By Walter Broeckx
As Ospina had a little injury from the Bayern game when the assistant missed a blatant offside and he had to go out to the corner flag to prevent another Bayern goal we got Cech for this match in goal from the start.
On left back we had Gibbs who came in for Monreal.
For the rest an almost unchanged team from the Bayern match.
No Welbeck amongst the subs but Iwobi seemed to have recovered from his midweek illness.
Arsenal : Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Xhaka, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Giroud.
On the beach: Martinez, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Iwobi, Ozil, Lucas
Licoln with a rather furious start as the nose from Mustafi could feel. Alexis losing the ball, winning it back, losing it again. We need some extra focus against the high aggressive pressure from Lincoln. Arnold plants his studs on the ankle from Alexis. Bellerin with a low cross to Ramsey but his shot went a few meters wide. Arsenal get a corner and the ball ends up in front of Walcott whose shot is diverted on to the post by the keeper and the rebound is cleared for a corner. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Arsenal now pushing Lincoln back but they defend well and in numbers and the passing has to be better. Xhaka goes in the book for a foul on Rhead. The result of another not precise enough pass and Xhaka having to dive in to win the ball back. Özil standing ready after 25 minutes and The Ox who has been invisible most of the time seems to have some kind of trouble. The Ox goes straight in the tunnel so an injury. Or sick? First substitution after 247 minutes. Lincoln then with a first real chance as Arnold goes past a few players but Cech can palm it away. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Alexis with a cross and Walcott with the shot but in the middle of the goal and an easy pick for the goalkeeper. Taylor stopping a good pass from Özil. And then letting a foul on Alexis go. Taylor then giving a yellow card against Kos when a Lincoln player runs in to his back? Taylor really being the usual himself against Arsenal. Rhead stopping a quick restart but not the mandatory yellow card this time from the ref. Ref the laws are the laws and not because they are a lower league side they should be treated differently. A cross from Bellerin hits an arm but I think the ref was right to give nothing. A clash of heads sees Giroud going down but he looks okay after a bit of treatment. An obstruction foul on Bellerin then not even called by Taylor. Ramsey with a curling effort but he misses the target. A cross from Özil almost finds the back of the net but the keeper can claw it out of this goal. The next corner is taken and after a combination between Gibbs and Walcott, the latter sees his shot slightly diverted and end up in the back of the net. GOAL 1-0 after 45 minutes.
Walcott with a cross but Ramsey against shoots over rather wild. We are playing 6 minutes of injury time for two head injuries and one other injury. Lincoln players can commit rough fouls but no yellow cards from Taylor. Arsenal go in at half time with a 1-0 lead. I’m expecting Taylor to try to send off Xhaka or Koscielny in the second half. ( 😉 )
Woodyard finally going in the book for a wild challenge on Gibbs. Arsenal with some early pressure but Alexis his header was not powerful enough and then a shot from Özil was diverted wide. Giroud with a low shot and a fine save from the keeper, the rebound fell for Walcott who passed it back in front of the goal towards Gibbs who headed over. Arsenal now really pushing for that second goal and cutting Lincoln open but the final ball missing. But then a combination between Walcott and Alexis set up Bellerin and he cut it back in front of the feet of Giroud who made no mistake this time. GOAL 2-0 after 53 minutes.
Another cross from Gibbs this time finds Walcott but he can’t direct his header. Seconds later Bellerin places a shot just wide. Alexis plays in Gibbs whose low cross is put in the goal by a Lincoln defender. Özil was waiting behind the defender to put it over the line. OwnGOAL! 3-0 after 60 58 minutes.
After the goal the Lincoln keeper needs a bit of treatment. Coquelin comes in for Xhaka. Maybe more to do with the yellow card than with his performance I think. 3-0 after 60 minutes.
Margetts with a wild challenge on Gibbs sees him getting a yellow card. Arsenal don’t really seems to be in the mood to really make it a high score. Giroud goes off and Lucas comes on after 65 minutes. Alexis with a cross to Özil but he heads the ball over. Arsenal now pressing on Lincoln but the visitors keep on running as much as they can and show a great fighting spirit. Alexis then with a solo effort and his curling shot from well outside the penalty area finds the back of the net. GOAL!!! 4-0 after 73 minutes.
Özil with strong challenge on our own corner flag. And Taylor lets it go. Lincoln then can’t get the ball out of their own penalty area and finally Alexis finds Ramsey at the far post who keeps very calm and rounds the keeper to put the ball over the line. GOAL!! 5-0 after 75 minutes.
Lincoln get a free kick but the shot goes over. A bit later Cech even have to make a save on a curling shot. His second stop of the match if I remember correct. Walcott almost forces another own goal on a low cross but the ball goes for a corner. From that corner Ramsey tries to set a teammate instead of heading towards goal. Lucas and Alexis take turns on shots but defenders in the way. Özil sees his legs almost chopped off and Ragget gets a yellow card. Alexis with the free kick and it crashes against the crossbar. The Ramsey rebound is put wide somehow by a defender. Walcott just can’t find Ramsey with the next cross. And from the resulting corner Walcott’s shot goes wide. Lucas then tries a shot from a difficult angle after a short corner but it goes over the side line.
Arsenal being a bit nice to Lincoln at times with the finishing. No extra time says Taylor who must be very hurt with that scoreline I think.
Arsenal was the perfect host for the national league team. We didn’t want to make them feel bad at half time so we started a bit slowly but then in the second half we just ran away from them and made it a one sided contest with the 5-0 score as a result. It could have been much more but we didn’t really wanted to spoil the trip from Lincoln to London. Arsenal is a nice friendly club.
On we go, up to Wembley for the semi final!