By Walter Broeckx
We had 3 changes from the team that started against Crystal Palace. Per Mertesacker came back in the team in the place of Gabriel.
In midfield we had Ramsey and Coquelin dropping to the bench and upfront we had Giroud and Welbeck also found a place on the bench.
Starting team: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Elneny, Iwobi, Ozil,Alexis, Giroud.
On the bench: Ospina, Gabriel, Chambers, Coquelin, Campbell, Walcott, Welbeck.
The match started on a rather slow tempo but the first acceleration was good enough. Ramsey to Alexis who turned around his man and his low shot from outside the penalty area found the bottom corner. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 6 minutes. Good advantage given by Moss by the way as there was a possible foul on Alexis when he turned the defender.
The next attack and almost another goal. Iwobi to Monreal on the overlap who gave it to Özil but a defender blocking the shot. The ball ended in front of Ramsey but his volley went wide. Arsenal trying to score a second goal but no real goal chances for the moment. Still 1-0 after 15 minutes.
A good one two beteween Bellerin and Alexis who flicked the ball back with a backheel but the shot from Bellerin went wide and over. Then a very soft foul given against Koscielny leading to the first WBA attacks resulting in a few corners and Alexis kicking the ball against his own hand but luckily Moss sees nothing wrong. Another corner is headed against the crossbar. Nobody followed the run of McAuley from Arsenal. Still 1-0 after 30 minutes.
A good combination between Bellerin and Giroud but again the shot from Bellerin goes over. Arsenal then have a free kick that results in some pressure that ends with a shot from Özil that slips through the hands of the keeper but a defender on the line can prevent the second Arsenal goal. Ramsey gets fouled just outside the penalty area and Arsenal get a free kick. The wall with Giroud and Per in it and Özil and Alexis behind the ball. And the latter shoots the ball in the gap that was opened up by Per and Giroud and the WBA keeper was stranded. GOAL! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 38 minutes.
Giroud puts the ball in the net but he was correctly called back for offside when he got the ball and the whistle had already gone. McAuley gets a yellow card for pulling Giroud back to prevent him chasing a long ball. Özil with some magic dribbling on the right flank ending with a cross to Monreal but the Spanish left back cannot not reach the ball. Özil going in strong after WBA going in strong against Giroud. A bit of fight in him… Arsenal lead 2-0 after 45 minutes.
A first low shot from Giroud but a comfortable save from the keeper. Berahino trips himself but the assistant signals a foul for WBA but luckily the free kick is cleared. Sanchez almost with a shooting chance but he slipped and then had to settle for a cross that went wide. Özil got a little knock when trying to be on the end of that cross but seems to be able to continue. Ramsey with a good tackle to stop a possible WBA attack on the flank. Moss now really only seeing it one way for a few minutes…Arsenal players not allowed to come near WBA players. Iwobi with a dribble and going down in the penalty area but Moss sees nothing. There was a little kick just under the knee… Still 2-0 after 60 minutes.
Elneny goes down in the penalty area but Moss again sees no foul, again there was a foul but just outside but as I said Moss being a bit blind it seems. Giroud almost at the end of a corner but his shot was blocked and then Moss made an end to the attack by calling an Arsenal foul.
Iwobi setting up a good attack over Giroud and Alexis but the keeper can save the effort from Özil. Seconds later a defender blocks a shot from Özil in to a corner. And Iwobi has a shot but straight at the keeper. Another good attack over Özil and Iwobi but Ramsey doubts between a shot and a cross and it comes to nothing. WBA get a corner and everybody misses the ball and Rondon cannot put it over the line. WBA get a free kick because…. they are not Arsenal but Arsenal can clear. Still 2-0 after 75 minutes.
Iwobi steals the ball but then wants to do too much himself and loses the ball as others were in space. Moss continues to only see one team making fouls….If it wouldn’t be so sad, it could be funny…. Surprise after 80 minutes he does give a foul to Arsenal…. sarcastic cheer from the crowd. With 10 minutes to go Coquelin comes on for Iwobi.
Ramsey tries to penetrate in the WBA penalty area but with lots of pinballs WBA can clear. Moss now even giving another foul to Arsenal… Theo and Campbell come on after 85 minutes and Alexis and Özil go off. Theo with pass to Campbell but he drags his shot wide. A good start. Campbell to Giroud and he shoots but Forster saves with his head. Another good combination with Campbell but Giroud cannot make proper contact with the low cross. Moss continues to blow whenever an Arsenal player is near to a WBA player.
In the end a fairly comfortable win from Arsenal helped a lot with the early goal of course. Arsenal win 2-0 and that should and could have been a higher score when we look at the chances we had.