No Ramsey in the team and Bellerin not at right back, that were the most noticable changes before kickoff. Wilshere came in the team for Ramsey and Chambers playing at right back.
Arsenal XI: Cech, Chambers, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Aubameyang
Bench: Ospina, Bellerin, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Welbeck, Nketiah
Iwobi with a blocked effort and then Özil with a shot that went over in the opening minutes from Arsenal. Brighton getting a corner. Cech can’t get to the ball and the ball falls in the midle and Brighton score from 5 meters out. After a good start again the first shot from the opposition goes in. 1-0 behind after 6 minutes. And Cech again not looking very well. Arsenal shocked and Brighton feel the confidence of the Arsenal players slipping again and try to add a second goal. Cech this time with a good save. Arsenal then trying to control the match again but too slow to break up the packed Brighton defence. 1-0 after 15 minutes.
Iwobi losing the ball brings another chance for Brighton. Luckily for us Cech stops the low shot with his foot. When Brighton win a corner they look dangerous each time. Arsenal attacking more going backwards than forwards and when we pass forward the pass is not precise enough. The Arsenal players looking slow on their legs compared to the Brighton players. Koscielny giving the ball away cheaply and the cross finds Murray who heads it in under the hand of Cech who again looks weak. 2-0 after 26 minutes. Did we really have to get rid of Sczczesny for Chech? Kolasinac then goes in the book for dissent when Brighton gets a free kick.
Arsenal playing in a harmless way putting themselves under pressure by playing the ball around in a slow way around their own penalty area and give it away more than once. Arsenal players mostly ball looking, not ball attacking. Wilshere goes in the book for a late challenge. Izqueirdo being given offside but Cech had managed to turn the ball out this time. 67 % possession for Arsenal but zero result so far. Should have said it earlier. Kolasinac on the left and his cross is half cleared and Iwobi picks up the ball to Xhaka whose low cross finds Aubameyang who side foots it in the goal. 2-1 after 42 minutes.
A corner finds Koscielny but his header hits the post. Unlucky…..We go in at half time 2-1 down.
A back pass from Mustafi that is underhit almost gives a chance to Brighton but Cech first on the ball. Arsenal trying to go forward but just a low shot from Mkhitaryan to show in the opening minutes. Xhaka gets a yellow card for a foul on Bong. A weak shot with his left foot from Iwobi doens’t really trouble the keeper. A shot from Özil does but he saves for a corner. Özil then finds Aubameyang who rounds the keeper but his cross is cut out by a few defenders. Still 2-1 after 60 minutes.
Arsenal with another chance after some good advantage from the ref but the low cross is cleared in front of Aubameyang. The defender getting his yellow card later. The match is then stopped for a long period when a Brighton player clashes with the shoulder of Kolasinac and has to come off. Brighton players surrounding the ref to get Kolasinac send off but this was just a collision of a player being a bit shorter than Kolasinac the tank.
After 73 minutes Iwobi comes off and Welbeck enters the field. Murray gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Wilshere. After 81 minutes Bellerin and Nketiah enter the field for Chambers and Mkhitaryan. A Brighton goal is correctly disallowed for offside. Kolasinac with a cross but the header from Nketiah is too soft to bring real danger. For some reason refs in England want the ball completely in the quarter circle for a corner…. it has to touch the line in projection but it will take seconds of the clock I do admit. A shot from Aubameyan ends right in the arms of the keeper.
Too slow, too much ball watching, and players who are clearly afraid of making mistakes and thus making mistakes.
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We have to drink the poisoned chalice to the bottom it seems. (Don’t know if this idiom gets the message through, it does in my language)
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