CL Ludogorets – Arsenal 2-3: a Liège comeback as predicted after 15 minutes

By Walter Broeckx

A few changes as we already knew as some players had to stay at home. Walcott, Bellerin, Monreal and Santi amongst them.

So we had Jenkinson at right back and Gibbs came on at left back but he did that in the last matches also.  Xhaka also came back in the team after having missed 3 matches and Elneny dropped to the bench. Also the return of Ramsey in the team at the right flank for this match. And up front we had Giroud so a few changes in the formation for Arsenal.

Arsenal team at the start : Ospina, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mustafi, Jenks, Xhaka, Coq, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.

On the cold looking beach:  Cech, Gabriel, Holding, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi.
Arsenal playing the ball around and pushing Ludogorets back a cross from Alexis is kicked wide by Ramsey when Jenkinson was right behind him. Alexis then on the left flank a cross to Özil but his shot was straight at the keeper. That was a good chance. Ludogorets gets a soft free kick for a handball and the cross is bundled over at the far post and is put over the goal line with a little help from the post. 1-0 for Ludogorets after 12 minutes. Must say the free kick was very soft as the ball hit the arm in front of the body of the Arsenal player. Against the run of play but it gave the home team a lift. And hardly two minutes later Ludogorets counter, the striker goes past Gibbs and his low cross is put over the goal line. 2-0 after 15 minutes.  That is a cold shower. A bit like in Liège a few years ago when we were behind 2-0 after some 10 minutes.

But Arsenal trying to come back a ball to Özil on the left flank a cross and Xhaka with the shot. GOAL!!!! 2-1 after 21 minutes. Özil managed to keep the ball in play and Xhaka from around the penalty spot with a low finish.

Arsenal with most of the ball but Ludogorets defending in numbers. But they get a corner that is whipped in dangerous but goes past everyone.  Arsenal still 2-1 behind after 30 minutes.

Ramsey a bit rusty and having problems with the precision of his passes, but good vision. Alexis with a good pass to Gibbs but a defender comes in between his pass to Giroud for a corner.  A tackle from behind on Alexis by our own corner flag results in a yellow card for Minev. Özil with an attempt of a volley but a defender can block the shot.  But a minute later Ramsey on the right flank a hanging cross to the middle and there is Giroud! GOAL!!!! 2-2 after 42 minutes. A lovely cushioned header over the keeper to level the score.

And that was the score in this match after 45 minutes.  Ludogorets scored with their first two shots on goal and then it was a long way for Arsenal to fight back. But they did and showed character.

Gibbs being cought late when he crossed a ball but the referee missed that completely and he stayed on the floor holding his shoulder. That doesn’t look good. But it looked that he could continue.   Another studs on the achilles is spotted this time but no card shown by the ref. A lovely ball from Xhaka finds Özil in space on the right flank but his cross is cut out by a defender.  The ref seems to be going down the Atkinson route by not allowing anything from Arsenal players when it comes to being physical. Arsenal with most of the ball but not really forcing many open chances.  The ref showing a yellow card against Coquelin who once again was punished for a ridiculously called handball.  The ball was kicked against his elbow from 30 cm out.  The ref now really calling everything against Arsenal.  Still 2-2 after 60 minutes.

Arsenal get a corner but it is cleared and Ludogorets counters with 5 man but Ospina is on hand to stop the low shot. Ludogorets now get a free kick when one of their players just slipped…..  Now this is getting a bit ridiculous.  Ospina showing his worth again when a runner behind the defence is alone on goal but he blocks the effort.  Ramsey then can’t get his foot around the ball and Xhaka then commits a counter attack stopping foul that earns him a yellow card.  Jenkinson going in the book also as the ref now wants to give everyone a yellow card it seems.  Alexis just can’t control a pass from Xhaka and the keeper is first on the ball for Ludogorets.

After 74 minutes Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Ramsey.  So far we missed the running on the flanks a bit that made us so effective in the first match against them.  A Ludogorets player holding his head when he was slightly touched on his shoulder. Oh well anything for the point I think.  This ref simply not allowing anything from any Arsenal player.  Are you Atkinson in disguise?

The Ox with a slicing effort after an Özil cross that went wide.  Elneny came on in the place of Xhaka after 86 minutes.  Arsenal won the ball back in their own half by Giroud, the ball came to Elneny who with his first touch released Özil who went one on one with the keeper, rounded him and then had to round another 2 defenders but did it oh so calmly and passed the ball over the goal line. GOAL!!!! 2-3 afther 88 minutes. What a cool finish.

Alexis went off after 89 minutes and Iwobi came on. Arsenal escape a late equaliser after a corner that floats around in the penalty area for a moment. But then the ref makes a end to the match. Arsenal made it hard for themselves or credit for Ludogorets for scoring with their first two shots.

But this team has character and one Mesut Özil. With the result in the other match where PSG could also only win at the end against a 10 man Bazel this means that Arsenal and PSG are certain of going to the knock out stages.


29 Replies to “CL Ludogorets – Arsenal 2-3: a Liège comeback as predicted after 15 minutes”

  1. Well, at least there were no Xhaka’s dismissed today. I haven’t heard anything about injuries yet.

  2. It might be nice if people had URLs where one might see this bit of magic.

    > This game was edging towards its conclusion, the scores locked after a frenzy of first-half goals, when the visitors’ substitute Mohamed Elneny clipped the World Cup winner beyond Ludogorets Razgrad’s back line. Özil advanced and with the ball bouncing awkwardly, scooped it over the advancing Milan Borjan with his left foot to progress serenely into the penalty area.

    > Both Cosmin Moti and José Luis Palomino still aspired to thwart him having burst to the goal-line, but the German dropped his shoulder, left both centre halves sprawled on the turf, and calmly slid in Arsenal’s winner. The conversion was a thing of beauty and ensured his side go into their decisive contest, with Paris Saint-Germain, still top of the group.

    Exerpted from an Irish Times article. Lots of articles talk about the goal, not many pictures, and if pictures are added, they often don’t have anything to do with the goal. Dorks.

  3. Nice write up Walter. I was wondering if the ref had received a phone call from a certain EPL club at half time! He had a terrible second half.

    Apart from giving away two soft goals, we played well in difficult circumstances and what a very special goal for the winner!

    Well done guys.

  4. Thanks Walter, I didn’t think I was seeing things. We have had this referee before in Europe I think.

  5. “we’ve got Ozil’ Mesut Ozil’ I just don’t think you understand, he’s Arsene Wenger’s man’ he’s better than Zidane’ we’ve got Mesut Ozil”. once again the Gunners shown their never say die attitude. that’s the spirit n we want more of that boys. roll on to the next PL match this weekend’ bring it on tiny Totts

  6. Walter – I don’t know if you saw Celtic’s penalty? Quite surprised to see the defender receive a straight red. I thought the law had been changed so that what used to be a red is now a yellow if a penalty is conceded? Can you advise please?

  7. Please tell the Spuds
    The stupid idiot Spuds
    When they sold Bale to Zidan
    That we bought Ozil
    Mezut Ozil
    To be an Arsenal Man

    We’ve got Ozil
    Mezut Ozil
    Just don’t think you understand
    He’s Arsene Wengers man,
    Better than Zidan
    We’ve got Mezut Ozil

  8. Pete, I haven’t seen the incident you talk about but the triple punishment has been removed but not always.
    For instance if the foul was of such nature that a red card should have been given no matter where the foul had been done. Example: a foul that could cause serious injury.
    Or if the player made a foul where he could not play the ball. In other words if the ball is completely out of reach.
    Or when the player commits a pulling foul where he also could not play the ball.

    That is why the Cech foul was not a red card: he only touched/clipped the player that went past him with his shoulder after first going for the ball (and then retracted as he couldn’t reach it)

    Maybe I will get to see it later on and will have a look of course

  9. Guys,

    I was not at all worried after the second goal from Ludogorets.
    And I love that feeling. That kind of certainty that we now have the ressources to come back.
    After all, 2 years ago we did that in the FA Cup.

    And I had so much fun wwatching all the replays from all angles of Ozil’s goal.

    great time to be an Arsenal fan.

  10. Pete – hats off to that ref. It was a cool decision & I thought perfect. There were some yellow cards dished out for tackles from behind in various matches that according to Walters Xhaka comment should have been red. There again the ref in tonights game was harsh on Coquelin but let Ludo get away without cards for actual nasty tackles. Giroud could have had a card for an elbow that a Ludo player tried to kiss but ended on the floor feeling for a loose tooth (just before the goal by Xhaka).

  11. Thanks Menace.

    Hell of a goal!

    And you really have to credit Elneny for making the pass, and Mesut for being available for the pass.

    And in the news, the medja is still expecting the implosion. Arsenal always fails, just wait. This may have been a test, this wasn’t THE test. And so on.

  12. oh dear…I’ve been watching this goal again and again and again.

    Look at Menace’s video. At 17th sec, and at 23rd second. The way he shapes up to shoot and then left them on their bottoms, superb just superb.

  13. WOO HOO , HOO ! What a great win !
    And Ozil’s goal was typically in true Arsenal fashion – walking it in !
    Up the Gunners !

  14. This was one of the two games I was worried about in the group stage. This for the travel distance, as it would affect our preparation for NLD. And other being the Basel away. High altitude.

  15. In an earlier article there were a few regulars speaking of trying to be more positive this season and to appreciate the team more. Here is something to ponder upon , and hopefully to help you in your quest.

    What is spiritual maturity?

    1. Spiritual Maturity is when you stop trying to change others, …instead focus on changing yourself.

    2. Spiritual Maturity is when you accept people as they are.

    3. Spiritual Maturity is when you understand everyone is right in their own perspective.

    4. Spiritual Maturity is when you learn to “let go”.

    5. Spiritual Maturity is when you are able to ” drop “expectations” from a relationship and give for the sake of giving.

    6. Spiritual Maturity is when you understand whatever you do, you do for your own peace.

    7. Spiritual Maturity is when you *stop proving to the world, how intelligent you are.

    8. Spiritual Maturity is when you *don’t seek approval from others.

    9. Spiritual Maturity is when you *stop comparing with others.

    10. Spiritual Maturity is when you are at peace with yourself.

    11. Spiritual Maturity is when you *are able to differentiate between “need” and “want” and are able to let go of your wants.

    and last but most meaningful !

    12. You gain Spiritual Maturity when you stop attaching “happiness” to material things !!

    Wishing you all a happy Spiritually matured life.

    ( NB – But I still reserve the right to wade into ‘them’ and smack ‘them’ around when they try to weasel their way in here and sprout crap and stupidity ! I’ll try to be mature about it !)

  16. What a goal from Mesut! Left three players, inc their keeper who ‘astonishingly’ challenged for the ball with his hands well outside the box, for dead.

    And that pass from Elneny, a pass Ozil himself would have been proud of. Well done gunners.

  17. Also noticed when Elneny made the pass there was about 4 Arsenal players ahead of him, but by the time Ozil slots the ball into the net he was the only player to have arrived in the ludogorets box; the rest had kinda ‘given up’ by the halfway line. Great attitude!??

  18. The ref:
    Seemed not to want to give Arsenal anything until Lud was 2 goals up.

    The game:
    I was not worried at 2 goals down.
    (Who am i kidding?)

    Thought his shots today were very tame like he wanted to walk it in.
    Then he did walk it in for the winner and all is forgiven.

    Just watch out, just watch out.

  19. Thinking about the goal again (I’m supposed to be sleeping :-)), the referee really should have shown the goaltender a yellow card if he attempted to handle the ball out of the area.

    Good night.

  20. Al,

    if you look at it again, you can see Eleneny who followed just outside the box, totally free.

  21. We’ve got Ozil
    Mezut Ozil
    Just don’t think you understand
    He’s Arsenals superman
    Better than Zidan
    We’ve got Mezut Ozil

    Small change to the 4th line

  22. Brickfields Gunners
    02/11/2016 at 5:12 am 😉 😉

    Spiritual Maturity is measured by the number of years it is kept in a barrel before being sampled. 😉 😉

    I’ll drink to that!!!

  23. @ Menace – 02/11/2016 at 11:48 am – Very true , my friend . But sometimes they are kept far too long ( and in the dark ) and urgently ‘feel’ the need to breathe .

    I have forgotten the number of times I have been called to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to revive the spirits within !

    I don’t mind being called at any time of the day or night , as I always feel happy , bubbly and flushed afterwards !

    I daily thank the great Lord Bacchus for bestowing this gift upon me . May hic…, sorry , may he long reign !

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