Match report: Arsenal – Dinamo Zagreb 3-0

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal has made a few changes for this match. In the place of the injured Coquelin came Flamini. And Joel Campbell started in the place of Gibbs.

On the bench for the first time in a month we find Aaron Ramsey who was back in full training since this week. Also on the bench once again Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

The starting line up : Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Flamini, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, , Giroud

On the cold beach: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Debuchy, Ramsey, Reine-Adelaide, Chambers.

Dinamo with the first attacks and two early corners that lead to nothing. Kassai ignoring two early fouls on Alexis that even the Dinamo player acknowledges and he excuses himself. Campbell with a low cross but Cazorla shoots over from 7 meters out. Kassai ignores a third foul on an Arsenal player, a blatant push in the back of Giroud this time. As predicted. Alexis just can’t come to a shot, taking on one too many and then the rebound from Bellerin is blocked in to a corner. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

A few minutes with nothing going on from both teams till Kassai gives a free kick to Arsenal for a high foot against Cazorla. Wow. Monreal on the left with a teasing cross but just too high for Campbell and Giroud. Arsenal pressing Dinamo back around their own penalty area but all the Dinamo players are in the way of the Arsenal moves. By legal and illegal means. Even Kassai gives a few very clear and obvious fouls for Arsenal. Arsenal playing the ball in a risky way out of the own defensive and suddenly the field opens up. Flamini to Alexis on the left who looks for options in the middle and his cross finds the head of Özil! GOAL!!!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 29 minutes. A lovely placed header from the German maestro.

Arsenal keeping up the pressure and a first cross from Santi is blocked but Monreal recovers the ball, goes past a man and a low cut back to Alexis and GOAL!!!!! The little Chilean puts the ball in the net to make it 2-0 to the Arsenal after 32 minutes.

Arsenal hold back for a few minutes and then Özil goes past his man but the keeper saves for a corner. Another great attack and Monreal again with a fine cut back but Özil was just out of balance a bit and scuffed his shot and the keeper could save the low effort. No extra time at the end of the first half and Arsenal go in to the dressing room with a well deserved 2-0 advantage.

Santi with the first shot of the second half but the Dinamo keeper can save for a corner. The header from Giroud after the corner is saved just before the goal line by the keeper and a little help from a defender.   A low cross from Flamini but Giroud can’t wrap his foot around the ball. Arsenal still 2-0 in front after 60 minutes.

Alexis with a nice ball to Giroud but a defender can save for a corner. A bit later Alexis to Campbell with the help from a Dinamo defender but his right foot shot goes wide. Monreal goes in like in the PL and gets a foul and a yellow card from Kassai. A counter from Arsenal after the free kick but Campbell who started the counter can’t find Giroud at the far post. A handball from a Dinamo player not seen leading to a corner. Luckily Arsenal can clear. After 66 minutes Ramsey comes on in the place of Giroud. Alexis will play as the furthest forward from now on. Ramsey on the left flank.

Campbell with a great trick to keep the ball in play and then cutting inside and a lovely defense splitting ball to Alexis who just on or offside rounds the keeper and puts the ball in the net. GOAL!!!!! 3-0 to The Arsenal after 69 minutes.

A shot from distance from Dinamo goes narrowly over. The closest Dinamo has come so far in this match. And almost the freakiest of own goals from Arsenal when Koscielny shoots the ball against another defender and it Cech has to make a great save to stop the ball from going in. To save our day the rebound is hit against the outside of the post. A narrow escape. Kassai almost stopping a Dinamo attack but they can go on with some delay, Koscielny intercepts and he tries to send Alexis away who controls the ball with his back but then can’t find a teammate. Ramsey sending Alexis away who rounds the keeper, goes down but the keeper didn’t stick out his arm to bring Alexis down so can live with the non-decision from the ref.

Dinamo thought they scored but the striker was meters offside so an easy decision to make. With 9 minutes to go Santi and Bellerin went off and Debuchy and Chambers entered the field. Let us hope that it was for a well deserved round of applause for both players and not for any injury.

Monreal send away on the left flank by Ramsey but the keeper is first to the cross before the onrushing Alexis. The field now wide open at times with lots of tired players it seems. Campbell and Ramsey switched flanks now and Campbell surely was working very hard both in attack and when defending. Alexis with a chip over the defence to Özil but this time his header with his back to the goal goes wide. That would have been some goal.

The match fizzled out in the dying minutes. Arsenal not really wanting to add to the score and Dinamo not being able to do much going forward to create danger.

A well deserved 3-0 win that could have been by a much higher score line with Arsenal being completely on top and in control for almost the entire match.






15 Replies to “Match report: Arsenal – Dinamo Zagreb 3-0”

  1. Marvellous performance! The two standout moves for me were Sanchez collecting the ball with the back of his shoulders, and Ozil’s back header from Sanchez’s lob.

    This team can play when allowed to play, unfortunately such occasions are far and few apart. The linking between Sanchez-Ozil is just pure joy.

  2. That was better. Some brilliant performances out there, Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla…..but was also very impressed with Campbell.
    A ref busting performance if I ever saw one….come to think of it, I did a few times this season already…play like that and we will do the job in Greece

  3. What a lovely game. Alexis was repeatedly magnificent (that move with the back of his neck is just jawdropping, something I don´t think I had seen before in a game), Özil his usual brilliant self (that combination with Alexis would have been one of the best goals of the season), Monreal had an outstanding game, but the one I really want to talk about is Campbell, because he just went above and beyond all my expectations. I mean, he was already having a very good game even before his assist, and what a superb pass that was! His defensive work is also above average, so if he´s adding creativity to his game, he´ll definitely earn his place in the squad long-term(even if it´s hard to imagine him overtaking Ramsey). Great team performance, and now onwards to Greece, for what I hope will be another moment to cherish for Arsenal fans.

  4. Kassai looked (not for the first time) as if he had been trained at the Riley school of non refereeing.

    Despite Kassai, this was a good performance and a well earned win – well done guys. It was a good all round performance & tonight Campbell came to the party – good to see.

    The non given penalty late on looked like a certain penalty to me – Sanchez was pushed in the back by a defender & was impacted by the goalkeeper, neither of whom touched the ball. A push in the back of Giroud early in the match looked like another penalty – but – despite the ref being visually challenged this was a good win.

  5. I hope someone posts (watchable) “video” to Alexis’s back of the neck thing, and Ozil’s back header.

    It was nice to read so many kind words about Campbell.

    Whoever at Emirates that let Phil McNulty of the BBC in to the grounds should be kicked. Useless twit. He should be cleaning sidewalks outside McDonald’s restaurants with a toothbrush.

    Szczesny had a tough night at Roma.

  6. By far Campbell’s best game for Arsenal, looked a good player tonight. Hope that’s a real sign of things to come. Good team performance with few heart in mouth moments in our penalty area. Good idea giving Chambers a few minutes at the end of the game as DM. Not sure it is going to work from what he showed.

    Interestingly Iwobi has played there in his last two games for the U21 and U19 teams. Not sure that has worked either, both games were lost and his attacking threat was missed in both.

  7. Campbell came good, as they say. He showed the quality he has often showed before but this time with more assurance, as if he had a place on the pitch by virtue of his quality. Add to the mix he is a player who did come good in Greece.

    As for Mr Ozil and Mr Sanchez, in a world where people drop cliches faster than an original idea – when form is temporary, and class is permanent, then how does Arsenal stop being a quality team because this player, or that player, or these players, gets injured? How do you stop Ozil? How do you corral Sanchez?

    Ozil is number 10 in the World Cup Winners team but – listen to the braying voices – when the defensive MF gets hobbled Ozil’s class evaporates?

    A great performance and a lovely game to watch.

  8. Indeed, Flamimi did emerge with great credit. He seemed to be everywhere.There’s a determination to Flamini which often gets overlooked. He’s dismissed out of hand. Sometimes I think any team managed by Wenger comes in a cardboard box for some people, every player a cutout, only good for throwing away or storing in a back cupboard.

    For me, the way Wenger manages is to invite the team to take responsibility for the team performance. Tonight, for long periods of the game, they were faster to the ball, hungry for the result, above all, for me, they all trusted the skill of each other, they all played to the skill of each other. Lovely stuff.

  9. Excellent victory even if I expected a higher margin. Alexis-Ozil…well, Henry-Pires axis springs to mind. Two players of the highest quality have clicked thia season and that’s my biggest hope that we can win the title.

    Now we have to settle the score with the Greeks as well. Arsenal have never ended Champions League Group Stage with negative goal-difference and Greeks should feel lucky Bayern put just four past them, it should have ended much, much worse.

  10. Good game, but we are still not back to full throttle yet, were some silly mistakes that need to be sorted sooner than later and Santi and Alexis still sometimes keep the ball that split second too long allowing themselves to be attacked and lose the ball. I think a lot of these mistakes come when the team is forced(injuries) changed and the instinct play between the regulars is disturbed.

    Would we not love to have a squad of 24 (near)equal good players? But we nearly have, they are starting to become that with the games the “2nd” string players are getting.

    This win should get us back on track especially in the PL, and we should approach Norwich calm, determined and focused on Sunday.

  11. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done the boys – awesome ! Some of our play was breathtaking and superb . A great win and now to do the job in Greece .
    Up the Gunners !

  12. I think Joel should be trained to play in the mid defence like Le Coq(at least try him out there). He can retain the ball well, is strong, but he still needs little more improvement in passing the ball on(which will come if he gets the games), yet in a flash he can create a good assist or scores. After all, this is what we need, a back up for Coq and he will have Ramsey and Ox to contend with for starting places again soon.

  13. Great character from Campbell to have such a good and influential game after missing that sitter against WBA. Reverse pass to Alexis was sublime!!

    I would keep him in the right (wing) midfield slot, and play Ramsey in centre with Santi. Joel tracks back and defends better than the Ox, and with this little run of games he’s starting to fit into the team much better

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