Monthly Archives: February 2014

EPL Preview: Stoke City vs. Arsenal (No mercy)

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Arsenal would be visiting their most hated club outside of the big clubs as they get ready to kick-off the month of March at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City.

Team news: Mesut Ozil and Thomas Vermaelen are back while Kieren Gibbs and Nacho Monreal are doubts. 

The Gunners haven’t won away at Stoke since the 3-1 win back in 2010 where Aaron Ramsey suffered his leg break from Ryan Showcross. So, Arsenal knows that this game won’t be easy especially this season as Stoke have recorded a few very impressive victories against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. The month of March is jam packed with big fixtures for Arsenal so Wenger’s men must keep up the spirit within the squad and keep up the pressure on the current league leaders. This month, Arsenal have most of their games away from home, therefore, this looks like another crucial month for the Gunners. Still to date, both sets of fans are bitter from that Ramsey-Showcross incident and even though Aaron Ramsey won’t feature in this match due to injury, the Stoke fans will make it very hard for the visiting team to get something out of the Britannia.

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EPL Review: Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland (Arsenal unleashed)

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It was Arsenal unleashed as they thrashed Sunderland 4-1 in the Barclays Premier League to keep up the pressure on league leaders Chelsea who narrowly won their respective match 1-0 against Everton. 

Wenger rested many players for this particular match, the main one missing being Mesut Ozil. But, that didn’t stopped the Gunners from unleashing the beast as they opened the scoring inside the opening 5 minutes with a proper Arsenal goal scored by Olivier Giroud. It was Giroud’s 1st goal after about a month. Sunderland started the match really slow and it looked like they had their one eye sat on next weekends Capital One Cup final at Wembley against Manchester City. After about 30 minutes it was soon 2-0 to the Gunners as Olivier Giroud capitalized on a poor pass from the Sunderland defender to their goalkeeper to get his brace. The 1st half was wrapped up with another proper, magical Arsenal team goal netted in by Tomas Rosicky to make it 3-0 to the Gunners. Rosicky deserved that goal for his positive attitude and professionalism. At the start of the 2nd half, Nacho Monreal was replaced by Carl Jenkinson due to a back injury. Sunderland started the half brightly and they had to considering how bad they played the 1st period. But, it was Arsenal who grabbed their 4th through Koscielny header from a well taken corner. Sunderland did get a consolation goal back through a well scored goal by Giaccherini. The match ended 4-1 to the Arsenal.

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With that result, Arsenal keeps themselves just a point off top spot with big matches against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City to come in the next month.

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp’s statue unveiled!

Before the weekend’s Premier League kick-off against Sunderland, Arsenal Football Club have unveiled a new statue outside the Emirates Stadium and it was of none other than “The Flying Dutchman” himself, Arsenal legend, Mr. Dennis Bergkamp. Here, are some pictures from the unveiling ceremony via (www.arsenal.com) –

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EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Sunderland (Keep up the spirit)

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Time for Arsenal to keep up the spirit and continue their hunt to end the 8 years trophy drought as they welcome Sunderland on Saturday at the Barclays Premier League. It has been a disappointing week for the Gunners not only for losing 2-0 in the Champions League against Bayern Munich but also for the way they lost the match. They were victims of bad luck and poor refereeing decisions. But, what has happened happened. The players must not lose their sight on what lay ahead as they are still very much involved in all three competitions left to play.

Team news: Kieren Gibbs is out after sustaining an injury on Wednesday night against Bayern Munich. 

Arsenal will hope to end the month of February with all 3 points against a rejuvenated Sunderland side under Gus Poyet. It has been a month of mixed results for the Gunners. It started with a 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace, then a massive shock at Anfield losing to Liverpool 5-1, then a boring 0-0 against Man Utd, after that an amazing 2-1 5th round win against Liverpool in the FA Cup and then a 2-0 loss with 10 men against the world’s best team Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. It hasn’t been a complete disaster it must be said. However, Wenger’s men have the chance to get back on track in the coming 3 league games starting with Sunderland this weekend.

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Arsenal are just a point behind the current league leaders Chelsea so it’s a good opportunity to make a statement and regain confidence ahead of what looks to be another vital month packed with big fixtures.

UCL Review: Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich (No luck in our side)

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No luck in the Gunners side again as they became victims of cruel refereeing decisions one more time in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal started the match full of confidence and had Bayern Munich rattled for nearly the first 30 minutes of the match. Arsenal earned a penalty in the opening 10 minutes when Boateng brought down Ozil but the low in confidence Ozil’s weakly taken penalty was saved by the Bayern keeper, Neuer. After that, our new striker Yaya Sanogo gave a terrific ball from the middle of the park to Oxlade-Chamberlain who was through on goal but Neuer’s brilliant keeping snatched the ball away from the feet of the Arsenal forward. Things went from good to bad and then from bad to worse when Kieren Gibbs had to be taken off through injury and then the substitute left back Nacho Monreal’s defensive error allowed Robben through on goal and the Arsenal keeper was shown the red card after bringing the Dutchman down. Szczesny was pissed off at the decision. But, the home crowd played a huge part in keeping the score at 0-0 as Alaba missed the penalty too to give his side the lead. The referee spoiled the entire match as a result of the sending off. Arsenal only had one aim in the second half and that was to defend because they were forced to play against the best team in the world with just 10 men on the pitch. They fought with all their heart for larger parts of the second period but couldn’t stop the individual brilliance of Tony Kroos as he curled the ball into the right top corner to give the German club the lead. It went from bad to worse 5 minutes before full-time as after Koscielny earned the Gunners a free-kick, he couldn’t get back to reorganize his defense and as a result Bayern caught us on counter-attack which was headed in by Muller. The match ended 2-0 to the reigning champions.

Arsenal gave it their all and had it been 11 vs. 11, I must say the Gunners looked likely to win this match. But, the “Luck” factor wasn’t on their side and in the Champions League, a team needs a bit of luck to go deep into the tournament and on this night that “Luck” fell into the lap of the current reigning and defending champions. Our players must not get too disappointed because they had put up a brave fight and can try to go for it in the return leg just like they did last year at the Allianz Arena.

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UCL Preview: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich (The Gunners have nothing to lose)

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The Gunners have nothing to lose as they get ready to face the defending Champions Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the second year in a row. The Gunners went out to Bayern 3-3 on away goals last year and considering they will now face the defending Champions, they really have nothing to lose so they can play with no fear and enjoy themselves on the pitch.

Team news: No new injuries plus Rosicky is back and available.

Jack Wilshere has admitted on the pre-match press conference that Arsenal were a bit nervous last year in the 1st leg against Bayern but also pointed out that they gradually grew into the match. The Gunners boss also highlighted the fact that his players went out on away goals because of their weak defensive performance in the 1st leg at home. So, this season, the focus will be more on the defensive side of things as Arsenal have already tightened us as a defensive unit for most part of the season but Wilshere also said that they will create chances as well. It’s a mouthwatering match to look forward too.

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Last year, the Gunners went into this game on the back of an embarrassing FA Cup exit to Championship side Blackburn at the Emirates but this season they are going into it on the back of an amazing, spirited victory against Liverpool in the same competition so there’s no doubt that they will be fully motivated to make this match a good battle to witness. The 1st leg is hugely important if they are to achieve one of the greatest upsets in the Champions League history.

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FA Cup Review: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (Redemption, revenge and elation)

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It was redemption, revenge and elation for the Gunners as they knocked out the Reds from this seasons FA Cup. After that 5-1 humiliation, it was important for Arsenal to show the right attitude and mentality and they showed exactly that as even with a weakened team they were able to beat Liverpool’s strongest side 2-1 at the Emirates.

The game started with a couple of scares from Daniel Sturridge but his shots were blocked by the Arsenal keeper Fabianski. We got see the senior team debut of Arsenal’s new young striker Yaya Sanogo and he did extremely well considering it was his very first start for the Gunners against a strong team like Liverpool. He gave it his all. In fact, the whole team played with the attitude of winning at any cost. Sanogo’s blocked shot was netted it in on rebound by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to give Arsenal the lead at half-time. The Gunners started the 2nd half with blistering pace and Ozil’s magical pass helped Oxlade-Chamberlain to move past Liverpool’s defense and Podolski finished it with an intense strike. A sense of revenge spread around the Emirates Stadium as the fans were starting to believe in their team again following a couple of bad results. Although, Liverpool were able to get one goal back through a Steven Gerrard penalty, the Reds were not able to break Arsenal’s solid defense. Arsenal won the game 2-1 to book a place in the quarter-final of this season’s FA Cup.

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With this result, Arsenal gets back to winning ways after 2 weeks and will go into their huge Champions League knockout round clash on Wednesday night against Bayern Munich full of confidence. The Gunners will face Everton at the Emirates in the quarter-final of the FA Cup in March. 

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FA Cup Preview: Arsenal vs. Liverpool (Revenge time?)

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Will it be revenge time for Arsenal as they get ready to face Liverpool again but this time in the 5th round of the FA Cup? Only time will tell but after suffering that humiliating and demoralizing 5-1 loss last week at Anfield, the Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger have said that the first team he would want to face after such a defeat will be Liverpool and even though the Gunners have had a stalemate match against Manchester United in midweek, they now have the opportunity to avenge their loss at Anfield when the two sides meet in a blockbuster 5th round clash of the FA Cup at the Emirates Stadium.

Team news: Mathieu Flamini is back after a 3 match suspension and Santi Cazorla is out with illness.

Though both the clubs are very much in to win the Premier League this season but the FA Cup will still be their realistic chance of picking up a silverware according to most people out there. That 5-1 defeat have had a deep effect psychologically as the Gunners couldn’t produce a win against a poor Manchester United side in midweek but what they would be glad about is the fact that they didn’t conceded and were able to keep a clean sheet. Arsenal’s home form is very strong at the moment suffering just 2 defeats earlier in the season against Villa and Dortmund. Wenger would be hoping to see that form continue ahead of a run of home fixtures to come for the Gunners in all competitions. Liverpool are clear favorites ahead of this particular FA Cup tie having defeated their opponents very heavily just a week ago in the league. This is a very important match especially for Arsenal as after a defeat and a goalless draw, all Gooners around the world would be hoping to see their team get back on track with a win and continue their journey in the FA Cup.

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EPL Review: Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United (Disappointing but encouraging)

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Arsenal were held to a goalless draw at the Emirates by a Manchester United side who came to earn a point and they have got it. The fans did not quite a response from Saturday’s humiliating loss but at least the Gunners kept a clean sheet and did not lose the match.

It was a very frustrating night at the Emirates which started off with an early scare when Arteta lost the ball in midfield and Robin van Persie pounced at the opportunity but thankfully Szczesny was alert in the situation and saved us yet another bad start to a game. After that, there wasn’t any scare from United. It was a case of breaking down their defense which we couldn’t do. Olivier Giroud missed a lot of opportunities. Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey’s pace and movement was clearly missed in last night’s game. Mesut Ozil had a better game but he couldn’t get help as no one was running behind United’s defense to actually hurt them with his lethal passes. There’s nothing more to say here but it was really disappointing that we couldn’t beat United at all this season considering their awful form and what kind of teams are getting a result against them. This was our best chance to take our revenge but still we haven’t yet found the formula to beat them.

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With that result, Arsenal have now dropped 5 points in their last 2 games. Wenger’s decision of not signing a striker in the January transfer window to give cover to Giroud, Walcott and Ramsey is looking like it’s coming back to haunt us right now. Whatever the case might be, we have no other option at the moment but to support this team and push them as hard as we can so that they can at least bring home a silverware this season. They deserve a trophy that’s for sure. 

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Manchester United (Do or die)

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It’s do or die for the Gunners as well as Manchester United as they face of against each other after a terrible weekend for both the clubs. Arsenal fans would be hoping to see positive reaction following their 5-1 humiliation at Anfield and the United fans would be hoping to keep their top 4 hopes alive.

Team news: No new injuries from Saturday and Yaya Sanogo is back to the squad and available.

Arsenal could not have started their tough run of fixtures any worse than a 5-1 battering at the hands of Liverpool who were until Saturday were just fighting for a top 4 finish. Manchester United, on the other hand are having a poor poor season following the retirement of their long term manager Sir Alex Ferguson. David Moyes hasn’t been able to motivate his players the way Ferguson was able to and hence they are now 21 points behind at this stage of the season compared to last season. Manchester United has a very good record against the Gunners. In fact, Arsenal have a clear mental block against the Red Devils as well as in the big matches. The Gunners have collected only 39 points out of a possible 111 against the likes of United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool since the 09/10 season which reflects their inferiority complex in big game situations.

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But, whatever it might be, it’s a very important game for both the sides and while Wenger would be hoping to see a positive reaction from his players, Moyes too would be wanting to get another unexpected win against the North London side. Come on you Gunners.