Arsenal: Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Mari, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Elneny, Pepe, Nketiah, Lacazette

Subs: Leno, Macey, Tierney, Saka, Ceballos, Willian, Holding, Chambers, Willock, Smith Rowe, Balogun, Azeez

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Pablo Mari, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe gave Arsenal a 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna at the Emirates this evening.

As usual there was heavy rotation with a first start of the season for Pablo Mari, while Calum Chambers made the bench.

The Gunners dominated possession in the early stages, cheered on by the 2,000 fans allowed in the stadium for the first time since March, and there was an early goal when Alexandre Lacazette thumped home from 30 yards for his first goal since September. 1-0.

Shkodran Mustafi missed a great chance to double the lead when he headed a Nicolas Pepe cross wide with the goal at his mercy, but fellow centre-half Mari did just that in the 18th minute, flicking home smartly from a Reiss Nelson corner to make it 2-0.

Whether it was the crowd or something else, there was a lot more zip about Mikel Arteta’s side, and Lacazette almost scored again when his first-time strike from a Nelson pass clipped the outside of the post.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was next to have a go, dinking a left footed effort wide after an excellent run into the Vienna box, and just before the break we scored again. Arsenal worked it down the left, Lacazette sent Pepe through, he cut it back to Nelson who laid it off to Nketiah. The striker’s first attempt was save well by the keeper, but he reacted quickly to nod the ball home and make it 3-0.

The visitors made two changes at the break, and got a goal back after just two minutes. Alex Runarsson’s first save saw the ball go back into danger, Kolasinac made two very good blocks, but the keeper was perhaps too easily beaten by Kitagawa from 12 yards out. 3-1.

Lacazette forced Streinbinger into a good save in the 58th minute, and the Rapid keeper denied both Maitland-Niles and Pepe inside a few seconds as the Gunners pressed for another goal.

Pepe then drove into the box and cut inside when it was open for him to take a shot on his favoured left foot, much to Mikel Arteta’s displeasure, before the manager made a triple change. Lacazette, Elneny and Nelson made way for Emile Smith Rowe, Dani Ceballos and Willian in the 64th minute.

Pepe almost created one for Nketiah, but the striker couldn’t quite stretch enough to get the touch he needed for a tap-in, but Maitland-Niles delivery to Smith Rowe saw the substitute tap home from close range to make it 4-1. “Welcome back bro!”, said AMN in the celebration huddle.

Calum Chambers was introduced in the 69th minute, his first appearance since his ACL injury in January, replacing Mustafi. Willian saw an effort saved, Ceballos tested the keeper with a free kick from 25 yards, and Folarin Balogun came on to replace Nketiah in the 81st minute.

Chambers had a header cleared off the line, Balogun and AMN combined well in the box before the defender cleared, and a succession of corners kept pressure on the visitors in the closing stages. Willian shot wide in the 90th minute, and Balogun almost made it 5 after good movement saw him get on the end of a Ceballos delivery.

In the end, a good win, some nice goals, and so great to see fans back inside the ground to appreciate it.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Arsenal just can’t work out whether to play on professional or world class difficultly setting.

Heiku

I think they’re into the whole setting the cpu and players different stats too. But yes, spot on

InMikelWeMust

Hahah! Good one jonny. I always get stuck between them too!

gooner

Despite playing professional and scoring 4 I thought Petr Cech was in world class settings for them today

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Lets move the stadium to Austria!

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

I bet Arteta spends hours adjusting those sliders in pursuit of the perfect difficulty setting.

Arteta Tots

Job well done today!

SB Still

Albeit against limited opposition, return of some familiar Arsenal way, even 1 touch football and goals!

Good to see the return of Mari, Calum as well goals for Laca and Smith.

onenil

Vienna your Schick and you know you are!

Mick Malthouse

Is Reiss Nelson the worst dead ball taker in the history of football?

TOGooner

He must really be killing it in training to be afforded the responsibility. Suffering from the in-game confidence malaise that’s infected everyone to a degree.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, I think it’s fair to say that Mikel really, really hates Pepe so he could play a lot this season.

The look he gave Pepe after he cut inside instead of shooting… 😬

A Different George

He certainly should have shot, too clever by half–but, despite this and a couple of other moments, he had a very good match. Between him and Maitland-Niles for MOTM.

A Different George

Ok, Lacazette too.

Del

He did assist Pablo Mari’s goal from a corner….

SOMK

I can assure you I am considerably worse.

Jack

I can’t believe a pretty much dead rubber game and yet the best game I’ve watched in weeks. Maybe it was just down to the fans being back

Reiss and Laca should start Sunday. Hoping that’s why he took them off fingers crossed!

Reality check

Vienna made 9 changes to an already league 1 standard team. Wouldn’t get too excited about it.. let’s what things look like by the end of December..

rhal

Leno
Bellerin-(Holding?)-Gabriel-Tierney
AMN-Ceballos/Elneny
Nelson-Laca-Saka
Auba

ok enough I guess, really liked Laca playing deeper; however he will face tougher marking compared to today. would he be able to get it done?

Chalmers gang

Nooooope

Cultured Determination

Elneny over ceballos any time

Gooner for life

Great win, I forgot how much I loved Arsenal passing quickly and scoring goals! Let’s keep it up lads. I also loved hearing our actual fans in the stadium rather than that simulated bullshit. I specially loved them cheering our players for good runs and tackles. But what baffles me a lot in our recent games is that didn’t we sign a set piece specialist in the summer? I have not yet felt his impact, particularly in attack.

Johnny 4 Hats

Hi Bryan.

Bossman Bill

This means nothing to me.

Jordan Tan

You are boring.

Jimbo

Aaaahhh… Vienna!

Jimbo

Happy that I got the point there 🙂

What a fun game that was to watch! Real attacking intent, confidence boost for Laca, players returning from injury, more of the same on Sunday please!

Hail Gus!

Ah shaddap-a you face 😉

Jimbo

Whats-a-matter you eh?!?!

Hail Gus!

I gotta no respect!

Jimbo

🤣

Bossman Bill

Thank you, sir, thank you.

Zenithreptile

Find a hobby then, something that you enjoy. There are plenty of good books and movies to peruse rather than spending the evening watching your team win well and not taking any pleasure from it.

Hail Gus!

Showing your age there BB 😉

Joe

See what you did there Bossman. Nice.

Bobby

Subtle, but enjoyable. Thanks BB

Zenithreptile

Oh god I just got this. Well played 🤦🏽‍♂️

Evaristus

I don’t get this…

Kanu Believe It

It’s a song from the eighties, by ultravox I think.

C.B.
Kennedy77

You mean nothing to Arsenal

Finto

That really did make me laugh!!! … I’m assuming that all the negative comments and down vote know about context.

Finto

Oops.. Know nothing about context!
Well played sir!!

Jordan Tan

I actually enjoy watching Europa more these days. Because these games is what “Arsenal” & words like “Dominating”, “Aerial Bombardment”, “Sustained Pressure”, “Seige” & “Battering” is synonym. Rarely these days to be honest. But having been watching since the Yans Lehmann era, this is the Arsenal I recognise us as. Please, don’t remind me on reality. At least for now. I kinda like it here.

Charles

To be fair, most of those terms apply to us in the league too, just from the other direction.

Jordan Tan

Haha good one!

Henkamp

Thoroughly enjoyed that one. The inventive football, the sharp passing, the movement; it was everything that has been lacking from our play of late.

Hope this wasn’t a one time thing, but an indication that work is been done on the training ground.

COYG

goongot

our hale-end graduates do really connect well against each other.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Good job. Liked Mightland-Nails in the middle, like Pepe through the middle. Will things improve against decent opposition? I hope so. Balogun is a unit and hope to see more of him this season.

goongot

saka-auba-willian/nelson and laca at 10 pls

Fatgooner

A nice enjoyable evening.

Let’s be honest: Rapid Vienna were awful, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. We were wasteful and should have scored eight.

Nice performance by Laca, who looked good as a number 10. Ceballos excellent when he came on.

This game will have nothing to do with the Spuds game. But let’s hope we get a result on Sunday.

zadok

We are noob. That’s a fact.

Vonnie

Everything about that was so good, the fans,the goals, Pablo and Calum back, so much to enjoy.

Usmanov

Runnarson’s distribution = very impressive.

Pepe = constant threat on the left. This should be his starting position going forward.

Elneny = so good in the early stages. Later seemed a bit off. Hope no problem there.

Cedric = great game!

Nketiah = POACHER.

Lacazette = never knew he could play the number 10 role so intelligently.

Mari = good to see him back on the pitch again. Good goal too.

A Different George

I thought Elneny looked very rusty throughout, misjudging the weight of passes, being a step slow to react, but it didn’t look like anything more than that. People always seem surprised that Cedric played well, but he almost always does. That doesn’t mean his contract was a good idea, or that he should ever start if Bellerin is available. But he is a Premier League-quality fullback.

Martin

Have you only started watching Lacazette this season? That was normal for him before his injury and why he was our player of the year 2 seasons ago

Auba auba Laca Partey

Lacazette is a class act period. That he never got the same leniency than Ozil despite having ten times his talent. He can spot a pass, tackle, dribble and SCORE. AMN was really good tonight. Nice to see Chambers back. COYG

Twatsloch

I know it’s “only” Rapid Vienna but it’s good to see a win again.

Dubai Ham

Not 10-0 and we conceded a goal.
ArtetaOut

Joe

Great to see Pepe so involved throughout the game. Limited opposition perhaps but long may that continue.

Tapps

WE MOVED! When we had possession, players actually tried to move into positions to offer the option of a pass. And the lads looked like they enjoyed themselves.

Grabs

Think kolo should of blocked the 3rd shot as well 🤪

etp

I woulds be interested in seeing this team play, though I don’t know where it leaves Saka. Don’t care that both CBs are left-footed. Thoughts?

Leno

Bellerin—–Gabriel—–Mari—–Tierney

Partey

Smith Roe Elneny

Laca

Pepe Auba

Goonerink

smith rowe isnt a CM, it matters alot about the CBs footedness when we play out from the back.
culling AMN for ESR after tonight seems criminal.

Aalborgen

I’m an Arsenal fan that have a negative opinion on every victory. And every defeat. And every draw. And every style of play that isnt peak Wenger when Arsenal won the pl. I’m entitled to my opinion, and my opinion is that we should fire every manager that dont win every game. And my pointless opinion is very, very important.

dazzlo

And I will always defend your right to express your pointless opinion. Even when I 100% disagree with it.

Have a beer, it’s Friday…

Alex

I remember not so long ago when Arsenal fans were despising the EL… Now it’s a feast when a win against a low team sounds like a PL title.

Bigdave

That’s more like it!!! Now let’s stop slagging off individuals and get behind the team for Sunday now we’ve all realised it’s the fans the players need.

Almunia4Pires

Europa League a pleasant distraction from the grim reality of the Premier League.

Paul Roberts

Loving play against this level of opposition!

Santori

With a massive caveat that we should be rolling over all these teams in our group anyway considering their level, a good win (Considering Spurs struggled today against similar standard rival) 1) Good to see Both Mari and Chambers back in action. A lot more choices now for Arteta at the back ( 27m Willian notwithstanding) 2) Back 3 best policy. For the most part, we just look more familiar with it. 3) Lacazette. I hope Arteta is not tempted to make another mistake and leave him out of this weekend. Clearly VERY effective given license to drop (as I… Read more »

Cultured Determination

Was this match’s football a glimpse into artetaball? I’ll be pleased if this is the thpe of football that he wants to play.

Ealing

I think this is the type of football he wants Arsenal to play. It’s just that we don’t have better players to this against stronger and faster opposition

Tony Hall

This is what happens when we attack with the ball. Senior team members please take note!

Big Dave

Lucky that our opponents last night were not subject to British Law. “Rapid” Vienna could have been done under the Trades Descriptions Act.