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EPL Preview: Arsenal vs. Liverpool (Let’s focus on bigger and better things)

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Yes folks, Arsenal needs to move on from Tuesday night’s defeat in the Capital One Cup against Chelsea and focus on bigger and better things as they prepare for a top of the table clash against Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League. 

It’s going to be a test of character for Wenger’s men after losing their last 2 games at home soil. Arsenal are on a fine run in the English Premier League as they are currently sitting at the top with 7 wins in their opening 9 games while Liverpool are also having a flying start to the season and are currently third in the league. 

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It’s going to be Arsenal’s star studded midfield vs. Liverpool’s superb strike force as Liverpool currently has the most lethal striking force with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge firing on all cylinders whereas Arsenal has the most attractive looking midfield in the whole of the English Premier League with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere etc. are all fit and ready to shine in their red & white colors. 

This game is hugely important to Arsenal because after losing 2 back to back games against the bigger teams in successive weeks, the North London side would be wanting to eliminate their so-called “Big game curse” by defeating the reds. On the other hand, Liverpool would also want to prove a point that they are finally capable of challenging for the league title after 2 long decades of disappointment. All of the above points makes this match a mouth watering prospect so there’s nothing else to say from me other than come on you Gunners. 

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UCL Review: Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund (Immature performance from the boys)

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It was an immature performance from the boys as we lost a very important home game against last years Champions League runner-up Borussia Dortmund 2-1. The Gunners never looked like themselves from the get go and gave Dortmund too much respect in the early stages. Although we grew more and more as the game progressed but small details decides game at this level and a team like Dortmund can punish you for even the smallest of mistakes and the Gunners were punished for going for the win too much at the end and left themselves totally exposed at the back which enabled Dortmund to get a phenomenal away win.

It was a very passive performance from Arsenal. They players didn’t worked hard enough off the ball and looked a bit off for a large part of the game. Ramsey was punished for his dangerous play on the edge of the penalty area as Mkhitaryan gave Dortmund the lead after stealing the ball from an arrogant Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the penalty area. The Gunners came back to make it 1-1 just before half-time when Giroud made most of the Dortmund keeper’s keeping howler but that didn’t went on to give the Gunners an edge as they played passively in the start of the second half as well. In the final 30 minutes, Arsenal went for a winner when Jack Wilshere was subbed off for Santi Cazorla. Cazorla nearly gave the Gunners the lead when he hit the bar but the boys were punished at the end as they left completely exposed at the back and Dortmund’s one clinical counter-attacking movement was enough for their star striker Lewandowski to give the men in yellow a vital win away from home. 

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The group of death has become deadly after that loss as 3 teams in the group are currently with the same number of points after this many games and Arsenal will now need to get a result away from home in order to get out of this tough group safely.

EPL Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal (Play like the league leaders)

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The order for the day will be to play like the league leaders as current Barclays Premier League table toppers Arsenal visits the Hawthorns on Sunday in the Premier League. Arsenal are fresh off from their 10th consecutive win of the season in mid-week when they defeated the Italian powerhouse Napoli 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium. West Brom are also playing with confidence at the moment as they shockingly beat Manchester United last week at the Old Trafford so this match is proving to be another tough away fixture for the Gunners.

Team news: Sagna is out for three weeks with a Hamstring injury. Other than that no fresh injuries from the mid-week game.

This match is the final match before another 2 weeks of International break so the Gunners must keep up the momentum in order to stay at the top after the break. Arsenal must not get carried away and they must play like the league leaders now. They have fought very hard to be in this position, faced lots of criticism after the opening game but the mental strength with which they overcame those odds must not die because to be the champions, a team has to put in their 100% effort every week and that’s what we want to see from our team. 

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UCL Review: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (Rampant, stunning and dominant)

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Before the game, most of the pundits said that this particular Champions League group stage game against Napoli is Arsenal’s toughest test yet and the Gunners have passed it with flying colors as Arsenal beat Napoli 2-0 in a dominant performance at the Emirates Stadium. This match celebrated Arsene Wenger’s 17 years in charge of Arsenal and his boys made him smile widely after a very long time by putting on a flawless show against the Italian giants.

Arsenal were rampant, stunning as well as dominant in the first half. They absolutely stunned Napoli with their pace and fluidity and it was our record signing Mesut Ozil who proved to be the man for the big occasions as he scored his debut goal for the club in style when Ramsey assisted him from the right wing. Ozil then went onto to do his regular job by giving another assist which Giroud finished with ease. The Gunners applied a different tactic in the second half by absorbing the oppositions pressure and our defense did their job very well and were awarded for their efforts as they got their first clean-sheet since the North London Derby win a month ago. With 2 wins out of 2 in the “Group of death”, the Gunners are now sitting comfortably at the top with 6 points ahead of last years runner-up Dortmund who are 2nd with 3 points. 

Next up for the Gunners is West Bromwich Albion away in the Premier League.

EPL Preview: Swansea vs. Arsenal (Must carry on the momentum)

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Games are coming thick and fast now and after 8 consecutive wins, it’s time now for the Gunners to carry on the momentum when they go to the Liberty Stadium this weekend in the Barclays Premier League.

Since that opening day loss to Aston Villa, Arsenal have really shown their strong character and mental strength and have been able to surpass all our expectations by winning all their next 8 games on the trot. The team has to cope with criticisms as well as injuries but they have stood up and made themselves proud. The question now is that can this team continue for what will be a tough campaign ahead with 2 games per week. Good news is that players like Arteta an Vermaelen have come back and lasted more than 90 minutes in the mid-week win against West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the Capital One Cup. They now travel to play a good Swansea side who themselves are on a pretty good run registering wins against reputed Spanish club Valencia 4-0 in the Europa League and a well deserved 2-2 draw in the league against Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. 

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So, after a week’s rest, players like Giroud, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Flamini etc. will come back to join the squad hoping to extend Arsenal’s winning run against an in-form Swansea side to maintain their top of the table status in the English Premier League.

EPL Review: Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal (The Özil effect)

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Yes folks, our record signing Mesut Özil made an instant impact in the English Premier League as he registered his first assist in the greatest league in the world and it took just 10 minutes to achieve that. Arsenal made a blistering start and had a perfect first half against Sunderland. Giroud continued his high flying form in front of goal when he coolly finished Özil’s killer pass from the left wing. It was an honor to watch our new signing play. Özil continued to give key passes but it was an off day for Theo Walcott who couldn’t finish the most easiest of chances. We should have been 3-0 up at half-time but because of Theo’s misses it was only 1-0 which give Sunderland the opportunity to regroup in the second half which they did and even equalized at the start of the second half when Koscielny brought down a Sunderland man inside the box and their player Gardner scored the penalty to make it 1-1. But, at the end it was the mental strength of Arsenal which proved too much for Sunderland as our in-form midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored a brace in quick succession to give Wenger’s team all 3 points and take the Gunners to the top of the table. 

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However, there were a couple of bad news on the injury front as Santi Cazorla missed his first match in about 2 years after suffering an ankle injury prior to the game which forced Arsene to start Özil. Wenger confirmed that Cazorla will be out for a month and there was one more bad news when Giroud was left lying on the pitch towards the end of the game with a knee injury but it was encouraging to see that his injury wasn’t a major one and the striker himself confirmed it by tweeting after the match that his knee is fine and there’s no need to worry.

Next up for the Gunners is the start of the UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in France against Marseille. Till then… 

EPL Review: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (The game is decided by points not pounds)

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Yes folks!! North London is still red & white as Arsenal beat their arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur by 1-0 at the Emirates. It was an end to end game, hyped by Tottenham’s big spending this summer but the game is decided by points not pounds where Arsenal excelled. Tottenham had spent a total of 107+ million pounds in this summer transfer window reinvesting the money from the Bale transfer to Real Madrid but the players they brought in are all foreign players without much knowledge of not only the English game but also of the North London Derby. On the other hand, Arsenal still has the same starting eleven of last season and are completely settled and united.

Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game when he brilliantly timed his run for a tap in of Walcott’s assist. Arsenal played a brilliant counter-attacking game. Tottenham had more of the possession but Arsenal were clinical in front of goal. Both halves were full of passion and excitement as one would expect from a match of this magnitude. Usually, North London Derbies are quite high scoring and is the most “goal fest” guaranteed fixture in the Barclays Premier League but last night was a bit different as we saw the determination, fighting character and spirit of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. 

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With just 24 hours to go until the transfer window closes, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has hinted at one or two surprises which can excite us the Arsenal fans…

Wenger in his post-match press conference said, 

“We need one or two super players. Maybe in 24 hours we can surprise you!” – Arsenal.com

UCL Play-off Preview: Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce (Agg: 3-0, Finish the job)

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After back to back victories in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and in the English Premier League, the Gunners will now look to secure their place in this seasons Champions League group stage when they face Turkish giants Fenebahce in the 2nd leg at the Emirates. Arsenal are already 3-0 up after their impressive showing last week in Istanbul. The Gunners are now flying high and playing with much more maturity and composure compared to their opening league defeat to Aston Villa.

Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger said that there will be no new signings before this game and added that he would not rest any key players for this game as this game is vital for our season and that the team wants to finish the job at the Emirates. 

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With just a week left in the summer transfer window, Arsenal must strengthen their side because in my opinion to compete at the highest level, a team needs to have great quality and depth in their squad which Arsenal is lacking at the moment even though we do have the best first 11 in the league right now. Maybe, Wenger is waiting for the group stage qualification to convince our targets that Arsenal are a top side. Let’s hope the team does the job in a professional manner and moves forward. 

EPL Review: Fulham 1-3 Arsenal (First 3 points of the season secured)

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After last Saturday’s poor showing, the Gunners rectified their mistakes and put on another brilliant away performance in the space of just 3 days as they defeated their London rivals Fulham by 3 goals to 1 in a rainy Saturday afternoon. The win gives us our first 3 points of the season and after this win Arsenal also became the first ever London club to register 100 London Derby wins in English Premier League history.

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Olivier Giroud continued his hot steak in front of goal when he beautifully finished a left footed effort in the 14th minute of the game which puts the Gunners a goal up. Arsenal dominated most of the game, pressing high up the pitch and their counter-attacking in this particular match was top notch. Podolski then puts the Gunners on the driving seat when he clinically finished Theo’s rebound shot from the edge of the penalty area. In the second half just like the first, Arsenal controlled the pace of the game although Fulham upped their game little bit but Podolski sealed the first 3 points of the season for Arsenal when he fired in his second goal through his deadly left foot. Jack Wilshere also made his 100th appearance for Arsenal when he came off the bench in the second half.

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This win was vital as after last Saturday’s dismal showing, the players stepped up their game and produced couple of great performances this week. With just 8 days left in the transfer window, it’s now time for the boss to do his job and secure a few quality signings so that Arsenal can be able to compete on all fronts this season.

UCL Play-off Review: Fenerbahce 0-3 Arsenal (That’s more like it)

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After all the doom and gloom, blaming him, blaming her, bitching about this and that guy, the Gunners have stabled the ship as they put on a brilliant display to convincingly beat the Turkish giants Fenerbahce 3-0 at their own ground. 

After last Saturday’s horrible league opening match defeat to Aston Villa, Arsenal Football Club came under a lot of criticism by the media as well as by its own fans but the players showed great spirit and character to play their hearts out and answer their critics by putting up a great performance on the football pitch which they did throughout the 90 minutes. Nobody saw it coming including myself. We actually controlled the whole game from the start to the finish. We created a lot of chances in the first half but the final ball was missing. We rectified that problem in the second half and took advantage of every single opportunity that came our way. Gibbs opened the scoring when he finished Walcott’s calm and collective pass from the right then the ever increasing confidence of one Aaron Ramsey got even more confidence boost when he scored a superb right footed goal from outside the penalty area. And then the hot scoring streak of Olivier Giroud continued as he calmly finished a penalty which was awarded to us in the 77th minute when Walcott was brought down inside the box by a Fenerbahce defender. Those 3 away goals meant a lot to Arsenal especially after Saturday’s defeat as those 3 goals should be enough to give us a group stage entry into the UEFA Champions League. But, there’s still another leg left in this tie so unless Fenerbahce can pull of the miracle of miracles, Arsenal’s place in this season’s Champions League group stage draw is all but confirmed. 

That win stables the ship and if the guys finish the job next week, then the board will also be awarded with another 30 million pounds to add to their already huge cash reserve which can prove vital in order for Arsene Wenger to bring in a few quality players before the transfer window closes on September the 2nd.