Report: Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Result: Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal
Competition: Europa League
Date: 19 September 2019
Venue: Commerzbank-Arena

Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Willock, Smith Rowe, Saka, Aubameyang

Subs: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Nelson, Pepe


Arsenal’s youngsters came to the fore as Unai Emery’s put the disappointment of Sunday’s capitulation at Watford behind them to start the Europa League campaign with an entertaining 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bukayo Saka sandwiched his first goal in senior football between assists for Joe Willock and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he announced himself on the European stage with a man of the match performance.

First half

Having played every minute of the campaign so far, it was widely believed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might get a rest in Germany, especially with Alex Lacazette already sidelined by injury. That wasn’t the case. Emery selected him to lead the line, backed up by the youthful exuberance of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock. At the back, the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi made his first start of the season. In total there were seven changes from the team that started against Watford. 

As the Waldstadion’s capacity crowd cranked the noise up to 11, both sides made a lively start. 

Martinez fielded an early strike by Kamada from the edge of the box and watched an Andre Silva sighter flash wide. In between Saka’s clipped cross to the far post was met by Torreira on the half-volley but the Uruguayan couldn’t keep his effort down. He really should have scored. 

Indecisiveness from Saka saw a second opportunity squandered. Having intercepted the ball in a dangerous position, the winger couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and then failed to make a pass to Aubameyang. He was given a hand clap of encouragement by his experienced teammate. 

Back came the home side. Kostic escaped behind Chambers but slashed into the side netting, Xhaka blocked Silva after he’d jinked inside and Bas Dost, falling to the turf, struck wide. 

Aubameyang tried his luck on the diagonal. Wide. Kostic, again getting the better of Chambers, fired low. A great Martinez save. From the right, Kamada connected with a cutback. Martinez gathered. As was the case at the weekend, we were conceding a lot of efforts on goal. 

On the break again, Aubameyang on the left found Willock’s late run into the box. Just like Torreira, he couldn’t keep his effort down. A hat-trick of great missed chances was completed by Smith Rowe who couldn’t beat Trapp after a brilliant steal and pass by Xhaka. 

The basketball continued. Aubameyang was denied a tap in by a last-gasp interception of a Saka cross. A Dost header from a corner left Martinez standing. Just wide. Again. 

Finally, a breakthrough! 38 minutes on the clock. Another Arsenal break. This time Saka, after beating a man on the halfway line, found Willock bounding down the left wing. The midfielder cut inside onto his right foot, unleashed a shot that took a big deflection and in it went off the underside of the bar. It had ‘Made in Hale End’ stamped all over it. Well, aside from the nick off the defender. (1-0)

In the dying moments of the half, Martinez again got down well to make a smart save before Torreira mopped up the free ball. 

Second half

Frankfurt came out all guns blazing. Dost and Silva went close and Mustafi was forced into a fine challenge just yards from goal. 

For all their pressure, we still looked dangerous on the break. Willock, channelling his inner Patrick Vieira, won the ball deep in his own half, shrugged off a couple of tackles, carried the ball 60 yards and threaded a ball to Aubameyang. The striker’s effort was deflected for a corner. Not long after, a Xhaka free-kick, won by Chambers on touchline, rattled the crossbar as keeper Trapp lost the flight of the ball. 

Silva had a golden chance to equalise – he shot over from 10 yards – before Emery sent on Pepe for Smith Rowe. 

Action at both ends. Saka combined with Willock down the left again but this time the keeper was equal to his effort. Silva (how many times?) hit low and true. But his low left-foot shot flashed past Martinez’s left post. 

Willock’s eye-catching performance came to an end on 72 minutes when he was replaced by Dani Ceballos. We should have wrapped up the points five minutes later but Saka couldn’t squeeze his effort under Trapp. 

The youngster kept his head up and his quick feet proved too hot to handle for Dominik Kohr who resorted to clipping his ankles. The referee was quick to reach for his pocket and, having already been booked, the midfielder was given his marching orders. 

Aubameyang missed an absolute sitter from two yards before Saka’s moment finally arrived. Martinez, who was brilliant all night, sprung a quick break feeding Xhaka. the Swiss carried the ball for an age before offloading to Pepe who quickly gave it to the 18-year-old winger. In space, 25-yards out, he looked up, took a touch and curled home an absolute beauty. What a goal. He ran to the touchline in front of the travelling Gooners and was mobbed by his teammates. (2-0)

Amazingly, there was time for another. After tenacious work by Torreira, Saka was again involved in the build-up, this time flicking a through ball to Auba who tucked home. Finally, for a moment, the home fans went quiet. (3-0)

Credit to, quite literally, the boys. Willock and Saka weren’t even born the last time we won a European trophy. If we’re going to do it this year, they are sure to have a big part to play. With a couple of home games to come in this competition, there’s a decent chance we can get out of Group F early doors. Now our attention turns to Aston Villa.

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SB Still
SB Still

Saka, Martinez and Willock were all wonderful today.

Considering that, this is a team that nearly beat Chelsea in the semifinals last season and haven’t lost at home for a while, it’s a good out come.

Good to see that we were willing to go long from the goal kick as well.

A clean sheet the icing.

GunneRon

Bukayo Saka. Remember the name !!

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Now this I could get used to. Good team performance and Saka, what a brilliant lad he is. More of the same please.

Der32
Der32

Great to see the boys play an actual football game. Win against Aston Villa on Sunday and we suddenly have 2 wins on the bounce again. Over to you again, Emery.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

I think Smith Rowe had a very good game as well. First senior appearance since injury.
I’m actually more excited about these guys than Nelson, and I like Nelson

goonero
goonero

Have to stress there down a striker that went to Real Madrid in Jovic. Still a decent side, but we if anyone should know the difference a quality striker can make.

Tim
Tim

Rebic to Milan too…

Lesster
Lesster

Haller to West Ham too

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Spock to space command…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Ash to ashes funk to funky.

Manu petits left peg
Manu petits left peg

Ground control to Major Tom..

Goontastic
Goontastic

Rochelle Rochelle from Milan to Minsk.

Ospina'sThumb

You’ve really made the grade

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Brilliant performance and brilliant result. Happy for the youngsters. Keep up the good job guys! On a side note, our defense is still worrying, we’re lucky they have bad finishes, otherwise….. But anyway let’s just enjoy the victory!

C.B.
C.B.

Mustafi and Luiz in defence this evening. With Xhaka in midfield. No goals conceded, who would have believed it!

goonero
goonero

Certainly not Frankfurt, they had plenty of chances, Martinez was brilliant in goal but they were very very wasteful.

A good result for us, but you can still see the fundamental issues from the Watford game in the performance so Im not too sure how much of a response this is. No suicidal mistakes is one big takeaway I suppose. But its very very obvious the double pivot in midfield is the way forward, that`s the best game Xhaka and Torreira have had.

midgunner
midgunner

I agree, while its obviously an excellent result, we were wide open at the back again.

goonero
goonero

Luiz was not great defensively. Mustafi actually held his own individually but across the back line there were too many gaps and simple runs that cut us open. We still generally defended poorly as a unit.

I was impressed with Smith-Rowe who several times covered for Chambers, ue plays with a maturity beyond his years. They grew into the game well and got better at controlling Frankfurts inroads down our right.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

It is pretty clear that Chambers is a better CB than RB

Dave M
Dave M

2nd half was pretty solid. They had the odd chance, but we were away in a raucous atmosphere. You’d be hard pressed to be perfect. Can we please be a little more consistent now? Is it possible?!

Tim
Tim

I thought last season they (Torreira and Xhaka) were starting to look solid together too… then Unai switched everything around again

goonero
goonero

To my mind I dont remember a Xhaka performance as involved as this. He was making runs forwards and back, I was gobsmacked at the run he made that led to Sakas goal. Whens the last time anyone saw Xhaka do that? Last season Torreira did virtually all the leg work and he was gassed by Christmas.

Itd be nice if Xhaka could do this more often, but can he do it against the athletic level of Prem footballers? Because that`s more like what we need our midfielders to be capable of bringing to the table.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Stop the font shit! 🙂

goonero
goonero

I shant, you cant make me!

goonero
goonero

In all seriousness…For some reason my tablet makes the font weird when I use an apostrophe…anyone know why?

Anon
Anon

I honestly just thought that your style. testing ‘testing’

Anon
Anon

ah its because you are using backticks (the one under escape) instead of apostrophies

Reality check
Reality check

He tries to fit in Guendouzi, not saying he’s bad but a midfield of a 19 and 22 year old is a bit young and lightweight.. Guendouzi’s positional discipline is also a bit suspect as a DM. Plenty of time to improve though..

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

What is this font thing or is it my puter?

Dominic
Dominic

Probably a back-tick ` rather than an apostrophe ‘
Signalling the following text to be displayed using a monospace font

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Still shipped 24 shots tonight, but how shit is Bas Dost!
To think they replaced Jovic and Haller with him.. incredible.
So proud of Saka though, he really took responsibility.

A Different George
A Different George

I thought Luiz was caught out of position a number of times; Chambers looked over-matched on the outside (though fine in the attack). Mustafi was very good (he has often been very good “except for that one disastrous mistake;” this time the “except for” wasn’t there).

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

I think Xhaka and Mustafi’s performances today is down to the opposition we faced. They both know how to play against German clubs cos they’ve both played in the bundesliga. They are not sh*t (tempted to put sp*rs there but am talking about our own) cos you don’t pay what we paid to get them if they were garbage, they are simply not cut out for the pace of epl hence they’d be better off in relatively slower league. The club will free up funds for new acquisitions and they will fair better in a different league, a win win situation there. Not taking anything away from the lads today though, a job well done. Also nice to see the Hale End products flourished.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

I watched the game, and I hardly believe it.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Good team selection by Emery today after the sad affairs at Watford. Everybody put in a shift and produced a disciplined performance. Big ups to Xhaka specially, I was extremely apprehensive about him being included in the line-up and I’m quite glad that he shut me up with his game. Martinez pulled off some great saves too.

Moxrex
Moxrex

IMO we were lucky in terms of not getting punished.

In total:
Shots on goal 7 our 6
Their goal keeper made 3 saves ours made 7
They had 24 attempts on goal to our 17

First Half:
Shots on goal 4 ours 2
Their goal keeper made 1 saves ours made 4
They had 14 attempts on goal to our 7

It was the sending off which basically helped us to attack more otherwise Emery is grinding our attacks down. He doesn’t believe in taking the game from the scruff. Almost all the games I have watched we were the reactive team, it is great when you are respecting others strengths but neglecting your own is pure stupidity.

Reality check
Reality check

Apart from the terrible penalty, Xhaka hasn’t been that bad this season..

Moxrex
Moxrex

He was never a bad player, he was exposed by the tactics used. When he is the last man of the midfield and requiring him to cover ground he will make mistakes, put a runner besides him and he will flourish. It is same for Ozil in right setup he will flourish but ask him to put shifts defensively every game then you will never be able to see his game.

Ben Eagerbeaver

In other words, both are limited players, huh? Not good still!

Mikele
Mikele

Most players are limited, even legends. Team setups solves their issues.

Spursarewank

Do we even need Pepe with a Prince like Bukayo Saka in our ranks? Willock was great and so was Xhaka. Mustafi did well too

Jack
Jack

Saka was unreal. You get excited every time he’s on the ball.

Also big up Xhaka, that was actually a captain’s performance

Oregoon

Which just goes to show he should be in the Bundeslga.

lordMartynz
lordMartynz

SAKAAAAA🚀

goongot
goongot

saka looks like a left footed ribery !

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

Might want to play like him, but would anyone really want to ‘look’ like Ribery ??

Rich
Rich

Harsh, but fair….

BergkampsDNA
BergkampsDNA

Without a horrific cunt for a face, which is a brucie bonus

Reality check
Reality check

Thats very classless mate.. Ribery suffered a horrible accident as a kid. You wouldn’t like it if one of your loved-one went through that..

Mootilated
Mootilated

getting offended on the behalf of a player who actually once had his ugliness used in an advert? wow. why don’t you just cool it. he’s clearly joking.

yen
yen

Enjoyed this game SO MUCH because of Willock & Saka – such courageous performances! Also, huge shout out to Emi Martinez who looked absolutely assured in the goal today. Gotta say I liked Xhaka tonight too.

But yeah, 24 conceded shots. Crazy how easy it is for the opposition to get from their box to ours.

yen
yen

By the way, these are Xhaka’s stats for tonight:

68 touches
2 key passes
3 accurate crosses
4 out of 5 accurate long balls
1 big chance created
5/5 ground duels won
5 clearances
1 blocked shot

Those are some great stats. Willock seemed to put in a good shift. Torreira looked like being used in a position uncomfortable for him, but wasn’t below average. All in all, no disastrous performance on a personal level from any of our midfielders, so why does it seem that it’s super easy to get through them to the very brink of our box?

myrtle
myrtle

Suprising burst of pace to set up the second as well.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Only gave away the 24 shots tonight.. But Saka, hats off young sir.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Respect to Xhak and Sak

James
James

I think the result flatters us a bit – far too much careless giving away of possession in the midfield. Saka looks a real talent, Emile Smith-Rowe too although was careless at points – improvement will perhaps come with fitness and experience.

Bob
Bob

Score flatters us big time! Martinez was a titan in goal today, could have easily been 2 or 3 down at the half, great to have such a good second keeper. Saka MOTM though, such a good performance from such a young lad. Still very worried by our gameplan of inviting so much pressure, but since we didn’t concede today, that’s a discussion for another day 🙂

NMArsenal
NMArsenal

Careless possession giveaway has become too common with this team. Even in the last few years of AW(except his last term) the team wasn’t this bad.

Emery has to take a serious look at the problem. It’s not just certain individuals but almost everyone are doing it.

One of the main difference between today’s and the last game was that there were more variation. Not only Martinez impressed with his hands but he also spread the ball pretty good and didn’t mind going long whenever he feel like it. There were a couple of times the defenders coming in the box and Martinez was like “I am gonna just boot it” which confused Frankfurt and helped stem pressure. Overall play was bit tidier and Frankfurt was aerially weaker than Watford.

In the end possession control and retention needs to be improved regardless of game plan.

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

Wow. What a game from Saka. And how good was Martinez?

After the sh/t show at Watford, that’s really lifted the spirits.

COYG!

N8Gooner
N8Gooner

Boom! Sakalakalaka Boom! Sakalakalaka

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Boom SakaLacaXhaka

DialSquareGoon
DialSquareGoon

Give this man a medal!

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

I’ve always found it odd how Martinez never seems to challenge for a first team spot. All I’ve seen from him has been extremely positive. My only explanation is a lack of ambition on his behalf…

Joy Boral
Joy Boral

Yeah Martinez was solid today. Great distribution too. 🙂

kaius
kaius

I assure you it’s not a lack of ambition from Martinez. He did an interview during pre-season and said straight up – he knows he’s going to be no.1 and will not let anything get in his way.

Man has confidence for days

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

I must admit, I’ve had my reservations about the thought of Martinez being next in line were Leno to be injured, but wow, he put in such a commanding and assured performance. Looked like he’d been a first-team PL keeper for years, and there was fond memories of Seaman’s safe hands. I’ve seen him play at lower levels in the past and been impressed, but didn’t ever expect him to reach for the number 1 jersey, after tonight however I look forward to a very tight fight to start our PL games. Excellent.

David Hilliers Arm Cast
David Hilliers Arm Cast

Lack of ambition?

You think he goes up to the boss and says “don’t bother picking me for the game Sunday, I’m not good enough”?

He doesn’t pick the squad. Leno was bought to be #1

Vonnie
Vonnie

Martinez is very ambitious and is a much better keeper than many fans think. He’s never been given the games, but when he has he doesn’t let us down and he was excellent for Reading last season. With a run of games in the cups I think he may surprise a few people.

myrtle
myrtle

Bigger presence than Leno also, commanded his area totally this evening.

Dennis
Dennis

Not true he did declare earlier this year he believes he is better than Leno and wants the #1 shirt

nikoniko
nikoniko

Gubening! from the scoreline it is emphatic. But looking at the game in context we are still far away from confidence. Saka is and will be brilliant. Pepe should learn a thing or two. The diffence acquitted themselves well, less brain farts. At least no playing from the back BS, and martinez what a ald. COYG

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Very nice, well done Arsenal. Youngsters looked really good and Martinez very confident. Transfer this to the premier league please.

Joy Boral
Joy Boral

Good result, but I don’t want to overhype performances.We could have easily been on the backfoot if they had taken their chances. Still a tactical mess. Only a few players saving our ass.
Happy for Saka! He definitely has potential.
Kola and Xhaka good today. But Arsenal has taught me to be ‘wary’ and ‘scared’.

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Saka, Kola, Xhaka, Auba, Laca, Chamba, Ceba, Musta, Papa, and so on.

Joy Boral
Joy Boral

Haha! 😀

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

Well said mate.

djourou's nutmeg
djourou's nutmeg

i personally thought saka was kinda lost on the first half, but improved in the second

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Pepe who? Saka was immense tonight, started nervy, but was outstanding 2nd half. Still very worrying that our 2nd best player was Emi in goal…

anonarse
anonarse

Great result. Saka was amazing. Willock good as well. But allowing EF to get that many chances and controlling the game isn’t good enough. Game plan is hard to spot or understand. Luckily Auba didn’t get injuried. + for Pepe assist.

Henkamp
Henkamp

This was just an evidence that there is quality in this team. Both from the old guard and the Hale End boys.

If only they could be coached properly….

PGunner
PGunner

Have we stumbled upon our new back 4? Jokes, but loving the clean sheet! Well played the young guns, never comfy watching the Arsenal nowadays, so that beautiful Saka goal felt goood, looks a fucking player! Props to Martinez and Willock too. Played lads.

Man Manny
Man Manny

In 2006 world cup in Germany, a certain player who’d just signed for Arsenal scored a long range screamer for Czech republic.
I can still hear the voice of the commentator scream “A star is born!”

Dare I say that today in Frankfurt, “A Star is born!”
BUKAYO SAKA IS BORN!!!

Moxrex
Moxrex

It didn’t end nicely unfortunately because he remained sidelined a lot due to injuries

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

I said it at the weekend and I’ll say it again. The defence gets a lot of stick (and rightly so) but tonight the defence didn’t really do much wrong and we still conceded shit loads of chances.

Moxrex
Moxrex

It is our defensive organisation or lack of it, Wenger was lambasted for this in the later part of his tenure. But his teams were at least entertainers and importantly consistently.
Who are we? Not the 1-0 to Arsenal? Not the entertainers who chocked? There is no identity and Emery’s record with PSG and Seville had something in common and that is “be reactive and approach every game anticipating others strengths”. It is great when done against bigger boys but we help the strugglers spank us well.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

A thoroughly enjoyable game of basketball.

It was great to play a team that was even worse defensively than we are. It made for a crazy, open match that could have gone either way. Thankfully, Martinez was excellent and their finishing was awful, we missed a few easy ones earlier on too. Man of the Match Willock and the superb youngster Saka made the difference. Lovely goal by the kid.

Emery gambled with the selection and it paid off. But we still looked dodgy at the back: Chambers was all over the place. This win puts us in a very strong position and we should qualify comfortably from here.

But we need to improve our defending against Villa.

A real fun night.

BergkampsDNA
BergkampsDNA

‘Chambers was all over the place’ – only because the structure of the team was once again all over the place. Playing out of position, no protection, I imagine AMN words to him were ‘good luck’, and once again Bellerin looks all the better for not playing

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

What game where you watching? I thought Chambers actually had his best ever game at right back. Got up and down the pitch, had a couple of classy crosses and covered back well.

A Different George
A Different George

Blogs, wasn’t that Xhaka shot that hit the woodwork actually from a corner?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I did not expect that. Our defence were good.

Duno
Duno

Okay, so Saka should start ahead of Nelson till further notice. The game is the game.
Also, what a terrific performance from Martinez. Watch it Leno. The competition can only be good for us. Well done lads.

Drew
Drew

Saka set up Auba not Lucas

kaius
kaius

bloody German football fans

We’re beating you 3-0 put the drums down and STOP SINGING you insanely cheerful b*stards

Longbow
Longbow

The atmosphere was electric. I absolutely loved it.

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

German fans really are the pinnacle of fandom.

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Germans + beer + drums = Fandom

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Flabbergasted at the difference in performance levels tonight, compared to the weekend. Better quality opponent, German team.. Yet we had a free flowing, attractive game going on!? I love my club, but still can’t figure Emery/his ideas out!? Still… The past has passed. Tonight was good. Onwards, and upwards.

Amusa
Amusa

Clean sheet with Luiz and Mustafi at CB.
The streets will remember!

Nketibag
Nketibag

The sheets will remember!

Martin
Martin

We only allowed 24 shots on our goal today and got a clean sheet. Time to bring Mustafi back to the Premier League!

Amusa
Amusa

I’d have him over Luiz.
At least Mustafi is our own clown!

jon

Good and bad luck even out over time. I thought last year’s loss against Chelsea in Baku was a little unlucky. Tonight, Frankfurt had a string of great chances, of which somehow none came to fruition. The result could easily have been the opposite.

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

I’d say it evened out if this was the final.

gunnerpete
gunnerpete

fantastic result. If I have a gripe, it’s Auba playing the full 90, when most thought he wouldn’t even start in this competition, esp away from home. After 3 without a win in the league, we desperately need all the points on Sunday.

SB Still
SB Still

Whisper it, Auba doesn’t get injured often. Messi, Ronaldo, etc play most games over most seasons.

Now let’s hope this hasn’t jinxed him.

chepetin
chepetin

Christ! I just had a horrible thought. He’s not going to start Auba over the weekend against AV

SantaClausola
SantaClausola

I have been hoping for Saka to get a chance but was surprised to see him start tonight ahead of Nelson…maybe Emery trying to tell Nelson something without saying it. If that’s the case, he must certainly be thinking ‘crap, I need to step up’ after Saka’s performance!

We know defence is an issue but I can’t help thinking that the CM like today, don’t do the defensive stuff to screen us from having shots taken. They never drop right in and be like ‘try and get through us’.

Anyway, good result. Happy to see ESR start as he was probably closer to the first team than Willock was last season and I genuinely believe he will be a great player. Saka is obviously far from the finished article but did great with 2 assists and a goal. Martinez, well played sir!

We need to as always, be careful to not over hype Saka but I think he has put himself in a great position to get in front of RN if his performances don’t pick up

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Saka is the real deal. Keep it up, Son.

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

Saka looked good last season when he played for us. Great to see him carry on like that.

Arsemusic
Arsemusic

Really nice to just enjoy a win and watch our youngsters play in a big away game and look damn good.

Mike D
Mike D

On french TV, the commentator referred to Arsenal tonight as ‘les babygunners’, which made me smile. More please!

Santori
Santori

Babygunners was built on the base of some solid experience and two clowns.

Mark
Mark

Was a nice wide open game with lots of chances by both teams. We got three, but had some great chances with Torreira and Willock both putting one timers over the goal, Auba missing a tap in cross wide and Xhaka hitting the crossbar on the free kick. Not sure why Auba played the whole game and Pepe only a brief cameo when he needs the playing time so much more.

Santori
Santori

I’m not sure if he meant it but what a ball. Flummoxed everyone.

Santori
Santori

Too wide open at times although in due respect, sometimes with these sort of to and fro games with less control also comes more opportunities.

Still we are letting too many shots come in still and we have work to do building better relation between the forward line and the midfield in hunting the ball higher up as a compact unit and getting better control of the match.

Auba, Smith-Rowe today unable to retain the ball sufficiently which kept putting us back under the cosh. Saka did marginally better but in many parts due to the tireless work of Kolasinac supporting.

Some unsung players out there as many will focus on Saka and Willock but a lot of the work done by Kolasinac and Granit in particular.

Clean sheet a welcome surprise to say the least.

Santori
Santori

3 THINGS :

1) CLEAN SHEET – And with Mustafi-Luiz! Who would have thought. They must somehow bring the best out of each other.

Mustafi did nothing wrong tonight, some very good last minute blocks, kept it simple. We were peppered with crosses but they dealt with it well for most parts except once with Bas Dost free header.

2) Tale of two young guns – Thought Smith-Rowe struggled to get into the game tonight. Would have replaced him earlier, practically not much from our right stuck. He’s just back from long lay off and still young so we should cut him some slack.

On the other flank first half, Saka also struggled. Some naive moments. BUT he’s such a a character the young lad, and he persevered through it and it bore fruit.

Excellent goal and even better assist putting pressure on them, winning the ball and awareness to find Auba.

3) Midfield still needs work. There were moments we were still under too much duress. Even until we found ourselves fortunately against 10 men thanks to a card happy Italian ref, we struggled to hold control.

I thought Granit (AGAIN) had a very good game breaking up play, stealing the ball a number of times and making those headed intercepts high up.

I felt our strikers could have stuck the ball more and offered better ball retention and somewhere between them and the midfield, we still seem too loose.

OTHERWISE as expected, Unai did the right thing not to play too many reserves or young guns (in fact I still felt we were risking it with two young guns on the wing)

Considering the lame effort against Watford, it was important to build some semblance of confidence back up. 4-3-3 a better foundation for us to improve albeit I still think we have reason to consider 3-4-1-2 as well given personnel choices available and relative strength and weaknesses.

Der Kaiser
Der Kaiser

Good stuff. Such promising youngsters. I think Torreira and Xhaka are needed in midfield with the energy of Willock. We then have loads of forwards for the other 3 spots.

We all know the defence is the issue but we have two full- backs returning from injury and a very promising French centre back arriving for next season.

Where are the Emery critics tonight? He is building a new team. I see that and the youth need to be part of that. Us supporters must keep patient. Hope for top 4 this season but I anticipate success from next season.

Santori
Santori

As I said, Granit performs a function for us most people prefer not to recognise.

He gives strength in cover aerially and intercepts the ball early at centre line.

BUT he has also been good tackling, and recovering balls. Its the midfield higher up and its relation to the attack (ball retention) that has issues to resolve in giving us more composure in matches without this yoyo effect beteween attack and cover.

Likely we will be playing granit at base of defense for good reason. We saw again today Torreira gave the ball away unforced in critical part of the pitch second half leading to a dangerous breakaway for them.

Guendouzi was touted by some (prematurely of course) as replacing Granit. Again these people want to see what they want to see. Guendouzi is an exciting young talent but he will need to work on consistency which is natural.

Ditto Willock. I thought he was positionally still rough many times and but for the goal plus hard work, I would not think his game tonight warrant thinking he is an immediate starter.

In fact but for Granit at base, we have four options with two positions flanking the Swiss in a 3 man midfield IMO. And we will need ALL 4 options to rotate and keep things fresh and energise, push each other in – Guendouzi, Willock, torreira AND Cebellos.

If we go to a back 3, we can better afford not to have Granit in midfield with a rotation of those other players mention as we will have better cover aerially at the back.

Otherwise, the Swiss led today by example particularly second half where he and Kolasinac came out to attack the ball more aggressively higher up to show the younger players how it should be done and we got a better hold of the game for a while.

Again, I think we should not be dithering and just employ Granit and Sokratis as captains. There is no perfect solution for us but these two are sufficiently vocal and experience and can organise the team during defensive phases. No 5 captain nonsense.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Was great to see Arsenal doing what we want Arsenal to do, scoring some cracking goals 🙂

Malaysian gunner
Malaysian gunner

This win is just papering over the cracks.The Germans had at least 10 shots
before Arsenal scored.I am worried because in the epl if bottom of the class ,Watford,can have 31 shots,what price AV who prevented WH scoring?

Thesoulofpdavis
Thesoulofpdavis

Xhak sak and crack?

shaka
shaka

the team is so much better and sharper, when doozi doesnt get shoehorned in.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

Note to Xhaka … see the youngsters Willock and Saka, that’s playing without fear …