Had we scored the third goal then it could have been a lot more comfortable but we couldn't get it. Once Brighton scored, they lifted their heads and made it a match once again. Not the best defending from Flamini and the team and we allowed them back into the game but it always felt like we had another gear to go up if we really needed it. That is exactly what we did when Rosicky, Sanchezed upon a defensive error and recovered the ball back, bursting towards the box he slipped the ball wide with the trademark Ronaldinho no look pass (how many players can I merge into Rosicky here) when Giroud chipped the ball out to the edge of the area Rosicky to erm Pires it on the volley past the keeper
t also goes to show that having two strong powerful yada yada yada 'DM's' isn't the magic stick and top hat. Our midfield were tiny in comparison to Fernando and Fernandinho, yet there was only one midfield in that match. Which brings me on nicely to Francis Coquelin. Can someone fill in the blanks for me? What happened in between the young Coquelin flying around the pitch as a teenager, filling in at full back and showing a lot of promise to all of a sudden being cast aside? The only possible explanation I can think of is that the player grew fed up of waiting and thought he had to start for Arsenal or find another club
Cazorla or Alexis to be rested, perhaps even both. Well they both started so what do I know? Although it was interesting to listen to Arsène post match talking about not wanting to rest players who were confident and in good form. Alexis being Alexis wanted to play when the opportunity of rest was offered to him. I suspect that had either Welbeck or Giroud been available then he wouldn't have had the choice. Alexis was again very good and the clear difference between the two sides. It is amazing watching him and you know he will shift the ball away from the opposition when they try and win the ball, the opposition player know it's coming also but nobody can do anything about it. There is still the touch of the Arshavin
It was a bad time to concede (as I guess all goals you let in are) because we were the better side at that point. For us to turn it around at that stage, we would have needed improvement going forward and not to make anymore defensive mistakes. Honestly, we got neither. On 56' we dropped the pistol and instead pulled out the shotgun and blew off our foot. Davis in the side in place of the suspended Schneiderlin, took down a long pass in the box superbly and cut the ball back but Debuchy had taken the sting out of the cross and would have been able to swing his left foot at the ball and clear the danger but Szczesny intervened and poked it straight to Tadic who probably couldn't believe his luck. 2-0.
Strangely enough though, I thought we had defended pretty well for the most part given the context of the game. It was our lowest amount of possession in the Premier League since August 2003. We also conceded the most amount of shots in one game since that same time period. I suppose you'd need a breakdown of where those Liverpool shots were taken to get a better idea of how we defended but we kept them down to the Philippe Coutinho strike, which was a very good goal as well I should add.
But onto the game itself it was quite strange knowing the team before the kick off, no glances at the phone to catch team news. We started quickly but were also given plenty of time to move the ball. Galatasaray's high defensive line was fun for us and suicide for them. It was relatively simple to pass through them, especially in wide positions. That was how the first goal came about. Ramsey slipping the ball in between Galatasaray players for Podolski running in from a tightish angle to lash the ball into the near post and into the roof of the net. I think lash is the perfect word for that Podolski strike. It's not the first time he has done that. He lashed one past Manuel Neuer a few seasons back at the Emirates. He has hit both the post and
It felt like we were trying to breeze through the game playing our way in second gear and it did not work in any area of the pitch. Either that we were trying to or just could not muster much more. We are now in December and chunks of our squad have missed large portions of the season. Debuchy, Koscielny, Arteta, Özil, Walcott and Giroud are all first or second (at the most) choice players and they have all been absent for significant parts of the season so far, whilst the likes of Rosicky, Campbell and Podolski do not figure in the managers plans very much these days for different reasons.
- Southampton (h) - Giroud brings back invincible memories
- West Brom (a) - Wenger's three striker system show promise
- Borussia Dortmund (h) Arsenal's new blueprint better delivered late than never
- Manchester United (h) - Same ending to a completely different movie
- Swansea City (a) Isolated Chambers, playmaking Flamini & More
- Burnley (h) Flamteta hand keys to fullbacks & Team dilemmas moving forward
- Sunderland (a) - Alexis takes centre stage and opens door for Walcott return