By Walter Broeckx
A few changes compared to the last match against Newcastle that seems an eternity away.
Per Mertesacker returns to the team and Hector Bellerin comes in at right back and Chambers joins Gabriel on the bench. More upfront Özil comes back in the team and Welbeck who was a doubt goes to the bench.
On the bench we see a new face. Macey comes in the place of Szczesny who has a rib injury.
The Arsenal team that started this match was: Opsina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. And sitting behind Wenger waiting to come on we have: Macey, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Walcott, Rosicky, Welbeck.
Mignolet having to make a early save on a low shot from Cazorla showing how Arsenal started this match completely in control in the first minutes. Not a minute later some high pressure paying off but Ramsey his left foot schot was again saved by Mignolet. The following corner resulted in another and a possible handball from a Liverpool player in the penalty area but the ref just gave a corner. Giroud then being called back for offside when again the high pressure paid off and that was a close but correct decision. Arsenal completely in control in the first 15 minutes but nothing to show on it on the scoreboard.
Only after that the first real attack from Liverpool was seen but Koscielny was on hand to block the possible danger. And a minute later suddenly Markovic was alone on goal but his pass to Sterling was too hard. A real let off. Arsenal a bit less fluent in this part of the match. A sloppy pass leading to Sterling having another shot that went wide. The first 15 minutes were excellent but the next not that good and Liverpool looking the more dangerous in this part of the match.
But gradually Arsenal took the match back in control. And after 36 minutes Özil crossed it wide to Ramsey on the right wing and he gave it to Bellerin who cut inside his man and in the penalty area and with an excellent low left footed shot found the far corner past Mignolet. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
And hardly a Sakho then with a hack on Özil causing a foul some 5 meters outside the Liverpool penalty area. Alexis and Özil behind the ball and it was the latter that curled the ball in the same corner as Bellerin had done. Mignolet expected the shot in the other corner I think. 2-0 to the Arsenal after 38 minutes.
Another Özil pass causing Toure to give away a corner that was headed wide by Giroud. Ospina showing was was well awake in the last minute to intercept a dangerous ball. Bellerin intercepted a ball and gave it to Ramsey who spread it further to Alexis who cut in from the lef and his fearce shot went in under the crossbar. 3-0 to the Arsenal after 45 minutes. What a first half apart from some 10 minutes where we suddenly lost our fluency but apart from that a great performance from Arsenal.
Emre Can with a dangerous tackle that coudl have earned him a yellow card and then shouting at the ref did give him the card. Koscielny had to come off then early in the second half and Gabriel took his place. An injury to an Arsenal player. From the resulting free kick Emre Can was holding Giroud like a wrestler but the ref just awarded a corner. Giroud then with a hard low shot but straight at the keeper. A few minutes later a hanging cross from Özil was headed towards goal but Mignolet prevented another goal for Arsenal with a great stop.
On the other side Ospina having to make a good stop after 56 minutes on a low shot from Emre Can. Ramsey then looking in some pain after he seemed to have twisted his ankle. And he came off and Flamini came on. The second player to go off with what looks like an injury. Arsenal had to reorganise a bit as Ramsey had played up front most of the time and Flamini would sit deeper in midfield one could expect. Cazorla seemingly the man to go a bit more upfield. Flamini imediately getting away with putting his foot on a Liverpool player.
Arsenal dropped back and gave Liverpool the ball more. Sterling trying to dive for a penalty but even this was a bridge too far for Taylor. Bellerin then getting a yellow card for pulling Sterling back. Taylor then becoming Taylor when allowing a few Liverpool fouls without blowing the whistle.
Özil then being replaced by Welbeck with some 72 minutes to go. And Sterling going down again gave Taylor the chance to blow a penalty for Liverpool. Ospina just couldn’t stop the effort from Henderson. He had a hand to it but nothing more. 3-1 after 75 minutes.
Welbeck away on the left after being released by Giroud but the angle was too difficult and Mignolet could stop the effort. Taylor then being completely Taylor when two Liverpool players clashed, he did nothing but when Welbeck opened op the field he suddenly called play back. Emre Can then being stupid with a two footed clamp around Welbeck and he got his second yellow card. This was even a bridge too far for Taylor.
A few Arsenal players then running too much with the ball and forgetting the easy option at times and thus wasting good opportunities to start a good counter. Welbeck almost on the end of a cross then but he was under severe pressure and couldn’t a shot in. A great combination on the left between Monreal and Welbeck ending up with a shot from Cazorla that hit the outside of the post.
4 minutes of extra time gave Taylor and that was ideal for Giroud to continue his battle with Alexis on scoring goals. Alexis gave him the ball back after Giroud won the header, a nice cut inside and a great thundering shot ended up behind Mignolet. 4-1 to the Arsenal after 91 minutes.
Welbeck almost with the chance to make a fifth but his shot went wide. Then Welbeck being called back for offside and it wasn’t but hell what the heck. We won from Liverpool. 4-1. What a result!
And again when Arsenal Belgium is there we win with a high score. One goal for each of our members who was there. Oh, and a happy birthday to you Sam! What a way to celebrate it with a win like that.