Blog Archives

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.


You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button




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.


You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

Arsenal 1 Man Utd 2: We Just Can’t Beat ’em

I’ve been out for a couple of days due to work related issues (as always) and this is the first article in a long while that I’m publishing with my phone. After the debacle at Swansea, you would have expected the Gunners to show some enthusiasm against a Manchester United side that was struggling with form and injuries. The stat boys say that Loius van Gaal’s team had picked up 39 injuries already this season, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw a backline that contained the likes of McNair and Tyler Blackett with Antonio Valencia playing as a make shift right back.

Sure, the Gunners had injury concerns of their own but you’d have fancied them to rip such a shaky defense apart. Arsenal began the game well and dominated possession but for all their good work, there was no end product. Many shots were aimed straight at David de Gea but the undoubted chance of the game arrived when Alexis Sanchez pressured de Gea into making a hurried clearance that was intercepted in midfield. Danny Welbeck teed up an unmarked Jack Wilshere but instead of passing the ball to a Sanchez in a better position to score, or at least blast the bloody ball in the net, the poster boy played it straight at de Gea, much to the disgust of everyone connected with Arsenal.

It’s misses like that always come back to bite you in the ass, and as expected, it did. Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs failed to communicate well which saw the goalie make a tame punch to Valencia (injured himself in the process). The Ecuadorian fired an opportunistic shot that was going wide but Gibbs guided the ball to Arsenal’s net. A sting in the tail but was I surprised? Hell no!

Santi Cazorla had come on for an injured Wilshere and also had a chance to end his wretched run in front of goal when Welbeck cushioned a neat header for him but he fired the ball straight at de Gea. Arsenal’s moment of anguish arrived late on when an unfortunate Nacho Monreal was allowed to mark both Angel di Maria and Shrek (where the hell was Per Mertesacker). The Angel threaded a neat ball to Shrek and the England captain waited for Martinez to commit himself before executing a neat chip to put the game beyond doubt. Unbelievably, that was also Man Utd’s first shot on goal.

Arsenal had summoned Olivier Giroud for the yet again ineffectual Ramsey and the striker almost made an instant impact when he nodded a corner kick over the bar. He wasn’t to be denied a second time when he latched onto Mikel Arteta’s lovely dinked effort to slam a shot past a hapless de Gea. Of course, it was too little too late. Di Maria even had a late chance to kill off the game but his finish was rather awkward. In the end, it didn’t matter as the Gunners lost yet again to Manchester United side with frailties at the back. De Gea might have won the man of the match award but in all honesty, it was more of a case of Arsenal’s wayward finishing rather great saves from the Spaniard.

One might ask, what does Arsenal have to do to win games like this? Why is Arsene Wenger so stubborn to persist with the same set of players that have been shite all season long? Why does Jack Wilshere hold onto the ball far too long? Why do we suffer so many injuries? When will Danny Welbeck start scoring again?

Players like Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla need to sit games out for a couple of weeks to reflect on their bad form. Right now, they tend to get on the end of very insightful attacking moves but their finishing has been atrocious. Many people have seen how vocal Lukas Podolski has been due to his lack of game time. Isn’t it high time for the manager to give him a run of games to at least get a chance to prove to everyone what his made of?

I can’t deny that I am happy to see Giroud return to first team football because despite the fact that Welbeck is one of the hardest working players I’ve seen wear the sacred Red and White, he isn’t the natural goalscorer that would give you 20 goals a season. Yes, Giroud’s record against the top-tier teams of the Premier League has been shambolic but you can trust him to give you goals against the Leicesters, Tottenhams, Swansea and co of the league, something Welbeck hasn’t been able to deliver.

But hey, I’m no Wenger, just a Process Engineer working in an oil and gas company whose passion for the club makes him write about ’em.

It’s sad to see things pan out this way but football is an unforgiving sport because it’s a home clash against Borussia Dortmund that comes up next.

Try to enjoy your Sunday doing the things you love. Don’t worry about Arsenal till Wednesday at least.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,688 other followers