By Walter Broekx
The Arsenal team at the start: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Iwobi.
The subs Debuchy, Gibbs, Ospina, Walcott, Cazorla, Chambers, Martinez, Campbell, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom, Elneny, Bielik, Zelalem, Willock.
A first match for Alexis and Ramsey this season after their 5 and 4 weeks holiday after the Copa America and the Euro.
A good start from Arsenal with a yellow card against Reges for pulling Alexis back who robbed him from the ball. First chance for The Ox but his lob goes well over. Could have taken a bit more time as City lost the ball because high Arsenal pressure. City also try to set up some attacks but no end product. Alexis in some space and a cross to Ramsey whose header goes just over the crossbar. And a bit later The Ox is send out in space and he attempts a lob but the effort goes wide. And minutes later The Ox puts pressure on the City goalkeeper and the ball ends up in front of Coquelin but his goal bound shot is stopped by a City defender. Ramsey then again with a good shot but this time the City keeper can push the shot wide. Arsenal should have been in front by now.
Then a first chance for City but Bellerin can take the speed out of the shot and Cech can easily catch. But alas a cross from Sterling goes over the head of Holding and Aguero can finish the chance for City. 1-0 for City after 30 minutes. Taking your chances is the name of the City game.
Arsenal trying to put it right but a free kick from Xhaka goes just over the head of Holding. A bit more pressure and both teams battling for it and now we get a bit of a scrappy moment in the final minutes of the first half.
Arsenal go in the dressing room 1-0 behind but that isn’t a fair reflection of the match I saw so far. Arsenal with most and best chances so far but it was City who scored. Holding a few times caught in possession and losing the ball too easily, something he has to work on but he sure looks a confident ball player.
Chambers, Walcott and Elneny came on in the second half for Holding, Xhaka and The Ox. Bellerin with a good long ball to Walcott who runs on his flank with a few options in the middle. He picks out Iwobi who cuts inside and finishes with a hard shot in the far bottom corner. GOAL! 1-1 after 50 minutes.
Delph with a shot after Chambers gave the ball away but no real problem for Cech. Aguero goes in the book for a late kick when Chambers robs him from the ball. Lots of fouls now this isn’t a real friendly for the moment. Arsenal with a few promising moves but the final ball doesn’t come to a teammate. Free kick to Arsenal, Alexis to take it and his shot hits the crossbar and Ramsey just can’t reach the loose ball.
After 62 minutes Santi comes on for Ramsey. Santi immediately to Theo whose shot just went wide. Santi with a corner but Chambers heads it wide. Navas with a cut inside and a good shot but an equal good save from Cech. Some confusion in the Arsenal penalty area as the ball bounces around a bit but in the end the Arsenal can clear. Alexis then goes down in the City penalty area but nothing give by the ref. Iwobi goes off after 68 minutes and Campbell comes on. Note to Arsenal.com presentators: a two footed challenge (Toure) is always a foul. Arsenal attacks Theo on the flank cuts inside, gives it to Alexis who puts in in front of Theo who made a great run and Theo chips the ball over Hart. GOAL 1-2 for Arsenal after 73 minutes.
Cech alert at the first post to catch a cross from Sterling. After 75 minutes Debuchy and Gibbs came on for Bellerin and Monreal. De Bruyne escapes on the flank but Toure smashes his effort high over. And after 77 minutes Akpom comes on for Alexis. A really young pitch invader comes on to taka a selfie with Walcott I think leads to the ref stopping the match. Cech again alert when a cross is deflected. Cech almost with a fantastic long ball to Campbell but the ball gets too much speed on the wet pitch. Walcott first on a loose ball in the City defence and Hart has to dive in the feet of Santi and the ball falls in front of Akpom who simply puts the ball over the line. GOAL 1-3 to The Arsenal after 85 minutes.
Santi then losing the ball and Navas can escape and his cross finds Iheanacho who heads it in. 2-3 after 87 minutes. Santi a bit too casual there. City again but Elneny with a good clearance. Toure with a good low shot but great save from Cech. Navas at the end of a low cross in extra time but he shoots over. Gabriel and Iheanacho go both down after a duel and the Brazilian defender looks in pain. Oh bollocks ref why did you give extra time in a preseason match???? The silent agreement is that you only play 90 minutes and don’t give 4 extra minutes. The stretcher comes out for Gabriel. It looked as if he got the weight of the City players when he fell down. I think Wenger will be furious with the decision of the ref to play 4 minutes of extra time. Completely ridiculous….
This stupid referee decision will cost Arsenal a lot. Extra time in a pre season friendly…. FFS….
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