By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal starting with : Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette
On the beach: Macey, Holding. Chambers, Kolasinac, Elneny, Iwobi, Welbeck
A good start from Arsenal with Özil almost finding Lacazette. And hardly a minute later Özil picks out Mkhitaryan but he shoots wide. Özil with a one to with Ramsey and the latter scores but the flag goes up for an offside in the build up. Arsenal and Özil in full flow so far. But minutes later again Arsenal with a good attack. The ball goes to Bellerin who picks out Ramsey and this time the goal is given. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 9 minutes. What a start.
Moscow then with some attacking play and their number 7 looks very quick. Mustafi with a bad clearance, Xhaka with another bad clearance and then Koscielny goes in too wild and concedes a free kick just outside the penalty area. Golovin behind the ball and he finishes the ball in the top corner. Unstoppable. 1-1 after 15 minutes. All because of some bad defending.
Moscow now having the upperhand and Musa is clear but he shoots wide. He really is a handful. After some 5 dodgy minutes Arsenal step it up again. Özil goes past a defender in the penalty area and then the defender goes in from behind, he doesn’t touch the ball but brings Özil down and after some hesitation and talking to the 5th ref behind the goal the ref gives the penalty. Lacazette behind the ball and the keeper goes the wrong way. GOAL!! 2-1 to The Arsenal after 21 minutes.
Both teams playing very open now and we have to keep an eye on Mussa but with some combined efforts from our defenders we can shut him out. At the other end…. well…well….well… what can you say about that. Özil with a sublime chipped pass to Ramsey who lifts the ball with the outside of his foot over the keeper who came out and was sublime lobbed. GOAL!!! 3-1 to the Arsenal after 28 minutes.
Wernbloom goes in the book for Moscow and Arsenal continue to play some sublime football. Özil, who else… on the left flank he finds Lacazette who controls with his right foot and finishes with a low shot with his left foot. GOAL!!!! 4-1 to The Arsenal after 35 minutes. Wow, wow and wow.
Musa on the left flank escapes but lucky Dzagoev misses the chance for Moscow. Stay awake at the back! Xhaka then with a great cross to Özil but the German maestro can’t keep the ball down and it goes over the crossbar. 4-1 to The Arsenal after 45 minutes. What a half.
Arsenal continue their attacking play and Özil finds Mhkitaryan but his control lets him down a bit and he misses the shot under pressure from the defender. Musa goes in the book. Monreal with a low cross finds Ramsey who thinks he scored his hattrick but the ball bounces off the leg of a defender and goes out for a corner. Mkhitaryan has a shot from outside the penalty area but the keeper can’t keep hold of the ball and Ramsey shoots the chance over. Xhaka then with a strong challenge and he also gets a yellow card. And Shennikov also goes in the book a minute later. A strong challenge on Mkhitaryan who needs treatment and has to go off minutes later. Iwobi comes on after 61 minutes.
A few minutes of adjusting to the new situation and Moscow score but the player was already in an offside position when the shot was given that was saved by Cech and then fell to Dzagoev. Keep awake please! Özil gives a great ball to Iwobi who should have had a shot himself but he picks out Lacazette who misses from a tight angle. What a miss. The Moscow keeper also gets a yellow card. Don’t know for what to be honest. The TV cameras are too busy showing things I’m not interested in.
Özil with a low shot but Akinfeev saves it and then Ramsey is offside. After 73 minutes Wilshere and Lacazette come off and Elneny and Welbeck enter the field. And a minute later Iwobi gives the ball to Ramsey whose shot had beaten the keeper but it bounces of the goalpost and goes to safety for Moscow. It looks as if Lacazette and Ramsey don’t want to score a hattrick today?
Bellerin with a strong challenge that wouldn’t be given in the PL and he even goes in the book. Excellent refereeing this evening by the way. A cross from the right finds Welbeck but his effort is straight at the keeper. We should have scored more goals today. But we had to keep an eye on that Mussa fellow from Moscow who looked dangerous but had no end product. Ramsey again with a chance but this time he shoots wide with his left foot. Both teams going for another goal but some tired legs now.
3 minutes of added time but no more changes in the scoreline. Arsenal win 4-1 and goes to Moscow with a good advantage. But still don’t sell the skin of the bear until you killed it is a Dutch expression. But we sure had a great 45 minutes but forgot to completely kill Moscow in the second half to make the return match completely a non event.