By Walter Broeckx
A few changes as one could expect but maybe not the changes one expected.
Per Mertesacker comes back in the team in the place of Koscielny and so Gabriel stays in the team. I wonder if it has something to do with the tendonitis that Koscielny has and that maybe makes it difficult for him to play 3 matches in one week? In midfield Rosicky comes in the place of Oxlade-Chamberlain also maybe because he just recovered from injury. Coquelin could start after he had his nose broken last match.
On the bench also a few changes as Szczesny was ill and Monreal also has a little back problem.
This gave to the following team at the start: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Rosicky, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. The subs were : Martinez, Koscielny, Chambers, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Welbeck
First Arsenal attack and the assistant has already a mistake as Coquelin with a mask was onside. Qpr with the long ball game from the start and trying to pressure Arsenal from the start. Zamora planting his elbow in the face of Gibbs without a foul being called. And another mistake from the ref when he doesn’t give Arsenal a corner. 11 minutes in the match and the ref not really up to it. Arsenal finding it difficult to string some passes together under the early QPR pressure. Sandro going in hard and late on Coquelin but no card from the ref. Apart from the ref being lenient a bit not much to report on the football front in the First 15 minutes.
Arsenal not finding much fluency on the narrow pitch and QPR just throwing the ball forward in the hope something happens. After 22 minutes a First shooting chance for Giroud but the keeper can save his low shot. Arsenal then finally finding some room to play the ball over the gound. I then missed a bit but when another streamed worked I saw Ospina making a good save and Gabriel injured on the Floor. Koscielny coming on after some 35 minutes. Next thing was a shot from Austin just going wide. He had too much space there.
Ref then stopping the match when Arsenal was pressing after a corner but two defenders clashed their head so he did his job but a bit unfortunate for Arsenal of course. Then finally a nice Arsenal combination with Cazorla at the end but Green could stop the effort from the little Spaniard. After a rather uneventful first 45 minutes football wise both teams went in the dressing room with a 0-0 on the score board.
A better start from Arsenal with a good run from Rosicky who passed to Özil who clearly was dragged back and couldn’t finish it off. Alexis with the rebound but it was saved in to a corner. Replay clearly showing the blatant pull on Özil, that should have been a penalty and a red card ref. Another good attack but Alexis cannot pull the trigger as he is out crowded by defenders. Arsenal dictating the match now in the second half but not getting the reward for the moment. Alexis with a shot but it went wide. The only QPR moment in the first 15 minutes after in the second half was when a shot from far went 1 meter wide.
A volley from Rosicky after a corner but the keeper could stop the effort. And then an attack started by Cazorla at our own penalty area, to Özil who gave it to Alexis who waited for Gibbs to make his run and then the ball ended up in front of Giroud who put it over the line from 3 meters out. Finally 1-0 to the Arsenal after 64 minutes.
The answer from QPR was a shot that went outside the ground from Kranjcar. Hardly 2 minutes after the opening goal the keeper had to make a good stop on a low shot from Alexis. Giroud then with a great steal of the ball but Alexis messed up the chance in being one on one with the keeper.
But he would make up for that miss just a few minutes later when he cut in from the left flank and took the keeper by surprise and buried it at the near post in the smallest of angles. 0-2 after 69 minutes. Fully deserved that lead by now.
The next attempt from Alexis went wide but it was something between a cross and a shot. Cazorla being the man who was running the show in midfield.
Another great attack on the right with a blocked shot from Rosicky ending with an Ozil shot against the post. Rosicky being taken out by Yun resulted in the latter getting a deserved yellow card.
And then suddenly out of the blue Austin got a bit of space and his shot went past Ospina to make it after 81 minutes. Both Gibbs and Koscielny opening up too much there.
With 5 minutes to go Ramsey came in the place of Rosicky. QPR of course trying to save something from the match now. In the last minute of extra time Welbeck came on for Özil.
Despite the late attempts from QPR that didn’t result in to a real goal threat so the final scored stayed at a 1-2 victory for Arsenal.
A much needed win and another 3 points and certainly because all the other teams fighting for the top 4 also won their match.
A bleak first half but followed by 40 minutes of breathtaking football on the difficult pitch of QPR. Was it just me or the blur on my stream but the ball seemed to bounce strange at times. But never mind, the points are in the bag. Only criticism…we should have killed them off completely in the second half.
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