By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal to start this match against Viking: Ospina, Debuchy, Bielik, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Cazorla, Walcott, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Subs: Cech, Martinez, Holding, Iwobi, Monreal, Bellerin, Adelaide, Akpom, Zelalem, Willock.
Despite Walcott saying he sees his future on the flank he starts in the centre of the attack in the first half. Gabriel with his first start and partnered with Bielik in the centre of the defence. With the second match just 48 hours away against Man City also no Alexis, Xhaka and Ramsey in the team or with the subs for this match.
Lots of Arsenal supporters in the stands judging on the many red shirts I can see. Our Sandinavian supporters loving this visit it seems.
A first fluent attack from Arsenal and Cazoral gives it to The Ox who flicks it on to Debuchy who is pulled back and the ref points to the spot. Cazorla behind the ball but the keeper saves his effort. Too close to the middle and the keeper guessed the right corner. We just aren’t used to get any penalties any more. From the follow up Cazorla gets kicked and is in pain. But he can carry on it seems.
Arsenal push Viking back against their own penalty area. A shot from Santi is blocked by a defender. Gabriel was fouled then but the ref ignored it and Viking with a first attack but Gibbs can clear for a corner. The corner is headed over. Viking with a few corners putting some pressure on Arsenal now.
Elneny with a nice pass to the Ox who goes to the goal line and pulls it back to Walcott but a defender can block his host. Corner from Campbell and free header from Elneny but a great save from the Norwegian keeper called Austbe again. Cazorla with a cross to Gibbs who heads it on to Walcott but again the keeper has a hand on the ball and takes the chance away. Cazorla with a cross but Campbeel heads wide.
Note to the Arsenal reporters: when an attacker puts himself in front of the keeper to stop a long kick he makes a foul. The fact that he put himself and steadied himself in front to Ospina looking at the keeper is the clue. The ref should give a free kick then and even a yellow card. Meanwhile putting the Ox on the left and Campbell mostly on the right didn’t work too well for me. But who am I. Arsenal well in control and pushing forward but not as many chances as in the first 15 minutes. Arsenal with another corner from Cazorla to Elneny who heads it on and Campbell makes sure and puts it over the line. GOAL 0-1 to The Arsenal after 34 minutes. Second time that Elneny got a free header after a corner.
Viking then gets a free kick after Santi overdid it a bit after bringing down a high ball but then spilled it and Elneny had to make a foul. But the free kick ends up as a throw in for Arsenal. Bielik with a little slip gives the ball away but he can recover and win the ball back. Ospina has to catch a diverted shot in a rather awkward way but gets away with it and without injury as he was falling down on his back over a Viking player. Arsenal with a long ball from Cazorla to Walcott but the keeper stopped his low shot. Arsenal counter but Walcott with a poor ball to The Ox and the chance is lost. Santi with some lovely balls changing the play from left to right. Arsenal go in with a 0-1 advantage and that should have been more but the Viking keeper was having a great evening so far.
Holding, Adelaide and Iwobi came on for Coquelin, The Ox and Gabriel and Adelaide was almost first on the ball from a backpass but the keeper could clear. Santi with a volley that went just wide. Santi with another great ball but Walcott under pressure and maybe fouled couldn’t get the ball under control. But it was only a matter of time as Theo played the ball to Santi who was in some space and from some 20 meters out he burried with a fierce shot from his left foot. GOAL! 0-2 to Arsenal after 50 minutes.
Arsenal continued to push forward and Campbell with a pass to Walcott in the middle and Theo put the ball in goal with a low shot. GOAL! 0-3 to The Arsenal after 53 minutes.
And it still wasn’t finished. Santi with a great ball to Campbell and a defender under pressure from Iwobi put the ball in his own goal. GOAL! 0-4 after 55 minutes.
Another fine combination from Arsenal started by Santi to Iwobi who gave it to Campbell who buried it with a thumping shot. GOAL! 0-5 to The Arsenal after 59 minutes.
Campbell to Debuchy but a defender could save his shot in a corner. Iwobi with a shot but over. Well they can’t all end up in goals….Santi with another great ball but the keeper can smother the effort from Theo who could only poke it. Walcott with a shot from distance but the ball curls just over.
Bellerin, Monreal, Akpom, Willock and Zelalem came on after 69 minutes. Gibbs, Theo, Campbell, Elneny and Debuchy went off.
Zelalem intercepts the ball and gives it to Santi who rolls it on in the path of Iwobi who makes no mistake. GOAL 0-6 to The Arsenal after 71 minutes.
Santi going in the book after a late challenge. What a match our little magician was having…. and one can only imagine what he have been missing last season. And then to think that Wenger thinks he will only hit top form at the end of the month…. Adelaide giving the ball to Iwobi who cuts inside and then shoots his second goal in from the goal post. GOAL! 0-7 to The Arsenal after 80 minutes.
Viking then with a shot that went over after a low cross. Adelaide again with a good interception to Iwobi who pulls it back to Akpom but he can’t beat the keeper with his two efforts. Excellent saves from the keeper. Bellerin with a fierce shot from distance and the keeper can’t hold on to the shot and Akpom on hand to put the ball over the line this time. GOAL! 0-8 to The Arsenal after 89 minutes.
And that was the final score. The Santi Cazorla show made Arsenal win this match with an amazing 0-8 scoreline. All the Viking players wanted his shirt it seemed…. OOOOHHHH Santi Cazorlaaa