Friday, June 21, 2024

Report: Arsenal 2-0 Luton (inc goals)

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Nelson, Trossard, Havertz

Subs: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Jorginho, Rice, Vieira, Martinelli, Jesus, Nketiah

It was a comfortable night for Arsenal who jumped back to the top of the table after beating Luton 2-0, thanks to goals from Martin Odegaard and Daiki Hashioka (og).

Mikel Arteta made five changes to the side that drew against Manchester City on Sunday, with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson all coming into the side.

Jorginho, Declan Rice, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli settled for places on the bench, with Bukayo Saka kept out of the matchday squad entirely with a hamstring issue.

Unsurprisingly, Arsenal dominated possession early on but lacked urgency and care in the final third with players lacking familiarity with each other.

There were half-chances for Kai Havertz and Zinchenko who both saw goalbound efforts blocked, before Smith Rowe scuffed a volley from 18 yards after good individual work from Trossard.

But after a quiet opening, the Gunners eventually made their breakthrough after 25 minutes and it came through captain Martin Odegaard.

Smith Rowe did well to force a high turnover, catching Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu in possession before Odegaard played a one-two with Havertz and lasered a strike past Kaminski at the near post. 1-0.

Arsenal almost doubled their lead shortly after when magic feet and vision from Odegaard put Smith Rowe through on goal, only for the Hale End graduate to fire his effort straight at goalkeeper Kaminski.

Silky feet from Ben White then created another opportunity, allowing Reiss Nelson to free Havertz although Kaminski dealt with his low drive well again.

But the Hatters’ makeshift defence could only deal with sustained waves of pressure for so long, and it was 2-0 before half time when Smith Rowe ghosted in behind unmarked and crossed for Nelson to convert in the middle.

However, replays showed that Nelson actually missed the ball and Daiki Hashioka bundled into his own net from close range. 2-0.

It was a comfortable first half for the hosts whose quality shone through after taking some time to get going.

The second half was being played at pre-season friendly pace, with Arsenal lacking incentive to push forward and Luton – despite their best efforts – struggling to create any clear opportunities.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Arteta decided to freshen things up with Declan Rice and Eddie Nketiah coming on for Thomas Partey and Havertz (who was booked for diving just seconds before).

There was a rare sight at goal for Arsenal when Tomiyasu tried his luck from range but the curled effort was always drifting wide. Nketiah also tried his luck with a clever near post effort, although Kaminski was alert once again to stop the effort creeping in.

This game will not be remembered with much fondness, the second half in particular was entirely uneventful, but three points with a rotated side will leave Arteta more than happy.

The Gunners have now put together a 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League to start 2024, and all eyes turn to Liverpool against Sheffield United tomorrow.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Hyperbole warning :

I’m 40 years old and this is the best arsenal SQUAD of my lifetime

Johnny 4 Hats

My name is cornholio and I need TP for my run in


You’re only 40???? I imagined you were like 65!

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m really enjoying my free bus pass in your imagination.


How dare you, by 65 he’ll have at least two more hats


It’s one hat per decade

Heavenly Chapecoense

We won’t fight over which is the best squad, Invincibles vs current squad. Would be like, who is better, my son or my daughter?

Johnny 4 Hats

Which one is better at football?

Johnny 4 Hats

It was a different time back then.

But at the same time, show me a TP, a Trossard, a Nelson and an ESR that you could throw on and win a tricky game against good opposition in 2004.

And that’s not even mentioning Jorginho, Kiwior or Gabby Jesus who currently play second fiddle for the Arsenal XI.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

We played a CL final with Senderos. Wenger had a LOT of fringe players over the years and still produced results.

Johnny 4 Hats

Would you have preferred Senderos or Kiwior? TP or Edu? Parlour or Trossard? Jesus or Alidiere? Ramsdale or Taylor? Clichy or Tomiyasu?

I’m going 2024 Arsenal for most of those calls.

Johnny 4 Hats

And again, that’s not even mentioning Nelson, ESR, Jorginho, Timber, Nketiah or Fabio Vieira.


I agree. But like you say it was a different time, only 3 subs and the game was played at a much lower intensity. And when you had the calibre of starting 11 Wenger had for most of his first decade it doesn’t hurt you too much to plug one or two Senderoses or Eboues once in a while, the level of the team on the pitch remains super high.


our bench was nasty today, in a good way… and that’s even without Saka and Timber in the squad. For most of my lifetime our bench has mostly been nasty in a not good way

Man Manny

They are a shade below the Invincibles. We are talking about
Lehmann, Laurent, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Vieira, Pires, Ljumberg,, Edu, Bergkamp and Henry.

Johnny 4 Hats

Oh, I had no idea.

I thought the invincibles was Ross, Rachel, Chandler and Ali G.


You missed out Gilberto who was most certainly in the first choice 11 over Edu. Always been underrated in the pantheon of PL midfielders but not normally by Arsenal fans!

Man Manny

You are absolutely right. I knew I had missed out someone. I fished in my mind for that elusive dm before settling for Edu.




A very average performance, but we got the job done.

First half ok, but the second half we were awful. Reece Nelson looked like a League 2 player tonight: hilarious that he’s on 100k s week.

But nice to see Partey back.

All that matters are the results at this stage, but a very disappointing performance tonight.


Dr. Gooner

Think about it this way: what are your objectives coming into this game?

1. Win. Obviously.
2. Protect the fitness of your key players
3. Involve some fringe squad players so they can contribute more going forward
4. No injuries
5. Pad the goal difference

We accomplished basically all of those. So where’s the disappointment?


We didn’t pad the goal difference. If we turned up it would have been 5-0.

But you’re right: the win was the most important thing.

William Nilliam

Professional performance, no injuries, some vital minutes for the squad, just what we needed. Bring on Brighton

Billy bob

Brighton don’t look in too good a shape at the moment but they are often tricky opponents!!!


Oh, mate. Be rest assured that they are going to look really, really good on Saturday. They somehow know how to raise their game against free-flowing oppositions. Hopefully, we do enough to take all 3 points!

Eric Blair

We have win our remaining home games. Of the away games Old Trafford and the toilet bowl will be ‘those’ kinds of games where anything could happen. That leaves two tricky away games at Brighton and Wolves which worry me, these two are fundamental to our chances so I’m kind of dreading Saturday and will gladly take a scrappy 1 nil.

Man Manny

Near sweatless three points. Clean sheet too. Nice. But I thought the second half was underwhelming. I expected the team to push for more goals by bringing in Martinelli and Jesus for Nelson and Trossard by midway in the second half. Who knows by how many Liverpool is going to thrash Sheffield tomorrow. They must certainly see that game as the best opportunity to cut into Arsenal’s GD lead. Kudos to Luton though for the bravery.

Billy bob

Well 8 premier league fixtures to go and between 2 and 5 champions league matches left!! Let’s keep chalking them off and hopefully win the title – can’t believe I am saying this but hope ManUre beat the bin dippers at the weekend!!!


On top again!


Luton looked like they’d already checked in their bags and gone through passport control on their return flight back to the Championship


No joy on the puns people? You know, Luton? Airport? Should I get my coat in baggage claim? ha, well sor-ry that the match was boring and I needed some extra on board entertainment if you catch my DRIFT


I liked it


Aww thank you my single thumb up. Here’s a piece of duty free Toblerone, my treat 🍫

Crash Fistfight

Drift is a bit tenuous, to be fair. Unless someone decided to drive street races round the streets of Tokyo in an Airbus.


Don’t flights drift off course occasionally, the way Luton’s players did today? Or is it drafts I’m thinking about? Perhaps I should’ve written a draft comment before posting.

Crash Fistfight

You might be thinking of sail ships.

Dr. Gooner

I just love a boring, no nonsense 2-0 win with a rotated team. Professional performance.


Happy for same 2-0 rest of season’s game.


ESR still has a lot to offer, the same cannot be said about Nelson and Nketiah.


There was a moment where Nelson took the ball from nearly our corner and dribbled really nicely through a bunch of Luton players to get almost to their box, and then fell on his face. If that wasn’t a perfect summation of his Arsenal career so far…
ESR did really well, involved in both our goals. Still feel like he can make it with us if he finally manages to stay healthy next season, the talent is there.


Nelson is just saving up for a last minute long range winner in the 90th minute at Old Trafford to send us into raptures.


Hopefully Brighton will give us 30mill for him.


Well done lads, tidy from back 5 .
Benji superb as always and tidy turns.
Zinky as he does tend to do before hitting top form , gave away a few in careless manner .
Partey good and progressive hope to see him fully fit as bursting from deep will be a major asset .
Od tidy as ever .
Kai a warrior but very impressed with Leo, works very hard in defence and hold up well. He be an asset for away champion league games


I understand a little why ESR hasn’t been getting game time. It’s not for lack of talent he’s an unbelievable talent, but his fitness was lacking today. He was gassed after 50 mins. Still an excellent option from the bench I hope Mikel gives him more chances.

Reiss is a strange case. For a player with quite obvious strength, skill and speed, who is rarely doubled up on alá Saka, he never beats a man. It’s clearly a confidence thing because he has all the tools.

Anyway not trying to be negative just two observations. Great win COYG


Nah agreed at 2-0 up I was hoping we would see Reiss break into wing sensation . Like he terrorised Liverpool a season or two ago , would imagine he be chomping at the bit to run direct and hard at Luton


He’s hardly started a game all season so no wonder he was feeling the pace a bit, anyone would under lack full 90 match fitness under the circumstances. Nice performance from the lad.

Totally agree re Reiss, likeable player/guy just something missing to make him a regular starter for a club with our ambitions.


I think he’s just not good enough. A number of times I was willing him to push forward with the ball, but he’d just turn around and pass it back. He’s unlikely to ever be more than a squad player for us


I feel Reis does better on the left where he can cut in, on the right he never seems to want to beat his man down the line.


I thought that was another impressive performance from Smith Rowe. He was involved in both goals, worked hard and looked lively throughout. His race at Arsenal is not yet run.


Routine win. Hate the instinctive bias of the commentary team, pointing out the two ex- England players in the Luton side while ignoring the fact we left out our 2 current England internationals.

Despite that, a win is what we needed. We got it, now on to Brighton.


So when are odegard and white getting a break?


Good question, but meanwhile Phil Foden sure looks like he’s enjoying his break from being in Ben White’s pocket today

Mr Dob Bobalina

White of all people doesn’t need one.


I would imagine White not playing during the internationals means he doesn’t need a rest, just yet. Was surprised Øde didn’t get any rest at all, considering his exertions with us and Norway over the last 3 months or so.


Ødegaard’s work rate is unsurpassed.

Eric Blair

The only game I see a chance to rotate heavily for between now and the end of the season is Bournemouth, so maybe that one.


Ødegaard is the club captain, and implicit in that is the understanding that if he’s not injured or at higher-than-usual risk for injury (eg aggravating a niggle), he starts every league and European game unless it’s a dead rubber, surely?

I get the concern though. He runs his tits
off. Irrepressible.


After 2-0, the match was really boring. After all, football is a part of the entertainment business and I don’t buy Tim Stillman’s need to calm his anxiety.

Firstly, Arsenal’s goal difference is best in the top three, but not really impossible to surpass. We always need more goals.

Secondly, while pass the ball back and forth on your own half when you could do it on their?

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