New Chapter: Arsenal Recover From Anfield Hangover

New Chapter: Arsenal Recover From Anfield Hangover

It was indeed a Happy New Year for the Gunners who began another chapter with a bang. With the disastrous and catastrophic experience away at Anfield last Saturday still in sight, Unai Emery’s men were able to bounce and respond with a comfortable win which had lots of goals. One more goal and they would have inflicted the exact pain suffered in the hands of Liverpool. Aside being a positive response after the ruthless bashing offered us by Jurgen Klopp and his men, it was also a nice farewell for our departed former Chairman Peter Hill-Wood for whom a one-minute silence was observed before the main business of the day began.

Following our biggest loss of the season, Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang redeemed us by contributing a goal each to give us all three points against a Fulham side that got humiliated by us on their own ground in the first half of the season. It was 5-1 then and 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium today.

The zeal and commitment in the Arsenal players was understandable. They needed to make a statement to at least avert the pressure they faced from the media few days back and their fine start did not take long before yielding results. Xhaka came close moments from kick-off and even though the away side got two attempts through Ryan Sessegnon, it was Arsenal that still opened scoring. Alex Iwobi’s cross was well controlled and sent past Sergio Rico. The job was done by the man known for hitting shots from outside the box. This time, the Swiss international (Xhaka) needed just a tap-in to record his third for the season.

The opener surely instilled high spirits in the Red and White Army. Matteo Guendouzi, Lacazette, Aubameyang and Xhaka all had their chances before the break but the score remained 1-0 by halftime and Arsenal had another first half lead in the Premier League having either been on level terms or on the losing side at this point in majority of their games in the ongoing campaign.

A pull-back from Sead Kolasinac after a session of nice pass work from Iwobi and Auba gave the hosts the double and it was Lacazette’s composed finish that made this a reality. We got threatened with a goal from Kamara and just needed to step up which was what we did.

Next was a Ramsey goal gotten after Aubameyang’s shot hit the woodwork, then followed another, a deflected shot by Auba to make it four and end the day on a superb note. The scorer of the third had barely spent five minutes on the pitch following his substitute appearance when he sent one into the net. As for Auba who wears the number 14 jersey, it was his 14th league goal of the 2018/19 season.

We got victory but the defensive concerns still remain. The way Sessegnon penetrated in quick succession when we played a back three of Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi and the threats from the visitors when we reverted to a back four in the second half goes a long way to prove that. Our record at the back has been so poor. Just 3 clean sheets in a whopping 21 league games calls for worry. Something has to be done as soon as possible. Thank goodness the transfer window is officially open.

The New Year party was not marred. We remain on fifth spot two points behind Chelsea who have a game in hand. We will continue our season with a visit to Blackpool to kick-off pour FA Cup campaign in the third round. We defeated them in the EFL Cup not too long ago. Let’s do it again. We can!

Post a Comment