Monthly Archives: March 2014

EPL Review: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City (Pride restored)

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Arsenal restored some pride after 2 disappointing results as they managed to earn a 1-1 draw against the Premier League’s most dangerous club at the moment along with Liverpool, Manchester City.

Wenger called for a solid defensive performance and although they started the game better defensively, one lost ball in the midfield led to a City opener. However, Arsenal unlike at Stamford Bridge fought hard to keep their shape and kept pushing for an equalizer before half-time. They got their equalizer earlier in the second half through a well crafted goal from Mathieu Flamini. The Gunners had the golden chance to take the lead but Manchester City’s keeper Joe Hart pulled off a brilliant safe and denied Lukas Podolski. 

With this result, Arsenal have restored some pride and can now concentrate on finishing the season on a positive note and focus on winning the FA Cup.

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Manchester City (Save some pride)

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It’s time for Arsenal Football Club to save some pride on the back of two very disappointing results which resulted in an end of their title challenge. But, they can’t keep themselves down because there are still 8 games left to play plus the FA Cup semi-final next month so they must take last weeks disappointments in the chin and try to keep moving forward. Having said that, they will have another tough test, this time against a high flying City side who are fresh from beating their neighbors at Old Trafford and completing the league double against the red side of Manchester. 

Arsenal have 5 key players out and that has played a big part in their bad form as well but they have to live with that and try to dig out results with the limited resources that they possesses. Wenger has called for a top defensive performance from his players against Manchester City and I hope they turn up this time around. 

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EPL Review: Arsenal 2-2 Swansea City (Hopeless, Gutless and Spineless)

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It was yet another hopeless, gutless and spineless performance from the team as they slipped up even more after suffering a disappointing 2-2 draw against relegation battling side Swansea City Tuesday night in the Barclays Premier League.

Wenger and the fans wanted a response from the players after that 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea last Saturday but they got anything but a response as the players looked scared and had a very slow approach from the kick-off. Although they played a lot of passes, it was Swansea who got the lead in their 1st attempt on goal through an effective header from Wilfried Bony. That also couldn’t motivate the team to push forward and play with a bit more hunger. That signals the fact that these players are mentally fragile and lacks the character and spirit when it comes to the games that really matter. Arsenal started playing after the 70th minute. Only after the introduction of Podolski, the Gunners were able to somewhat threaten Swansea’s resolute defense. A moment of quick change in pace from Gibbs allowed him to give a decent cross to Podolski who finished it off in style. That goal was followed by another brilliant cross from the goalscorer Podolski to Giroud who had the easiest job of tapping it in the net and he did that in fine fashion. After that, the Gunners paid the price for being too conservative and gave away their narrow lead when a chance created by Swansea bounced off Szczesny’s legs onto Flamini and then found the back of the net to give Swansea a much needed point for their Premier League survival hopes. 

With this result, Arsenal’s slim chances of winning the title had vanished and they are back into a fight to finish in the top 4 with Everton and Spurs breathing down their necks. It’s Deja Vu all over again for Wenger’s men and Arsenal Football Club as their season once again have fallen apart after staying on top of the league for the majority part of the season.

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Swansea City (Play for pride please)

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After embarrassing themselves as well as the manager on his 1000th game in charge, the Arsenal players would like to play for pride against Swansea at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night in the Barclays Premier League. Arsenal have already thrown away the title with that humiliating 6-0 loss at the weekend away at Stamford Bridge so except for the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley they have nothing to play for in the league. Their job will once again be to secure a top 4 finish. 

Rumors that Arsene Wenger was close to tears after that 6-0 loss at the teams dressing room. He didn’t deserved that humiliation and the players instead of lecturing on BBC prior to the game of how they wants to do this and that for the manager should have looked to do the business on the pitch which they clearly didn’t do. It’s a massive problem. Losing 6-3, 5-1 and now 6-0 against their direct rivals in one season is just unacceptable and embarrassing. 

The league is gone so Arsenal now have no option than to build momentum ahead of the huge FA Cup semi-final tie against Wigan at Wembley next month.

EPL Review: Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal (The players have let Wenger down)

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The players had let their manager, Arsene Wenger down on his 1000th game in charge as the Arsenal manager. It was another gutless, spineless and shambolic performance against a top 3 side. This result proves the fact that Arsenal don’t learn from their mistakes in the past. It’s the third time this season that they have been thrashed and humiliated by a top 3 side and all the games were early kick-offs. 

Jose Mourinho once again showed that he is one of the best when it comes to the tactical side of the game while Wenger exposed that he doesn’t know how to win the games that matter. Prior to the game, all the talk was about Wenger’s 1000th game, the players also lectured about what they wants to do for the man who gave them a chance to play for Arsenal but all those words vanished as soon as the referee started the game. Arsenal’s defending was shambolic, it was like they were still in their bed, nobody looked interested and that’s very worrying because of what this game meant to the fans as well as the manager. This game was Arsenal’s chance to get right back to the title race but once again the sides “mental block” against their direct rivals got exposed as they conceded 2 goals inside 7 minutes through cracking goals from Eto’o and Schurlle. The disinterested Gunners also went down to 10 men after Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball inside the penalty area but the referee sent Gibbs off instead of Alex due to misindentification. The game was over after that as Hazard slotted in the penalty to give Chelsea a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes. Oscar made it 4-0 just before half-time. It was a walk in the park for the Blues. Arsenal did looked a bit solid defensively in the 2nd half after the introduction of Flamini but they still conceded 2 more goals from Oscar and Salah and managed to suffer another huge 6-0 defeat away against a top 3 side. 

Arsene Wenger didn’t deserved to suffer this humiliation on his 1000th game but he has also been at fault for the Gunners poor showing against the bigger sides and he must take responsibility for not strengthening his side in January when he had the likes of Walcott and Ramsey out through injury. This club says that they have the money and that they can now compete against the top clubs but that doesn’t reflect the performances on the pitch. Arsenal are still miles off from the top clubs when it comes to their performances on the pitch because at the end of the day that’s where a club is judged. 

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EPL Preview: Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Mourinho’s unbeaten streak vs. Wenger’s 1000)

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It’s a milestone weekend for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as he prepares to manage his 1000th game as the Arsenal manager against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge in the Barclays Premier League. It has been a monumental career for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and he has no intentions to quit just yet as his side looks to grab hold of some silverware after a long barren run of 8 years. 

Team news: Rosicky is a doubt but the rest should be available.

It’s a huge game for both the clubs as fans will get answers to many questions after this game is all set and done. Arsenal have made a remarkable comeback into the title picture after last week’s hard fought win over their North London rivals Tottenham while Chelsea are somewhat shaken after a shocking 1-0 defeat away at Aston Villa which saw them go down to 9 men with 2 red cards and their boss Jose Mourinho getting banned from touchline for the big London Derby. Although Chelsea would be missing two of their key players in Willian and Ramirez, they would still feel confident because of the overwhelming and dominating statistics which Mourinho has against Wenger. Mourinho has never lost to Arsene Wenger while managing Chelsea and Chelsea have been super strong at home this season. Arsene Wenger hasn’t yet found the formula to beat Jose Mourinho and after last month’s disrespectful “Specialist in failure” comment from Jose, Arsene will be looking to prove a point as he take in charge of his 1000th game as the Arsenal manager. Come on you Reds!!

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EPL Review: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Arsenal (We did the treble against the Spuds)

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Arsenal have done the treble against their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur after achieving a 1-0 win away at White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League. It was a game which the Gunners had to win and they did just that.

The game started off with a bang as Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky scored a wonderful top quality goal in the opening two minutes to give the lead to Wenger’s men. The Gunners had more chances from counter-attacks in the first 30 minutes but couldn’t convert them and had to then hold on for a 1-0 lead at half-time. Tottenham Hotspur were the better side offensively in the second half and Arsenal were lucky a couple of times when Szczesny’s howler almost cost them the lead but after that their defense kept themselves strong and resilient and at the held on to the narrow lead to get the maximum points and crush Tottenham’s dreams of finishing in the top 4 this season.

With that result, Arsenal have bounced back brilliantly from the disappointment away at Stoke City a couple of weeks ago and have marked a remarkable comeback in the title race.

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EPL Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (NLD – Part: 3, Can we do the triple?)

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Can the Gunners do a rare triple against their North London neighbors this season? That question will be wandering in the minds of all the Gooners this Sunday as Arsenal travels to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League.

Team news: Aaron Ramsey is out, Gibbs is a doubt but Monreal and Kallstrom are back and available.

Arsenal haven’t won at White Hart Lane for a few years now. Last year, they suffered a 2-1 defeat there which diminished their chances of finishing in top 4 but they made a massive comeback and again managed to finish above Spurs by winning on the last day of last season. Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has never finished below Tottenham since taking over his job at Arsenal. However this season, things are rather different as Arsenal are fighting for the title while Spurs are trying to finish in the top 4. Tottenham are struggling at the moment and are coming into this derby game on the back of two humiliating defeats against Chelsea and Benfica. On the other hand, Arsenal are quite healthy results wise as they have not only managed to book a semi-final spot in the FA Cup but have also saved their pride by getting a 1-1 draw away at Allianz Arena against the best team on the planet i.e Bayern Munich. But, form goes out the window on Derby Days and hence we can expect another feisty collision between the two clubs when the two lock horns this weekend in the English Premier League. Come on you Reds!!

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UCL Review: Bayern Munich 1-1 Arsenal (Aggregate: 3-1, Gunners go out fighting)

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Gunners went out of this seasons UEFA Champions League after a 3-1 aggregate loss to the defending Champions Bayern Munich but Wenger’s men put up a brave performance in the 2nd leg and managed to achieve a 1-1 draw away at the Allianz Arena. Arsenal fans can be proud of that. 

The game started with Bayern pressing up the pitch, not allowing the Gunners to string a few passes together in the midfield but Arsenal too kept themselves defensively strong and didn’t allowed Bayern to catch them on the break or get a silly goal. Arsenal had a couple of corners but couldn’t take advantage of those as a result the score at half-time stayed at 0-0. Mesut Ozil was brought off for Rosicky in the second half after injuring his hamstring which could keep him out for at least 3 weeks which is another set-back for Arsenal Football Club. Rosicky gave Bayern a tough time and to be honest, Arsenal were far better than Bayern in the second half although they got the lead through a rare defensive mistake by the Gunners which Schweinsteiger scored. But, soon after Bayern got the lead, Arsenal made it 1-1 through a cracking left footed goal from Lukas Podolski. The Gunners had about 30 minutes to score another 2 goals which would have been enough to get through to the quarter-finals but they couldn’t find that extra gear in the final third. Bayern earned themselves a late penalty through a humiliating dive from Arjen Robben, Robben was diving in the entire match and he finally managed to catch the attention of the referee but Arsenal’s Fabianski managed to pull off a great save and managed to keep the score on the night at 1-1. Fabianski deserved that save for his top notch performance in both the legs. 

With that result, Arsenal bow out of the Champions League and they can now focus on the Premier League and the FA Cup. 

UCL Preview: Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal (Aggregate: 0-2, Just go for it)

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After booking a ticket to Wembley last weekend in the FA Cup, Arsenal will now travel to the daunting Allianz Arena in Munich to face the defending European champions Bayern Munich. The sides met last month at the Emirates and although the Gunners were on top for the opening 30 minutes but in the end the red card to Szczesny and the 1 man advantage for the Germans allowed them to win 2-0. The amount of margin is similar to last season and if Arsenal can emulate last year’s performance at the Allianz then they might push this tie into extra-time. 

Team news: Gibbs and Koscielny are doubts.

The pressure should be on Bayern as they are the defending champions and Arsenal have nothing to lose. Nobody expects them to turn this tie around so Wenger would be telling his players to just go out there and enjoy themselves and the rest will be decided by the almighty. The team are high on spirits after reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup so they can go to Bayern full of positive energy and hunger to turn things around. On the other hand, Bayern are a different outfit this season, they are more stronger and focused then last season and they will look to not repeat last years mistakes in the 2nd leg against the men in red & white. Come on you Reds!!

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