Quick Roundup of Gunners on International Duty
As we slowly wait for Premier League football to come once again, fans had to make do with the interlull as Arsenal had its fair share of ambassadors that represented their nations in various matches across Europe. Thankfully, these players have gone through their first phase of matches unscathed and we can only hope that they would go through the final phase of international games without any broken bones of any sort.
Here’s a quick roundup of Arsenal’s finest that represented their nations across Europe.
Macedonia 2 Wales 1 (Aaron Ramsey)
After sealing a move to Real Madrid to make him the most expensive acquisition in football history, Welsh fans were left bewildered and perplexed as the nation’s football manager, Chris Coleman, opted not to play Gareth Bale in Wales stinging defeat to Macedonia. Welsh veteran, Craig Bellamy, Craig Bellamy led the line for his nation and even struck the post with a well taken free kick but goals from Ibraimi and Ivan Trichkovski put Wales to the sword.
Wales undoubted Man of the Match was Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey as he put up another stellar display in midfield and capped it up by scoring a well-taken penalty which he won after a brilliant turn that left the defender for dead.
Arsenal’s man on fire has carried his blistering form club to country.
Czech Republic 1 Armenia 2 (Tomas Rosicky)
Tomas Rosicky played for the Czech Republic and even scored a goal but it wasn’t enough as the Armenia’s shocked their hosts with a late winner that handed them all three points. Armenia took an early lead when a defensive error gifted the visitor’s possession in front of goal and Karlen Mkrtchyan’s fierce drive into the top corner gave a diving Petr Cech no chance.
However, the Czechs salvaged a draw in the 70th minute when Rosicky rifled in a long-range drive that ricocheted off a defender before going into the net.
Late on, Gevorg Ghazaryan latched onto a pass deep in Czech territory in injury time and found the net with a shot that bounced off keeper Petr Cech and past a sprawling Michal Kadlec who was unable to clear his lines. That disappointing result has diminished the Czechs chances of qualifying for the World Cup as they are now in third place.
Germany 3 Austria 0 (Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker)
History was made as Miroslav Klose opened the scoring to net his 68th goal for Germany, which puts him at par with the all-time record created by Gerd Muller. Bayern’s legendary fullback, Phillip Lahm notched his 100th cap in the grand style in the resounding win.
The Germans took the lead when Klose latched on to Thomas Muller’s inch-perfect cross to oke the ball into the net.
Bayern’s David Alaba threatened from the left before teeing up Aston Villa’s Andreas Weimann but the forward failed to capitalize the opportunity created by the young fullback.
The second goal arrived when Toni Kroos blasted a shot into the net after a neat layoff from Marco Reus. Mesut Ozil was pulling the strings yet again and he sent Muller through on goal but the Bayern Munich star wasted the chance.
Muller made up for his glaring miss when he put the game beyond doubt after receiving a neat pass late on from Schalke’s Benedikt Howedes.
England 4 Moldova 0 (Theo Walcott)
England went into this game short of options in attack as Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge were all nursing injuries. This paved the way for Southampton’s Rickie Lambert to earn a call up and he repaid his manager’s fate with another fairytale goal.
The Three Lions opened the scoring through Steven Gerrard after some good work from Chelsea’s combo of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard. Danny Welbeck made it two with a neat finish that clipped the post before going in. Lambert made it three and Welbeck completed the rout with a fourth goal but there was a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth as the forward received a rash yellow card that rules him out of the crucial clash against Ukraine.
Georgia 0 France 0 (Olivier Giroud, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny)
France sealed a playoff spot after a bore draw against Georgia and to make things worse, this was the fifth game in a row where France has failed to score a goal. Karim Benzema teed up a chance for Europe’s best player, Franck Ribery, but his effort was missed by a lick of paint. Hugo Lloris showed great awareness to block a goal-bound shot from Tornike Okriashvili.
After a missed chance for Mathieu Valbuena, Olivier Giroud missed a glorious chance when he got on the end of a wayward Patrice Evra shot before killing some birds in the sky with his attempted effort. In stoppage time, Giroud glanced a header at goal but the goalie was equal to the challenge. The Frenchman also tumbled in the box and hoped for a penalty but his appeals fell on deaf ears.
This draw has given France a playoff spot in their bid to qualify for the World Cup this summer.
Finland 0 Spain 2 (Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal)
Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal played part-bit roles as goals from Jordi Alba and Alvaro Negredo sealed an automatic qualification to the World Cup for Spain. Cazorla entered the pitch in the 80th minute while Monreal stayed on the bench throughout the game.
On the bright side, no Gunner was injured and I pray it stays that way. I’ll keep you updated with the second phase of fixtures.
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