Friday, February 23, 2024

Report: Luton 3-4 Arsenal (inc goals)

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Havertz, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Subs: Ramsdale, Cedric, Zinchenko, Walters, Jorginho, Elneny, Nelson, Trossard, Nketiah

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the table to five points after beating Luton 4-3 at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice.

Mikel Arteta made three changes to the side that beat Wolves on Saturday, with Ben White, Jakub Kiwior and Havertz coming in for Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Leandro Trossard.

With Luton pressing well early on, Arsenal struggled to find fluency in possession and fell victim to some heavy challenges with Gabriel Martinelli needing treatment on the sidelines after a nasty knee in the back.

But after the hosts gave away a silly throw deep in their own half, the Gunners were ahead thanks to quick thinking from Gabriel Jesus who freed Bukayo Saka in the box, whose cross found Martinelli to finish smartly into the corner. 1-0.

That advantage only lasted five minutes though when Gabriel Osho equalised for Luton with a well directed header after losing Martinelli from a corner. 1-1.

The hosts made things difficult for Arsenal and took their opportunities to ‘leave something’ on players, with Jacob Brown booked for a nasty challenge on Gabriel by the touchline which Arteta and his players took issue with.

Their physical approach didn’t deter Arsenal though and Thomas Kaminski was definitely the busier goalkeeper, making impressive stops from Jesus and Martinelli before denying Saka when his curled effort looked destined for the top corner – although an outstretched arm did enough to divert it away.

The Gunners would eventually get their second and it came after Saka found Ben White beautifully between full back and centre back, and his cross was headed home confidently by Jesus after Kai Havertz did well to distract two defenders in the box. 2-1.

Despite conceding just before half time, it took Luton just four minutes to equalise after the break and it came from another corner when Elijah Adebayo leapt over David Raya – who wasn’t strong enough when coming to claim – to head into an empty net. 2-2.

Luton were rocking after their equaliser and Kenilworth Road found its voice again, and eight minutes after equalising they took the lead through Ross Barkley who capitalised on some poor Arsenal defending to find space for a shot which squirmed under Raya. 3-2.

But there was another goal just three minutes later – this time for the Gunners – who equalised themselves after Jesus did brilliantly to hold off Tedem Mengi before putting Havertz through who finished beyond Kaminski. 3-3.

There was still 30 minutes to play after the equaliser but the game settled down, and with both sides making changes, Arteta opted for Zinchenko and Trossard from the bench who replaced Kiwior and Martinelli in search of an equaliser.

Arsenal were denied a clear penalty when Gabriel was pulled down by Osho but a mixture of referee Samuel Barrott and VAR decided there was no infringement despite a replays showing a blatant shirt pull.

Against a packed Luton defence, there were still chances for Havertz and Trossard but late interventions from orange shirts would close the door at crucial moments.

In the 96th minute – with six minutes of added time shown – Arsenal pushed everybody forward from a late free kick and after the ball came out to Martin Odegaard, his perfect cross was headed in by Declan Rice to ensure a last-gasp victory. 4-3.

After four games in 12 days, a game littered with more individual errors and the clock ticking against them, once again this Arsenal team have found a way to win – with their character on display yet again.

That late goal sparked incredible late scenes and celebrations but one thing is for sure, Rice has made himself a hero again for those travelling fans. The world’s first £105m bargain?

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Cupcake84

Im going to have a heart attack if this carries on.

RamsdaleMyHero

Why no one is talking about Raya & his calamitous contribution which made such an exciting game?

Bossman Bill

Answer 1) Because everyone sensible realises he’s the number one, and whilst yes it’s shame on a personal level for Ramsdale, ultimately that’s football. We’ve been more solid this year and Raya has been a part of that. Whether it’s because of him is a different issue but it doesn’t really matter, because it’s the managers decision and we’re behind him.
Answer 2) who cares we’re top of the league

Doghouse

After Dec’s magnificent goal i can see a north London rival kicking his cat, a northerner throwing his flat cap at his wippet and a scoucer not going out to shoplift some beers, another 3 points away from home, happy days..

Eric Blair

I had to go to bed at half time because I had to get up stupid early this morning. Imagine my surprise when I checked the score!

Dinosauras

Gotta give some love to the Luton guy that refused to take the ball for a throw that gave us that extra min!

GoonerJust

Phew…..that was close!
Great performance by Luton, but we nailed it.

Walleye

Yes it was. Somewhat enabled by going right to the line for cards, but credit to Luton. btw, I have always thought Barkley under rated.

ever team, player coach and ref has a best game. This was Lutron’s best game of the year. They win against 17 of the 19 other teams in the league tonight. Unfortunately for them they played the best team.

Eric Blair

Like poker. Finally two aces in the hand but someone scores a straight on the river to beat you.

Maniac

Hairline: gone. Three points: in the bag. COYG!!

Funsho Patrick

No zinny ,no control…we played their game in the first half….Rice is a rolls Royce of a player….COYG!

Maniac

Rice is absolutely our clutch player this year. Unbelievable. What a signing he’s been!

djourou's nutmeg

not a rolls royce at all… more like a ford f150 raptor with iron bumpers!

GoonerJust

He is M1 Abrams!

Jesus of Sao Paulo

A Hummer H3 with bull bar bumper

Dada

Raya. Discuss.

Daveo

Shit game from Raya no doubt. He better be improving on that.
Shit defending all round. Take the 3 points and get the fuck back home! 3 points matters most.

Eric Blair

Not a shit game, more like two shit errors.

I miss santi cazorla

Not today

Badaab

he owes declan rice big time for saving his bacon after two errors

yen

If Arteta thinks we gotta upgrade at GK, fine. Raya doesn’t seem like a significant upgrade though.

One thing about great players: you don’t need to have a weekly discussion whether they good enough or not. Rice, Saliba, Saka to name a few.

Ebo

That might sound nice but it’s not actually true. Some players’ quality is very obvious and some take a more careful reading of the game to notice everything they do to help you win. Havertz, Jorginho and Zinchenko are examples of those, notice we’ve won most of the games each of them has played. Not at all suggesting Raya is one of those though, personally I don’t see it.

Bringgunnersaurusback

True for GK position though, we need a keeper whose mistakes are not discussed very often, other players have chances of redemption throughout the game /season, not GK

Dave

Leading up to this game the general consensus was that Raya was better than Ramsdale in most departments. One game doesn’t massively change that.

JBF

Not good enough tonight, end of discussion!

gooner

Poor at that corner the defense didn’t mark, poor for that shot from Barkley but calm on the ball when they didn’t give us breathing room. Tough game overall for everyone but thank God West Ham gave us that guy for just 100M

Maniac

Half an inch from costing us the game today; let in 2 goals single handedly. Say what you want about Ramsdale, but he never had a game last season even close to as bad as Raya was today.

Arsepedant

However, this season against Brentford he made just as many, if not more, mistakes than Raya did today. The only difference then was he got bailed out by Rice and Zinchenko.

All goalkeepers make mistakes. Just as we can’t use the Brentford game as the only stick to measure (or beat) Ramsdale with, we can’t use today’s game as the only stick to measure (or beat) Raya with. Bottom line is, we still have the best 1-2 goalkeeping duo in the league, regardless of how much we all fight over who is our personal favourite.

Rufusstan

Ramsdale came into that game after almost 3 months without playing. He made most of his mistakes in the first half and got better as the game went off. He ended up keeping a clean sheet away from home.

Teryima Adi

Spon on- Raya is not an upgrade on Ramsdale.

Riku

Ramsdale Was crap against soton in a 3-3
Henry said ramsdale made two mistakes v Brentford but his team mates , e.g
Rice again got him out of trouble clearing ball on the goal line
Is it 6 or two threes

Funsho Patrick

Yep! Must have been the happiest player on the pitch … avoidable mistakes…. doesn’t feel like a better shot stopper than Ramsdale….may just be better with his feet..

IndoGooners

no need to discuss anything, raya will make a lot of mistakes, and yet still become our no 1 GK, the news regarding arsenal are looking for mike maignan is the way arteta said that Ramsdale is done with us, It not fair, but that manager really an unfair egomaniac, except if Ramsdale do something wrong behind the door that we don’t know yet

Riku

What’s the difference from when ramsdale took Leno’s shirt ?

IndoGooners

That time we were losing 3 times, and if you remember, there is no dividing opinion between supporter like now

Gaby! Gabi! Gabé!

But Leno wasn’t to blame for those. However, turns out that Ramsdale was an upgrade over Leno (who is quite good) because his style of play fit better with what the manager wanted. Fair enough, it happens, and best wishes to Leno. But Raya is not an upgrade over Ramsdale. They’re both good, they both make incredible passes, and they both make errors every now and then. Kind of a wash. So it feels much harsher to bump Ramsdale when he is being usurped by an equal.

Rufusstan

How many mistakes does he have to make. right now, we are winning despite him rather than because of him. We go from 2-1 up to 3-2 down through his weakness and errors.

Teryima Adi

Presently, Raya is a downgrade. We hope he improves. He’s a weak link in our defence.

Eric Blair

Kneejerk

Caspersozza

I don’t know a single Gooner who understands why, after that last season, Ramsdale has been replaced in goal. Nothing Raya has done this season has explained it. Bring back Ramsdale!

Teryima Adi

No better than Ramsdale on present form. Full of errors.

Riku

Henry said ramsdale made two mistakes v Brentford but his team mates , e.g
Rice again got him out of trouble clearing ball on the goal line
Is it 6 or two threes

Qwaliteee

Bring back Ramsdale.

Simple as that.

The Beast

Nah, you’re alright

Henrik

At halftime I backed Rice to have a shot at goal at 5 times the money. I cant stress how much i love this man.

Daveo

Wow…talk about a trap game! Some win to walk away with in the end! Rice rice baby with another 100 million squid goal! Paid for himself and some already and it’s not even 2024 yet! COYG!!!!

Brazilian Gooner

Never though I would see Luton player playing that efficiently, that guy David Raya did everything to give Luton the win and we still managed to beat him!

Teryima Adi

We want our Ramsdale back. We want a goalkeeper that can keep the ball out of our net , not just a ball playing one. Enough of this Raya experiment by Arteta.

Rufusstan

And also noticed how often our ball playing keeper kicked long instead of playing it out from the back

Wengerball

Rice Rice baby!!!

karl g

Luton were a tougher test than most, but where Liverpool failed to win, this Arsenal side show grit to the end!

Fatgooner

Oh fuck off!!!
Bonkers game!!!

Bring back Ramsdale NOW!! Or we don’t win the title!!!

Teryima Adi

You’re right, Fatgooner. Someone should tell Inaki we don’t want Raya.

IndoGooners

We need to ditch inaki, he is the gl coach who reccomends runnarson

Jimboy

I guess we won the title with Ramsdale last season? 🤣🤣

In the end team needs over errors, until Ramsdale learns how to efficiently control the back line, ooze confidence and not rush. he’ll be benched.

Fatgooner

Is that you, Arteta?

Here’s a simple statement: at any level of football if you play like s**t then you get dropped. It doesn’t matter if you’re the left-back or the goalie.

Raya almost cost us the game tonight and so he must be dropped.

Simple.

gooner

Found a way to win, tough game, Gabriel pulled on a corner and nothing!
Rice? That’s what 100M buys you!

Glenn Helder's Perm

That looked like a stonewall penalty.

Stonks

I asked Rice if they could still score, he said “watch me cooking that luton rice without a rice cooker “

cygan'sbaldspot

*Snap* this is going in my cringe compilation 🙂

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Huh

Emi Rates

Well fuck me!

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

No, thanks.

Badaab

insane game, denied a stonewall pen by chris kaVARagh as per usual, david raya should be dropped based on this performance…

Dinosauras

Truly absurd – in contrast to the the amount of contact that manc$ have been given 2 pens from – bet that doesn’t make referee roundup or whatever they call it

Fatgooner

Great point. Gabriel was wrestled to the ground and it should have been a penalty.

But VAR said no.

Badaab

He nearly had his shirt torn off by the defender and was pulled over while vulnerable in the air. Stonewall penalty at either end in any game at any level, but Howie and the boys up in manchester

Like White and Rice

And he was pulled down as he was jumping, right as the ball was arriving. Without the grab, he is free to head the ball into the net.

Ebo

Get. The fuck. In.

Cool as Rice

Kst

You fucking bastards… GET IN!

TotsOfJack

That was a captain’s performance by Ødegaard.

89 again

He was so good, no coincidence that we score 4 when he is ticking

Tomaury Bischfeld

Mental.

How do we keep finding a way to pull it off right at the end?

I’d like a few more that are finished off in the first half thanks very much!

Rice is a real leader, Havertz is looking better, Jesus is a wizard. I reckon Raya could literally hurl the ball into his own net Fifa 98 style and still get picked so not much point discussing.

Doctor Perceptron

Really feels like it after that eh? Made Ross Barkley look like Ronald-fing-dhino. He just had to stand there and the ball would have ricocheted off his legs. So glad we won in the end as the rest of the team absolutely did enough to deserve it imo.

Mentalista

Death, taxes, and David Raya.

assistantref

I was just getting ready to say you don’t win titles by scoring 3 goals and not winning the game.

Well…you don’t win titles by scoring 3 goals and not winning the game. But you can win titles by scoring 4 goals and winning the game.

Because that’s how math works.

JBF

But not how spelling works!

Gooner J

🤣😂

assistantref

And here I was, proud of myself for being able to count to four.

Paul

If you are talking about “math” he might be an American?

Gooner J

🤣😂

Fireman Sam

Maths

I miss santi cazorla

We need atleast one of zini or partey to control the midfield

Henrik

I still dont understand why Raya is a better keeper than Ramsdale. Raya has been at fault before more than once and this was not very good to be honest. But we won so lets leave it at that. I just think Ramsdale deserves a start now. Hes done nothing wrong to loose his place in the team imo.

89 again

Its style of play, not that hes necessarily a better keeper. The benefits he provides will never speak as loudly as the howlers we saw tonight. Not defending him, just trying to understand Artetas thought process.

Henrik

Yeah i know. Hes supposed to be better at playing the ball with his feel. still a keepers job is to catch the ball.

TeeCee

Funnily enough, that’s almost exactly what Shearer said.

I’d be washing my mouth out with soap about now.

Pigaroulettes

The same way De Gea has no club right now. Being a goalkeeper is way more than being a shot stopper.

My 100% uninformed opinion, is that Ramsdale has a leadership and calming presence on the defense that Raya doesn’t have.
But Raya has great long balls. He’s not really better with the ball or short passing, but he has accurate long passing.

EDL

At least by most advanced metrics, he is. If you go here — https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/252/Tournaments/2/Seasons/9618/Stages/22076/PlayerStatistics/England-Premier-League-2023-2024 — filter for GK who played 5 or more games in the Prem this season (can’t make a link already filtered, but just go under the “details” tab). There are 22. David Raya is No. 19 (fourth worst). And his game today was the worst full game by any GK in the Prem this season. But look below him? The two Brighton keepers and . . . Ramsdale. So, at least by advanced metrics, he *is* a slightly better keeper than Ramsdale. But week in, week… Read more »

Doctor Perceptron

For me the slightly is the important qualifier. For all this drama I expect a significantly better keeper. One who can play out from the back and stop shots. I’ve been very supportive of this decision but my God that Ross Barkley goal was so embarrassing. He literally just had to stand his ground and he makes that save

Nick

Anyone else think Benjamin White is looking more and more like a 5th century Chinese Emperor?

Bobby

Hahaha. Brilliant.

BsinGooner

That 1-2 with Saka was majestic!

SuperTom7

But, could a 5th century Chinese Emperor pull it off like this on a cold Tuesday night in Sto…London?

Badaab

Someone check his foundations if he’s building a new house.

Nzini

“Luton earn thrilling draw with Premier League leaders Arsenal”
Literally cut this from ESPN Soccer website….. Lazy journalism😜

Pete

I have the screenshot saved lol

Pigaroulettes

It’s not lazy journalism, it’s realizing that being first to report is more important than being right.
And sadly, the fact that you went on their website and clicked on the article won’t discourage them…

I guess only blogs can be both first and accurate.

I miss santi cazorla

We need atleast one of zini or party to control the midfield

Ebo

or Jorgi

Ebo

really recommend this podcast interview with him released today, what an uber intelligent and classy guy. He gives me the same warm feeling Arteta did back when he played for us, Jorgi too will be a great coach some day not so far in the future

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjPo5jYX3Vs

Pigaroulettes

Your name brought so many great memories. That season when Cazorla was playing a deeper role alongside Coquelin. Absolute magic. We would have be champion he he stayed healthy, that year…

Tomaury Bischfeld

Coqzorla – legendary.

Mabiribobi

My favourite Arsenal player of all time!

Doctor Perceptron

Nope. We need a keeper that doesn’t gift the opposition two goals. The rest of the team did more than enough to earn the three points today.

Mootilated

oh man.. we conceded 3 stupid goals. but won it at the death. the first is NOT the stuff of champions but the other is… we’re almost there. cut out the stupid mistakes

Glenn Helder Trio

Eeeeeeeesh unreal, absolute scenes at the final whistle

Man Manny

Stuff of title contenders. Meanwhile, is Raya’s position still tenable?

Sheldon

Credit to Odegaard. He didn’t stop driving us forward to the last last minute. Liking the look of him playing deeper.

James

The Raya experiment must end, cannot stand small keepers. C.O.Y.G

Ebo

Feels like too many times we leave too much down to luck, and then somehow get away with it. So far it was mostly down to our lack of attacking potency but lately we’re seeing signs of that improving, but then this was the one game this year where our defending fell apart. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come! Bring Rammy back and get back to keeping some clean sheets and we’re good to go, we’ve got what it takes to win the league just need to put the right players on the pitch.

89 again

I wouldnt say our defending fell apart, I wouldnt say it was good (or good enough) either. Tuesday night game, weird ground (by modern standards) these things happen in football. Its more important that we found a way to win than how we did it, it doesnt necessarily mean anything long term.

Ebo

Disagree. “finding a way to win” is usually a combo of both grit and luck. We’ve definitely got the grit but sometimes luck won’t be on our side, just the law of probability and regression to the mean. Letting 1 goal in against Luton is a “these things happen” sort of thing, letting 3 in goes much beyond that. But fortunately I trust Arteta will see it the same way.

89 again

Its not really luck when you create the majority of chances and boss posession. Without the Raya mistakes this would have been a comfortable 2-3 goal victory.

Heavenly Chapecoense

All that matters is the three points.

Futsboller

Amen.

Madness

The feeling was that it would get tough and Luton fought hard and it’s a great win but….

…Raya is not a good keeper. Good with his feets,not great, but as a keeper he’s poor. Not even Brentford level. One really good save this season, as I can remember, and a lot of mistakes. This can’t go on if we are serious contenders for the title. Ramsdale seems like a really emotional guy and his confidence is way dow so we should go for a keeper in january. If we want to win the league and the CL

Mentalista

Loving the ”big man, small man” front duo. Jesus’ strength and Kai’s nimbleness. Bet we’ll see many more goals come out of it.

Collibosher

We have a Rolls Rice in midfield!

Dec

Scrappy… but nice to see Kai and Rice working hard for their price tags. Well worth the cost.

Alex

One relieved and overjoyed Arsenal fan.
Ramsdale has to get another start.

Fatgooner

This was actually a great Arsenal performance. We went to a tough away ground and dominated. Going forward we looked good and created enough to win the game comfortably. But. This was a defensive disaster-class. All three goals were horrible: a free Luton header from a corner, then Raya showed exactly why he was playing for Brentford last season. Enough is enough: Ramsdale must be resorted to number one and Raya can p off. Arteta made a massive call by replacing Ramsdale – and it was the wrong one. We got away with it tonight but if we continue to… Read more »

David

Raya makes too many mistakes to be considered an upgrade on Ramsdale

sakaflockaflame

the balance in defence was off – we needed some combination of zinchenko/white/tomiyasu for some more stability

turcofeo

Shout-out to Gabby J. One of his best performances this season.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I bet Diego Simeone loved that

EmileSmithWhoa

Could we just accept that Havertz is a…

Santi’s Phonebox

Player that scores timely and much needed goals. Waka waka…

Vieiraera

Brilliant team performance all round. Rice just nicked MOTM from Havertz with that late late winner! Saka, Nelli, Jesus, Odegaard, Trossard all stood tall!!! Loved most the spirited fight back to earn all 3 points. Pure stuff of champions. But it’s just a shame that we have to recycle the goalkeeping situation no thanks Raya’s absolute madness twice in a high stake game. Begs the question – Has Arteta not seen enough to bring Ramsdale back in? Raya needs to sit on the bench and work his way back into the team. But for Rice saving his blushes, we could… Read more »

Riku

Had a feeling about Rice scoring this afternoon. Rice is better than I thought from other seasons , he has gone up levels . Risen with better quality teammates
Late Goal v utd as well

Teryima Adi

Wow. That was close. Phew!!!!!!

3943in702

Two things of beauty prior to INE GIANT THING OF BEAUTY: 1. Ben White’s sumptuous cross to Gabriel Jesus, 2. Kai Havertz scores again – and right when we needed him to!!

loose_cannon

Reminds me of the kind of game we had at the end of last season. All this talk of signing a striker when we were actually scoring in that no-win run. I’d rather spend £80m on a new keeper (or reinstate Ramsdale) than on Ivan Toney.

Al baghdaddy

First off, the Luton coach is a gorgeous dude

We were lucky to win it, or call it being plucky. Never really got going, fair play to Luton

If Arteta still doesn’t start Ramsdale next game, it will be a display of abject lack of principles

Pero36

Totally agree. Can’t think of another manager who would fail to see that actually, Raya is too short and not a very good goalkeeper, he just has exceptional defenders in front of him. He has been given far too many chances by Arteta now; surely the players must be wondering what is going on?
Odd.

Varun

Excited everytime saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Martinelli, rice, haverz touch the ball!! There is not one player I don’t like in the team (Raya maybe because of Ramsdale)!!

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