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UCL Review: Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal (A perfect response)

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It was a perfect response to last weekends demoralizing defeat to Stoke City as Arsenal ended their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign with a 4-1 win over Galatasaray in Turkey. This victory helped the Gunners to finish level on points with Dortmund although the German side won the group on goal difference.

It was a great night for both Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey as they both scored a brace each. Podolski’s 2nd minute left footed strike was bettered by Ramsey’s long range left footed screamer. Ramsey’s goal was probably the best goal of the season so far and it was a treat to watch that goal.

Arsene Wenger must be very relieved after seeing his team respond in such a grand fashion. It’s just about keeping this spirit together from now onward and move forward.

UCL Review: Anderlecht 1-2 Arsenal (A last minute birthday gift for the boss)

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It was a last minute birthday gift for Arsene Wenger as his side scored twice in the the final few minutes of the game to beat Belgian side Anderlecht in a must win away UCL group game.

It was a frustrating night for the Gunners as they still can’t get into their normal rhythm and understanding. Arsenal were the clear favorites heading into the game but the Arsenal fans knew that with their side witnessing only their 2nd ever worst season under Arsene Wenger knew that Anderlecht wouldn’t get a better chance to achieve an upset and the Belgian side were on course to achieving that status when Najar scored a brilliant headed goal to give Anderlecht the lead but with just 5 minutes remaining in the game, Calum Chambers created a monumental cross which was sent home by Kieren Gibbs to make it 1-1. But, the night ended in a shocking way as despite their poor showing it was Arsenal who grabbed victory through a late Lukas Podolski winner to give the Gunners a vital away Champions League win which helped Arsenal to stay on course for qualification into the knockout rounds.

UCL Preview: Arsenal vs. Besiktas (A match of epic proportions)

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After that grueling 2-2 draw against Everton at the weekend, Arsenal will next host Besiktas in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League playoffs. The Gunners were very fortunate to keep a clean sheet in Istanbul but that doesn’t make them qualify for the biggest competition in football today. For them to qualify for the 17th consecutive time for the UEFA Champions League they must beat the Turkish side at their home. 

TEAM NEWS: Olivier Giroud is out for 3 months with an ankle ligament damage, Arteta is out and Gibbs is also out till the next internationals. Ramsey is out because of suspension. Lukas Podolski is in the squad.

With 4 key players out, the task for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League main draw becomes that much difficult. 3 games into the season, they have hardly impressed anybody with their football on the pitch and with just 6 days left for the transfer window to shut, the Gunners aren’t doing anything in the market either. Therefore, Arsenal must dig deep and try to grind out a result anyway possible. We all know, how important it is for the club to be in the Champions League every season, so the pressure is very much on the shoulders of everybody in and around the football club. On the other hand, Besiktas has nothing to lose, they will come and try to frustrate the Gunners as much as possible. Big time players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez must prove their worth in this game.

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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 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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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. 

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 Review: Arsenal 4-0 Coventry City (Deadly Podolski sends us through)

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Deadly Lukas Podolski helped Arsenal to cruise through to the 5th round of the FA Cup after a convincing 4-0 win against Coventry City. Podolski’s first half brace and Santi and Giroud’s cameo at the end have booked a place for Arsenal in the hat for the 5th round draw of the FA Cup.

It was a chilly night with rain pouring over the Emirates Stadium but it took just about 13 minutes for the Gunners to open their scoring as Lukas Podolski netted home a brilliant left footed finish through a delightful assist from Mesut Ozil. Some 15 minutes later, it was Podolski again who scored but this time through a header from a corner kick. Coventry did had a chance but it was saved brilliantly by Fabianski. Arsenal took  their feet off the paddle a little bit in the second half as Coventry had a more productive spell in front of Arsenal’s goal but couldn’t convert the chances that were gifted to them. At the end, it was the super substitutes Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud who gets the job done for the Gunners with their cool and calm finishes. Arsenal won the tie 4-0.

It was another clean sheet victory for the already impressive defense of Arsenal. Last season, Arsenal bowed out of the FA Cup in the 5th round at the hands of Blackburn so they must be ready and focused if they don’t want to repeat that again this season.

FA Cup Preview: Arsenal vs. Coventry City (A Friday night delight)

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It’s a rare Friday night delight for Arsenal fans as the Gunners will play their first Friday night match after nearly a decade against Coventry City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Team news: Nicklas Bendtner is back while Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta are still out.

Arsenal will look forward to continue their chase for a cup double this season by winning against Coventry City in the FA Cup. The Gunners beat their North London rivals Tottenham pretty convincingly in the previous round and since then they have won both of their league games and are now sitting at the top of the Barclays Premier League. So, they will try to continue their winning momentum as a good run in the cup is very crucial for the confidence inside the squad. Wenger is happy to have Nicklas Bendtner back after 2 weeks out through injury which he suffered on New Years’ Day immediately after scoring the late opening goal against Cardiff City. We can expect a mixture of both youth and experience in the starting XI for this match. Wenger reminded the media that Arsenal haven’t forgotten last season’s FA Cup exit at this same round against Blackburn and hence will be doubly focused on getting the job done this time around.

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