Monthly Archives: April 2014

EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (Let’s get the job done)

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After seeing Everton drop more points at the weekend against Southampton, the Gunners have a chance to seal the 4th spot if they get a win against Newcastle United on Monday night at the Emirates Stadium.

 

Last two seasons, Arsenal have had to seal the 4th spot in the last day of the season so this season they will hope to at least improve on that by sealing that a few weeks before the campaign ends. Arsenal are fresh off from beating their FA Cup final opponents Hull City 3-0 where their star partnership of Ramsey and Ozil made a return to action and instantly everyone related with the club found out exactly what they had been missing for the last 3 months. Lukas Podolski has also been proving how effective his finishing really is by netting 4 goals in Arsenal’s last 2 games.

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EPL Review: Hull City 0-3 Arsenal (Finally a good win after a long time)

EPL Review: Hull City 0-3 Arsenal (Finally a good win after a long time).

EPL Review: Hull City 0-3 Arsenal (Finally a good win after a long time)

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Finally a good win after a long time for Arsenal as they thrashed their FA Cup final opponents Hull City 3-0 at the KC Stadium to maintain a point lead over Everton in the race for a top 4 finish this season in the Barclays Premier League.

 

The match started slowly and it got a bit rough in the opening 20 minutes as Mikel Arteta lost a tooth due to a hard collision and Shane Long also bleeded. But, Mesut Ozil’s comeback to the team has helped the Gunners to find some of their early season magic as he and Aaron Ramsey’s devastating combination worked again and Ramsey got his first goal since his return. Lukas Podolski continued his goal scoring form as he found the net for the 3rd time this week and gave Wenger’s team a 2-0 lead at half-time. 54 minutes into the game, Podolski found the net once again which earned him his second brace this week. Arsenal won the game quite convincingly at the end by 3 goals to nil. 

 

This was Arsenal’s first convincing win since the end of February and the result was a vital one considering the fact that Everton later on went on to beat Manchester United at the Goodison Park to keep up with Arsenal for that illusive Champion’s League 4th spot.

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EPL Preview: Hull City vs. Arsenal (A dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final)

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It’s time for the dress rehearsal of the upcoming FA Cup final as Arsenal travels to the KC Stadium to face Hull City in the Premier League.

Team news: Mesut Ozil is back after a hamstring injury.

It’s advantage Arsenal in the race for a top 4 finish after Everton’s loss at home to Crystal Palace in midweek. But, the season is far from over and there’s a few tricky games left for the Gunners to clinch that 4th spot away from the Toffees. Everton manager, Roberto Martinez said that Arsenal will drop points thus hoping to put pressure on Wenger’s men. But, Wenger is confident of a strong finish to the season after having a couple of his key players back like Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil. However, Arsenal’s record in recent away early kick-off games has been far from convincing so they will need to sort that out if they are aiming to get the maximum points from this particular fixture.

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EPL Review: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United (A win after a month)

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Arsenal registered their first league game win after a month against West Ham United in a nervy London derby. After falling short in the title race and getting back in a dog fight with Everton for that 4th spot, Arsenal really needed a win in this one and they did achieve that at the end through goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

The game started rather slowly which was expected after Arsenal’s penalty shootout win in the FA Cup at the weekend. It took some time for the players to find their rhythm. West Ham took advantage of the Gunners slow start and took the lead through an opportunistic header by Jarvis. But, immediately after that goal, Wenger’s men showed some character and got back into the game through a well worked move from Santi Cazorla which was finished in superb fashion by Lukas Podolski to tie the match at 1-1 at half-time. After about 53 minutes, the Gunners took the lead through Olivier Giroud’s fantastic goal. Giroud has been getting a lot of stick lately so to score a beautiful goal like that would give him a lot of confidence boost for the upcoming games. The match was then wrapped up after the introduction of Aaron Ramsey whose brilliant headed assist was stormed into the net once again by Lukas Podolski. Arsenal won the game 3-1 and with that they moved up to 4th in the table by a point having played a game more than their rivals for that final Champions League spot, Everton.

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EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. West Ham United (A must win derby game)

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After the dramatic penalty shootout win in the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan, Arsenal now will look to get back on track in the Premier League where they are in a dog fight with Everton for that 4th spot in the table. 

Team news: Rosicky, Koscielny will have tests prior to the game. Chamberlain, Podolski and Monreal are also doubts for this derby match.

Everton had won their game last weekend which saw them leapfrog Arsenal. After falling behind in the title race after suffering massive defeats against the top teams, Arsenal would now hope to end the season on a high by finishing not only in the top 4 but also lifting their first trophy in 9 years i.e the FA Cup. Wenger has demanded the Gunners to be consistent until the end of the season. Arsenal’s recent performances had been rather lethargic and although they have a lot of key players out injured, they must find something within themselves to once again achieve a top 4 finish under the management of Arsene Wenger.

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FA Cup Review: Arsenal 1-1 Wigan Athletic (Gunners win 4-2 on penalties, emotional roller-coaster)

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It was an emotional roller-coaster for all the Arsenal fans as their side came back from 1-0 down to win the tie 4-2 on penalties to reach their first FA Cup final since 2005. 

Arsenal weren’t at their best. The lack of confidence and belief was clearly visible in the players and Wigan dented that belief even more when they won a penalty after 60 minutes. Per Mertesacker’s poor tackle lead to a penalty which was scored in outstanding fashion by Gomez. It seemed like Arsenal would once again get knocked out and their 9 years trophy drought will continue to extend but with 14 minutes left in normal time, Per Mertesacker made up for his mistake and scored a header to level up the game at 1-1. The match went to extra-time and finished 1-1. Then came the lottery and the drama of the penalty shootouts. With Arsenal’s lack of belief, Wigan were the side which had the upper hand psychologically but thanks to Lukasz Fabianski’s superb double save at the start of the shootout, the Gunners were able to finish their attempts in a calm and composed manner. The winning penalty was taken by Santi Cazorla.

Arsenal didn’t played their brand of beautiful football but after beating top clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton in the previous rounds, they very much deserve to reach the final of the FA Cup this season where they await the winner from the Sheffield United vs. Hull City semi-final clash.

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FA Cup Preview: Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic (A season saver)

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After weeks of disappointments and exits from the Champions League and the Premier League title race, Arsenal will hope to save their season by lifting the FA Cup and ending their 9 years long trophy drought. But, it’s easier said than done as they will face the defending champions who not only beat Manchester City last year at Wembley to lift the title but also knocked them out at the Etihad in the previous round to set up this clash.

Arsenal are walking wounded at the moment because of their manager Arsene Wenger’s mismanagement in the January Transfer Window and they will be without few of their star players like Ozil, Flamini, Wilshere etc. for this season saving match. On the other hand, Wigan will get confidence from Everton’s unbelievable 3-0 win over Arsenal and will try to replicate the same this Saturday at Wembley. They can also take confidence from the fact that Arsenal haven’t yet registered a win at the new Wembley stadium. 

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This is a make or break game for Arsenal and a match they simply have to win not only to save their season but also to save some pride. Come on Arsenal.

EPL Review: Everton 3-0 Arsenal (Embarrassing)

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Arsenal have hit a new low this season as they got thrashed 3-0 by a superb, hungry Everton side. Since February, the Gunners had been struggling and are consistently getting battered away from home and after the thrashings at City, Liverpool and Chelsea, they now have suffered yet another humiliating defeat this time against a rejuvenated Everton side.

Everton dominated the whole game and looked hungrier. They had an added impetus as a win here would leave them just a point behind Wenger’s men and they took that opportunity with open arms and gave Arsenal another battering away from home. The Arsenal players looked disinterested once again and their manager had a look of resignation on his face. That’s a very disturbing picture to witness as the Gunners have a very big match this weekend against Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Everton won the match through goals from Naismith, Lukaku and a Mikel Arteta own goal. It was a pathetic display from Arsenal. It seems like that they never ever learn from their mistakes in the past. The manager too lacks tactical knowledge. He puts out the same strategy in every match. That to me, is very disappointing. This Arsenal team can get away with narrow wins against the lower table sides but when they steps onto the pitch against the big boys, Wenger’s lack of tactical knowledge gets exposed. 

These are worrying times for the entire club and if they fail to win the FA Cup in May, then all hell will break lose.

EPL Preview: Everton vs. Arsenal (Battle for 4th place begins)

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The race for a top 4 finish begins as Arsenal travels to the Goodison Park to face an in-form Everton side. According to the Arsenal manager, the Gunners have turned a corner against Manchester City last weekend in which they showed a spirited performance and were able to held on to a draw against the most dangerous side in the league at this moment along with Liverpool.

Team news: Aaron Ramsey is back to the squad after being left on the sidelines for more than 3 months through injury. Nacho Monreal is available as well. 

Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season and being on top of the table for 4 months had fizzled out since February due to injuries to 5 of their key players as well as their lack of action in the summer as well as in the January transfer window. But, the season is still very much alive for them as they not only have to secure a top 4 finish but also try to end their 9 year trophy drought this season by lifting the FA Cup in May. It’s easier said than done though as they will be facing an in-form Everton side completely rejuvenated under their new manager Roberto Martinez.

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