last.

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Hope: That my Arsenal FC win play scintillating football and win ALL trophies this season!

Faith: Arsenal FC WILL play scintillating football (mostly do in my rose tinted, lasik operated eyes) and win atleast ONE trophy.

Hope+Faith: What Arsenal FC will eventually do this season. Also called pragmatism or some such nonsense by Englibish speaking gents. 😛

afan
afan

whats happened to nelson, he looks a shadow of his former self

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

what former self?

Mark
Mark

City to start is certainly a tough match especially in a World Cup Summer when so many of our players (three starters in Monreal, Xhaka and Lucas) are just returning along with a Ramsey injury making it hard for the squad under a new manager to get any kind of rhythm or consistency going. There will surely be ups and downs at the beginning of the season as everyone adjusts to each other, to the new manager and for the new players to a new league. I have liked what I’ve seen so far for the most part out of this Summer with the exception (that everyone has pointed out a number of times) the defense. We did add a new center back and right back (though presumably a backup RB), but I certainly don’t think we upgraded from a healthy Koscielny at Center Back. We are certainly going to have to rely on the whole team to defend more in order to make up for the shortcomings perceived in the back line, but I do have confidence Emery will figure things out quickly and adjust with the new league.