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Alexis Continues his Hot Streak as Arsenal Thrash the Red Devils

Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal 3 (Alexis 6′, 20′, Ozil 7′) – Manchester United 0

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference (via

We needed a response from that horror show against Olympiakos and it couldn’t come any bigger than Manchester United, a side that simply knows how to best Arsenal. They play good, they beat us, we play better, they beat us, in their shitetest of days, they somehow beat us. But this time, we were not taking any prisoners.

Nacho Monreal knew that a strong start was vital and boy, did the Gunners have the strongest of starts. Theo Walcott has been a revelation since he made the center forward role his for the taking and on the back of this display, Olivier Giroud is set to spend quite some time on the fringes to the English speedster. Walcott created two assists in the space on one minute for Alexis Sanchez that sent the ball home with the cheekiest of finishes you’d ever see and Mesut Ozil that left David de Gea rooted to the spot. Alexis completed the blitz with another trademark sensational strike that smashed the top corner of de Gea’s net. The commentator even went ahead to see that two goalies wouldn’t have saved that effort.

That was some mesmerizing attacking display from the Gunners and Alexis almost created a fourth goal for Aaron Ramsey but the Welshman’s finish was pathetic to say the least. If it was the Ramsey of the 2013/14 season, the net would have rippled. Ramsey is one player that has divided opinion this season with his deployment on the right flank but when you consider that his real replacement in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is quite inconsistent, as well as the ‘work’ Ramsey puts in, you’d feel he’s more or less a better option there. Credit to Hector Bellerin as well, that marauds the flank with such consummate ease.

Despite Arsenal’s virtuoso performances in attack, the defense must be equally lauded for their contributions. Petr Cech proved his worth with some splendid saves as the game progressed and I can’t think of any better save than Cech’s effort to stop Anthony Martial’s shot from hitting the back of the net. The stats boys even tell us that the Gunners have failed to concede a goal in any Premier League game Gabriel Paulista has featured and there’s no doubting those stats people. They take their shit quite serious.

The only downside though was seeing Alexis hold his groin like he had twanged something. With the international break coming up, one would think that the Chilean would stay back in London to get some rest but Wenger has already confirmed that the hotshot would travel to Chile to join up with his teammates. Sanchez likes him some Arsenal but he loves him some Chile. Just when the critics were out for the Chilean, he hits six goals in three games.

I’m starting to feel really sad for Watford because the Alexis Sanchez juggernaut has started running, and with this form, it can only get better.

I just hope that we won’t suffer any injuries in the break.


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Welbeck Guns Down Old Trafford and Sends Arsenal to Wembley

Former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck struck past David de Gea to eliminate his former side from the FA Cup 

Manchester United 1 (Rooney 29′) – Arsenal 2 (Monreal 26′, Welbeck 61′)

Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

So Arsenal’s record at Old Trafford was well discussed about in the build up to the game. In the Gunners last 10 visits to the feared ground, their record was one draw and nine defeats, so it was only normal for some Arsenal fans not to feel 100% confident as the game progressed. However, Manchester United might have so many ‘stars’ on their books but they have been very poor under Louis van Gaal. Things just went their way in some games this season with their latest victory coming from a horrendous error from Newcastle’s goalie, Tim Krul.

Another talking point to the game was undoubtedly the return of Danny Welbeck to a place he called home. Following his transfer deadline day sale to Arsenal, LVG criticized the player publicly (rather shameful if you ask me) but he made mention of Radamel Falcao being one of the reasons he let Welbeck go. Since then, Falcao has scored foul goals in 19 appearances for United, while Welbeck has netted eight goals in 21 appearances for Arsenal.

As expected, it was end to end stuff as both sides battled for the right to play in Wembley next month. Santi Cazorla threaded a through ball to Welbeck but he failed to get it under his stride. Oxlade-Chamberlain lobbed a neat ball for Hector Bellerin whose cross was blocked by Daley Blind but a goal kick was given. Manchester United almost grabbed the lead when Marouane Fellaini controlled the ball superbly and laid it up for Ashley Young. The English winger failed to connect well with the ball and fired his shot over the bar.

Arsenal opened the scoring from a rather unlikely source. The Ox did well to take on a couple of markers before sending an inch-perfect pass to an unmarked Nacho Monreal. The Spanish fullback got the composure of Lionel Messi to place the ball past an onrushing David de Gea.

Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal jumps in the air after putting his side in the lead as Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain watches on

Barely three minutes after the Gunners took the lead, Man Utd pegged them back when Angel di Maria swung in a brilliant cross that was headed in at point-blank range by the scourge of Arsenal, Wayne Rooney. Maybe Laurent Koscielny should have judged the flight of the ball better but you can take nothing form a bullet header from such a peach of a cross.

Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny, who replaced David Ospina, was unable to keep out Rooney's diving header 

It was game on as both sides fought tooth and nail to get the all-important goal that would tilt the game in their favor. Welbeck rose the highest to head in a cross goalwards but it turned out to be an easy save for de Gea. Di Maria sent in another whipping cross that almost forced an error out of Wojciech Szczesny. Chris Smalling had the chance to make it two but he contrived to miss from less than six yards, not like the Arsenal fans cared. Man Utd was on the ascendancy with di Maria firing a shot that was saved smartly by Szczesny.

Arsenal soaked up some pressure and used the counter attacking option as an outlet. Santi Cazorla looped a free kick over the wall but it was saved by de Gea. Arsene Wenger became concerned when the Ox pulled up short and was to be substituted for what seemed to be a hamstring injury. Wenger had braced up Theo Walcott to come in for the injured Chamberlain, but the manager changed his mind and opted for Aaron Ramsey instead. With Alexis Sanchez missing another chance from a breakaway, Szczesny’s poor clearance saw di Maria fire a shot that went just wide and it was heart in mouth stuff for the Arsenal faithful.

Danny Welbeck scored what proved to be the match winner when he reacted quickly to a poor Antonio Valencia back pass. Welbeck anticipated the ball, rounded the keeper and placed the ball to an unguarded net.

Welbeck placed the ball into an empty net to capitalise on a mistake by Manchester United right back Antonio Valencia 

Some Manchester United fans were expecting to see a ‘muted celebration’, but the lad let out a roar that could be heard on the Moon. You could see the emotion running through his veins as the game meant a lot to him than many other players on the pitch. Bellerin had a yellow card and was on the edge with a couple of challenges, so Wenger took the safer option of bringing on Calum Chambers in his stead. Alexis and Cazorla had chances to kill off contest but di Maria received his marching orders when he was booked for simulation and stupidly shoved the ref in frustration. Shortly afterwards, Adnan Januzaj received a yellow card for diving as well. Late on, Cazorla had a shot that was superbly saved by de Gea and Alexis shot went wide after the goalie made another spectacular save.

After the game, the draws were made and the Gunners are going to face the winner between Reading and Bradford. As expected, Wenger was effusive in his praise for Welbeck in his post-match press conference and I must commend the performance of Michael Oliver. The referee maintained the same level of consistency throughout the game and he was brave enough to make key decisions in the game.

After the game, the trolling on Twitter was in a world of its own and I’m honesty glad I was part of it. You may want to check out my timeline to see the “1-2” trolls I came up with.


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Man Utd vs Arsenal – The FA Cup Draw I Wasn’t Hoping For

Arsenal 0 Manchester United 2: Louis van Gaal records first away win as Arsene Wenger's misery deepens

With seven teams securing victory in the FA Cup fifth round, the onus was on Manchester United to avoid an upset against Preston North End but when the lower division side scored first, Arsenal fans probably celebrated more than the home side because the draws for the quarterfinals had been made even before Manchester United kicked the ball yesterday.

As at yesterday, Arsenal was set to continue the defense of their title with Liverpool, Aston Villa, Bradford City, Blackburn Rovers, Reading, West Brom and Manchester United all setting their sights on the trophy as well. So when the draws started, I kept my fingers crossed to see who the Gunners would play before booking a double date with Wembley.

Aston Villa and their new manager, Tim Sherwood, celebrated a winning start to his career with the club but they have been paired against a West Brom side that demolished West Ham in the previous round. Since his arrival at the Hawthrons, Tony Pulis has done a good job with the lads and he has managed to bring the best out of Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye. Both strikers were going through a drought at some point in the season.

Bradford City has been the surprise package of the competition, as they were a couple of seasons ago in the Capital One Cup. Arsenal and Aston Villa crashed along the way as Bradford City went all the way to Wembley but they were destroyed by Swansea in the League Cup final. This season, they made history to be the first side to score Jose Mourinho four goals in his home and their fairytale run continued with a 2-0 win over Sunderland. Now they’ve been paired with familiar foes, Reading, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how the Bantams face off with the Royals.

Liverpool has found form in just the right time this season and their latest victory over Crystal Palace has seen them propel to the next round of the FA Cup but they have a tricky tie against a Blackburn side that thumped Stoke City. Daniel Sturridge’s return to full fitness has brought some upturn in the fortunes of Brendan Rodgers men and we can only watch and see how their season pans out.

Finally, Arsenal got a very tough draw against Manchester United. When I say very tough, I just think about how bad the Gunners have been when playing Manchester United. First things first, Old Trafford was the ground where the Gunners lost their majestic unbeaten record and I can bet that if Arsene Wenger’s side managed to get at least a point at Old Trafford in the night in 2004, that record would have gone for a longer while.

Then there are the horrific and humiliating defeats the Gunners have suffered at Old Trafford. If the 6-1 mauling wasn’t bad enough, the 8-2 demolition in 2011 was an absolute disgrace. Arsenal’s last win on the ground was as far back as 2006 in a 1-0 narrow victory. Sometimes it seems like it’s a curse from beyond that Arsenal tends to struggle against Manchester United. As bas as David Moyes was last season, he still managed to notch up four points in the league off the Gunners. When both sides met earlier in the season, Arsenal outplayed their opponents but their profligacy came back to haunt them.

If the Gunners want to win the competition, they have to end their wretched run at Old Trafford.

It was a draw I wasn’t hoping for, but hey, that’s football.


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