By Walter Broeckx
We had 3 changes in the final leauge match of the season. Gabriel came in the place of Koscielny in the centre of the defence. Aaron Ramsey was given a rest and Coquelin came in his place in midfield. Up front Walcott came in the place and Giroud was on the bench. So Jack would be at the centre of the attack as Jack Wilshere continued to play and made his 100th league appearance. And on the bench we had the return of Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The starting team : Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Walcott
On the bench: Szczesny, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Starting Theo paid off as within minutes he scored the opening goal. I would have loved to talk you through it but my stream went down just before and it only recovred after the last replay seeing the ball in the net. Oh well, I will take it anyhow. 1-0 to the Arsenal after 4 minutes. Edited later on: Theo got the ball, made some room for himself in the penalty area on the right hand side and then just hit it hard and clean in the opposite top corner. What a strike! What a finish!
Alexis with a low shot but this time the keeper could stop the effort. Arsenal keeping up the pressure and when another attack finished in front of Walcott he dribbled his way pas the last defenderd and poked it in the goal. 2-0 after 14 minutes! Both goals from Theo the new central striker! Theo going to the physio who had worked with him to make him fit again.
A corner from Arsenal after Theo again making a good run but the ball was cleared but it went to Gabriel who passed it on to Wilshere who volleyed it in from on the edge of the penalty area with a lovely volley just under the crossbar. What a goal! 3-0 to the Arsenal after 18 minutes. And just as Theo so did Jack and went over to the physio to celebrate the goal with him. What a way to celebrate your 100th league match.
Another fine attack from Arsenal starting with Wilshere intercepting the ball, to Alexis who gave it to Theo but this time the keeper could turn the shot away. Arsenal really treating their supporters so far. Alexis then again feeding Wilshere but his low shot was straight at the Myhill this time.
A foul on Cazorla just outside the penalty area near the corner flag gave Özil a free kick chance. He gave it to the unrushing Mertesacker but his shot was held by Myhill. A bit later a distance shot from Cazorla that was diverted in to a corner. Özil again with a great ball to Walcott who passed it back to Alexis but his shot was blocked by a defender and seconds alter Walcott with a too poke but it was too weak and Myhill could catch the ball.
This seemed a bit too much for nr. 25 of WBA who made sure that his shoulder went in to the face of Coquelin. Ref ignored it. Wilshere then with another attack going through the middle after a fine 1-2 with Alexis, the ball going to Cazorla who passed it to the far post and Walcott was there to tap in his hattrick. 4-0 after 37 minutes.
Özil with a great defensive action to stop a possible WBA shot and “lazy” Özil setting up Theo at the other and but Myhill could palm his low shot out of the goal. Ref then inventing a foul in favour of WBA a few meters outside the Arsenal penalty area and the shot took a deflection but Ospina could smother the shot. Özil at the other end with yet another brillant pass but for once Cazorla his techique let him down and the ball went out for a goal kick. Seconds later again Wilshere after a great attack but the goal bound shot was diverted by a defender.
4-0 at half time after a real masterclass by Arsenal with Theo showing his finishing ability when completely fit.
Bellerin got a yellow card when he came in too late on Morrison near the corner flag. But the resulting free kick was flicked very wide by WBA skipper Olson. Be careful Hector don’t get a second card!
Özil with a great dummy after a pass from Alexis but Walcott couldn’t get to the ball that ran out. Coquelin with a great ball to Bellerin and then he tried a volley bit it got a touch from a defender. Cazorla got the ball tried a curler that was palmed out by Myhill and Walcott couldn’t get his leg aroung the ball to make his fourth goal.
My stream then went down and I just saw a replay of a headed goal after a corner for WBA. Ospina didn’t get to the ball in time and was beaten. 4-1 after 57 minutes.
Arsenal no longer running riot as in the first half but a lovely turn from Özil got him some space but Theo just couldn’t reach his cross. WBA being a bit more adeventerous but not really much danger came from it. Ramsey and Giroud making themselves ready and they came in the place of Coquelin and Theo Walcott after 68 minutes. A big round of applaus for both players going off.
Gibbs seemingly suffering from his left shoulder but game continued and Alexis had a low shot saved by Myhill. The rain was coming down now at the Emirates. Alexis being just that little bit unlucky with his actions that just wouldn’t come off. Brunt on the other side with a shot that was well saved by Ospina and the rebound was shot over by Gardner. With 15 minutes to go Wilshere came off and Oxlade-Chamberlain came on after his injury for the first time. Great to see him back!
Arsenal now with no defensive midfielder any more so it was down to the midfielders to be disciplined when it came to defending. Özil setting up Ramsey with a shot from just inside the penalty area but it cannoned off the post with a big bang. And hardly a minute later Ramsey again with a great shot but this time Myhill could get a hand to it and it ended up against the post again. Unlucky! And again a minute later Ramsey with shot that went wide this time.
At the other end a low shot from Baird but Ospinae could stop it in two attempts.
The match was slowly nearing the end with both teams trying to add a goal but you could see a few legs getting tired. Dawson with a good block on Oxlade-Chamberlain and at the other side Ospina almost spilled a shot from Gardner but luckily for the keeper it bounced up on the crossbar in to a corner.
Arsenal ran riot in the first half then relaxed a bit in the second half but they could have scored a few more goals in the second half but the goal posts wouldn’t want to know anything about that. Theo went back on the field to collect the ball after his fine performance. 4-1 the final score. Arsenal finishes in 3rd position in the league and that looked completely impossible for the non believers during the first half of the season.
Up to next week. Up to Wembley. Up to the Emirates!