Category Archives: Match Report

Arsenal 4-0 PSV: Domination. Efficiency. Class

Arsenal pulverise PSV in slick Champions League return
Match Report Match Highlights Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Arsenal 4-0 PSC (Saka 8′, Trossard 20′, Jesus 38′, Odegaard 70′)

Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Raya; Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 58′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice (Jorginho 76′), Havertz, Odegaard; Saka (Vieira 69′), Jesus (Smith Rowe 69′), Trossard (Nelson 58′)

The occasion was set and Arsenal geared themselves up for their first Champions League appearance in six-and-a-half years and it was totally worth it.

Arsenal didn’t waste time to assert their dominance in the game when Martin Odegaard blasted a shot, which was saved by Benitez before Bukayo Saka smashed home the rebound, sending the Emirates to raptures. Arsenal didn’t take their foot off the pedal and almost made it two when Ben White fired in a cutback which was missed by Gabriel Jesus.

PSV tried to mount a comeback when Bakayoko almost won a penalty when his cross hit Oleksandr Zinchenko’s leg before clipping off his arm. After a few checks, it was chalked off.

Arsenal continued the push to put the game beyond doubt with Odegaard firing a one-time shot after receiving the ball from Leandro Trossard but Benitez made a good save and smothered the ball on the second attempt with Jesus on the prowl. However, Arsenal got the goal their attacking okay deserved when Gabriel Jesus won a loose ball in midfield and teed up Saka that saw Trossard on the edge of the box, threaded a neat pass to him and the Belgian maverick side-footed the ball home.

Arsenal didn’t take their foot off the gas and more intricate play from Jesus and Odegaard saw the Norwegian maestro tee up Kai Havertz but his shot went over the bar. Gabriel made a rare foray forward and nodded the ball to the side netting.

Two goals became three when Trossard went in behind the defense to reach a Gabriel pass, saw Jesus in the far post and dinked the ball to his direction. Jesus controlled the ball superbly with his first touch before smashing it in with his second.

The second half saw the Gunners control the game better and with the North London Derby in mind, Arteta started making expected changes, taking out the likes of Saka, Zinchenko, Jesus, Trossard and Declan Rice for Reiss Nelson, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Jorginho. It was going to see these players get some game time and try to prove their worth to the team.

This happened, as two substitutes combined to put the icing on a well-baked cake. Smith Rowe and Nelson worked in tandem before feeding Odegaard. The captain shimmied past a marker before blasting the ball pass Benitez to make it four.

This was an amazing performance for the team and there were no injury concerns with the Gunners having everyone ready for what will be a pulsating encounter with Tottenham.


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Everton 0-1 Arsenal: Trossard Ends Goodison Park Hoodoo

Trossard goal secures the points for Arsenal at Everton

Match Report – Match Highlights Player RatingsPost-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Everton 0-1 Arsenal (Trossard 69′)

Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Raya; Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 80′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice, F. Vieira (Havertz 80′), Odegaard; Saka, Nketiah (G. Jesus 66′), Martinelli (Trossard 24′)

The mere fact that Arsenal had not won in Goodison Park for six years must have played first and foremost in the mind of Mikel Arteta, a manager who garnered over 200 games for the club but somehow failed to get a positive result anytime he visited. It would have also played out in the minds of the players, but they would have taken confidence from the way they won against Manchester United before the international break, and everyone returned unscathed from their national team sojourns.

The Arsenal manager made some huge changes with David Raya making his Arsenal debut against Everton, ahead of the incumbent goalie, Aaron Ramsdale. The manager also favored the mercurial Fabio Vieira ahead of Kai Havertz, with Eddie Nketiah retaining his place ahead of Gabriel Jesus as the Brazilian works his way to full fitness. 

Everton were okay allowing Arsenal have all the possession as they maintained a very low block, unlocking Satanball on full display, which was disgusting to say the least, but Arsenal continued to probe and carve out chances in the game. The first clear cut chance arrived when Fabio Vieira threaded in a delicious pass in behind the Everton defense to Gabriel Martinelli, and the Brazilian winger wasted no time in side-footing the ball past Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal, but the VAR chums ruled the goal out, as Nketiah was adjudged to have won the ball from Beto from an offside position. 

It turned out to be a double whammy as Martinelli pulled up short and had to be substituted for Leandro Trossard. According to Arteta’s post-match press conference, it is believed to be a hamstring strain, which will certainly rule him out of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven, and the medical team will be sweating on his fitness ahead of the North London Derby against the high-flying Spurs.

Everton soaked up a lot of pressure and hit Arsenal on the break, and almost punished the Gunners when Abdoulaye Doucoure made one of those his trademark slalom runs and hit the deck in the box after William Saliba stretched out his leg. It was a heart in mouth moment for Arsenal fans because the inconsistency of the VAR system has seen such penalties given. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the penalty wasn’t given. 

Martin Odegaard certainly put his shooting boots on and fired some stingers that were dealt with by Pickford and it was looking like one of those nights where everything Arsenal tried was repelled by Everton. The Gunners stopped floating in their corner kicks because of the height advantage the Everton defenders had, so they resorted to short passing and that was where the match clincher came from. After some intricate passing play from the right, Bukayo Saka teed up Trossard who blasted a one-time shot with his left that clipped the post and crept in.

Looking at the numbers, Arsenal had 74 percent possession to Everton’s 26. 1.02 xG, 13 shots, 595 passes (to Everton’s 159) and 11 corners. Pure dominance against a team that had nothing to offer but it bodes for the squad, as the changes galvanized the side and even the subs that came on put a good shift. 

The win makes the North London Derby on Sunday very massive, but all business moves to Champions League football on Wednesday and we will preview the game in good time. 


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Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United: Late Drama, Sheer Football Ecstasy

Arsenal vs Man United score, result, highlights as Declan Rice wins it for  Gunners in stoppage time | Sporting News

Match Report  Match Highlights  Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Arsenal 3-1 Fulham (Odegaard 27′, Rice 96′, G. Jesus 101′ | Rashford 27′)

Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 76′), Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice, Havertz (F. Vieira 76′), Odegaard (Jorginho 99′); Saka, Nketiah (G. Jesus 76′), Martinelli (Nelson 90′)

With the transfer deadline drama out of the way, the focus was solely football and Manchester United came to town – a feisty fixture that always gets the fans on the edge. Arsenal’s cause wasn’t helped with the fact that the Ghana FA reported that Thomas Partey had suffered an injury, but the Ghanaian’s layoff ensured that Mikel Arteta returned to his tested and trusted 4-2-3-1 setup, rather than this crappy formation we have been using in the first three games.

Ben White returned to right back, Oleksandr Zinchenko featured on the left back spot, with Gabriel finally returning to the starting XI alongside William Saliba in the heart of the defense. Declan Rice anchored a midfield that had captain, Martin Odegaard, and Kai Havertz who was heavily defended by his manager in his pre-Manchester United press conference. Eddie Nketiah led the line and was flanked by Gabriel Martinelli and PFA Young Player of the Year, Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal’s play in this 4-2-3-1 setup is very fluid, attacking and exciting, which was why I really struggled to see why the gaffer decided to change a tactical setup that almost delivered him the Premier League last season. The Gunners came out the blocks with Martinelli getting the better of Aaron Wan Bissaka and drilling a cutback from the byline, but no Arsenal player was on the same wavelength with him. His battle with the Manchester United right back was one of the major highlights of the game. 

Arsenal had a chance to go ahead when Martinelli’s effort was ricocheted by Lisandro Martinez to Havertz path at point blank range, but for some inexplicable reason, the German schemer missed his shot totally, allowing Martinez to clear the ball out before Nketiah could pounce on it. That was a jaw-dropping moment for everyone at the Emirates and one wonders when he can get his confidence back. Things got from bad to worse from Havertz as his supposed lobbed pass to Odegaard was intercepted by Christian Eriksen that sent a pass into space for Marcus Rashford. White failed to close down the Manchester United forward, allowing him to blast a shot that waltzed past Ramsdale to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Arsenal pegged Manchester United immediately from the restart with Martinelli combining well with Nketiah before carefully threading the ball to Odegaard at the edge of the box for a one time finish that left Andre Onana with no chance in Hell to attempt a save. It was reminiscent of the Granit Xhaka passes to Odegaard in the same location last season.

Manchester United soaked in a lot of pressure from Arsenal and hit the Gunners on the break. Bruno Fernandes teed up the peripheral Anthony Martial whose near post shot was saved by Ramsdale but Saliba was on hand to block Rashford’s rebound. The next episode of the high intense drama arrived when Havertz was adjudged to have been fouled by Wan Bissaka in the box, forcing the VAR chums to do what they do best, and following further engagement with Anthony Taylor, the penalty was ruled out, much to the chagrin of the Emirates faithful.

Arsenal continued to press and almost had the lead when Saka fed Martinelli at the edge of the box. His brilliant curling effort went past Onana but it also missed the net by a lick of paint. Arteta felt it was time to freshen things up, so he made a triple substitution with Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira and Takehiro Tomiyasu coming on for Nketiah, Havertz and Zinchenko. These were very inspired substitutions as they added fresh impetus to the Arsenal attacking machine. 

After a couple of failed attacking attempts from Arsenal, Manchester United hit the home side on the break and within moments, Alejandro Garnacho bore down on goal and placed the ball past Ramsdale to make it 2-1. Manchester United celebrated their stolen lead, as it was clearly undeserved, but the VAR chums took center stage again as they reviewed the goal and discovered that Gabriel titled his body in such a way that put Garnacho offside. That was such elite defending for a player that had not featured in the first three games for ‘tactical reasons’. It was a monumental moment in the game due to what happened next. 

The fourth official raised his board up and Arsenal had only eight minutes left to get something from the game that they had dominated and that persistence reaped its reward when Saka’s corner went all the way to Rice in the far post, that chested the ball before letting one rip. The shot looked tame but Onana made a mess of it and Arsenal were two goals to the good, sending the Emirates to raptures. 

With Manchester United going for broke at the death to salvage a draw, they left a lot of gaping craters at the back, allowing the intelligent Vieira to send Jesus clean on goal for the strike that will put the game beyond doubt. With Jesus bearing down on goal, Diogo Dalot made a desperate attempt to execute a tackle that would block a potential shot but Jesus sent him back to the Iberian Peninsula with a dribble that looked better with each passing replay. After the shimmy, Jesus placed the ball past Onana with such finesse you’d expect from a Samba Boy.

The ref’s whistle was like music to the ears of everyone connected with Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s Army went to battle with the old enemy and vanquished them in the best of ways – late drama that knocks the wind off their sails, while sending Arsenal fans to delirium. 

With the international break imminent, Arsenal fans will be hoping that there will be no other players joining Partey in the treatment table, while also hoping that the Ghanaian recovers in time for the clash against struggling Everton in two weeks’ time. 


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