Monthly Archives: November 2013

EPL Review: Cardiff City 0-3 Arsenal (Rambo comes back to haunt his old home)

Image

 

Arsenal’s in-form midfielder Aaron Ramsey comes back to haunt his former club as his brace helped the Gunners to snatch their 8th away win of the season against the Premier League newcomers Cardiff City.

Going into the match, everyone including Arsene Wenger and his players knew about the threat that Cardiff poses and were extra focused on getting a positive result on the ground where their title rivals such as Manchester City and Manchester United have already dropped points. As expected it was a tight start to the match with both the teams feeling each other out. The Gunners went close in the 2nd minute of the game when Jack Wilshere’s shot hit the bar and Giroud mistakenly refused to net in a goal fearing he was offside which clearly was not. But, Aaron Ramsey made sure those misses don’t come back to haunt the league leaders as he buried Ozil’s pin pointed pass with a superb header to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead at half-time. In the 2nd half, Cardiff pushed us and Arsenal’s in-form goalkeeper had to keep his focus when called for and he did exactly that which helped the Gunners to get their 3rd consecutive clean-sheet in all competitions. Star player Mesut Ozil then provided another lethal pass to the oppositions half which was netted in with destructive force by Mathieu Flamini. Theo Walcott later came off the bench to provide an assist to Ramsey which the former Cardiff player scored to earn himself a brace and helped Arsenal get a convincing 3-0 win away at Cardiff and create a 7 point gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League heading into a hectic month of December ahead. 

Through this result, Arsenal have also sent signals to their rivals because they have been able to not only get a win but also keep a clean sheet on the ground where both the Manchester clubs had already suffered huge disappointments. Also, Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil proved that he doesn’t get affected by criticism as after his penalty miss in midweek he bounced back straight with 3 superb assists to keep the Gunners at the top of both the English Premier League and the Champions League tables. This victory concludes a fruitful month of November for Arsenal’s defense as they had conceded only a single goal in the entire month helping the Gunners to earn significant wins against Liverpool, Dortmund, Southampton, Marseille and Cardiff City. 

Image

EPL Preview: Cardiff City vs. Arsenal (Time to pick up where others have dropped)

Image

 

It’s time to pick up points where others have dropped as Arsenal visits the Cardiff City Stadium to face the new league newcomers Cardiff City. Cardiff City have already announced themselves to the world when they beat Manchester City in their backyard earlier in the season and held Manchester United last week which suggests that the Gunner will have their hands full when they face the Wales Club this coming weekend in the English Premier League.

After the international break Arsenal had achieved a couple of back to back 2-0 victories against Southampton and Marseille in the Premier League and the Champions League respectively. The Gunners are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 4 points lead. Arsenal are aware of the threat which Cardiff will pose against them so they needs to be at their ultimate best if they are to get a win away at Cardiff and get back to winning ways away from home after seeing their away winning run end at Old Trafford 3 weeks ago. Cardiff totally dominated Manchester United last week and quite frankly deserved a win over the reigning league Champions but had to keep themselves satisfied with a draw which they earned in the dying seconds of the game. That confirms the fact that they fight until the very end so Arsenal’s defense needs to put on another rock solid performance if they aspire to get a result there.

Image

UCL Review: Arsenal 2-0 Marseille (Jacky boy shines as qualification is still uncertain)

Image

 

Jack Wilshere shines on the night as his brace helped Arsenal to collect 12 points in this seasons UEFA Champions League group stage after beating Marseille 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium. It was the Gunners 4th win in the group but as they are in the group of death their qualification is still not certain as Borussia Dortmund beat Napoli to move to 9 points along with Napoli with 1 more game to play. 

Arsenal had a blistering start to the match as Jack Wilshere stormed forward and curved in a beautiful left footed shot in the 29th second of the first minute of the match. At that point, we were thinking that it’s going to be a high scoring win for the Gunners but that was not to be. Then Ramsey’s shot was saved, Ozil had a bad touch and then missed a penalty so Arsenal had to keep themselves satisfied with just a 1 goal lead at half-time. The 2nd half was more of the same with Arsenal in total control of the match. Mesut Ozil redeemed himself in the 2nd half after his poor showing in the 1st as his pass inside the penalty area was tapped in by Wilshere to get his brace and helped Arsenal to achieve their 3rd consecutive 2-0 win at home in all competitions.

This victory keeps Arsenal in the drivers seat and they just needs to avoid a loss by 3-0 or more against Napoli away to safely qualify into the knockout rounds of this seasons UEFA Champions League.

UCL Preview: Arsenal vs. Marseille (Gunners aiming for a top spot finish)

Image

 

Arsenal will be aiming for a top of the group finish when they host the French side Marseille in the 5th game of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Arsenal are already sitting at the top of their respective group with 3 wins and a loss. Their closest threats are now the Italian side Napoli who are also joint top with the same amount of points. But, still nothing is certain as to who will finish at the top as there are still 2 games left and that’s why this seasons Champions League group of death is still wide open with 3 clubs in contention to qualify to the knockout rounds. 

Team news: No new injuries and Flamini returns from suspension. 

Last Saturday, Arsenal bounced back from the disappointing loss to Manchester United against Southampton and extended their lead in the English Premier League so the mood in and around the Emirates is very vibrant at the moment. Marseille, on the other hand, have nothing to lose as they have lost all of their group matches so far and have no chance for qualification into the next round. So, they will be dangerous as they can now play freely with no added pressure whatsoever. Therefore, the Gunners have to be fully focused if they wants to avoid any slip-ups come the climax of this seasons Champions League group stage.

Image

EPL Review: Arsenal 2-0 Southampton (Nananana Giroud)

Image

Giroud worked his socks off and put on a brilliant hard working performance as his brace gave Arsenal another clean-sheet win against the high-flying Southampton. 

Coming into the game, everyone were aware of Southampton’s best defensive record in the Premier League and knew that they were in for a tough battle to continue their title chase. It was a tough game as expected but Arsenal did had the best chances and came close twice through Wilshere’s beautiful chip and Ramsey’s sexy back foot but were finally in the lead when their goal-keeper Arthur Boruc made a horrendous error as he hesitated to clear the ball when Giroud closed him down and stole the ball from his feet and netted it in. He dedicated his goal to his late grandfather who died 2 days prior to the game. In the second half, The Gunners were solid as a defensive unit and handled everything that the Saints had to offer. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Arsenal tried to kill the game and were rewarded for their efforts as the referee who wasn’t very fair towards Arsenal, gave the Gunners a penalty when Mertesacker’s shirt was pulled by Fonte. Giroud confidently scored the penalty and helped Arsenal to take a 4 points lead over 2nd place Liverpool who slipped up earlier against Everton. 

With this victory, Arsenal bounced back after losing to Manchester United before the international break and showed their critics that they mean business this term and are determined to keep their focus and move forward.

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Southampton (Must bounce back)

Image

After two weeks of international break, the Premier League is back and Arsenal enters into a crucial stage of the season as tough games start to pile up one after the other. The Gunners are at home to this seasons surprise package i.e Southampton who are flying high and are currently third in the Barclays Premier League table.

Team news: Theo Walcott returns to the squad after a 2 month absence with an abdominal surgery. 

Image

Before the international break Arsenal’s good start to the season as well as their strong away winning streak came to an end as they were defeated at Old Trafford by Manchester United. The Gunners needs to bounce back from this if they are to continue their title chase. Southampton are a very dangerous outfit at the moment and they already had tremendous arenas like the Old Trafford earlier in the season and they currently have the best defensive record in the league. So, the return of Theo Walcott can prove to be vital for Arsenal. So, Wenger’s men are in for a very tough battle in their fight to remain at the top of the English Premier League table.

Image

EPL Review: Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal (We failed the ultimate test)

Image

 

Arsenal failed the ultimate test as after winning back to back games against Liverpool and Dortmund, they lost away at the home of the Champions Manchester United. The Gunners mental block at Old Trafford continues and Manchester United closed the gap at the top to just 5 points after a vital victory against the current league leaders.

It was a tight game. Arsenal looked nervous and their mental block at Old Trafford was clearly visible. Ex-Arsenal player, Robin van Persie gave United the lead halfway in the first half through a set-piece header. Arsenal were very poor and looked jaded after their impressive mid-week win away at Dortmund. Arsenal also missed the presence of Per Mertesacker in their defence as he had to pull out prior to the game due to illness. The Gunners did came back in the second half and their right back Bacary Sagna put some decent crosses in but there was no one to net it in. 

Apart from that, there wasn’t much difference between the two teams and I felt Arsenal deserved at least a point but the men in red and white will now have to accept that defeat going into the international break and come out stronger than ever when the Premier League resumes in 2 weeks time. 

EPL Preview: Manchester United vs. Arsenal (The ultimate test)

Image

It’s time for the ultimate test for Arsenal as they travel to the Old Trafford this Sunday to face the Champions Manchester United in the English Premier League. 

Things have changed dramatically since last time the two sides have faced-off against one another as their longest serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson have retired after giving United their 20th league title and Wenger rejuvenated his side with the addition of star midfielder Mesut Ozil in the summer transfer window. Things have also changed in terms of the league table as Arsenal are now the one’s who are top of the Barclays Premier League while Manchester United are struggling to get going under their new manager David Moyes and are lying at number 8th in the table. 

Image

It’s another huge challenge for Wenger’s men as even after beating Liverpool and Dortmund, the footballing experts are still not sure of Arsenal’s title winning credentials so Arsenal will be judged on the basis of the result of this match simply because Manchester United have had the upper hand in this fixture for the last 6-7 years so the Gunners needs to be at their very best to get a result at the daunting Old Trafford.

zp_Training014_3845

UCL Review: Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal (Nothing is impossible)

Image

 

Nothing is impossible as Arsenal earned a major win and became the first English club to beat Dortmund at Dortmund. The result stunned the world as most of the football pundits had written off the Gunners before the match but little did they know that this team is at its dangerous when they play as the underdogs. Arsenal are the club of firsts as they were the first English club to beat Real Madrid in Bernabeau, AC Milan in San Siro, Bayern Munich in Munich and now Borussia Dortmund in Dortmund. The win sends Arsenal to the top of the Group – F which many has dubbed as the “Group of Death” with two games to go. 

It was a very tensed game and it was Arsenal’s solid defensive performance which did the the job done as the Gunners back four weathered the storm from the get go and displayed a brave and matured performance throughout the 90 minutes. It was goalless at half-time. The first 15 minutes of the second half was dominated completely by Dortmund and they even found the net twice but were denied because of it being off-sides. Then, the Gunners took advantage of the few loop holes in Dortmund’s defense as Olivier Giroud’s assist through Mesut Ozil’s looping pass was headed in by none other than Arsenal’s man in form Aaron Ramsey which proved to be the winner against last season’s UEFA Champions League finalists. 

Arsenal proved their doubters wrong by pulling off 2 back to back big game wins and they will now be aiming to make it 3 big game wins in a row when they travel to Old Trafford this Sunday to face one of their arch-nemesis Manchester United in the league.

UCL Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Arsenal (A draw/win is necessary)

Image

A win or at least a draw is necessary as Arsenal travels to Germany to face Dortmund in a crunch Matchday 4 night in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Both teams go into this game in brilliant form having getting top notch results against quality oppositions at the weekend in their respective leagues.

This match is vital for Arsenal as after getting to a great start to their group campaign, they faced a setback when Dortmund beat them in a tight 2-1 win 2 weeks ago at the Emirates. So, the Gunners are going into this match needing a positive result to give themselves a fighting chance to qualify to the knockout rounds. 

Team news:  Jack Wilshere is out with a minor ankle injury suffered before the Liverpool game while Kieran Gibbs and Serge Gnabry are back and available.

Image

As we are out of the Capital One Cup which was the last tournament in our priority list, Wenger’s men needs to continue to grow both in the league and the Champions League to keep themselves alive in their top 2 priorities of the season. Arsenal’s star signing Mesut Ozil needs to step up after having a few quiet games for the North London club.