Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Martinez, Holding, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, Saka

Arsenal got a new decade off to a winning start with a 2-0 win over Man Utd at the Emirates this evening.

Mikel Arteta deployed his big guns from the off, with Lacazette, Aubameyang and Pepe lining together from the start for the first time.

Rashford had the first chance of the game, shooting straight at Leno in the first minute, and Kolasinac picked up an early booking for a foul on James. Matic was not booked for a similar foul minutes later.

Despite United’s bright start, it was the Gunners who took the lead in the eighth minute. We worked it down the left, Aubameyang to Kolasinac, he took it on, played in a low cross, it came to Pepe and he hit it first time into the back of the net. 1-0.

A minute later, Pepe turned Luke Shaw inside out to create a chance for Aubameyang, but the captain volleyed over. Kolasinac looked to aggravate his ankle problem midway through the half, but carried on as Arsenal sent out Bukayo Saka to warm up.

The Bosnian international was a presence down the left throughout though. Lacazette did well to turn Maguire but skizzled his left footed shot well wide, before Torreira twisted and turned and shot just wide in the 32nd minute.

The woodwork saved United in the 38th minute. De Gea made a mistake, it came to Pepe, he cut inside, curled a shot from just outside the box which came back off the bottom of the post.

The lead was doubled just before the break however, when Sokratis got on the scoresheet after Maitland-Niles won Arsenal a corner. Pepe took the set-piece, Lacazette flicked it on, de Gea got hands on it, but it came out to the Greek international who smashed it into the roof of the net. 2-0.

Just before half-time Maguire had a free header at the back post after a free kick conceded by Kolasinac, but thankfully headed straight at Leno, so Arteta’s men took the two goal lead into the break.

There were no changes from either manager at half-time, but as you’d expect with a team losing, United came out fired up, ready to put pressure on the opposition. Fred had a pop from distance which Leno dealt with easily, Pereira hit the side netting, and there were some warning signs for Arsenal.

Solskjaer made a double change early in the half, bringing on a couple of twats for a pair of dickheads, while Arteta made his first change in the 62nd minute, taking off Pepe for Reiss Nelson. The Ivorian didn’t look too happy, but he made a significant contribution. Rashford shot over after a period of United pressure, and Arsenal made another substitution when Bukayo Saka replaced Kolasinac in the 68th minute.

United were dominating possession with the Gunners looking a bit weary. Greenwood had a pop but Leno saved, while at the other end it opened up nicely for Lacazette but he curled it over. Saka drove forward but couldn’t find power in his shot, and Xhaka played in a great pass for the French forward but his control let him down with just de Gea to beat.

Guendouzi replaced an exhausted Lacazette in the 82nd minute, United had plenty of the ball but found the Arsenal rearguard switched on. Aubameyang almost found Nelson in the box after a break down the left, and the game moved into four minutes of added time.

Leno was brave to deny Rashford, and when Fred whacked a free kick over the bar, that was that.

A first win for new boss Mikel Arteta, who is beginning to make this rag-tag group of players look like something approach a team again.

Happy new year folks!

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HelderHughes

It’s telling that Arteta stated that every player gets a clean slate. Because they feel like entirely new players. David Luiz – Assured, passionate and creative Xhaka – Composed leader AMN – Solid and mature Ozil – Committed and creative Torreira – Frankly world class Nelson – Dynamic young talent Lacazette – Angry at not scoring as apposed to disappointed to score. And these are all players who have looked completely out of sorts in the previous weeks and months. It’s the proudest I’ve been of an Arsenal performance in a long, long time. Can’t stop smiling!! COYG!!! Thank you… Read more »

nikoniko

I told you! This team lacked a coach. We now have one and he is leggo haired.

Kosballs

He’s gonna pick up the pieces, and build us a lego house

Wilsheres Middle Finger

When things go wrong we should have patience and not knock it down

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I hope he superglues the blocks in place and builds himself a Fortress Arsenal.

Cake or Death

I’m glad we lego of Emery when we did.

SB Still

The Lego haired manager has brought a structure to this unbalanced team. The players are thriving, even Luis, Sokratis, Xhaka, who have been exposed many times in (lack of) defence.

Hope injuries don’t play spoil sport.

Absolutely looking for to 2020 now.

Happy new year everyone.

Henkamp

Bro… I have been grinning from ear to ear like a fool for minutes since the game ended!

Adrian

First half: good with the ball
Second half: good show without ball. Some hiccups but still we can see improvement.

After long time, I saw happiness in everyone’s eyes

HelderHughes

I think from the David Luiz post match interview that it was tactical to slow down in the second half. He said they knew they weren’t fit enough so I guess they decided at half time not to run themselves into the ground and soak up some pressure instead. Brave move, couldn’t be more delighted it worked. It never has before!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

My impression from the after-game interview with Sokratis and Luiz was that under Emery we let our conditioning and hard work in training fall away. The Premier League is faster than most European leagues, new players from Europe almost always have to adapt to it. That is the situation our entire squad is in right now. As far as I can see pretty much everything bad that happened to us under Emery could be explained by us having a team that weren’t fit enough to compete at the needed level. Even the anger that got Xhaka in the shit with… Read more »

NaanBread

Aww, look at us all. A bit of cheer and holler returns to Arseblog comments section after months!

GoonerJust

Great stuff gunners! I’d love to see the same result at old trafford.

Paul Roberts

I wouldn’t call AMN mature but I would call him a ledge! 🙂

Flash

Yeah! Hats off!

Jijo

We had in this game what we have been lacking for so long – Authority. Against Chelsea, we bossed first 35 minutes and we let the control slip. This game we were so much better. More clear cut chances and more importantly, the second goal. United were slightly better only for those first 10-15 minutes of second half. Especially loved the confidence the players showed in the dying minutes. We didn’t panic and it was so refreshing to see! Loving what Arteta has shown us so far. Team look so very different now. Also so glad Ozil is contributing much… Read more »

Man Manny

The big difference between this game and the Chelsea game is the second goal. If we had found a second goal in the first half against them, we would have won that game also.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We still would have tired though, and that would still have allowed Chelsea to get back into the game. Looking at that game through the prism of the fitness issues Luiz and Sokratis talked about suggests to me that our ability to cope with the pressures of a game is already on the up through our gradually improving level of fitness. If fitness is a major factor in our poor form then there is hope for the rest of our season.

Comedian

Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal
We have got our groove back.
I can’t remember the last time I had a smile on my face watching us play
COYG

Mohd Fauzan Salleh

I dont remember when was the last time we had a confident, deserved win in PL match. Probably this is the 1st one this season. Very happy

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

This is the first time I have posted on here in 6 months, as I believe if you have nothing positive to say then it is best to say nothing at all. What sums up my feelings is this – I like most others wanted xhaka out. I’ve felt for weeks that we may as well bin him, auba, Ozil and laca as they have felt like poisonous elements. What I can now say with near total confidence, is that the situation was poisonous. Everyone and everything associated with the club was negative. We were all looking for someone to… Read more »

Dastardlydick

It brought a tear to my eye when Arteta walked onto the pitch at the end. He’d done us all proud. And great to get your first win against that lot.

Kaleja

We are back baby.

N8Gooner

He was carrying Pep,
He was carrying Peh-eh-ep,
Mikel Arteta,
He was carrying Pep!

SB Still

Never in doubt, look at their results since Arteta left 😉

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

Arteta’s influence has been impressive in different ways in each game so far. What a great start to the new year. Onwards and hopefully upwards the Arse goes

Nicholas Hattersley

The fun is back!!! 🙂

Jack

David Luiz’s OVR rating on Fifa 20 just went up to 95. What a performance

Glenn Gomes

Get in!!!!

Henkamp

I am just mad happy tonight! Immense performance from Torreira! And the whole team put in a fucking shift. While I am happy with the result, I am more happy with the off field work I am seeing Arteta trying to do. He’s talked about building that connection between fans and players and the emirates was rocking today. Seeing Luiz directing the fans to sing out some more, the players hugging Mikel at the end, and the fans warming up to the players each time they pressed makes me really chuffed. A long way still to go, but I am… Read more »

A tetra

Finally! It’s been a long tough wait for that victory and it feels especially good against old rival United.

First half again was brilliant with good positioning, pressing and passing. One could wish for more end product in shots, but I really like that the tactics put out seems to avoid “sterile” possession.

Second half the players worked with their hearts and brains and really showed willingness.

Luiz and Torreira stand-out players tonight!
2-0 and up we go!

nikoniko

Who said Ozil was finished? Who diminished Torreira? Arsenal is getting back with a cocktail of Arsene & Pep ball. Can’t wait to see the methods imbibed by all and settles. COYG

Oliver McPhee

Arteta-ball.

Nordin

I will answer you…Unai Emery. Thats why he was sacked!!!

Dave

Art Ball

Glenn Gomes

Beating that scum from the old toilet the first thing this year is so sweet… Sweet Caroline, oh oh oh, good times never seem so gooooood

Winterburns right wand

I’m saying it now Arteta is going to be Arsenal’s greatest ever manager.

Gooner.r

So much to like about the performance. Able to maintain structure, fend off sustained (if lackluster) pressure, and some bright offensive movement. Torreira was brilliant. I also loved how creative and aggressive and snappy Ozil was. He was doing a shift defensively and keeping pressure on United, which was amazing. And his smile and hug with Arteta at the end says it all. I didn’t think anyone had a bad game (of course, some things could have been better), which I think speaks to the fact that we played as a cohesive unit. We looked like a team that had… Read more »

Michael

A convincing win. WTAF! Happy new Year!

The Arsenal

The performance though. I welled up a few times. Its been so long since I was this proud of the team.

Glocken

That was our best first 45 minutes Of the season. The big difference to the Chelsea game was that we got the second goal.

It also seems that Arteta has lit a fire up them & no slacking allowed, something that they seemed to get away with under late Wenger & Emery.

Encouraging signs.

Man Manny

“Late Wenger!” For a second I thought he was dead.

JeremyDG

Warriors to a man. Especially impressed with Torreira, Luiz and Xhaka tonight.

Steve Vallins

Good players don’t become bad all at once , the the problem was Unai Emery .
To think at one point Arsenal were going to offer him a new contract .
Well done Mikel

Heavy Gunner

The happiest New Year I’ve had in a long time! Cheers to all Gooners on this first day of the year /decade..

Cliff Bastin

Forgot to sort out my fantasy league but pepe was my captain

C.B.

Great start to the year!! COYR!

Billy Bob

Wow that’s what a bit of positive thinking and action can do for you, love it!!!

Der Kaiser

Awesome Arteta! 10/10 for the Manager ( or Head Coach – whatever they call this true leader). The great thing is that you know he will not tolerate any complacency and will demand 100 per cent and continual improvement. Clearly he can communicate simply and effectively what he requires of the players.

Venga Bus

I can’t wait for Player Ratings………first time in ages I want to see them❤️

StuArse

That feels better! Also looked better, more one touch, pass and move into space, quick and exciting football.
Just imagine what our forward line will be like when they are all full of confidence. Laca and Nelson need a goal.
Arteta needs to have a word with Nelson about composure in the final third, but I am sure it’ll come

Duno

There’s nothing anyone is telling me I’m defo gonna have an awesome year, and decade !!! That was totally enjoyable !!!!

Anthony

An excellent performance, Torreira was fantastic as was Luiz and Pepe. Maitland-Niles doing a very good job at rightback. And our attacking play had variety and we looked likr we would score at any opportunity. Defensively, so much better, compacting the spaces that United were trying to play in. Second half the fitness levels dropped a little snd fatigue set in towards the end but we managed the moments in the game well. There was pride on show tonight and passion fpr the badge from every single player. The much maligned Luiz calling on thr fans to raise the atmosphere,… Read more »

Gunnerz_14

We played like a team again!! Indescribable feeling. Hopefully with training and the right players we will have the fitness to play like the first half over a whole season. God its so good not to give up 30 shots/game!! COYG!

Kolasinac

Now let´s keep going like this and improve those fitness levels. I liked to see players running themselves to the ground (Lacazette !), we just need to get ourselves to the state when we keep pushing for most of the 90 mins. Encouraging to feel that the players are buying into this !

Up North

Going to bed as a happy Gooner for the first time as I can recall. Not only because of the win, but because the commitment of all the players.We look like a team and not relying of Auba magic. We lack still endurance, but that will come. My MotM is Torreira, world class when playing to his strengths. We need to continue this path and take wins also against smaller teams.

Oneofbellerinscornrows

Xhaka and Luiz have been heavily criticised this season, for obvious reasons, but they played away that criticism today and it was great to see. The whole team was great and it was a great performance, but I just wanted to give a special shout out to those two.

Oneofbellerinscornrows

And Ozil as well

Kroenke the Klown

Can this David Luiz play every match?

Ballz

Hats off to all the players for putting in a fantastic performance over 90 minutes. Ozil was absolutely brilliant. Both creatively and in closing spaces Laca, even tho he didn’t score was absolutely brilliant in holding up play and closing down, same with Auba Torreira was absolutely world-class. Just brilliant!! Xhaka was a leader! He was brilliant in making the right pass, putting in the right tackle, and defending Hats off to all the players!! I know it’s early days, but I’ve always believed we have a good team. Individually, most of our players are good enough. What we’ve lacked… Read more »

Marvellous

Anyone remembers Sp*rs also lost! With a yellow card for the manager! Then we boss Man U still cap the day! What a day!
COYG!

Wilsheres Middle Finger

What is this lovely warm feeling? A win?

Not to get carried away but….

Arsene – Arsenal
Arteta – Arsenal

It’s in the blood.

Happy 2020 Gunners. Sleep well tonight. We have the Arsenal back. Also, fuck United.

Paul Roberts

Just as an aside our passing was fucking spot on! WTF? Happy days!

Deano

I’m liking our new boss and new self belief from players that have struggled all season. We looked like a team without any leaders for so long and now they are stepping up to the plate.

Three games under Arteta and finally Luiz is looking like a great signing. The big Greek was outstanding too, was worried that he would be missing tonight and we would have to rely on Mustafi, but not to be.

Happy new year…..

ramgooner

I’ve always said our defence looks fine. If we play the right kind of possession football we don’t need to worry about our defence in the short term. Keep Xhaka, make Ceballos permanent and get a couple of versatile midfielders who fit Arteta’s vision and we have a complete team. By versatile i mean a guy like Cazorla who can play on the wings, as CM or CAM and someone like Fernandinho who can play CDM, CB. Under Arteta you can clearly see Xhaka is playing at LB when we have possession. We need this kind of versatility. Modern football… Read more »

Kismayo

I like the team spirit the last two games, everyone waa exceptionally well .
Luiz and Torreira were the men of the match

Trigg27

New year, new Arsenal.

May this be a sign of things to come

Max

Wonderful win! Arteta has made great changes tactically. How many times we were told ozil could not play, let alone with three upfront in Laca, Auba and Pepe and with only Torreira and Xhaca behind? Look at that first half today? The team was so compact that between Ozil and the Xhaca and Torreira line there must have been 10-15metres at most times! Wonderful!

Tony Hall

After the Chelsea match I said look at the positives, the first half was the best we had played all season. If we played like that against Man I reckon we might win. Well we didn’t play like that, we played even better for much of the match. We were well worth the 3 points and I could not be happier for the team or Mikael. Happy new year to all ?

Johnny Gooner

What a difference some Lego hair makes!

Paul Roberts

You really need to sort the site out Blogs.
Option 1.
Make everyone pay so you can pay for a better server or bandwidth.
Option 2.
Get your advertisers to stump up the cash.

I’d go for the second option….

Ramses

The win aside. Arseblog app and website has been complete sh!t. No comments in the app. And loading arse news on the website is near impossible. It was fine when we were losing games left and right but now that we’re playing better, can I ask for my favorite app back ? ?

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Option 3. Show a little patience and don’t be such an ungrateful sod

Danger Mouse

Yeah Andrew, you really need to sort out this free site that we read everyday for free and freely get all our most reliable and free Arsenal news. For free. ?

NMArsenal

I feel for you it must be very difficult to manage such variable traffic with your server host at a reasonable price.

I would hope that hosts have some option to mitigate traffic spikes like you guys get

Martinellis belly

The football was so good you had nothing else to complain about except a brilliant free website?

Duno

Yep! It was that good! Good times indeed! Bar the traffic which is understandable, this site is excellent all in all. Thanks again arseblog and have a wonderful year and decade.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

It was the game control we showed. Torriera lying down for 5 mins when united had a purple patch, to take the wind out of their sales. Slowing things down and soaking up the pressure knowing that they are a counter attacking team. It was a display of game management at it best, something that I’ve not seen from this team since I don’t know when. A bit of grit and being streetwise team, and boy does it feel good.

Hass

Unbeaten in 2020 and ain’t conceded a goal since last decade, we are gargantuan! On a serious note after the performance against Chelsea it was great to see us keep up the same energy levels from that game with the added bonus of an extra goal and a clean sheet. Also is it just me that notices teams can foul us deliberately about 50 times before they receive a yellow when we get a yellow for our 1st foul? Anyway loving the feeling of having someone in charge who knows what he wants from the team after the Emery era.… Read more »

Henrik

I really, really hope im wrong about Arteta. All i can say is that this is what Unai Emery should have don a long time ago. For me, Özil and Pepe is our best players Auba excluded and to not start them together not once is like asking to be sacked. Football is fun. It should be and to see world class players unhappy and angry while playing for Arsenal is just so strange that it makes one wonder whats really was going on. And i dislike Man U almost more than i like Arsenal. Big fun this! 😀

Runzac

That´s what happens when everyone puts in a defensive shift with passion and urgency. Even Papa and sideswhow Bob looked fine. Arteta has managaed to motivate them. SOmething that we haven´t seen for months, even years.

Gavin Binding

Granit Xhaka was absolutely phenomenal tonight. I didn’t know he had that in him.

HoldenontoArsenal

All of his managers knew he had it, other teams knew he had it, his teammates knew he had it, his national team manager and fans knew he had it. Much the same with Luiz, Semi Finals World Cup, EPL Champion, Champions League, [email protected] FA Cup, 2 Ligue 1. Almost all players have strengths and weaknesses we should remember that the professionals….most know the players and business pretty damn well if we listen.