FA cup : Preston North End – Arsenal 1-2 : Giroud, who else?

By Walter Broeckx

A lots of changes in the team and some were already predicted in the last days.

Ospina in goal and Martinez was on the bench. At right back we had Maitland-Niles and Jenkinson was on the bench, so Bellerin got some well deserved and needed rest. Gabriel and Mustafi in the centre and Monreal at left back. Holding was on the bench.

In midfield we had Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Iwobi. We have to see in which formation they will play and if one would play upfront.

As the two strikers we had Lucas and Giroud.

On the beach apart from Welbeck who just returns after having been out for a long time Holding with a bit of experience and Jenkinson. For the rest only youngsters.

Team at the start: Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Gabriel, Mustafi, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Lucas, Giroud.

On the beach: Martinez, Jenkinson, Holding, Dasilva, Reine-Adelaide, Willock, Welbeck.

A bit of a nervous start from both teams with some little defensive errors but apart from an attempt to lob the keeper from Giroud no keeper in action.The first real chance came to Preston and the ball bouncing around in the Arsenal penalty area and then falling in front of the feet of Robinson who could score from close range. 1-0 to Preston after 6 minutes. Not the start you want in an FA cup match. Arsenal with most of the ball but not making openings in the first 15 minutes.


Lucas with a first shot but straight at the keeper. Ospina had to be alert on a low cross and was. The Ox losing the ball leading to a PNE counter but Mustafi could block the header with his shoulder. When not all players on one line PNE escape but the cross failed to find the free teammate. Maitland-Niles looking off pace for the moment at right back by being too casual when slowly running to a lost ball and getting caught. Ospina with a save on a shot from Pearson. Arsenal not at their best in this period. Some players running too much with the ball from Arsenal instead of trying to pass the ball. Vermijl with an attempt of a volley after a cross but luckily he missed the shot completely. Finally Arsenal at the other end but Giroud heads well wide. Arsenal still 1-0 behind after 30 minutes.


Finally a real Arsenal chance when they combine through the heart of the PNE defece but both Ramsey and Lucas can’t get a shot over the line. Giroud minutes later put through but his shot cross went wide. Was it a cross to Iwobi who was just late… the angle was not ideal for a shot. But at least this is a bit better from Arsenal. Monreal has to rescue in front of the goal line when Arsenal lose the ball at the edge of their own penalty area and finally Naitland-Miles clears the danger. Ramsey with a good firm  header but a fine save from the keeper. Ospina being fouled when trying to catch a ball is rightly punished and the second PNE goal is ruled out. Lucas is stopped by an arm in the PNE penalty area and as we have been told in the Xhaka case that this is a foul so it should have been a penalty for Arsenal. Nothing given in reality of course. The match now more stopped for real or imaginary injuries. A PNE player smacks his arm against Gabriel who is bleeding but apart from a foul only a yellow card. So when is using excessive force being excessive force? When the head is hanging off from the body? I think that when you make a player bleeding from attacking him with the arm that you have used excessive force…..  As a result Arsenal have to play with 10 man for the rest of the first half and PNE can play with 11. PNE even get a throw in when the ball was clearly for Arsenal… don’t overdo it please gentleman in black. Gabriel goes in the dressing room to get his head stitched up while plays continues. As a result no more attacks from Arsenal after losing Gabriel with his head injury. 1-0 in favour of PNE after 45 minutes.


Gabriel back on the field at the start of the second half. And what an excellent start from Arsenal. Xhaka to The Ox who corssed and PNE could only half clear. Iwobi controlled the ball and passed it to Ramsey whose shot from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the nt. GOAL!! 1-1 after 46 minutes.


Giroud with the next chance but a block from a defender prevented another Arsenal effort. The ref punishing all from Arsenal now and PNE think they can do it all and Pearson twice fouls Ramsey from behind but no card.  Some pushing and shoving the ref just let it all go by… Arsenal trying to play some football but only winning a corner that leads to nothing.  Xhaka with a long ball to Giroud but the last defender could chest the ball away. Still 1-1 after 60 minutes.


Cunningham with a tackle from behind catching Lucas and going in the book. Rightfully so. The resulting free kick is headed back by the defender who was first pulling the shirt of Giroud and then embracing him so he couldn’t jump. No fouls ref? Giroud being fouled off the ball… nothing seen by the ref. More arguments about fouls then any real football for the moment. Gabriel deciding to joing kicking and getting a yellow card. A low corner from The Ox finds Mustafi but the keeper can make a great save in two times to stop the goal bound effort. Arsenal push on after that corner. Pearson with another foul and this time surely a yellow card? Not really I think… Still 1-1 after 75 minutes.


Giroud scores but the assistant raises his flag for offside and that was correct. When Iwobi uses his body after being pushed the ref gives a foul against Iwobi…. oh well….Welbeck preparing himself to come on after some 80 minutes. And he comes on after 82 minutes and The Ox goes off. Can he do it like against Leicester last season? Arsenal now pressing PNE back around their own penalty area but not coming through for the moment. A shot from Iwobi is half blocked and the keeper can save it. PNE player with cramps now. Ramsey with a cross to Giroud who heads  on to Lucas who backheels it to Giroud wou fumbles it over the line. GOAL!!!! 1-2 to The Arsenal after 89 minutes!


Giroud almost intercepting a backpass but the keeper first on the ball and then Ramsey scuffs his effort wide and over. Holding comes on in the place of Maitland-Niles and Reine-Adelaide comes on for Lucas. Ospina first on a cross from PNE. Arsenal now controlling the match and then Welbeck with a good shot but Maxwell tips it over. Arsenal now taking their time.


Arsenal with a difficult and typical FA cup match with 1-2 after once again Giroud the man who stepped up when it was needed.   

49 Replies to “FA cup : Preston North End – Arsenal 1-2 : Giroud, who else?”

  1. Great win. Quite a lot of that agricultural tackling Tony mentioned before. I think one of the PNE players, it was his ninth yellow card of the season. I laughed when the commentator said the elbow to Gabriel’s head that drew blood wasn’t deliberate.

  2. Yes Pat indeed he certainly used excessive force with his elbow because otherwise it wouldn’t have resulted in a seriously bleeding head wound. When you jump up you have to make sure your elbow cannot injure someone. And when you don’t do that… you have to face the consequences…

  3. Shoot was watching a different game. I thought the ref was disgraceful. He was a liability & Arsenal ought to thank God that none of our players were injured.

  4. @Pat,
    You’re one out. Pearson has now collected his 10th yellow and is apparently trying to follow Keane, Barton, Shawcross etc as football’s No 1 thug.
    When Welbeck came on I was concerned for his wellbeing but he survived OK. 😉

  5. Elbow on Perez in the box was worse than Xhaka’s. Just like Xhaka’s shove on Fraser was not as bad as Fraser’s on Bellerin, but always it’s the Arsenal player that gets punished. While the other players get away scotfree. This is what we complain about, and we are referred to as whingers.

    I too was concerned about our players getting injured that I was actually wanting the ref to just blow his whistle at 1-1, and take a replay back at the Ems. Anyway, it ended well; win and no obvious injuries (apart from Gabriel of course).

    p/s Welbeck looked sharp, very encouraging.

  6. I felt there was a deliberate push on Monreal by the PNE player who brought the ball into the box for the first goal – strangely not seen by PGMO bandits.

    Also not seen, late in the first half, Perez seemed to be pushed over as he burst into their box, the linesman who did not see any foul was the same dork who failed to see the “hand of Vidic” a few years ago.

    But, we were still very poor the first half – not helped by visually impaired bandits in black – but we cannot continue to start matches so badly.

    However, it was (another) good fight back, with no apparent further injuries and no replay!

    In the end, well done guys.

  7. Good win.We have pissed off all the headline makers of the scum media.After the match, I went for a walk and was listening to bbc5 phone in.Never ever again.They put anyone on the air who was anti Wenger, so much so that a couple of callers objected to it being an Arsenal show.
    We know that there is a mass anti Arsenal media scrum, but I now believe it is getting out of hand.
    Why does the club sitback and say nothing.

  8. Exactly none of our players were injured for Christ sake it’s a contact sport you lot are quite unbelievable if you don’t like a bit of rough and tumble . Why not try either Ladies football , skittles or badminton I don’t know of any other blog in the fecking world which bores on and on about tackling .

  9. Walter, I am interested in your assessment of the disallowed Giroud “goal”.

    BT coverage only showed one play-back. My impression was that another Arsenal player was clearly off-side, but not active and that Olivier may have been on-side when the ball was last played.

    I admit that the lack of a second replay made me suspicious and that my impression might have been mistaken.

  10. What enjoyment can you derive from watching Arsenal when every and I repeat every game you watch is then followed by anger and criticism of the handling of the match . My only conclusion is that unhappiness and misery floats your boat . Sad really .

  11. Better 2nd half and patience paid off.

    As for the referee Robert Madley, he was dog shite. Preston are one of the most foul playing and yellow vard collecting team in the second division and

    what happens when a referee fails to give fouls and yellow/reds of elbows, snide tackles, shirt pulling….. well the players keep on doing that persistenly.

    Thankfully all of are players came back with two eyes each. Gabriel was milimeters away from possbily going blind. The elbow struck him on the edge of the eye area.

    Finally I wish Preston best of luck in EFL League one next season. Bunch of thugs, that lot.

  12. I wasn’t worried about the ref half as much as how we kept passing the ball to the chaps in the wrong coloured shirts and didn’t make the most of the space. We seemed out of sorts but regained some composure to turn things round. Good win in the end.

  13. Usama think it’s that easy so why don’t you try and qualify to be a ref and show the world how easy it is . That’s the trouble isn’t it so many who think they know better but not one has got the balls to do it . Moan on

  14. Yes, great return by Danny Welbeck. On target even though he was only on the pitch for about ten minutes. I reckon Arsene Wenger only put him on for ten minutes rather than the 30 he had intended for fear of him being injured again. Thanks for the correction Nicky!

  15. Looking forward to the ref review. Care to bet he gets less than a coin toss accuracy?

  16. Gabriel had heavy bandaging in 2nd half after excess bleeding, Lucas face was swollen late in the game after an elbow in 1st half, Ramsey was holding his back after the match, and Xhaka kept feeling his calves during any stoppages

    And all of it were due to unpunished challenges by Preston.

    Players like Eduardo and Diaby (multiple times) were victims of serious foul play and career ending challenges, involving such unpunished foul play throughout.

    Luckily Ramsey and Wilshire have recently recovered through such horrors.

  17. @shoot
    Are you a retard? Mayb u need to blow yr brains to jolt them a lill bit…just to get some blood flowing. Who knows, you might just surprise us all and think more clearly.

    And while you are at that, i’ll steal you on little secret. A thug is a thug is a thug. Just because football is a contact sport doesnt give anyone the leeway to go around flailing their arms into peoples soft spots or thoughtlessly hack down anything tht appears to move on a pitch…you just cannot explain away such behavior, unless you approve of it. Now thts what is truly sad.

    And a crappy ref is a crappy ref, you dont need to be an expert to know tht. Just base his decisions on th laid down rules tht are publicly available FFS. the ref reviews on this site could actually help u a lot in spotting ‘funny suspicious’ behavior from crappy refs

  18. I had the conviction in me all along that told me before this game kicked off that PNE don’t have the game wit that can stop Arsenal in this Cup game.

    So I wasn’t surprised to see Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud curtailed their excess of PNE team in the game. A PNE team and their manager who after seen the Gunners last League match away to Bournemouth, draw inspiration from that match to press-hard the Gunners to almost breaking point in the first half of the match having seen what Bournemouth were able to do to us last Tuesday night at the Vitality Stadium.

    But alas, PNE played their FA Cup final against Arsenal today’s evening at the Deepdale but lost the match to Olivier Giroud’s goal for Arsenal to put Arsenal into the hat for the 4th round draw.

  19. Anyhow it was a good comeback, still need to improve on the performance. And looking back, the commentators on BT were very expressive in showing their disappointment after Arsenal scored and won, Steve Mcmanaman in particular.

  20. And cometh the hour, cometh the beautiful beast. You’ve gotta give it to the ‘lamppost’. He just keeps going and lets the rest of ‘them’ do what they do best- moan, whine, cry,moan again, get a bout melancholia every time he touches a ball…not bad at all

  21. Walter
    “We weren’t at the races in the first half. Beaten everywhere.We were not compact. We didn’t win the duels.We were outplayed..”

    This from Arsene Wenger who also admitted to being angry with his players but refused to say what he had told them at half time.

    From your report no one who missed the game ,as I did, could possibly pick any of that up.

    Did you not see it the way Arsene did , or are you just not capable of writing about Arsenal play in a negative way whatsoever?

  22. With his recent goals scoring form of Olivier Giroud that is on the ups, ups & ups, I hope not to hear of any Chinese Super Liga club agent coming to Ollie to tempt him with a huge money bag offer to move away to China during this January transfer window which of course will be blocked by Le Prof as expected.

    If it is true, would Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur turn down an £809000k net plus per week offer said to have been offered to him by a Chinese Super Liga club side to move away from Tottenham to them in China?

    Was Odion Ighalo of Watford FC missed to take his chance last season by refusing to accept a big money move away offer purportedly to have been offered to him by a Chinese Super Liga club to move away from Watford to their club in China? Is Ighalo regretting his decision now not to have accepted that lifetime offer to move? Well, I am not in his mind so I wouldn’t know.

  23. Tom, Wenger is Wenger and Walter is Walter. I never pretend to be a manager or a super analyst.
    I just write about the match I see and what happens and give my emotions during the match on the match.

  24. In the1st line of my 1st paragraph, pls substitute the word ‘his’ with the word ‘the’. And the 1st word ‘Was’ that begins my 2nd paragraph should be ‘Has’. Thanks.

  25. Walter

    Fair enough.
    Here’s the thing though, I don’t think one needs to be a super analyst to realise when a team is playing poorly or not.
    No one is asking you how to remedy their play by changing formations, personnel, or maybe just attitude.

    Arsene Wenger is usually very reserved in criticising his players so not to damage their confidence, so when he is being this forceful it sugests to me we might’ve had a stinker of a first half due to lack of effort – something even a none expert could probably observe.

  26. PNE tried to put us off our game by roughing us up. I don’t think it worked but Gabriel’s blood showed the extent to which they were prepared to go. I think 5 changes were too many on the day. Gabriel and Mustafi did not gel right away and Gabriel was caught deep playing men onside a couple of times. PNE played well in the first half and could well have scored at least another. However, whatever was said at half did the trick because we took over the match and we could have scored more than the 2 we got.

  27. paul the gooner

    You conveniently and selectively forgot to mention Nigel on the 5 live phone in. He very articulately put down all the anti Wengers and said we were the fourth biggest club in the world and hoped Wenger would retire when he wanted to and move “upstairs”. He couldn’t speak more highly of Arsenal and Wenger.

  28. I see Man U got away with two reckless studs up challenges again today for the cost of just one yellow card. Interesting how the refs see things when it’s them. Oh and see in the post match discussions MOTD didn’t even comment on either let alone show them. Same old same old.

  29. From what Google News showed me, that doesn’t seem to have been a single questionable call by any official in Jan 7 FA Cup games. At least according to those who are paid to lie and fantasize to us constantly.

  30. Very poor in the first half, then improved. Giroud is a talisman at the moment.
    Pathetic refereeing……if they allow the rough stuff for opponents, why won’t they let out players do the same…..ok we all know the answer to that…
    Seems like there were some people on that pitch….and it would seem not just PNE and elsewhere who would have loved a draw there

  31. What i do not understand is the “surprise” that seems to fall on this team when another team plays well:

    “I’ve played in the Championship and I know how difficult every game is. They proved that in the first half and it took us by surprise.”

    “Surprised… yeah. I don’t know but they put a lot of intensity in the duels and the team was beaten physically.”

    Come on lads, surprise? This is not good. We cannot be surprised about a team fighting for a win. After all how long have we been playing this game eh?

    Anyway AW said:
    ” I would first like to congratulate Preston for the quality of their game, especially in the first half where we were outpaced and they played with desire, enthusiasm and quality and they gave us many problems.”

    “we were outpaced and they played with desire”
    This seems to be repeating itself and needs to be addressed soonest, else these type of games will be our loss more than gain.

  32. It looks like Ospina, Cech, Martinez, Keto, …, Mertesacker may not be the tallest people at Colney in a little while. Another of Kroenke’s teams, Denver Nuggets of the NBA are coming for a visit.

  33. Some selected details on the Nuggets.

    Manager Michael Malone
    Jusuf Nurkic _ _ 7’0″ _ _ _ _ 280 lb
    Nikola Jokic _ _ 6’11” _ _ _ _250 lb
    Danilo Gallinari 6’10” _ _ _ _225 Lb
    Darrel Arthur _ _6’9″ (2.06m) 235 lb
    Malik Beasley _ _6’5″ _ _ _ _ 196 lb
    Gary Harris _ _ _6’4″ _ _ _ _ 210 lb
    Jamal Murray _ _ 6’4″ _ _ _ _ 207 Lb

    Petr Cech is “only” 6’5″.

  34. Tom – Wenger said ‘enough is enough’ when referring to City ‘scoring’ 2 off side goals, He must have been right then also.

    The PGMOL officials cheat the game of honesty & selective vision is their way of getting Arsenal punished. Walter has every right to use selective ‘rose coloured’ vision when watching our beloved Arsenal.

  35. The manager and the players were self critical. This was remarkably honest of them, especially after a win. Mind you, they got no praise for their honesty. The pundits in the studio were on to them straight away for daring to say they were ‘surprised’ by PNE’s intensity. So out of an honest admission was made something negative.

    I see our role as supporters somewhat differently. Seeing the things Arsenal are up against, particularly the kick em brigade and poor refereeing, I hope supporters see the priority as being to support rather than moan. This is the best way to boost our team’s performance, especially given the amount of negativity around. Let’s appreciate the many fine qualities in our team. Especially having seen what PNE supporters and others get offered.

  36. I just watched the bitesize clip on Arsenal.com. Very impressed with how Iwobi held the ball up while surrounded by PNE players before he gave the pass for Ramsey’s goal. He had certainly come out for the second half determined to battle. So full marks to the manager for his team talk.

  37. Quite right Pat. It’s clear we have the media and certain refs against us which makes it all the more important that “supporters” actually support! The clue is in the name. The problem is that some followers of the club haven’t yet worked out that the bias they spout has been put in their minds by others.

  38. Watched a replay of the game & in the 65th minute there was a free kick coming into the Preston penalty area. Giroud was being held & his shirt was being pulled in clear sight of the PGMOL selectively blind official. Terrible this cheating lot. I wonder how they are processing their corrupt gains. The Fraud squad must know some of what is going on.

    If South Yorkshire Police got away for years with corrupt practice (Hillsboro) makes one wonder how Maggie & the Sun settled their funds while Miners & Fleet Street (corrupt in itself) were raped by power to fund Sky, & a media empire in US.

  39. WOO HOO , HOO ! A very hard fought win. But a deserving one at that .Up the Gunners !
    Everyone should be happy(?) with the commitment and intensity shown by the team in the second half . While the winner took some time in coming,we were always in full control. The away fans were very loud and in good voice, especially in cheering and singing the praises of OG ! That truly is great support . Well done guys ,we salute you .
    The opposition and the ref performed to expectations . No untoward surprises there .

  40. Lol the quality of this Risdale admiring troll matches the quality seen on the pitch by the pgMOB team when humiliating themselves against:

    Costa Rica


    Genius is an understatement

  41. Magic of the cup,…..If we should’ve won it straight forward, where is the magic.

    Lower league teams have one shot at glory and they fight over their abilities to earn that. Big teams like us have much more at stake. We have 3 competitions to fight for. We have to keep our squads fit for it. We have to avoid a replay to avoid fixture congestion. A lot of weight on our shoulders. And that is the equalizer.

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