By Walter Broeckx
Team at the start: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette
Beach: Macey, Chambers, Holding, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nketiah
A rather slow start from both teams with both teams not really being fluent. Arsenal not committing themselves going forward and Moscow not really causing any real danger. The building up from the back not really fluent from Arsenal as a few passes going to the wrong man. Nothing really to report in the first 15 minutes so still 0-0.
Arsenal dominating the match and pushing Moscow back a bit more. But still no real goal chances. A few attempted crosses every time a Russian defender with an interception. Finally a fluent Arsenal attack going from Özil to Welbeck who gives it to Lacazette in some space but a defender blocks the shot for a corner. His first touch could have been a bit better as now he slowed himself down. Mustafi and a Russian defender clash heads and the match is stopped by the ref. Mustafi comes up first and looks fine. The Moscow defender is also able to continue. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Arsenal with a good counter attack but the pass from Welbeck was just too wide for Ramsey to put it in. Moscow with what might be a dangerous attack but the player slips and Arsenal can clear. A bit later Ramsey trying to find Özil or Welbeck but both leave the ball for each other. Özil with a corner finding Monreal but his shoulder-header is completely off target. Moscow attack and a cross finds a attacker who heads towards the goal and Cech makes a great stop on the line but the loose ball is put over the line by Chalov. 1-0 after 38 minutes. That came out of nothing. Arsenal leading 4-2 on aggregate.
Ramsey down with an injury. He tried a sliding to intercept a ball and got injured. Arsenal with 10 players for a moment as Ramsey goes off. A corner from Moscow is half cleared and the shot from outside the penalty area doesn’t miss a lot. It looked like a flesh wound for Ramsey as he comes back on after 6-7 minutes. But he doesn’t look really comfortable. And now Jack down holding his leg. I think Musa stepped on it. Arsenal now hanging on with 9,5 man on the field in the extra time of the first half. Arsenal 1-0 behind after 45 minutes.
Both Jack and Aaron still on the pitch at the start of the second half. Moscow attacking from the off but the first chance is for Arsenal but Welbeck overhits his pass to Ramsey and the keeper is first on the ball. That final ball has to improve. A shot from distance is bad cleared by Cech and again the loose ball is fired home. 2-0 after 50 minutes. Arsenal only leading 4-3 on aggregate now.
Moscow with a free kick but this time Cech can clear the ball for a corner. Elneny scores after a cross from Bellerin but he was clearly offside. But at least a decent attack. And we sure could do with a goal to get us some breathing room now. 2-0 down after 60 minutes.
Moscow with most of the ball in the second half. Welbeck with a long run from his own half but again no real end product as his cross is blocked. After 67 minutes Wilshere goes off and Chambers comes on. Wilshere who had a poor game and looked off the pace most of the time. Will Chambers play in a defensive midfield role? Arsenal have a corner and Mustafi heads it to Koscielny but he blasts over the crossbar. Arsenal only half clear a Moscow attack and a volley from distance goes just wide. Then Welbeck with some crazy magic. A unexpected spin around his man on the flank. He cuts inside gives it to Elneny who slides it back in the path of Welbeck and he makes no mistake and curls the ball in to the far corner. GOAL! 2-1 after 75 minutes. Arsenal now leading 5-3 on aggregate.
Lacazette goes off and Iwobi comes on immediately after the goal. The ref spotting a handball from a Moscow attacker after a long throw in. Arsenal defending but a good interception from Iwobi sends Özil away but he can’t find a striker in the middle and the ball is cleared for a corner. The header from Chambers is too weak to trouble the Moscow keeper. A few misplaced passes from Moscow defenders but some Arsenal players too tired to make something of the errors. Golovin goes in the book for a foul on Elneny who had cleanly won the ball. Arsenal then with a counter and Özil gives it to Iwobi but he misses the target completely. Arsenal playing with 5 at the back since Chambers arrival. Elneny showing amazing running capacity as he keeps on chasing Moscow players all over the field. Arsenal counter over Ramsey who gives it to Welbeck but the keeper with a great save to deny the equaliser. In extra time Arsenal win the ball in their own half. Elneny clever waiting for the right moment and the right man and finds Ramsey completely on his own. Ramsey makes no mistake and chips the ball past the Moscow keeper in the goal. GOAL!! 2-2 after 92 minutes.
With the last strike of the match we avoid the defeat that looked on the cards for a long while. When we don’t go out attacking from the off we get caught in two minds too often it seems. And if we manage to be 4-1 ahead in the semi final, push for more and don’t lean back and think it is enough.
Finally Arsenal win 6-3 on aggregate and go to the semi final of the Europa league. Well done Gooners!
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