Good Morning Positive Arsenal fans,
Another morning, another inquest into an away defeat against an ‘Ammers side who I anticipated would be put away with a little bit to spare. The aim was to be back on level points with Chelsea by 3pm, even in we knew the chance of Newcastle getting anything at the Bridge was remote.
We started well, had control of midfield and possession in the Ammers’ half, opened them up in the first twenty odd minutes on two occasions, but fluffed our lines. The home side got back into the contest, managed a couple of half chances themselves with Anderson v lively, and young Rice misdirecting a header from one of their many corners. The first half ended a respectable 0-0. No worries.
We switched off at the start of the second half and were punished. A poor clearance, Anderson and Nasri combine to clip the ball into the Arsenal box. Rice in three clear yards of space. No second reprieve. I hope Granit reflects carefully on his part in what proved to be the turning point of the game.
Within 30 seconds of the restart Laca bearing down on the goal only to put in another underpowered strike. And so it went on really. 40+ minutes of us trying to break into the Ammers box, with a change of personnel, with Aaron and Lucas on, and a change of formation. To be fair, for about 10 minutes of the 40 , we showed a real sense of urgency in our play to recover the deficit. After that flurry though the final 30 minutes the Ammers held us off with some ease. 2 shots on target all afternoon. Really not good enough. Of our players who emerge with a scintilla credit on a grey afternoon I would give Alex Iwobi a pat on the back as when the ball was at his feet he put the opposition on the back foot. Kolasinac did OK in working the flanks, and Leno did nothing wrong all afternoon. Ironically Leno had a quiet afternoon by our standards, away from home.
So another week off and then the mighty Chelsea roll into town. They have the advantage of being able to play for the draw and maintain their comfortable six point lead. If they were to win then six would become nine points and I suspect that the finance bods in Highbury House could start budgeting for another Europa League bonanza for the 2019-2020 season. If we were to win however the route to 4th reopens.