Arsenal 2-0 Sevilla: Starboy Does it for the Mandem
Final Result: Arsenal 2-0 Sevilla (Trossard 29, Saka 64′)
Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Raya; Tomiyasu (Zinchenko 46′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice, Jorginho (Elneny 90′), Havertz; Martinelli (Nelson 81′), Saka (Kiwior 85′), Trossard (F. Vieira 81′)
With no Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal didn’t have much depth going into the game against Sevilla. The first huge chance of the game arrived as early as the second minute but it was spurned when Kai Havertz latched onto Gabriel Martinelli deep corner that was nodded wide.
Martinelli had not been successful with most of his take-one against opposition full backs this season, but he had a field day with Juanlu, dribbling past him eight times as the stats guys confirm. Martinelli waltzed past Juanlu and dinked a cross to the box that was cleared by Bade to Declan Rice’s path. The Englishman fed the ball to Ben White, who was clearly done with his ‘white’ hair-do and blasted his effort over the bar.
There was a penalty appeal when Saka was scythed down by Sevilla defenders but Arsenal’s appeal fell on deaf ears. Martinelli had another effort cleared before Havertz blasted wide. Arsenal’s pressure finally paid off when Jorginho split the Sevilla defense open to Saka who teed up Leandro Trossard at the edge of the area for a routine tap in.
Sevilla almost hit Arsenal on the counter but Saliba showed great pace to evade the danger. Martinelli continued his dominance on Juanlu when he executed a childish turn to leave the full back in No Man’s Land but his dinked cross into the box wasn’t attacked by his teammates.
At the start of the second half, Oleksandr Zinchenko came on for Takehiro Tomiyasu and it was stated that Tomiyasu was in some form of discomfort to add to the Arsenal injury woes. Arsenal continued their attacking play with efforts from Martinelli, Havertz but the game was settled when Martinelli fed Saka who took on his marker, left him for dead before placing the ball past the goalie.
There were a couple of substitutions to give rest to the key players but there was some concern when Saka was limping late on, before he was yanked off for Jakub Kiwior. Sevilla had their first shot on goal in the 96th minute, which was a testament of Arsenal’s dominance on the night.
With PSV Eindhoven winning RC Lens, Arsenal is one more positive result away from qualification to the next round, which is great.
Shout out to Saka for another dominant performance, doing it for the mandem.
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