Huddersfield 1 2 Arsenal: Depleted Gunners Grab Three points

alex iwobi volley huddersfield

Despite having to cope with the absence of main players, Arsenal were still able to return from a Huddersfield visit with a much-needed victory that helped maintain their battle for a top four finish.

The man on the top 10 highest paid footballers list Mesut Ozil was out through illness, same as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Aaron Ramsey's knee problem got him excluded from the team. As for Granit Xhaka, he lacked full fitness as a result of a previous groin strain, thus, his omission.

A three-man backline of Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal was employed with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac as wing backs. We also saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan make his first appearance since December. He would later contribute to our result for the day.

One would have expected to see a stronger lineup but with the spate of injuries currently hitting Arsenal, Unai Emery was limited in the availability of resources. Nevertheless, I still felt we had the advantage over a bottom-table side that we should have bossed over. Following the game closely and critically, you would have noticed that our win was not an entertaining one. The hosts had more of the action in terms of shots, passes and overall dominance but that did not matter at the end. Did it?

In the course of our usual live match discussions in an Arsenal WhatsApp group I admin, one fan complained of how shitty we were playing even when we were up by two goals. I felt his pain and knew what he was talking about. In contrast to his view, another came up and wanted to know if he would prefer watching an entertaining game we would end up losing. Lol. Bunch of funny fellows I've got.

arsenal whatsapp group

Arsenal's first goal came from a lucky and partially technical volley from Alex Iwobi who was aided by Kolasinac's cross. It wrong-footed goalkeeper Ben Hamer having deflected off the foot of a defender.

Huddersfield were the underdogs going into the game and taking a look at their stats, one would be surprised to see how they mounted pressure on Arsenal. Their repeated crosses into our territory posed big threat to our desire for a win but thanks to Koscielny who kept them off many times.

Very close to halftime, Mkhitaryan lost the ball on a break, promptly got it retrieved and located Maitland-Niles who sent one into the box for Alexandre Lacazette to do a close-range tap in. Booooom! It was 2-0 at the break.

Creativity was missing in our team. Getting the ball out of our own territory was a pretty difficult task for us to accomplish which was poor considering we were playing a side that has managed just two wins so far in the 2018/19 season. Lacazette could not even get much of the ball upfront and this was the point I began to miss the presence of someone like Ramsey and Ozil.

Again, we failed to secure a clean sheet meaning we still maintained the stat of being the only team that has got no clean sheet away from home this season. It looked like that jinx had been broken until very late in the match when Kolasinac scored an own goal. Above all, we got the needed result.

Saturday's win keeps Arsenal in sixth place just a point behind Manchester United - like it was before yesterday's round of games. The Red Devils had won at Fulham earlier before we started ours and have moved to fourth place.

A loss for Chelsea against Manchester City tomorrow could shoot Arsenal to fifth, depending on the extent to which they lose.

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