Arsenal came from 2-1 down to beat Vitoria 3-2 in the Europa League this evening thanks to two sensational free kicks from Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivorian saved the day after what was another indifferent performance from Unai Emery’s side, and the confidence boost he’ll get from this is invaluable.

It puts the Gunners on 9 points, top of the group, and in a strong position to win it.

Read the Arsenal 3-2 Vitoria report and see the goal here.

Here’s how the players rated this evening.

Ratings

The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Emi Martinez. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Gana
Gana

Positives: Pepe, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe
Negatives: Team setup, tactics, AMN (what the hell was he even doing)

Please let’s not drag Ozil into this conversation.
I’m sure he had an anti-Emery tweet ready if Arsenal lost today, lol, he couldn’t use it.

LANCE
LANCE

Martinelli running 40yards chasing their fullback and winning the ball back late in the game at 2:2 showed what this kid is about. Works so hard it’s incredible haven’t seen an arsenal forward work this hard since Sanchez. Brilliant player so positive makes fantastic runs behind defenders but our midfield doesn’t always find him we lacked creativity in midfield until guendouzi came on. But Martinelli is very ready for consistent first team football I wouldn’t put it past him to start a few premier league games this season. Guendouzi as well brilliant as ever. Such a massive impact he’s made since joining arsenal his drive is incredible. Once he masters the English language I honestly believe he should be captain or one of the captains. I don’t think bellerin is a natural leader and he didn’t have a good game and infact until guendouzi we lacked leaders on the pitch. Tierney was decent but you could see he’s a waaaaaaay better options than Kolasinac he needs to be starting in the epl. Smith row had a decent game as well. AMN = I have no explanation shocking too lackluster. Willock = shocking but there’s potential. Marines could’ve dived for the 2nd goal. But no his fault really. PEPE was absolutely magnificent. His all round game is still not there yet but he’s improving that as well. You see improvements. But what a way to silence your critics more of that pls.

SB Still
SB Still

He reminds of RVP (pre ManUre version) in being able to create for himself. So it was fitting to hear RVP singing his praises.

Roy
Roy

Sound reasoning there Lance. Nice one. We tend to expect a lot from our kids and when they try stuff that fails it looks bad…AMN falls very much into that category and I hope he learns and kicks on. His decision making has let him down a lot this season, but he’s learning. I’m very impressed with Martinelli and I’m please you suggest he could get a few premier league games – many observers demand immediate selection for youngsters when they impress (Under-11 Arsenal player bags hattrick — let’s drop Auba and start him against Liverpool away!).

Moxrex
Moxrex

There is a reason you have different categories in the contracts:
1. First Teamers
2. Backups
3. Up coming

DontAskMe
DontAskMe

How are you enjoying the new FIFA game?

LANCE
LANCE

Very true. The likes of Martinelli, Smith Row, Reis Nelson, Saka, Willock by the end of this season would’ve gained valuable experience that would serve them in good stead for next season. But I feel Martinelli might just be ahead of this bunch in development and tactical awareness as well as the intensity and urgency that’s required at this level martinelli has that already. And he’s not afraid to get stuck in either. You could see his street smart attitude to everything he does on the pitch. Brilliant player.

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

So… All the negatives can be traced back to Emery!? Our most creative player isn’t even in the squad to gain form, match fitness and to show what he can do!? Help unlock a second rate Europa League defence!? The anti Ozil brigade really are something else. I was STRONGLY pro Emery upon appt, but after 18 months of regression, am firmly in the #emeryout camp. He isnt PL or AFC quality. I feel sorry for Vitoria tonight; they were showing us up all match!

Ayleym
Ayleym

For me Gendouzi gets better and better each game. He changed the game for me today this kids a talent

GS14
GS14

Guess who dragged Ozil into this conversation.

ArsenalFuture
ArsenalFuture

You cannot mention AMN without mentioning Ozil. As in; How is AMN starting and Ozil isn’t in the squad?
Notwithstanding ability, performance, experience, cost….AMN is the only player who looks more casual on a pitch than Ozil.

Robert
Robert

Willock didn’t have a great game either

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

Willock did have a great touch under pressure from the defender to get the ball out to Tierney in the build up to our first goal, so wasn’t all negative.

Unnecessarilystupid
Unnecessarilystupid

Whoever does the player avatars has a real knack for capturing their likeness

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Ceballos has jaundice

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

That busy fly comment though. Cracked me right up 🤣

The Far Post
The Far Post

Agreed. 10/10 Blogs busy fly description 🙂

Gudang Bedil

Guendouzi is Luiz

Burn Baby Burn
Burn Baby Burn

He clearly lives in Springfield

roy
roy

How can 40% of voters give that very accurate comment the thumbs down?

Rich
Rich

The Maitland-Niles avatar is spot-on!

azurelas
azurelas

If Emery starts Xhaka ahead of Torreira after tonight’s display (Willock and Maitland-Niles were responsible for the goals conceded) then he has truly lost the plot. Torreira is so much more aggressive, tenacious and mobile. His passing is vastly underrated too.

On an even more depressing note it seems that Maitland-Niles doesn’t have a future at the Club, unless he becomes our O’Shea/Darren Fletcher, ie a utility player. And there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

Jack4343
Jack4343

AMN is in bad form for sure but I’m not ready to close the door on his Arsenal career just yet. His touches are way too casual and loose and that can be very dangerous in the midfield. It’s not unfixable though.

JoeLondon
JoeLondon

I hope Maitland-Niles can find his form back. Yes, he lost the ball, but that pass to him simply set him up for trouble anyway, he was already surrounded by three black shirts and Niles was facing backward, it would take someone like Cabellos or someone more experienced to get out of these situation.

Billy
Billy

I agree the pass into him was bad decision making. Though his touch could not have been worse there and is still a tad more culpable. Out side that I did not think he was horrible, not good enough though. I like him but his first touch seems torrid.

Moxrex
Moxrex

That’s true, it has been quite sometime, our off the ball movement is non-existent. Sometimes keeping the shape makes it more difficult for the players to provide options when opponents are marking them tightly. But coaching can be done to improve it.

Rich
Rich

Calum Chambers went through similar troubles, as did Rob Holding, Niles isn’t the first, and won’t be the last young player to go through a sticky patch.

Think a loan would do Niles some good, go out and get half a season in the championship picking up 20+ games in a less pressurised environment.

To write off a 22year old is just ridiculous

Welsh Gooner
Welsh Gooner

Emery will start Xhaka because club captain. Torreira can be aggressive without giving away the same amount of soft fouls the way Xhaka does. Would much prefer him and Guendouzi starting if Emery is insistent on playing two DMs.

Awesomesauce25
Awesomesauce25

We only have 1 DM in the squad. Torreira. How can Emery play 2 DMs and yet he doesn’t even play Torreira. Ann’s on the occasion he does, he plays him ahead of Xhaka or Guendouzi and makes him press, leaving Xhaka or Guendouzi to play DM… when they are clearly not a DM. So strange we needed a DM for so long, and now that we have him, we don’t like to use him as suited.

onenil
onenil

Calum Chambers did a good job as DM for Fulham. Not sure thats the level we need, but probably better than Xhaka

Ozenal
Ozenal

Torreira wasnt playing the defensive midfield role, or as a deep lying playmaker.

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Well, we can blame AMN, but what was his position, what were the instructions? He started on the wing, then was moved to “all over the midfield” and we can all agree central is not his position. Just look at where he lost the ball. Same place the manager lost the plot entirely.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Young player asked to learn an unfamiliar position due to a lack or squad resources and coaching staff identifying key traits, loses a bit of form, get about his fourth game in the last two season in a position vaguely similar to what he’d learnt growing up – Arsenal fans:”it seems that Maitland-Niles doesn’t have a future at the Club”.

Say more about the patience of our fans than our players ability really.

Gana
Gana

Waiting for Ozil to congratulate Arsenal or Pepe for the win on social media, but wait, that doesn’t suit his anti-Emery agenda.
Shows you he is milking his fans/followers by using his PR machine.

And, by all means, sack Emery. That just doesn’t mean Ozil was the savior who could make us become Barcelona.
Remember the Europa final, if someone’s memory needs a little refresh.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Everyone was shite that night and as I recall he was told to man-mark Jorginho.
Why not focus on the fact that he creates the most chances for us every single year.
Put him in the team and the attack wakes up. Pepe Laca and Auba will flourish. Put Torreira and Guendouzi behind him to work their holes off to make up for his lack of physicality. Play to the strengths of your best players!

Gana
Gana

Well, he’s been shite since the day he signed that contract extension.
Zero work-rate, zero involvement, full social media antics.

Being a part of the playing 11 consists a lot more than just finding 1 good pass in 3 matches, and being a passenger for the rest.

mpls
mpls

False narrative used to sell bum wipe.

Billy
Billy

Well I’m not sure how you know that he’s been shite since the contract as he really has not played consistently enough to really judge him. He looks rusty more then shite when he plays ever 5 to ten games, and less this season as well. He has the talent, Form comes from playing.

Deano

Gana next to no involvement and not of his doing. The best way for everyone to stop talking about Ozil is results and performances on the pitch. Erm well we have been shit for the majority of the occasions that he has been left out and the buck stops at the manager.

Ayleym
Ayleym

Seems.the common line up we all dream of bur as fans we paid millions to choose the lineup. Surely the manager has more of an idea then do?

Ayleym
Ayleym

But as fans we aren’t paid millions like the manager to chose the lineup

Gana
Gana

All in all:
Emery – Good ebening and good bye.
Ozil – collect your 350K paycheck and go play Fortnite somewhere else.

Julio Baptista's humble alter ego
Julio Baptista's humble alter ego

OK mate, we heard you the first time..

Hustle6
Hustle6

People are unliking the idea that ozil congratulates arsenal or pepe. Literally says it all about the ozil worshippers and who/what comes first for them.

Its sad. But let’s enjoy the win instead of hating for no reason.

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

Posts about not dragging Ozil in the conversation.
Drags Ozil in the conversation.
Fuck off you mug.

Henkamp
Henkamp

I was badly hoping that if there was going to be a winner for us, then Pepe should be the one to get it.

On Tuesday, after that loss to Sheffield, one Liverpool fan wrote this article:

https://www.rousingthekop.com/2019/10/22/liverpool-dodged-a-bullet-by-not-signing-nicolas-pepe/

I told him how stupid he was… I am glad Pepe added a couple words with his feet tonight for good measure.

Andy
Andy

I like that the link is formatted to look like “Liverpoo” on my screen. Fitting, perhaps.

Henkamp
Henkamp

🙂 Brilliant!

Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe

I sent a message out to him mate making sure he knew how I felt mate.

Henkamp
Henkamp

Yeah, mate. That’s why I dropped the link here. He’d think twice about writing such crap later on.

goonshow
goonshow

What??? You actually SPOKE to a Scouser?

Cacio e Pele
Cacio e Pele

Loved Pepe’s sniper free-kicks and Auba’s celebration was great too. Guendouzi seems to have really thrived as the new midfield beacon, just pure, infectious enthusiasm. Just seems like an angry French kid but I am so glad that he is mine.

Cacio e Pele
Cacio e Pele
Goontang
Goontang

Thankyou. I literally was sitting here after the first comment thinking, damn I didnt see Aubas celebration.

KongoKim
KongoKim

Weird One.

Gkabogo
Gkabogo

Hi am I the only one who can’t find the comments section on the app

Pearson
Pearson

I have to switch from the app on iPhone to web browser to read comments. No comments on app???

Shank

Is it just me, or was there a midfield out there in the first half?

Rich
Rich

Still buzzing,…. Nothing like coming from behind twice, and then winning it with a 93rd minute free kick….

Good to get the squad players some minutes, I’ve been trying to think who Martinelli reminds me of, then I seen a tweet from Tim Stillman saying Luis Suarez…. I think Emery will go with experience on Sunday as he’s under pressure, but Martinelli has to be knocking on the door, he’s an absolute dream player, we’re lacking a bit of spark at the minute, and a rejuvenated Pepe and relentless Martinelli could give this team a much needed injection of something we’re lacking.

Martinelli fanboy
Martinelli fanboy

What isn’t positive about martinelli? His work rate is first class (ESR too)and actually steals the ball cleanly. His play style is positive and forward thinking all the time. I like that he’s a bit selfish like Sanchez was. All this sideways passing is a disease and I think the douzi has figured that out and started playing more of a box to box role.

We all know our number one midfield is torreira, douzi and ceballos/ozil. This team is crying out for a number 10 and Emery can’t even give ozil a chance. In his absence we need a technical midfielder who can create seamless links with a our strikers or create chances for themselves to draw players away from our offence. I rarely see us playmake around the the perimeter of the 18 yard with dribbles or quick passing.

Pepe bailed Emery. Happy for him to get some confidence back.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Exactly what Pepe needed and hopefully this gets the haters off his back, because his technical ability is elite (more than Gervihnos) and still needs time to adjust.

On the other hand…my goodness AMN “I’m a central midfielder”, no you’re not son. He is worth shipping off for 30M in my eyes and not just based off this performance.

Caligunner
Caligunner

Lol 40m for amn smh

Caligunner
Caligunner

*30m

Rich
Rich

I’m very relieved that you consider Pepe’s technical ability elite (more than Gervinho’s)…

I don’t know why our fans are obsessed with attacking our young players and kicking them when they’re down? Can we have a rule that players under the age of 24 are off limits? and players within their first 6 months are off limits?

Cheetoh_Slick_Esq
Cheetoh_Slick_Esq

Gave Ceballos an extra .5 just for the perfect description of his performance by Blogs. 10/10 description

SB Still
SB Still

That description was funny 🙂

Usmanov
Usmanov

The description was funny.
Perfect? I dunno.
Yes, he wasn’t playing through balls through the middle for our forwards. But I thought his “busy” performance kept things ticking over in midfield and he was helping to provide control and security in possession in midfield. And he sent incisive balls down the left a few times as well.

Could have had a better game -by his own standard- though.

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

At what point did we become completley incompetent of passing through the middle to our forwards?!

Only for Gunedouzi’s runs we’d have been playing U ball for the whole game.

Our lack of a functional tactics and a playing style was on full show tonight. A very flattering scoreline.

Cygan’sbaldspot
Cygan’sbaldspot

Since Wenger left

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

The one player we have with the ability to do just that, cant get a run in the team or even the bench these days.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Wenger used play to U balls too and was criticised for it. Agree on the Guendouzi runs, he isnt an amazing dribbler but he has an awareness of who he can run at. The great thing about him is that even if he misplaces a pass or get dispossessed he tried to get it back as soon as possible.

xjert02
xjert02

We don’t have creativity in our midfield. I can’t see anyone with creativity of Ozil, Rosicky or Cazorla. No current player has their attacking quality, sense of one-two passes, sense of off the ball movement, sense of free the space for another player, sense of speed-up play.

Jack4343
Jack4343

One thing I’ve been noticing is how fast Martinez gets rid of the ball. I think it’s one of the reasons we are able to get out of our half a bit easier compared to the league games. I think Leno is a bit slow in his distributions.

kxgun
kxgun

This is something I don’t recall being mentioned much. We are a decent offense when we are running at the other team, and we just don’t get the opportunity to do that with the amount of time Leno takes. Playing out from the back doesn’t really help… it’s almost as if the the tactics are wrong

Vonnie
Vonnie

Emi’s distribution is way better than Leno, not only does he move the ball quickly but he usually finds his man.

Elbon
Elbon

It is, and not by a little either. There’s was one moment in the first half we were passing around at the back, ball got to Emi and he was immediately pressed, and he found a great out ball to the left. Leno can’t do that.

Hustle6
Hustle6

I fucking love Europa league fights at the Emirates!!

Is there any way we can have a b team playing in Europa even when we’ve qualified and are playing in the champions league?

Ah man good times have another pint friends!

Cacio e Pele
Cacio e Pele
Eeleen
Eeleen

Emery is killing Maitland-Niles at moment trying to save his own face and today did in a pointless Europa League group game. He had very low confidence before today, and probably is even worse now. He was much better player two years ago. Developing youngsters isn’t throwing them out to drown and after that blaming them for poor performances. AMN was bad today, but lets be real, Ceballos was also. And Torreira as attacking mid wasn’t also good. Two fantastic shots from Pepe covered for a fact that we didn’t create almost anything from open play in the second half either. And our midfield was only marginally better in the second half.

Taking AMN off today at half-time was so bad for his future. Give him instructions and let him make up for a mistake in the first 15 minutes in the second half. Even in today’s game we could see that the same physical talent is still here. He still has the best recovery pace, but they have to figure out what position he plays. Even if he doesn’t make it at Arsenal, in the beginning of the season we had an asset worth 15-20 mil, now we have asset worth 5 mil, if that.

Other side is also we shouldn’t forget that Guendouzi is still young, and although it seems like he can run around forever, we still shouldn’t overplay him at this stage of the season. He will play 90 min in the weekend, did 90 on Monday. He dragged us back to game today, but we should still manage his minutes.

roy
roy

AMN was taken off with Willock because they were not playing well. If I don’t completely understand Emery’s strategies I do at least appreciate that he will move swiftly to sub a player not doing well. I’m afraid I can’t follow the logic that Emery would think he would “save his face” by “killing” AMN. I also doubt any club would have offered Stg20 million for him at the start of the season.

Eeleen
Eeleen

Not saying they were playing well, but it was a pointless Europa group game, where not killing youth for a result was more important than result. He didn’t take of Xhaka, Sokratis, Luis, Ceballos, even Guendouzi, Pepe at half time than they were playing badly in the previous games.

Ozenal
Ozenal

AMN has always had a misplaced pass in him, Wenger took him out of the team for a breather after he gave away some bad passes from DM. He thinks he is a winger, perhaps at Championship level but at the highest level you can’t coach the type of creativity which is required. Unless you have real quality in your final ball, which he doesnt. And he doesnt possess great combination play from central or wide areas. In this respect Nelson, Saka, Martinelli and RoweSmith are ahead of him.

Wenger’s idea of using his pace, energy and tackling technique was the correct one.

I think Emery put him at right wing because that what he requested and AMN publicly said he wanted that.

Eeleen
Eeleen

I also don’t see AMN as a winger for the same reasons you stated. We don’t know if he could be the DM, because we have seen him there once or twice.

I still see him having a place in the squad as backup right back with some development, but the development won’t come, if he or coach has given up on it. In a long run AMN will still be better backup rightback than Chambers. (ps I like Chambers more than lot of our fans, and it’s a shame that he can’t be playing as centerback even in cup games)

AMN needed to be taken out of team for few games, but after that to play him in different position (and he wasn’t even winger yesterday, but kept drifting inside) and take off half-time after mistake, was bad for his future.

Saw a stat on twitter: Unai Emery has made six half-time substitutions this season. The players going off were Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles & Willock. Not a good.

Punavesh Kamat
Punavesh Kamat

The midfield setup lacks sharpness in every department in general. Not great at shielding the defence nor creating anything decisive in the final 3rd.

P.S. Fabregas scored 2 free kicks against villa. Even he was on as a sub and was subbed off as well after scoring 2 free kicks.

A Different George
A Different George

I thought Bellerin was very good; he looked like he was playing at home against a much smaller club in a cup competition. Which is what the entire team should have looked like. Pepe’s brilliant free-kicks shouldn’t disguise the almost complete incoherence of our attack.

AussieGooner
AussieGooner

Mustafi deserves higher. I think he had a great game all things considered. Was everywhere and played some nice balls forward.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Definately. Had a solid game and if we are going to crucify him for bad ones he deserves the plaudits when he has a good one.

Ozenal
Ozenal

He turns like a oil tanker, but in a straight line looking eyes forward he is able to see everything and execute some good passing technique. When rushed or being turned inside out, he loses focus and is unable to concentrate on where opposition players are moving to.

Strange how he can pass into space through the eye of a needle but can’t pass the ball to the feet of a central midfielder.

Welsh Gooner
Welsh Gooner

If we are not going to start Ceballos when Ozil isn’t playing then I don’t see the point of not playing Ozil. My god we need creativity in midfield. Poor Torreira was trying to play all the midfield positions at once and it told in his performance. Our DMs run their absolute socks off every game but we don’t have that dedicated creative player on the pitch to properly reward the good work.

Whatever is going on between Ozil and Emery needs to just f****** stop already. It’s setting a hugely unprofessional image for the club off the field, especially when we don’t truly know what’s happening, just the whole “Ozil isn’t applying himself in training” BS. He may not be to everyone’s liking right now but we need a creative spark in midfield right now to aid our attack.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

We used to have Ramsey, Cesc, Wilshere and Rosicky all capable of linking midfield and attack. Sad to see the state of the midfield now, however I do think it’s due to poor instruction and playing the wrong combinations more than the players. A Guendouzi, Torreira pivot with Ceballos or Ozil ahead would be best in my opinion. I do like Willock too. He just had a bad game today.

Ozenal
Ozenal

I like to see Chambers get a shot ahead of Torreira. Emery clearly doesn’t rate him as a DM. Perhaps because he needs someone to build the play.

Let’s not forget that Torreira only had one season as a DM for Sampdoria before he came to us. He is still learning the craft and how to ensure he protects the ball and breaks an opposition press.

Too often he loses possession whilst on the floor after a messy dribble.

goonshow
goonshow

Errrm – you left out the little smiley fella with the two magic feet

xjert02
xjert02

The issue is, that UE wants to play mostly and mainly through flanks.

xjert02
xjert02

… so UE does not need typical No. 10 playmaker. But he does not realize, that the team still needs (and currently misses) midfielder (as midfield is the heart of the team), who can link up our play, who can interconnect everyone around him, who can make the team display comprehensive. Without such a player, the rest of team must be very organized and compact.

Henrik
Henrik

Wasnt Özil great at real madrid when he had ronaldo running down the wing? Pepe sure can do that? Just a thought. I really cant see why he hasnt got a place in our team especially when we are performing like this.

Caligunner
Caligunner

Clearly it’s awesome arsenal won the game.

I’m happy for Pepe. Maybe this will be the trigger but probably not. It was 2 free kicks. He still wasn’t all that great in live situations.

Laca and his acting? Wtf that was embarrassing.

Overall I liked what ESR, Martinelli, Guendouzi and the back line did tonight. Even though they seem to carve us up a lot even with the “3” first team defenders out there.

Didn’t get to watch the first half so I’m not sure how bad AMN or Willock were

One thing that was weird seeing in the second half I have to say is wtf is Lucas playing so far up compared to ceballos? Or even Guendouzi? I just do t get the tactical setup or what emery was trying to do here.

There just isn’t any good flow from MF to the attackers or at least consistency.

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Thank fuck for Pepe, so happy for him. Victoria played well and we didn’t, it happens. However I remain completely unconvinced Emery is the man to take us forward. I’d rather not have it worse before we make a change. The momentum is lagging and I think that could be very bad for us longterm if we let a nice but incapable guy stay on.

Freddie's left nut
Freddie's left nut

I once scored two free kicks in an under 10’s game against a team called Forest Green (not the eco-club now in the league).

Wish i was worth 72m…

In all seriousness, well done to Pepe, time to drag this team forwards!

Vonnie
Vonnie

That was probably one of the worst matches I’ve ever watched live. We were absolutely awful, and once again Emery’s arse was saved by moments of quality from a player, this time Pepe, despite his ridiculous “tactics”. Martinelli was good, Pepe was the difference, I thought the defence was OK, but again there was no functioning midfield, and I don’t blame any of the players because Emery has now managed to sabotage even the cup team. I also think the Ozil situation is affecting the team, many of them have liked the tweet, which would indicate support for him, and whenever the players are interviewed they seem to speak highly of him, and our forwards are completely without service so I’m sure they would like to see him in the team, maybe these players are sick of the crap tactics and nonsense.

Fledz
Fledz

Part of me wants to say this is Pepes moment, but the other part of me thinks he’ll ease into it slowly from here. You know what, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Sometimes as fans we can expect too much too soon and while his price tag almost demands instant success, I think he’ll do much better in the long run with performances like this. The rest of the team has been covered by other comments but I just wanted to say that there’s something real special about a high potential player finally delivering and us seeing a glimpse of what’s to come. Looking forward to his development.

Fledz
Fledz

Stoked to see Bellerin, Tierney and Holding finally on the pitch at the same time too. They won’t solve the midfield problem but I really get the feeling they’ll make some crucial contributions at the end, in the long run.

Bangkok49er
Bangkok49er

This victory is just Pepe-ing over the cracks. Dick Emery out out out.

Santori
Santori

Reality is a bitch. Those calling for Willock-Torreira to start in PL need to get their heads checked.

1) Martinez – Maybe could have done better near post for the first goal but otherwise we seem less panicky with distribution at the back with him. Of course its a different set of back line but I think his decision making when using the ball is better.

2) Bellerin – OK performance. Still working in but good to see him back.

3) Mustafi – Some people will naturally still blame him for the goals or Granit maybe. If you read the BBC you’d be forgiven to thinking he was appalling and deliberately missing those 3 headers at their goal. Did nothing wrong for me one superb through ball late in game as mentioned for Bellerin to Martinelli but he played several other good balls forward through the game. Kick on the post following the third header missed would suggest this is at very least a player hungry and eager to repair reputation.

4) Holding – Decent. Calmness is his quality and I do hope to see him get a slot next to Sokratis in the PL. BUT even he is not immune from individual error, getting turned early on in first half for a shot which was saved by Martinez.

5) Tierney – Good assist. Like his energy and certainly will give us option for PL. BUT again, should have been goal side for the first goal (minor error but still highlights no one is error free) plus a bout of cramps at the end would suggest he may not be quite ready for premiership pace. Those know it alls in social media will of course have a go at Unai but I think the gaffer knows a wee bit better than this sorry lot (If you listen to AFTV, you’ll lose grey cells fast)

6) Torreira – His strength is nipping at people and winning the ball. BUT neither he nor Willock asserted any form of control in midfield. One episode when we were defending a corner and he was marking someone twice his height begs questions of our approach. In the end the ball did go to this player and he beat Torreira (no surprise) but why is Torreira assigned to pick anyone up at all? beggars belief.

7) Willock – Clearly people tend to confuse themselves when they have certain hopefuls or favorites like say Mavropanos or in this case Willock and over some good performances (albeit against poorer opponents) they convince themselves these players are ready to replace some of their pet peeves like say granit or kolasinac or now Sokratis (go figure). Poor game again and not for he has good energy levels for us. BUT he can be forgiven bc its his first senior year and he’s still learning the ropes.

BUT poor pass and I thought Unai did the rght thing in subbing off BOTH players who made errors. I think the policy now is if you make an error, you are out and that is correct. We need to be far more demanding instead of imagining qualities which are likely not there (yet)

8) Smith-Rowe- I thought he was better today. Got stuck in and in the wars, particularly more effective when he switched left side and Martinelli went more central or right. Hope he keeps it up as we have a very bright prospect in him and its a confidence issue as much as fitness. Several good dummies to drive the ball forward direct and I would imagine he would have taken it on his own into the box if he was on a higher confidence level. Love the spin when he received the ball and had a shot at goal just wide.

9) AMN – He’s going to play himself out of the team at this rate. he’s lost his function as Rback to a deserving Chambers. he needs to buckle down and work on being way more water tight. Taht loss of possession leading to the goal was not the first time in the match he lost the ball and generally relied on his natural physical ability to try and remedy the situation. In this case, we were punished. Again those people deluding themselves into thinking midfield is his ‘natural position’ are having a laugh. I thought he’d be OK at RWING (I was calling for it some weeks back) bc generally there is less consequence to his carelessness. BUT he isn’t new to team anymore so he is in danger of losing a spot as we need to add in midfield regardless.

10) Martinelli – Busy busy busy. Like the energy levels and yet another goal even if he did not deliver on promise of a brace every game. BUT good industry and quick feet. At least a hungry player willing to go at opponents and try things. Very promising.

11) Laca – I think he should be forgiven for still working in from injury. Protected the ball and dummied several times to open space for us well first half but some things did not come off and he showed his frustration, particularly with the comical moment he fell to the ground like he was shot when he had the gentlest clash of noses with their Rback. Maybe he has a sensitive nose.

12) Cebellos _ I don’t know if we will sign him permanently and certainly even so I don’t think we have the full equation in midfield but again came on to make a difference. Better skill on the ball to work his way out from deep for us (if still risky) and kept us moving quicker.

13) Guendouzi – He’s indispensible. Great drive always playing forward gear and not afraid to go into the war. Love the driving run in field to win us the free kick for the winner. Bit worried we will drive him into the ground because I worry about our midfield depth. Last two performances have not been great in midfield. Even with Cebellos and Guendouzi on there was too much of an element of helter skelter. BUT at least you feel this player is going to make a difference when coming on.

14) Pepe – MOTM for obvious reasons. I mentioned last match we need to expect A LOT more of him now. Honeymoon period is over and he needs to deliver on the promise at 72m.Big money comes big pressure.

I said Unai needs to be FAR more demanding of players now. he showed this with subbing our willock and AMN and I think words have been said to Pepe too. he did decent first half against Sheffield (plenty more off ball work) so elated to see him take the brace here which will build on confidence (which is what is needed)

Sweet left foot strikes, no surprises who will be taking our set pieces from now on.

15) Gaffer – Selections is one thing, motivating highly paid players in another. Too many numpties mouth off as if they are experts. They’ve never thought of the other side of management which is motivating people.

AND I think as mention, Unai is getting a bit serious now. He did not celebrate the goals, looked frankly slightly (and rightly) pissed.

The other non existent issue too many idiots keep harping about is Ozil watch.

Its as if Ozil had been doing the business for us.

If he is NOT motivated enough to to do the hard work off the ball, Unai is COMPLETELY correct in leaving him out.

…get a grip. As soon as Ozil comes on and gives up on a ‘loss cause’ the same people calling for Unai’s head will be omaning about Ozil.

Wengerout people said they were willing to give ANYONE 2 to 3 years to turn things around. I mentioned that would be unlikely because these people have no patience. And here we go. Numpties with signs (in one case brought his kid to do the dirty work for him) Shame.

Joey Jojo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jojo Jr Shabadoo

TLDR

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Lacazette’s diving – LOL (as in pathetic)

Pepe showing us what his price tag was for! Give him time in the PL and he’ll come good.

By the skin of our teeth.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

I feel Maitland Niles was sold short by Torreira for their second goal. He had four players around him when he received the ball. Torreira had better options available. He also hasn’t played in the middle for ages so not surprised he was a bit rusty.
We weren’t very good all round against a team we should have been beating comfortably.
So pleased for Pepe that he saved the day. Should do his confidence in front of goal a world of good.

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

Amn looked casual all game. He complained about playing in the wrong position a lot and that’s a big red flag for me. How many young kids get to play for the mighty arsenal? And the odacity to complain! He tried to hide behind the wrong position veil when the mistakes he made were screwing up the easy passes which isn’t down to where you play. And now he gets to control the midfield he’s been absolutely anonymous till he mis places an easy pass or loses the ball trying to dribble past more than he can. He thought he was not a rb and now he looks like he thinks he’s too good for europa.

Moxrex
Moxrex

I think AMN is more like a wide midfielder than a central midfielder. His first touch requires work on and his dribbling and stamina could be better used in a wider position. His delivery from wide areas has improved as well. He looks more like Oxlade during his time with Arsenal.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Football, bloody hell.

Rowman
Rowman

Really wanna know if anyone had scored 2 FKs in a game for us before.

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Make no mistake; Emery is tactically inept. He is not Arsenal material. Freddy interim, please!!!

HKGoon
HKGoon

Not a big fan of how Emery’s playing the team at the moment, but it’s a bit hasty to suggest that Freddy interim would be better – we haven’t seen any proof of performance from him at this level, and it’s not easy to come in middle of season and change things even if he is out and out Arsenal. It may give a short term boost but the way forward lies in finding the right manager to take us in the right direction, and I’m sure there are better qualified, more proven managers out there who we can afford to bring in.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Parked the bus? 0800-Pepe

TheArseman
TheArseman

FFS im so sick of this shite already. Emery stop being so godamn stubborn and play a proper team!!! This midfield looks disorganized and clueless as to what to do and with no confidence they are at a loss of how to play anynore because he keeps playing players in positions and roles they cant play. Just put a normal f**king midfield in there with our talent that anyone can clearly see and just put the players in their natural positions

Qutub
Qutub

Let’s get Allegri in while he’s still available. Has winning pedigree with Juventus and is definitely an upgrade on the buffoon Emery.
Last night was a repeat of what Blogs has been saying for a while now. Talented players bailing their manager out.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

This loading will only take 3 weeks…

mrugunner
mrugunner

so does that mean a strike duo martin-nketiah next year? or trio martin-nketiah-pepe?

RosaLegend
RosaLegend

Emery’s body language after the winning goal tells you everything.

gabigol
gabigol

very generous giving lacazette a 6

George
George

Brilliant from Pepe and the last ten minutes. The other 80 minutes not too flash though.

Raphaelle
Raphaelle

What is it in Smith-Rowe that keeps people from saying he’s not good enough?

Punter
Punter

The crowd was singing for Ozil.. Clearly hasn’t lost the Emirates yet.

Moxrex
Moxrex

Can’t understand these Ozil chants. You cannot force Emery’s hand and even if you do, he will play Ozil as Central defender and shows us all that he cannot tackle.

Chilly87
Chilly87

Guendouzi is looking good due to the fact he’s playing in a sub par team. Suddenly forgotten how piss poor he was against Sheffield. Has all the passion just no real end result.

Moxrex
Moxrex

Emery won’t let Torreira play as a DM. He doesn’t trust a 1.66m player to do this job (Kante would be laughing). Recent article mentioned Emery trying to get 1.88m Fabinho before he joined Liverpool.

Lets be happy guys, we won!! Even though we were out-shot by a supposedly inferior team. Still we won, even though the highlights of the match would be 2 FK and brilliant pass by a defender.

But we are competitive. In Emery we trust (to ruin us)

Moxrex
Moxrex

Emery has clearly identified his leaders:
2018/19
Koscielny (Gone)
Cech (Gone)
Ramsey (Gone)
Ozil (Marginalized)
Xhaka (Wrong tactics to show his weaknesses)

2019/20
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Yet to be offered new contract, expires in 2021)
Hector Bellerin (Just returned from injury but not given any minutes in league even after availability)
Alexandre Lacazette (Has been out yet to be offered new contract, expires in 2021)
Mesut Ozil (Completed out of picture)
Xhaka (Wrong tactics to show his weaknesses)

It seems he doesn’t want these players to be there, lets see what happens but for now he is just ensuring that we end up being Seville and then be the savior.

Rich
Rich

Henry once scored 2 free kicks against Wigan. Ok, so he was told to retake it after scoring from the first one, but then scored again, and gave the famous “Is that enough?” question to the referee, Graham Poll.

Alex
Alex

Not sure Tierney desrves a 7 – at fault for the first goal + ran out of energy and got cramp. 5.5 from me. I’d prefer the energy and the sheer power from Kolasinac.

BJACK
BJACK

haha