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Giroud Inspires Arsenal Victory as the Fans Celebrate St. Totteringham’s Day

15/16: Arsenal v Aston Villa - Olivier Giroud

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

Arsenal has been trolled times without number for always finishing in fourth place and some have even gone as far as saying that the manager, Arsene Wenger, regards it as a ‘trophy’, but at the start of the game against Aston Villa, a third placed Arsenal could potentially end the game in second place or even fourth place, based on the outcome of other games. Already relegated Newcastle hosted Tottenham while Manchester City traveled to Wales to take on Swansea in Manuel Pellegrini’s last match in the club.

From the onset, Arsenal came out firing on all cylinders and got ahead when Nacho Monreal lofted a delicious ball that was headed home by Olivier Giroud. After going through that long spell without finding the back of the net, that was two in two for the Frenchman. Something to give his national team manager to think about, bearing in mind that Karim Benzema wasn’t invited to the French party.

The first half had some dullness about it, but the fans came to live when they heard that Tottenham had gone two goals down in St. James Park. I’d not seen the Emirates faithful that loud in quite some time but it was good for banter. Then there was a red card to Aleksandr Mitrovic that came around the period Tottenham pulled one back and there was some anxiety shown by the fans, especially with the fact that Arsenal had a narrow 1-0 lead.

Then Mesut Ozil turned up the style with a lovely pass to Giroud that was blasted him to make it two. While the fans were basking in the euphoria of getting a comfortable lead, Hector Bellerin sent a sumptuous through ball that was guided home by Giroud for his second Arsenal hat-trick. For all the stick he gets from his own fans, it’s worth noting that Giroud now has 82 goals in 188 games for the club and I’m backing him to hit 100 next season.

Mikel Arteta came on for one last hurrah and you could see the reception he got from the home fans. It was almost fairytale stuff when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s pass to blast the ball into the underside of the bar before the goalie conceded an own goal to put some icing on the cake. Arteta was really emotional at the end as he let out a tear or two as the fans sang his songs and screamed out his name. In an interview with Arsenal player, he said that he will never forget the club but he confirmed that he’s going to hang his boots. It is rumored that he might join Pep Guardiola in Manchester City next season.

There was also a guard of honor for Tomas Rosicky

The players wore ‘Rosicky 7’ shirts and welcomed the legend to the pitch one final time as he bowed out. It was really nice stuff.

To top off a wonderful day in the office, Tottenham were thrashed resoundingly by a 10-man Newcastle and the fans celebrated St. Totteringham’s Day for the 21st year in a row. At the sound of the referees whistle, it was 21 years, five days, 23 hours, 11 minutes and 20 seconds since Tottenham finished above their North London rivals in the league.

There would be a couple of reviews and all as the months without Arsenal football go on. Gooner Daily will also have some coverage of Arsenal’s stars at the upcoming European Championships in France.


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Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners Move to the Top of the League!!!

Ramsey Aston Villa

Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 2 (Giroud 8′, Ramsey 38′)

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference 

For the record, Arsenal has had several chances to climb to the submit of the Premier League. The first chance came against Tottenham but they came from behind to salvage a draw. After the international break, a win against West Brom would have pout the team in a commanding position but the game was lost. Then there was Norwich, that didn’t fare as planned. So when Arsenal was set to play a struggling Aston Villa side that has amassed only six points this season, it would have been an utter disappointment if Arsene Wenger’s side didn’t get maximum points. Bearing in mind that a victory would take the Gunners to the top of the league, pending Leicester and Chelsea’s game tonight.

Arsenal were still buzzing from the Champions League qualification and they had to cap a good week with a win over Villa.

As expected, Wenger opted for the same lineup that was awesome in Athens, which ultimately meant that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was going to remain on the bench and Walcott was going to continue from the left wing, and it was nice to see the forward being appreciative of Olivier Giroud in recent weeks.

In a matter of minutes, Walcott was impeded by Alan Hutton in the box and Giroud stepped up to score his 50th Premier League goal in Arsenal colors. That was also a milestone as he became the third fastest player to reach that feat for the Gunners. Thierry Henry scored 50 in 83 games, Ian Wright achieved his in 87. Giroud has done his in 113 games, surpassing the likes of Dennis Bergkamp (114 games), Robert Pires (137 games) and that Dutch cuntbag, Robin van Persie (142 games).

That early strike brought in some confidence and you could see it from the way the Gunners controlled possession and influenced the game. Just before halftime, the Gunners extended their lead with some brilliant counter attacking football. Aaron Ramsey won the ball with a neat tackle and Giroud latched on to the loose ball and fed Walcott. The English speedster decided to unleash his inner Ozil and threaded an inch-perfect ball that split open the Villa defense to Mesut Ozil. As you’d expect from Arsenal’s Assister-General, Ozil cushioned a carefully-cushioned ball for Ramsey that was placed into an unguarded net.

From that moment, I was hoping that the lads were going to concentrate and avoid those goals they had conceded just before halftime but for a change, the Gunners went into the break with their shutout intact. At the start of the second half, Arsene Wenger’s side seemed to put their foot off the pedal and the wind sailed on Aston Villa’s sails but a good defensive rearguard action saw the Gunners quell the threats they posed. Wenger took out his wingers to bring on a fresh set of legs in the forms of Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but it’s fair to say that the Ox did not cover himself with glory because he was very sloppy in possession.

Calum Chambers continued his ‘football education’ as a holding midfielder when he replaced Ozil, allowing Ramsey to move further forward. In the end, it was a great result for the team, and it was another milestone on a personal note for the legendary goalie, Petr Cech, as he equaled David James long-standing clean sheet record in the Premier League.

Wenger was particularly happy for his goalscorers and spoke about Ramsey’s strengths in the middle and Giroud’s milestone. We have a week to prepare for the Manchester City game and I will be hoping that there would be no injuries between now and then.

It feels good to be on top though.


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The FA Cup Defending Champions Retain their Trophy

Arsenal 4 (Walcott 40′, Alexis 50′, Mertesacker 52′, Giroud 90′) – Aston Villa 0

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

Bheerhugz Cafe, Ikeja. The venue I chose to watch last season’s FA Cup final, this season’s Community Shield and yesterday’s FA Cup final. It’s turning out to be my new traditional venue for watching Arsenal cup finals. Why wouldn’t it be? When I was having a good time with the Mrs. and many of my close Arsenal buddies, drinking Orijin and having a blast.

With the game starting as late as 5.30pm, I arrived around 4.00pm with my woman and started drinking with my buddies and having me some good ol’ fun. We brought out our inner Arsene Wenger’s and started guessing the starting XI. So much was made about who was going to be in goal and who was going to lead the line and we got our answer by 5.30pm – Wojciech Szczesny and Theo Walcott.

Wembley looked so colorful and the fans were hopeful to get their money’s worth but after a fluffy of good saves that frustrated Arsenal, the Gunners finally broke the deadlock when Walcott used his left to blast a shot past Shay Given in goal. The relief in Bheerhugz Cafe was glaring for all to see with the fans jumping up and down like Kangaroos. As expected, some drinks were spilled on the ground but it’s one of those things that happen in such engagements.

At the start of the first half, Alexis Sanchez proved to us why he’s undoubtedly Arsenal’s Player of the season. An unstoppable volley from quite some distance that left Shay Given with no chance in Hell to make a save. While my friends were basking in the euphoria of seeing such a great goal, I had to do with the replay because I was busy taking selfies with my girlfriend and some other girls that I invited.

Then I concentrated on the game and watched Per Mertesacker use his shoulder to guide the ball into Given’s far post. If any random bloke was on that line, he would have cleared it with consummate ease but in all honesty, I didn’t care because I was seeing one of the rare things in life – Per Mertesacker scoring for Arsenal. That was his seventh goal in 167 appearances for the club. The cake had a very good icing when Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score an exact replica of the goal he scored Newcastle at the Emirates. An audacious side-footed flick that beat Given in his near post. There were some complains about offside but for a player that hadn’t scored in his last eight games, that was a welcome goal.

The ref blew his whistle and it was party time at Bheerhugz Cafe. Bodies were moving in different directions, more bottles of beer were consumed and of course, more pictures were taken.

Wenger was absolutely ecstatic in his press conference and he was proud of winning his sixth FA Cup which is actually half the amount of FA Cup titles the Gunners have won. Even the players gave their takes on what has been a great season with Hector Bellerin labeling it as an absolute dream and Francis Coquelin calling it a great feeling.

I’m elated that the feel-good feeling is back at North London with the Gunners retaining the FA Cup yet again. In 2002, Arsenal won the FA Cup, retained it in 2003 and when unbeaten to win the Premier League in 2004. Now they have won it in 2014, retained it in 2015, but I’m sure the fans wouldn’t mind them some deja vu. 😉


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