Arsenal have sealed their qualification into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League for the 15th consecutive year after an impressive and controlled 2-0 win against the German giants Borussia Dortmund.
It was a much effective and controlled performance from the Gunners after last weekends miserable defeat at home to Manchester United. The whole team defended as a team and attacked as a unit which had been lacking from the team so far this season. Arsenal went 1-0 up in the 2nd minute of the game through a goal from the returning Yaya Sanogo and after that it was all about keeping focus and not let the other team comeback. Arsenal doubled their lead in the second half through an extraordinary goal from the man himself Alexis Sanchez. The men in red & white won the game 2-0 and cut the gap to just 2 points to Dortmund heading into the final group game against Galatasaray in Turkey.
After ending their 9 year trophy drought and making significant progress both on and off the pitch in the summer, the boys in red & white are ready to do it again in the new 2014/2015 league season.
This time, the pre-season fixture list was very limited due to the FIFA World Cup but the players had 4 games to get back to being somewhat ready for what will be another tough league campaign.
First up was a trip to Boreham Wood where the boss game many of our youth players a chance to show their skills. The first half was pretty uneventful but the young Gunners like Olsson and Afobe stepped up in the second period to win the game for Arsenal 2-0.
Next up was a historic match as Arsenal went on a long trip to the United States of America to play their first game there after 2 decades. But, the match wasn’t that pretty on the eyes as the game was hardly exciting and the Gunners lost 1-0 due to a defensive error and New York Red Bull’s Wright-Phillips won the game for them. Former Gunner, Thierry Henry received tremendous love from both sets of fans.
Next stop was the very serious and hard working pre-season tournament i.e The Emirates Cup where Arsenal were on show for 2 days back to back against Benfica and AS Monaco respectively. The first game was very exciting as one Yaya Sanogo not only scored his first goal since joining the Gunners last season but he scored a total of 4 times to win the game 5-1 for Arsenal. World Cup star Joel Campbell also made his official debut for Arsenal after a couple of successful seasons abroad on loan. Joel showed why he was so dangerous for Costa Rica in the World Cup with a beautiful left footed strike which impressed us all.
The final game of the Emirates was very disappointing as Arsenal looked second best in almost every aspect of the game to AS Monaco. Monaco was one step ahead in every position and won the game 1-0 through a brilliant headed goal from Falcao.
So, although the Gunners won their first game 5-1, they ended up losing the Emirates Cup because of their performance against AS Monaco. Spanish side Valencia won the 2014 Emirates Cup after a 2-2 draw against AS Monaco and a win against Benfica.
As you can see from the above writing that Arsenal had very limited amount of games to prepare for the upcoming season but some players especially the younger one’s showed the boss that they have the skills and the quality to be a future star for Arsenal Football Club.
Next stop for the Gunners is a trip to Wembley to face the reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City in the FA Community Shield. Many people says that it’s another glorified pre-season friendly match but I’d like to think of it as a competitive game where there’s a legit silverware at stake. Both teams fought very hard to play this game as only the league and FA Cup Champions have the rights to contest for this trophy and with Manchester City and Arsenal winning the league and the FA Cup respectively last season, they will be hungry to make a serious statement by winning this year’s FA Community Shield.