Arsenal – Western Sydney : 3-1

By Walter Broeckx

ArsenalOspina, Koscielny, Elneny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Lacazette, Giroud

Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Bielik, Bramall, Coquelin, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Nketiah, Walcott

A first start for Koscielny and Ramsey in this match. Maitland-Niles playing in the left wingback position and The Ox at the right hand side. Elneny playing in the centre of the defence means Wenger is having a look at this for an optional position in case all our central defenders get injured, are suspended or whatever disaster could happen to them. Kos and Monreal the others in the 3 man defence.  Giroud in the middle with Lacazette coming in from the left and Iwobi from the right.

Arsenal immediately with a first chance. Great dribbling from Lacazette going past 3 defenders but the keeper with a good low save. Arsenal continue the attack and a cross ends up in front of Ramsey who tries a volley but a defender blocks the effort. The Ox almost finding Giroud after a free kick from the left but Giroud can’t wrap his foot around the ball well enough to make a proper contact. Arsenal in control but no goals in the opening 15 minutes.


Western Sydney playing with all players behind the ball so a good exercise in what we get to see in the PL many times. A cross from The Ox finds Lacazette who tries to go round his man but the defender can block the ball that bounces around against the hand of a Sydney player but correct from the ref to give no penalty. Some unnecessary roughness from some Western Sydney players so far with some nasty kicks against the ankles from behind. Ospina dribbling a Western Sydney player after a back pass. The Australian team surely doesn’t seem to find this a real “friendly” match. Iwobi the next one to suffer from a too strong challenge. Giroud with a header after the free kick from Xhaka but straight at the keeper. Temper raising a bit when Xhaka uses some force.  No score after 30 minutes.


Monreal with a good attack on the left flank after a 1-2 with Lacazette. He finds Giroud with a low cross and he smashes the ball in the top of the net. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 33 minutes. Monreal then with a great ball over the Western Sydney defense finds Ramsy who simply lobs the ball over the keeper with his left foot. GOAL!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 37 minutes.  That is two assists for Monreal.


Giroud with a shot on the turn after good work from Lacazette but the ball falls kindly for the keeper. Maitland-Niles playing on the wrong side is showing a few times when he tries to cross with his left foot.  Arsenal win a corner after good work from Giroud. From the corner the ball comes to Iwobi who lays it back to Elneny who takes a shot from outside the penalty area that goes in. GOAL!!! 3-0 to the Arsenal after 44 minutes. It took a big deflection so certainly a lot of good fortune with this goal. But they all count.


Arsenal almost with another goal but Western Sydney can manage to block the effort from Giroud and then Monreal blasts the rebound over. 3-0 to The Arsenal at half time.


Martinez comes in goal for the second half.  Elneny again with a shot from outside the penalty area after a corner but this time no luck as his effort comes back from the crossbar and Giroud heads the rebound over. Another corner for Arsenal gives us another chance to score but the Australian defenders can clear in the end. Western Sydney then have a chance but the shot also comes off the crossbar. Ramsey tries to play it back to Martinez who picks up the ball and an indirect free kick 6 meters out is the result. Western Sydney score in the rebound from the indirect free kick. 3-1 after 58 minutes.  But what a stupid mistake from Martinez, he should have kicked the ball from Ramsey away as he had enough room to do this. Elneny then with a too casual pass that gives a chance for Western Sydney to counter but the attackers run in an offside position so no further consequences.  3-1 after 60 minutes.


Further Arsenal pressure but Western Sydney can clear the dangerous crosses from The Ox and Iwobi.  Arsenal prepare a massive pitch invasion from substitutes after some 65 minutes. Martinez with a good save on a shot from a Sydney player.


Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Bielik, Bramall, Coquelin, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Nketiah, Walcott all enter the field after some 66 minutes.

A cross from Neslon finds Nketiah who tries to lay it off for a teammate. Could have gone for the shot himself. Welbeck with a cross/shot but nothing in the end. Walcott beating a few man in the middle of the park but his pass can’t find Nketiah. Walcott trying to place a shot but a fine save from the keeper. Willock with a great run through the middel but being pulled down. Özil with a great free kick against the post and Bielik missed the rebound from 6 meters out. Another (double) foul brings another free kick for Arsenal but this time the wall in the way but he crossed it again and Per all on his own headed in the arms of the keeper. It was with the back of his head and he could have controlled it as he was completely on his own. Nketiah with some good foot work to Özil who gave it to Walcott but a great save from the keeper on the low shot.  Nketiah with a shot after a pass from Özil but it crashes off the post…unlucky  and then Willock with a shot that curls just wide of the post. Özil again with a great pass to Walcott but again the keeper with a great save and then Nketiah is stoped at the last touch.

Arsenal win 3-1 and it really should have been a much higher score.

But in the end we never played with a team that we would expect to start in the PL (unless something drastic happened with injuries) and we were very composed and strong with both teams.  I surely look forward to see Özil linking up with Lacazette in the future. Amazing to think they didn’t play together for a second for now.  


11 Replies to “Arsenal – Western Sydney : 3-1”

  1. Yeah good game to get minutes under the belt the youngsters impressed again. They divide a good pressing game and they do like to take players on. Difficult to judge anything other than the fact it brings these set of players up nearer to match fitness.
    Of course there are other things to look at in next two games. I am hoping the youngsters get some game time against Bayern and Chelsea but I’d expect to see more of a first eleven against either Chelsea or Bayern .

  2. Two teams attempting to play passing football on a rugby pitch which was in poor condition.
    Never mind, they got through, and not a bad match either.
    I didn’t see any criticism of selecting Elneny (as Tony said on the early article) to play in central defence, but if anyone had said he was unsuited for this role I would have to agree, although he may develop into a new McLintock yet.

  3. OT.
    It’s not surprising to see the 23 year old Spanish Muguruza beating the 37 year old sjoren invested American Ms Williams 7-5 6-0 this afternoon at the All England Club Wimbledon in the ladies single’s final match. With the cenre-court retractable roofing closed during the playing of this match, how can the sjoren infected American Ms Williams get fresh air to breath in? Had the roof of the centre court not closed and there is fresh air to breath in by Ms Williams, would she had not tired out in the 2nd set of match, but performed very well to beat Garbine Muruguza and takes the match to 3rd set?

  4. Hmmm. I think the WSW defended stubbornly during the 2nd half of this match. And in as much as the Gunners tried to break through it during the last quarter of the match, they couldn’t as the WSW continued in their stubborn defending. The only time in the 2nd half which the stubborn defense-line of WSW would have been beaten was when Ozil’s bending free kick got through, but hit the post. How unlucky was Ozil and how lucky was the WSW goalkeeper who was beaten to the save of that free kick?

    Yes, the young Gunners of, Nketiah and Willock who Le Prof introduced into the game in the 2nd half gave a good account of themselves as they’ve shown they were full of energy. And were quick to the ball, fast, pacy and agile. But they lack finishing which is their weakness. They can’t finish off whenever they are positioned to finish off. I mean score. Scoring is the most important aspect of a striker’s or midfielder’s job. If they don’t score, how is their team going to win a match? In this regard, I will implore Le Prof to hold on tightly to all the young Gunners he played in the 2 games of their Australia tour. They are very good. In fact, watching them playing in the 2 matches they’ve played, I never knew we have such group of talented youth players. All that is left for Le Prof to do now so that they’ll come good totally, is for him to work on their lack of finishing. So that they will be scoring goals for Arsenal.

  5. Less I forget. Is Le Prof trying to convert Moh Elneny to a centreback? That will be interesting. He played there very well in my own view and even came forward to score a goal for us. But I can’t remembered who was that Gunner that made that fiasco of a back pass inside our box to Ospina which he caught instead of him to kick the ball away or pass it to a Gunner. A fiasco of a back pass that led to WSW scoring their only goal in the match at the 2nd attempts resulting from the free kick they were awarded in our box. I hope it was not Elneny that committed that blunder of a back pass.

  6. Samuel. Back-pass was by Ramsey and not a blunder. Keeper was Martinez not Ospina.

  7. Did anyone see the way in which Giroud totally ignored Lacezette after his goal? Lacezette went to go celebrate with him and he just ran right past Lacezette and gave him the cold shoulder. Giroud seemed to make a point of not passing to him throughout the match. What a shame to see such childish behaviour, from a player that has been so good to/for Arsenal. If he maintains this attitude problem with Lacezette, then perhaps that will be a factor in whether he is sold or not.

  8. Most improved player in 2 days would be Elneny for sure. He didnt look at all comfortable at the back in the first game on thursday, but today he was great. Thank god we have a stubborn manager that knows better than all of us 🙂

  9. Edda1971
    Sorry, but why does playing Elneny at centre back make Wenger stubborn?

  10. Well I have never seen Elneny as a centreback before, and after thursday I really didnt think he had it in him. But with Kosielny out for the 2 first games of the season and Mostafi late back for training I think Wenger wants to see if Elneny might be a soloution. And what i mean about him beeing stubburn is just that, when he sees things noone else sees he sticks with it no matter what. And more times than not he is right…

  11. @ Edda 1971 – I think AW has lost some of his old stubborness , he did major substitutions before the 70 th. minute ! But then again he did technically wait until the last third of the game.
    Must have come as a shock to many regulars !

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