QPR – Arsenal, a story of two halves

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.

37 Replies to “QPR – Arsenal, a story of two halves”

  1. on other news, KRUL repay van gaal’s faith in him by assisting ManU with a perfect pass 😀

  2. Stirling effort to get a solid report done that quickly. Well done.

    Didn’t watch any as I can’t hack bad streams. Interesting to note your mention of the Coquelin challenge as I happened to catch Mcinally on Sky fuming about the incident. The normal stuff, questioning Arsenal’s integrity, suggesting it was con job, and even that Sandro was ‘unlucky’ (unlucky to foul someone and not get booked? How’s that work?). Hearing him talk, while the others stand on in silent agreement, I felt 100% sure it was nonsense.

    Anyway, tiresome typical stuff.

    Tonight is a night for happiness though. Hopefully there will be good highlights as it sounds like Ozil had a special game.

  3. Not at our best by any means but up against a fresher team fighting for their lives, they also seemed to have a friend in the ref. Thought we could have had a pen possibly as well. But much better second half
    But more importantly, a vital three points, especially considering results elsewhere. As our box to box players come back, we will find our fluency again. Wish we could see more of theo though, thought him or Ox could have been useful in this game, but we won so wenger got it right.
    The pundits will focus on other teams winning as they descend into a wankfest over certain teams but a well deserved , impressive and ultimately vital win.

  4. Yes saw that Blackfoot, suspiciously bizarre from krul, almost into football is fixed territory!

  5. As David Ospina said, we just need to keep collecting the points game by game and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.

    Three points acquired, still third – Well done Gunners!

  6. Rich,

    Ozil had a spectacular game. He was really great ALL OVER the pitch.

    To be fair, all our players did well, including the grand old man himself, Rosicky.

    Conceding that goal was really disappointing as we totally dominated QPR today while playing some scintillating attacking football.

  7. Now really? Does QPR pay Sandro to play for them? No wonder they are fighting relegation.

  8. Bootoomee, Old and Rosicky can not be used in the same sentence.
    Ozil was amazing. But forget those flicks, passes, dribbles and awesome space he created. Did you see him defending? Physically? putting his body infront of the ball?

  9. Bootoomee.

    Great. As Kevin Keegan once said, I would love it, love it, love it if Ozil could put in a special performance at Old Trafford. It wouldn’t get any sweeter than hearing the commentators try explain that one away.

    I was forced to watch poor Di Maria today. Ouch!

    Now there is a guy due a terrible media hammering if terrible media hammerings were really what footballers deserved when struggling

  10. Yassin,

    Yes to your question. Ozil was great ALL OVER the pitch today as I posted earlier.

    As you might recall, I am not one of Ozil’s biggest fans last season but since he returned from injury he has been hardworking all over the pitch.

  11. Nobody (that I read) mentioned that Ozil blocked a shot. Someone did write that Giroud was lying on the ground when he scored. Nothing at Arsenal.com yet, but one report has Gabriel getting a hamstring injury. Darn, they are not supposed to be infectious. 🙂 I think it was BBC, but one commentary had a bunch of the press box moan when the two Manchester teams went a little past some time, which pushed their reports to the late, late report. Looking just now at Google news, most of the news about “Arsenal” in the last hour, is in languages other than English.

  12. Even on a poor stream those five minutes between the first and second goals were stunning. Speed, movement, technique.

    A very impressive win.

  13. Walter, I’m glad you mentioned the pitch, I also thought it looked small.

    We played some excellent football tonight & deserved better than 2.1 but the win was the important thing.

    It was good to see Alexis back on the score sheet, the aaaa inspired media have been postulating all sorts of silly reasons for him losing his scoring touch – tonight should quieten that one down.

    Lets hope Gabriel is ok – it would be a pity to have him off injured just as he is starting to contribute to the team.

  14. According to Wikipedia, Loftus Road is 3m shorter and 2m narrower than Wenger/Emirates Stadium.

    I think that player for Swansea should retire from football, or he is going to find himself dead too early.

  15. Arsene’s interview at Arsenal.com is up.

    Gabriel does have a hamstring problem, at this point expecting 3 weeks.

    No mention of injury with Coquelin, just his play. So I gather he came through the game okay.

  16. Alexis – 13 goals,

    Giroud – 10 goals.

    So strange for a “one-man-team”, eh?

    Great victory tonight, hopefully Gabby will return soon. For the first time in years international break might help us.

  17. Video refereeing. Just from viewing the MC, MU, Totts and AFC games tonight on MoTD (so don’t what was cut) I can see four clear penalties denied, plus a mutual spitting incident missed. Totts 1st goal possibly offside.

    In three of those matches these errors were game-changing.

    And people still don’t want video refereeing?

  18. And those decisions could affect the ultimate top 4 which could cost a club 30-40mm.


  19. Shame on our detractors. Great job to have a report this soon after the match. Well done boys, you deserve your rest tonight. More of this kind of stuff from Ozil to sadden some folks.

  20. Yes Pete, another shocker set of matches for refs. Have not worked out the stats, but I am sure this evening, there was some correlation either in favour of the usual suspects, or against the usual …..still all evens out in the end, doesn’t it.
    The pgmol are an embarrassment to the game, not because of honest mistakes by refs, but because their mistakes go too much in certain directions to be honest mistakes
    There is only one reason why this is the only sport to deny video technology, and we all know what it is. The game will not change until it is rid of the likes of Blatter, Platini, Riley and all the parasites that feed off their corruption

  21. I wish medja, bloggers and fans would quit some things. If Mertesacker sits a game out, he at a minimum is getting a rest. It may be that the manager, under the advice of his staff, feels that he should get a rest “soon”, and the manager thought that was the best option for “soon”. It allows the manager to take into consideration the opposition on any particular day, as well as how soon the next game is and what opponent they are. Instead of assuming, oh the manager is getting ready to sack him. Get the calculators out, we’ll try to figure out just how little this worthless swine can be sold for that is no longer fit to wear the shirt.

    Fine Mertesacker started today and Koscielny started. I think this is wonderful, Gabriel (his last name is NOT Paulista you morons!) gets an opportunity to work with the other centerback. It’s too bad he got hurt. Not used to the temperature? It sounds like a minor strain, it could be something like that.

    But no, look at the news headlines, and now it is Gibbs that is going to get blah, blah, blah. Being able to bring different players in and out and have the team perform well is a good thing. It is not an excuse to make up transfer rumours. The only people we need to get rid of, are the bad fans, bloggers and medja who go through all this endless nonsense. I heard a new league is starting up near Dufek Massif of the Pensacola Mountains, perhaps all these people could go there and provide their infinite advice to that league.

  22. ozil should have scored a goal… or get a penalty… his shirt was clearly pulled when he was clear on goal and only need to tap the ball in… the referee was not in a good position but the linesman is in clear view of the situation…

  23. Didn’t watch our match but saw Man U & Chelsea gifted goals. Man U by Krul pass, & Chelsea by PGMO selective blindness.
    Newcastle robbed by PGMO non award of clear penalty.

    JT used a clever block to gain advantage while fooling PGMO & TV pundits. Many tricks being used by Chelsea to evade PGMO while fouling opponents.

    Gradual PGMO slope on EPL pitches seems to be working well thus far. Fat Sam says nothing can be done by LMA to improve game!

  24. On another note, what a league this has become, to see the likes of Stoke RC in 8th, ahead of clean footballing teams like Swansea.

  25. If these refs cant see a shirtpull with these body tight shirts…..wonder what will.

  26. Its the Refereeing that control the this FLorian, had the standards in PL been like in La Liga or Bundesliga, a hell lot of team would not be near where they are now. That is the only reason why I prefer Manchester City to win the League ahead of others (When we dont have a chance). They play football.

    And by the way, Manchester City is the only team that when we play with, we always produce a good performance (forget about winning and losing). I believe the reason is they play football and we play football. Pelligini started noting this, thus starting with his only Thug player to stop our game (Milner).

  27. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done guys – 3 more points in the bag !
    Woke up to see the last few minutes of the game . And bang on cue , Austin scored !

  28. The pl is a rigged contest, anyone who thinks otherwise lives in a different world. How can there be 4 game changing mistakes in 4 key games in one night? Well, in Arsenal’s case the mistake didn’t affect overall result but if you look at final goal difference it’ll count. And curiously, all the other mistakes were in favour of our rivals. All except, surprise surprise, the in our match which went against. And when we’re called deluded and all sorts of other nasty stuff when we say the refs are biased against us.

  29. Even BBC said it was an obvious penalty for the foul on Ozil in the goalmouth.

    But for that and Robert Green, the score would have been 4 or 5.

  30. Great win. It’s never easy against a desperate team away from home. I think Wenger said that 72 points would be enough to finish fourth. Not sure about that, I think 74 myself but I don’t see why we can’t get at least 7 wins and two draws, a total of 23 pts that would give us 77 which might get us second.

    @Al,The PL is rigged, really? If you think so mate don’t bother watching it then. Refereeing standards are abominable and have been for years, as far as I can tell it’s down to the incompetence of officials, nothing to do with some grand conspiracy.

  31. Before the match i was a little apprehensive, after all it was QPR who although bottom, had enough to hurt us if we switched off.
    But the lads, although a little languid in first half, except at end of 1st half, went to town in 2nd half.
    Did you see some of the movement by Arsenal? Wow, we see they have been training hard. If any of those goals had scored we would now be talking of superlatives to describe them. Alas we scored two “normal” goals and now BRING ON MANU.

    Hah, this is going to be one of our three defining games left.
    Manu Fa cup
    Manu PL
    Chelsea PL

    This time we are going to WIN all three, its time to shake the old habits and head off into new realms of Arsenal Football club.

  32. From the highlights it looked like we were pretty spectacular in the second half.

    If I trusted the refs, I would feel so much confidence going into the last ten games, particularly the United ones. Neither Ozil nor Giroud were on the pitch when we were all over united in the home game, and the United defence looks like it will struggle badly to contain them and the team as a whole when attacking like last night. By fair means.

    The pen Newcastle didn’t get last night is pretty scary though. Normally, these officials do what we know they do- giving soft penalties for United,say, and not giving ones they could and should give to the opposition- but there’s a limit, there are things they know they can’t get away with; if it happens right in front of their eyes and is as clear as it gets, they have to give the right decision.

    Game 50 broke with that. Riley behaved in a way that, if he were subjected to halfway normal scrutiny, was unexplainable. Well, he was desperate, and was probably surprised in the aftermath that, it was ok to go that far. Still, you wouldn’t want to do it all the time. It was emergency refereeing.

    One of the last times I remember something of that nature was at St James Park two or three seasons ago. Newcastle player gets to the ball, Ferdinand makes firm contact with him and doesn’t touch the ball. Pen. Except it’s Webb and no pen is given (thankfully Howard was unable to deny an irrepressible Newcastle that night). Last night. The linesman saw a pen. A situation which every last person unanimously has agreed was a pen. He had a clear view. Better than any video.

    We have to be worried if that is how blatant it’s going to be in these final weeks. Taylor seems everywhere and Riley’s go-to man at the minute (no doubt that Fifa badge is on its way) and the fact is that while there’ll be a strong desire for United to progress in the cup, the league is where it’s really at this year. Taylor can’t exactly be given both matches ,can he, so I’m fully expecting him for the league fixture.

  33. Rich, a Manchester ref for a Manchester match…. it would be funny it if isn’t so sad….

  34. walter, was confused for a sec there and thought you might be calling me sad for not realising Taylor couldn’t do United matches as he’s from there!

    Then my brain started working a bit better and I (remembered he was reffing them last night for one! and that I’d commented directly on the fact) was relieved not to have made a stupid mistake.

    Will we really get him for that one? Could all be a clever psychological ploy to make Dein feel like a good result for us.

    Dowd is my second guess though.

  35. Rich,
    I sure didn’t mean anything towards you with my comment. Just the strange thing that a ref from Manchester goes to Newcastle and then ends up with not sending of the “spitter(s)” and not giving Newcastle a clear penalty… against Manchester United.

    Of course with all the refs almost coming from up there they wouldn’t have refs to do their matches so they can do matches from their local teams.

    I have heard it will be Oliver for the Fa cup match.

  36. Walter, I got there in the end and understood your comment properly

    I’ll take Oliver, he’s someone who at least has the tools to be a very good ref, and I don’t remember any outrageous betraying of those tools (unlike Webb, who I thought was actually an excellent ref who mysteriously lost his great eye for the game under certain conditions)

    That said, Aguero should have had a penalty or two in the last big United game I remember Oliver doing

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