By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal has made a few changes for this match. In the place of the injured Coquelin came Flamini. And Joel Campbell started in the place of Gibbs.
On the bench for the first time in a month we find Aaron Ramsey who was back in full training since this week. Also on the bench once again Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
The starting line up : Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Flamini, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, , Giroud
On the cold beach: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Debuchy, Ramsey, Reine-Adelaide, Chambers.
Dinamo with the first attacks and two early corners that lead to nothing. Kassai ignoring two early fouls on Alexis that even the Dinamo player acknowledges and he excuses himself. Campbell with a low cross but Cazorla shoots over from 7 meters out. Kassai ignores a third foul on an Arsenal player, a blatant push in the back of Giroud this time. As predicted. Alexis just can’t come to a shot, taking on one too many and then the rebound from Bellerin is blocked in to a corner. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
A few minutes with nothing going on from both teams till Kassai gives a free kick to Arsenal for a high foot against Cazorla. Wow. Monreal on the left with a teasing cross but just too high for Campbell and Giroud. Arsenal pressing Dinamo back around their own penalty area but all the Dinamo players are in the way of the Arsenal moves. By legal and illegal means. Even Kassai gives a few very clear and obvious fouls for Arsenal. Arsenal playing the ball in a risky way out of the own defensive and suddenly the field opens up. Flamini to Alexis on the left who looks for options in the middle and his cross finds the head of Özil! GOAL!!!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 29 minutes. A lovely placed header from the German maestro.
Arsenal keeping up the pressure and a first cross from Santi is blocked but Monreal recovers the ball, goes past a man and a low cut back to Alexis and GOAL!!!!! The little Chilean puts the ball in the net to make it 2-0 to the Arsenal after 32 minutes.
Arsenal hold back for a few minutes and then Özil goes past his man but the keeper saves for a corner. Another great attack and Monreal again with a fine cut back but Özil was just out of balance a bit and scuffed his shot and the keeper could save the low effort. No extra time at the end of the first half and Arsenal go in to the dressing room with a well deserved 2-0 advantage.
Santi with the first shot of the second half but the Dinamo keeper can save for a corner. The header from Giroud after the corner is saved just before the goal line by the keeper and a little help from a defender. A low cross from Flamini but Giroud can’t wrap his foot around the ball. Arsenal still 2-0 in front after 60 minutes.
Alexis with a nice ball to Giroud but a defender can save for a corner. A bit later Alexis to Campbell with the help from a Dinamo defender but his right foot shot goes wide. Monreal goes in like in the PL and gets a foul and a yellow card from Kassai. A counter from Arsenal after the free kick but Campbell who started the counter can’t find Giroud at the far post. A handball from a Dinamo player not seen leading to a corner. Luckily Arsenal can clear. After 66 minutes Ramsey comes on in the place of Giroud. Alexis will play as the furthest forward from now on. Ramsey on the left flank.
Campbell with a great trick to keep the ball in play and then cutting inside and a lovely defense splitting ball to Alexis who just on or offside rounds the keeper and puts the ball in the net. GOAL!!!!! 3-0 to The Arsenal after 69 minutes.
A shot from distance from Dinamo goes narrowly over. The closest Dinamo has come so far in this match. And almost the freakiest of own goals from Arsenal when Koscielny shoots the ball against another defender and it Cech has to make a great save to stop the ball from going in. To save our day the rebound is hit against the outside of the post. A narrow escape. Kassai almost stopping a Dinamo attack but they can go on with some delay, Koscielny intercepts and he tries to send Alexis away who controls the ball with his back but then can’t find a teammate. Ramsey sending Alexis away who rounds the keeper, goes down but the keeper didn’t stick out his arm to bring Alexis down so can live with the non-decision from the ref.
Dinamo thought they scored but the striker was meters offside so an easy decision to make. With 9 minutes to go Santi and Bellerin went off and Debuchy and Chambers entered the field. Let us hope that it was for a well deserved round of applause for both players and not for any injury.
Monreal send away on the left flank by Ramsey but the keeper is first to the cross before the onrushing Alexis. The field now wide open at times with lots of tired players it seems. Campbell and Ramsey switched flanks now and Campbell surely was working very hard both in attack and when defending. Alexis with a chip over the defence to Özil but this time his header with his back to the goal goes wide. That would have been some goal.
The match fizzled out in the dying minutes. Arsenal not really wanting to add to the score and Dinamo not being able to do much going forward to create danger.
A well deserved 3-0 win that could have been by a much higher score line with Arsenal being completely on top and in control for almost the entire match.