Arsenal: Cech, Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang

Subs: Leno, Sokratis, Ramsey, Torreira, Suarez, Kolasoinac, Nketiah

Arsenal are through to the Europa League Round of 16 after a 3-0 win over BATE Borisov at the Emirates this evening.

Unai Emery handed Mesut Ozil just his second start of 2019, recalling the German as he shifted to a back four with the extra man further forward in a must-win game.

There was an early sign of intent when Alex Iwobi had the first attempt on goal in the second minute but the keeper was equal to it. An early goal would go a long way to settle the nerves and it came in the 4th minute. Aubameyang beat his man on the right hand side, drove forward, crossed it and Volkov stuck a leg out and put the ball into his own net. 1-0.

Iwobi almost doubled the lead shortly after, curling just wide after good pressing won the ball back high up the pitch, before Ozil set up Mkhitaryan but he could only balloon his shot over the bar.

The visitors were quick to fight back, with Skayvsh firing into the side-netting, and they would have been level if not for Lichtsteiner clearing off the line when the shot had beaten Petr Cech.

Xhaka tested the keeper with a rocket from 30 yards, Aubameyang had a fairly tame effort and headed over from an Iwobi cross, and for all the possession Arsenal weren’t really creating clear cut chances as the game hit the half hour mark.

Monreal created for Ozil but the German miskicked before Xhaka fired wide with his right foot, Lichtsteiner volleyed over from outside the box, Ozil volleyed over after good work from Mkhitaryan, but in the 40th minute the lead was doubled. From an Arsenal corner Mustafi rose highest to thump home a header and make it 2-0, a lead the Gunners took into the half-time break.

Neither manager made a change ahead of the second period, and early on good play between Ozil and Mkitaryan allowed Guendouzi to curl a shot beyond the far post. Skayvsh threatened at the other end but shot straight at Cech, and a goal would have meant Arsenal had to score again due to the away goals rule.

Iwobi had a good effort palmed away by the keeper, and in the 56th minute Emery was forced into a change when Koscielny picked up what appeared to be a calf problem and was replaced by Sokratis. Iwobi created a chance for Mkhitaryan but he headed wide.

Alex Hleb came on for the visitors to warm applause from the home fans, but it was the Arsenal sub who had the immediate impact. Xhaka, who provided the assist for Mustafi’s goal, curled in another good ball and Sokratis was there to head home after the keeper came and missed it. 3-0.

Lucas Torreira came on to replace Guendouzi in the 63rd minute, Ozil had a chance but put it wide, Aubameyang too had a chance but clipped his shot beyond the far post, and later put a free kick through the wall but straight at the keeper.

Denis Suarez came on for Mkhitaryan in the 78th minute to make his home debut for the club, but as a contest the game was over. There were shouts for an Arsenal penalty which were waved away, and the match ebbed to its inevitable conclusion.

In the end, a comfortable night, if not a particularly exciting one, and we await the draw for the Round of 16 which takes place tomorrow at noon.

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Nzini
Nzini

That is so fast blogs

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Could of wrote it with ten minutes to go

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

3/10 🙂

Azurelas
Azurelas

Have written

ricky rick
ricky rick

Chill out Herr Azurelas.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Blogs probably wrote it yesterday. He has his laptop set to automatically post the article upon the game’s conclusion.

Jack
Jack

Ozil simply has a positive influence when he’s on the pitch. Great to see him get 90 mins.

Every single Arsenal player did well tonight

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Played a bit with the handbreak on

Maniac

Seeing him trying some of his slick tricks was so refreshing to see. We looked like we were actually playing some positive football for the first time in a long time.

I was truly excited by some of the moves in the first half especially. When we play like that it really is a beautiful game.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Before celebrating Ozil’s return, you should remember he was in because of Lacazette’s red card. But it means he is still in the manager’s plans.

facts
facts

Let’s dispel with the myth that Ozil is gonna be our savior. BATE at home and was a passenger throughout. He’s a shadow of his former self.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Wow!

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

I think the team attacked better with Ozil in the team.

Lula
Lula

I’m not sure. We looked tepid. We scored from two set pieces (was it? or just crosses) and an own goal by a defender who had no-one around him but no left foot.

it wasn’t an inspiring return, but that’s my honest view of it. but we got the result and hopefully we can improve as an attacking force. if Ozil is part of that and plays well, then all the better. but if he is not, then so be it. i really don’t care.

Bob
Bob

He was rusty from a lack of match minutes, but come on, the team looks for him and believes more in our attacks when he’s on the pitch. He was certainly no passenger, I have no idea what game you were watching “facts”…

Maniac

You must have been watching a different game, because Ozil gave our team life today.

Mpls
Mpls

That kind of drivel is only worth this kind of reply.

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

It’s a general truism that any online post that leads with or strenuously asserts “fact” is subjective mularkey 99% of the time. FACT!

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

@facts.

You obviously must have watched a different match than most of us. Either that or your comment reeks of bias. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you watched a different match

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I’m not…:-)

James
James

I agree, looking at the stats for the Celtic vs Valencia match Ozil had no key passes, shots or assists. He didn’t even play a single pass! Ozil out…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Ozil was good, the whole squad was. A welcomed return indeed.

Regarding the stats, he actually has the second lower score above Cech who didn’t have much to do. Per whoscored.
https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1343700/Live/Europe-UEFA-Europa-League-2018-2019-Arsenal-BATE-Borisov

Of course stats tell only a side of the story, and should not be used as a complete measure.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

**second lowest score,

Mpls
Mpls

Yeah, Lichtsteiner had the third highest stat ranking on the pitch. Sure, he had a good match by his standards, but clearly the stats and the way they tally them don’t really tell the story of influence on the match.

Rich
Rich

I agree, he was no more than decent, and in the final third wasn’t even as dynamics Iwobi+Mkhitaryan, Xhaka+Guendouzi were better as well.

This isn’t a criticism, just I have no idea why some are creaming their pants over what was a pretty bland, and average performance from our extremely overrated no10.

I’d certainly go with Rambo over Ozil against Bournemouth

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Rich. A wise man once said…. “If you can cream your pants when all around you are looking for reasons to be negative then you will have a happier life my son”…:-)

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Don’t feed the troll

Ron
Ron

Wish I could downvote you twice. Once for the username, once for the comment.

MkhiMouse
MkhiMouse

Did someone watch your bridge for you during the match?

Vonnie
Vonnie

Not sure what you were watching but it wasn’t the same match as me, seems like you are watching through hate tinted glasses.

Gio
Gio

There’s so little cohesion in our football. It’s quite depressing to watch.

Adrian
Adrian

We forgot to sign Cohesion 🙂

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We didn’t forget, it’s just he wasn’t available on loan.

A Different George
A Different George

Cohesion never tracks back. Luxury player.

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

Should have signed Cohesion Sr. instead

Cacho
Cacho

Missed the damn game. Sounds like a decent enough showing. Let’s hope for a good draw tomorrow!

pakgooner
pakgooner

Pro win

Mother
Mother

No surprise at all that we managed to secure a good result AND performance tonight. The toxic comments I saw earlier from a select few look rather silly now.

The fact is; it IS going to take time for Emery to implement his philosophy and get the team playing the way he wants. We’re through to the next round of the Europa League and only 1 point off 4th in the league with a clutch of players returning from injury… Maybe I’m more of a ‘glass half full’ kind of person but there’s a lot to be positive about moving forward…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Indeed a lot of silly overreactions throughout the last week. A cringe worthy week.
Toxicity will have a vacation for 3 days. thank goodness.

A Different George
A Different George

I feel positive about the game, and I don’t think it makes any sense to fire Emery so soon. But, I didn’t see anything that makes me think he is “implementing his philosophy.” I didn’t see anything that would have looked different last year. (Maybe the energy–but also the misplaced passes–from Guendouzi, but Ramsey gives us both of those as well.)

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

You seem to have not seen many things George. Is that you on here Arsene?? 🙂

Maniac

There are overreactions following good results and bad results. Our loss last week made it all doom and gloom and our win today will likely restore faith in the team. Either way, one off results are not a good representation of the state of the team and, while there were certainly some toxic comments, there were also some justified concerns and criticisms, and we definitely shouldn’t be disregarding them now, just because we managed to secure a much needed win. We’ve got to take on board some of the good parts and learn from some of the bad – completely ignoring one and promoting the other is only going to stunt progress.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Common sense has no place in a discussion about Arsenal. Get with the programme, man………

ballz
ballz

How does he want them to play? Has there been any period in Emery’s coaching career where he was renown for his style? How would you describe the way his teams play? Guardiola, Klopp, Tuchel, Jardim, even Simeone and the Whiny One have distinct, easily identifiable styles of setting up their teams. What is Emery’s?

I know it’s not mandatory for a team to have a distinctive style of play, but please let’s stop pretending that Emery has a very specific style that he’s trying to implement which the players are struggling with. There isn’t one.

Jai
Jai

Exactly.

Caligunner
Caligunner

When you lose the first leg to Bate Borisov you should expect that type of response from the fan base.

They only had to squeeze 1 good or silly goal in and the game totally changes

With us playing defensive 343 and looking limp what could you expect? How different the team looks playing aggressive against an inferior team.

What philosophy is that? How long did it take him to implement that philosophy at Sevilla or psg?

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

Emery can implement his philosophy in his current crop. Why not?

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

because they are not good enough for where we want to get. And you’re kidding yourself if thought otherwise.
We attack from the flanks and we don’t have the quality in there. I don’t wanna be harsh on the boys just after a good game, but we don’t have any wide players with comparable quality to our top 6 rivals. Not even close.
Iwobi & Mkhi are basically our best options out wide , and are staggeringly inferior to the likes of Salah, Mane, Hazard, Sterling, Sane, Son, Martial, Rashford….etc
Also we need an upgrade on our fullbacks.
The team would be much better once we do that, I have no doubt.

Bob
Bob

That’s more like it! We looked so much more fluid, players are so much more positive with their running and showing for passes when Ozil is around. Much better in attack from all. And Papa’s back too! And Suarez looks much more up to pace! Love to see him, Miki and Ozil combine consistently for a few games. If we can just get a run of games with a more or less consistent 11, then I think we can get our form back. And credit to Emery where it’s due, he must have had a good week on the training ground to lift spirits and get people working for the cause. This is much more like a forward step 🙂

Neil G
Neil G

Remember this was a team which cost around 10 million so let’s not get to carried away with the win.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

No one is getting carried away. We are just happy that for the first time under Emery we abandoned rigid tactics where we just cut back and overlap and played again more fluid “the Arsenal away” football in which we exploited the whole pitch.

Goonish
Goonish

Haha it almost felt like he left kolasinac out so that we won’t depend on the cut backs!

Mpls
Mpls

You know, when you think about it for a moment that’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

As long as we dont play with 5 defenders and 3 CMs, we can exploit anybody.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

That’s more like it! Nice commanding win against an inferior side. We never looked in trouble.

Emery out.

Dial Square Charity XI
Dial Square Charity XI

something something something… sarcasm form…

Dial Square Charity XI
Dial Square Charity XI

*font

Dial Square Charity XI
Dial Square Charity XI

** I’m drunk

Dial Square Charity XI
Dial Square Charity XI

Was that not sarcasm?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

You make me chuckle Fats.

Caligunner
Caligunner

I agree

Emery out

This idea we have to give a manager time to implement whatever he wants to do is a joke. We aren’t some small club project. He should have hit the ground running. There are soo many mistakes he’s made in hindsight that you give an inexperienced manager more rope but Unai isn’t one of those. If there isn’t a clear idea what he wants to do than we are prolonging the inevitable. He failed at PSG that’s why he was looking for a job this summer. The team has gotten worse as the season has progressed. It’s not getting better.

Goonerooni 48
Goonerooni 48

A good win. A clean sheet. Leading at half time. Ozil back where he belongs. Now let us hope that Unai Emery leaves his negative tendencies and plays the positive, attacking football Arsenal supporters deserve.

Deano

Nice to see the manager showing real passion, been a while.

Caligunner
Caligunner

He probably would have gotten fired if he got bounced by Bate lol

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Good game overall. Ton of chances, different routes to goal, not as predictable as the 1st leg. But any how it is worrying how we lack goalscorers i the squads. Even vs Bate, the lacking individual quality in the final third was obvious.
Next season, let’s buy decent wingers who can actually shoot on target, dribble, and score easy chances.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Good game, wasn’t boring. Was pretty one sided from the start to the finish.

Zuhair
Zuhair

Özil started! Yes!

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Just watched the Ozil highlights. He was dishing the chances up tonight.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

There are Ozil highlights half an hour after the game finished?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

BT Sport and other TV companies showing the game live can put together highlights during the ad break after the game mate…

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

OK fair enough. Name me one chance that he dished up, bar that backheel that was nice and sort of created a half chance.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Are you serious?

Mpls
Mpls

Either someone didn’t watch, or watched with bias.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

I watched with my Arsenal glasses on. You lot watch with your Ozil glasses on. Iwobi was much better than Ozil last night in the creativity department.

Knightly
Knightly

As he has been this season.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

With the greatest playmaker of all time against Farmer Tractors FC we scored from an own goal and from two headers by center-backs straight from corner kicks. I’m still waiting to hear what chance Ozil dished up. And yes I’m serious. Facts please.

GraeB
GraeB

Ok, so what’s the team for Sunday? Does Ozil keep his place? Who gets dropped? Do we have Xhaka or Torreira or both but leave Guen out? Who replaces Lichsteiner? Auba and/or Laca?

These and other questions will be answered in the next episode of Emery Soap.

Santori
Santori

There’s no absolutes

Depends on tactical composition of the opponents and availability of our own assets

You may think 4 at the back is good for every occasion but Koscielny is going to have wear and tear issues.

Why does it always have to be one absolute and only solution to everything?

Frankly I am enjoying Emery’s adaptive approach

Old Bloke.
Old Bloke.

Glad to get the win and good to see Ozil get 90 mins under his belt but let’s be honest the first goal was lucky. The defender didn’t have an Arsenal player anywhere near him to force the error. Also Bate had a couple of decent chances to get an away goal which would have changed the dynamic of the game. Great to score two headers from corners but we didn’t really carve them open to create great chances. Not being negative just giving an honest opinion.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

True but come on let’s enjoy…?

Santori
Santori

Agree.

Arsenal fans are a bunch of whingers.

Just enjoy the moment.

Some big teams besides us have been put out by humble opponents.

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

Yes it was only Bate but they were 1-0 up from the kick off and and park the bus so that’s never easy. This was a much more balanced team even with Litch at RB and Mkhitaryan at RF. These two conspired to give the ball away countless times and if he starts with these on Sunday, Southampton will surely target our right hand side. If the chances that fell to Mkhitaryan had fallen to Lacasette it would have been game over after the first half.
Ozil looked good and up for it, ring rusty yes but made 90 minutes. I would have him out there with Laca and Auba in front of him and Torreria and Xkaka behind him.
I love the way Iwobi takes defenders on but his final product must get better.
Sorry to see Koz go off, can’t wait for the day when He and Sok are fit at the same time!
Job done.

Nasri’s missing chinbone
Nasri’s missing chinbone

I know it’s Bate but we look so much more creative with Ozil on the pitch… makes things happen.

Also I regularly slate Mustafi for his inability to defend, but attacking corners he really is decent. Fantastic bit of movement for the second goal

A P
A P

Good to see the players running, probably because they know there is a team mate who can find them with a pass. Why bother when the team is stuffed with defensive players?

Santori
Santori

Clean sheet.

If there’s a goal you blame Mustafi but when there’s a clean sheet you conveniently overlook his contribution.

He wasn’t featured much when we lost points to Soton BHA and West Ham.

Gordy
Gordy

I thought all the back 4/5 played well and of course Ozil is class. Do people think Guendouzi will become an all round midfield creative player? At the moment he freezes 30 yards away from goal and produces nothing there despite his good running, tackling, link up play. Still think he’s being made to play too much. Ozil misses a class wide player to link up with, might Alexis come back?

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

No need Alexis, he can stay as a 2nd half sub at Old Tripod. we have Miki and Iwobi.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

So Ozil does one backheel pass all game and the fanboys are creaming themselves. I must have watched a different game. He was OK, nothing special, too many wayward passes to opponents, got manhandled a couple of times.
What opportunities did he exactly create against mediocre opposition? And as for that right-footed shot in front of goal, that was embarrasing!
Iwobi on the other hand played some brilliant through balls to the wings but he’ll never get the respect.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

I meant left footed shot, when the obvious thing was to shoot with his right in front of an open goal.

A P
A P

I bet you can’t even score with your dick.

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

You know many that have?

facts
facts

exactly, ozil got played off the park by 19 yr old Guendo, who was wrongly hooked

Mpls
Mpls

Glad you two have found each other.

life and life only
life and life only

lmao

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Got up at 5am, by time took a whiz and kinda woke up and worked my way to the telly and found the sports channel… was already 5 mins in and missed the first goal!!!
But enjoyed the game. Couple nervy moments but the team played well. 2 defenders scoring goals.
A much more assured result and tbh I thought Ozil played very well. And there was some pleasing interchange of play with the little Terrier, Ozil and Suarez on the park late on, the 3 of them controlling that ball movement superbly.

Santori
Santori

What about the big Granite missile launcher that played most of the game.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Xhaka wouldn’t get anywhere near a top team. Shows how far we have fallen

SLC Gooner
SLC Gooner

It was good, but that’s about it. I’d say we did look a little better. But our attack still couldn’t score from open play against Bate in 180 minutes. All we got today was two goals from corners and an OG.
Iwobi and Miki still don’t look like much of a threat. With Ramsey, Welbeck and potentially Ozil off this summer, I’m still not sure where goals are going to come from beside the two main strikers.

Onefbellerinscornrows
Onefbellerinscornrows

Guaranteed to get AC Milan in the draw

Possession
Possession

I believe you may mean Inter.

Onefbellerinscornrows
Onefbellerinscornrows

Yes, you are correct sir! I did

ClairvoyantOne
ClairvoyantOne

No, trust what the poster says. We WILL draw AC Milan. Period.

NMArsenal
NMArsenal

Was a good game but felt better because Arsenal has been poor in the last couple of months. Ozil’s return to the first team is very welcome but I think the bigger emphasis should given to the formation. 2 striker formation does not work there aren’t enough creative players behind them. Iwobi and Miki need a third link up player in the middle. Not even Aaron Ramsey can do that as well as Ozil’s does. Guendouzi feels more like a box to box MF and with all his qualities he can’t be the main playmaker behind striker(s).

If Emery does get rid of Ozil in the summer he better some of similar mould to replace him. I think Ozil can still play against most top opposition home and away and contribute.

Santori
Santori

Clean sheet.

Guess what, Mustafi played. And scored.

compoarse
compoarse

Let’s not get excited about beating BATE 3-0. We did OK but no more than that. Ozil gives us more attacking fluency and penetration, but Emery can only play him on the understanding that others do the robust, dirty work that he will not or cannot do. Ultimately, we have to accept that we’re not a Top 4 side anymore. As fans we must lower our expections until Emery can get the players he wants. And when will that be?