PICTURE OF THE DAY: Sicknote Abou Diaby and others get logos for reputation at Arsenal

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PICTURE OF THE DAY: Sicknote Abou Diaby and others get logos for reputation at Arsenal.

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What a Comeback! 5-7 at the Madejski.

Reading FC  5 – 7  Arsenal FC  (Extra time)
(Capital One Cup, 4th round, 30-10-2012)

WHAT A GAME at the Madejski Stadium.
Arsenal, which played with “second team”, 4-0 down at one point. Then they pulled it back to 4-4, took the lead 5-4 at extra time, Reading got equaliser 5-5, but Arsenal finished the game with two more goals at the last minute! CRAZY GAME I’ve ever seen in a long time.

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Good things for Chamakh, Walcott, Giroud, and Arshavin. They needed those goals (and sharp performances) to recover their self-confidence. Hope the best for the Gunners. #VCC

Arsenal’s goals:
45′  Walcott
64′  Giroud
89′  Koscielny
90′  Jenkinson
103′  Chamakh
120′  Walcott
120′  Chamakh

Reading’s goals:
12′  Roberts
18′  (og) Koscielny
20′  Leigertwood
37′  Hunt
115′  Progrebnyak

(Full report, squad, pics, here)

Week 6: A Heartbreaking Display from Arsenal

Eeeghh.. I found it difficult to write an Arsenal post when Arsenal lost, at home, specifically by their town rival Chelsea 😦 But here we go..

#Highlights:

17′ Arsenal have been forced into an early change. Diaby injured himself off. The Ox came on to play on right, while Ramsey moved to central.

20′ GOAL by Torres! Mata curled the free-kick. David Luiz astonishingly left unmarked but he couldn’t reach, but the ball came to Torres. He beat Koscielny and hooked a surprising volley into the goal. Clinical finish from Torres. Bad defending from Arsenal (Koscielny’s not only to blame).

20′ Torres! 0-1

42′ GERVINHO!! It’s really a good goal. Arteta to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right and his low cross found Gervinho. He quickly controlled the ball and then swivelled to crash a shot in one movement.

42′ It’s Gervinho! 1-1

53′ Another conceded goal from set-pieces. Goal by Juan MATA (not Kos). He curled it into the bottom left corner. Koscielny’s sliding only helped in confusing Mannone, who reacted too late as the ball bounced into the net.

53′ Mata’s set-piece. 1-2

90’+1 What a miss from Giroud! Ox set Giroud with a brilliant through pass, Cech was beaten, but his finish is only into the side netting.

FT:  The full-time whistle blows. Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea. Goals from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata kept Chelsea’s unbeaten run going and ended Arsenal’s. Both of the visitor’s goals came from set pieces, and both easily could have been avoided. There’s plenty of work still to be done: finishing and set-pieces defending.

(Sorry, can’t find any good HD)

Wenger reaction as he sees a late chance missed by Giroud.

Giroud, missed a goal chance again.

#Stats:

ArsenalChelsea
Goals 12
Shots 1710
Shots on target 43
Possession 51%49%
Fouls 1414
Yellow 23
Red 00

#Player ratings (my version):

Mannone – 5
Lack of organizing the defense. On the 2nd goal, a simple yell to Koscielny to leave the ball would have sufficed, and there’s no way a keeper should let the ball come that close to him before reacting.

Jenkinson – 7
Impressive again. Jenkinson has turned into such a good right back now 🙂

Koscielny – 4.5
As a fan of Kos, I feel sorry to give him very bad rate. He just had a very bad game 😦

Vermaelen – 5
Committed an unnecessary poor foul, lead to Chelsea’s second goal. Bad defending overall.

Gibbs – 7
Great, if not fantastic. Made many tackles today. NINE!

Arteta – 7
Still maintain his consistency in term of pass success rate (93% this match). Two words for tonight: excellent and vital.

Diaby – 6
Injured at early minute. His physical absence in this game changed the game. Now Mr. Glass is out again, for three weeks minimum with a muscular thigh strain 😦

Ramsey – 5.5
Worked hard for the team. Alright in the 1st half, horrible in the 2nd.

Cazorla – 6
Missed two good chances. Plus some off-target shots. Not great today.

Gervinho – 5.5
Apart from his good goal, Gervinho was useless today. He always keeps the ball for way too much time. Predictable, wasteful and frustating.

Podolski – 5
Not involved enough. Wasted on the wings, in my opinion.

Oxlade-Chamberlain (17′) – 6
Created 1 assisst and 4 chances today. Good enough when attacking.

Giroud (67′) – 5.5
New torres, indeed. Heartbreaking shot at the last minute. Just getting 25 minutes and 1 chance though.

Walcott (67′) – 6
Didn’t do much on the right flank. But with Gervinho’s and Giroud’s performance in recent weeks, I think AW should give a chance at the CF position.

Together with Gibbs and Arteta, are the ones who could leave the game with their heads held high.

#Chelsea Players:
Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry, David Luiz (Gary Cahill 81′), Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires, John Obi Mikel, Oscar (Victor Moses 73′),  Juan Mata (Ryan Bertrand 85′), Eden Hazard, Fernando Torres.

Comments:

“I don’t think it’s something to do with the defence. It’s about an individual defensive set-up in the game which is a free kick or a corner. Today we haven’t defended well enough and we’ve conceded two goals that have cost us the game. It’s everyone’s responsibility. You can’t fault one player on that.” – Arteta.

“The players are very frustated. They have a great attitude, they are very disappointed.. I can understand that. But I think we will recover from it. It can happen in the season, but they are dissapointed because they lost a game they should not have lost. ” – Wenger.

“That is a decision which was based on the opposition we played. You can say it was a wrong one maybe, but I believe [that statement] is a lowering the quality of the players who played, they are internationals. If I do not play Koscielny or Vermaelen and cannot win the game, you will ask me the same question.” – Wenger (on leaving Mertesacker on the bench).


Recapping September’s fixtures, we did a good work and gained decent results from “deadly” matches: won from Liverpool (0-2) and Southampton (6-1), drew against Manchester City (1-1), and lost against Chelsea (1-2).

Now, winnable October’s fixtures is waiting (vs West Ham, vs Norwich, and vs QPR). We must not let the month pass without making the most of it.

Come On You Gunners!!

Week 5: Arsenal Hold Manchester City to Draw at Their Home

Week 5 (September 23rd, 2012), versus Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.
A big test for Arsenal to prove what they are all about this season.

#Highlight:

13′ Aguero’s shot on goal! Saved by Mannone!!

15′ A rapid counter attack from Arsenal. Excellent through pass from Ramsey to Gervinho…. 1 on 1 versus goalkeeper… AND… poor first touch by Gervy..  :S

27′ Another brilliant through pass from Cazorla to Gervy, but Clichy could still cut it. Almost there!

32′ Cazorla’s free kick. He shot to the right corner of the goal.. comfortably caught by Joe Hart.

40′ GOAL!!  City have taken the lead. Silva’s corner. Lescott with the goal. 1-0.

41′ City’s counter attack… Dzeko shot on goal! Tipped by Mannone.

HT:  It was a very good performance in the first half :D. We won the midfield battle, we did counter-attacks nicely, and could create some great chances. But Arsenal defences gave away a cheap corner. Bad zonal marking strategy this time.

53′ That was Aguero shoting! Blocked by Mannone.

79′ Fast counter attack from City. Aguero shot. Corner kick.

82′ Equaliser by KOSCIELNY!!  Lescott failed to clear a corner and Kos riffled cannon shot inside the box!

84′ Mannone again! Stunning save from Vincent Kompany’s overhead kick. City almost restore their lead.

89′ Glorious chance for Arsenal!! But Gerv shot it over the bar… -.-

FT:  It’s 1-1! We hold Man City to draw at their home! Excellent performance overall and nice comeback from Arsenal.
City improved in second half and very dangerous on the counter. Fortunately we had Per and Kos who were on-fire. Good defending overall by Arsenal (Bould-effect, maybe). Getting points at though place, very good result. STILL UNBEATEN!!

Koscielny celebrates his equaliser goal.

Victoria Concordia Crescit — The celebration captured Arsenal’s belief and togetherness. They wanted to make a statement. And they did.

#Stats:

Man.City Arsenal
Goals 11
Shots 1612
Shots on target 65
Saves 45
Possession 41%59%
Fouls 118
Yellow 10
Red 00
For complete stats, most shots, most passes, most interceptions, etc –> http://ladyarse.co.uk/2012/09/man-city-v-arsenal-the-stats/

#Player ratings (my version):

Mannone – 7.5
Very solid, except one little mistaken for Lescott goal. But he made a couple of crucial saves in the second half.

Jenkinson – 7.5
Solid and confident, improved a lot, and in his first real test, succeeded.

Mertesacker – 8.5
Man of the match. Made many vital interceptions (7 total). Read the game brilliantly.

BOSScielny – 8.5
Great all-round performance capped by the equalising goal. Had 6 tackles and 12 clearances.

Gibbs – 7
Another solid performance.

Arteta (c) – 7.5
Looked enjoy with his new deeper role. Kept the possession and also discipline at defence. 106 passes with 94% passing accuracy.

Diaby – 6
Good, but it was definitely not his best performance.

Cazorla – 7.5
Consistently spread magic,  linking the defence and attack perfectly. Huge signing.

Ramsey – 7.5
His first time as starter this season, excellent performance. Looks confident and very creative. Good link-up play.

Podolski – 6
Not so influental. Seldom get in to the box.

Gervinho – 6
His movement was lively, but still too individual. His decision making odd and he wasted two glorious opportunities (facepalm). Hopefully that will improve.

Giroud (71′) – 6
Walcott (71′) – 6
Coquelin (90′) –

Kos and Per, arguably the best central defenders in EPL.

Comments:
“It is [a confidence boost] because we have already been to three of the toughest places you can go to – Liverpool, Man City and Stoke – and I think we deserved to win all of them. Two of them we drew and one we won but we could have won them all easily. It shows we are doing things in the right way.” – Arteta

“It was not a miraculous point. It was a well-deserved point. We dominated the game for big parts and that must strengthen the team’s belief. Attitude and consistency will make the end result. Let’s see after 38 games.” – Wenger

“We had early chances and very late chances, especially Gervinho at the edge of the box where he missed the target. But overall I hope this will reinforce our belief and confidence and reassure us about our potential in this league.” – Wenger

“The team performed really well and everyone gave everything to come back and get a point. Every save that can help the team, I am really happy with.” – Mannone

YEAH STRONG START THIS SEASON!!
Next match (week 6): versus Chelsea at Emirates!!