Good morning Positives,
After two defeats in games in which we faced difficult opponents yesterday was a game I certainly had marked down as three points to the Arsenal and so it eventually worked out. The eventually being relevant as right up to the time-added-on+ the ‘Ammers were still in the game and could have snatched the equaliser. I was surprised at the 61% v 39% possession in our favour, it looked more even to me. If we were a bit unlucky not to earn a point at the Bridge so our claret and blue visitors will feel aggrieved that all their efforts were for nought.
Of the game itself the content of the post game comments on here was accurate. I also thought it was our worst display of the three games. Defensively we were shaky and better finishing from Arnautovic could/should have embarrassed us further. The right hand side of our football team in the first half worked well going forward. If the move broke down however, with Hector upfield, there was no cover behind him and the ‘Ammers raced in on our goal. Mustafi and Sokratis were confronted with 3-4 charging opponents and the tackles and clearances looked desperate. On the other side of the pitch Nacho did not suffer the same problems. In the final third during the first half our passing was also poor, with good ball wasted. It was difficult to pick put anyone who was better or worse than anyone else, it was just below average.
If the first half was unsatisfactory the second was better. Laca’s introduction gave a definite target for the ball being passed forward and he and PEA combined far better. We seemed to get a better measure of Anderson and Antoine and, slowly, a solid grip on midfield. Our new Uruguayan’s entry on 56 minutes I thought was important in winning that midfield battle. He is very tidy. As it was the first time I had seen Torreira live I was impressed. But he is sooooo short – He really is Alan Ball/Billy Bremner size !! When our second goal came, while it was as ugly as sin, it was deserved.
After that WH scrambled to get back into it, with pressure but no real killer punch in their attacks. The introduction of Chicarito, with his blue rinse, made the work of or back two that little bit easier. The Arsenal defence did enough to fend them off. The third goal was a little cherry on Danny’s cake, the reward for effort.
Of the Ammers I thought Antoine did well, and despite some wayward finishing Arnautovic’s goal was a peach of a shot. Jack was anonymous. If I had not been looking for him I would not have noticed him. A hard Autumn beckons for Manuel Pelligrini.
So three much needed points in the bag and AFC are on the road for two interesting games in Cardiff and on Tyneside.
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past – and enjoy your Sunday…