By Walter Broeckx
Dean the ref today let us see how he does in the post Wenger era. Former gunner Yennaris captains Brentford.
Arsenal team: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Elneny, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck, Smith-Rowe.
On the beach: Martinez, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Torreira, Nketiah, Lacazette
My stream starting really bad but I think Leno almost made an early cockup on a backpass from Mustafi but the next image was a corner that was cleared so no real danger. Then again a bit of start stop streaming finished with celebrating Arsenal players. A short taken corner was given to Guendouzi who crossed it to the middle and Welbeck headed it home. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 5 minutes.
Almost immediately another goal when Smith-Rowe was send away but a last second tackle prevented a second Arsenal goal. Then a bit more midfield play from both teams ended with a shot that was deflected for a corner for Brentford right after 15 minutes. Arsenal still 1-0 up after 15 minutes.
Dean then being Dean and judging a throw in from Arsenal as a foul throw…as long as I am in the centre of attention… A good bit of high pressure from Arsenal win the ball high up the field but Mkhitaryan loses his touch in a promising position and the keeper can pick up the ball. A clear foul on Iwobi in the penalty area and Dean gives nothing. Iwobi was clearly impeded but we all know what to expect. Iwobi tried to stay on his feet when he was fouled but this should not be counted against him but Dean used it of course. Welcome to the Dean league Unai. Every contact from an Arsneal player is calledlate challenge on Guendouzi not. Oh no it is Guendouzi who gets a talking too…. And Lichtsteiner goes in the book…..he stook out his arm but the Brentford players was holding his arm in a good grip. Dean on a mission. Still 1-0 for Arsenal against Dean, …er Brentford after 30 minutes.
A foul off the ball on Monreal is somehow missed by Dean. A Brentford player first tripping Monreal and then stopping he ball is no foul. Oh well…. Oh a surprise Konza goes in the book for a trip on Lichtsteiner. Arsenal set up an attack. Mkhitaryan witha good movement in the middle past his man and then to Iwobi in the left who gave it to Monreal on the overlap and he crossed it low in front of goal and Welbeck with a simple tap in. GOAL!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 37 minutes. A nice move and a good team goal. And the second for Welbeck. Nice to see all our strikers scoring goals!
Arsenal controlling the match without really stepping up the speed too much. A few good potential moves but the passing letting us down when the final ball has to be made. 4 minutes of extra time according to Dean. He also had a few streaming problems I think and missed a few things. Arsenal go in at half time with a well deserved 2-0 lead.
Second half is underway. No changes for Arsenal. Arsenal good attack on the left flank but a defender just in time back to cut out the danger. From the resulting corner Smith-Rowe finds Mkhitaryan but he misses one on one with the keeper who made a great block. Dean continues to be Dean. Iwobi with a left footed shot but the ball rises too much and sails over. A shot from Brentford goes wide half a meter. A good attack from Arsenal over Iwobi to Smith-Rowe but the youngster too much in doubt about what to do and in the end the ball goes out after his left footed cross attempt. But a few Arsenal players losing their concentration too much making us lose a few balls unnecessary. Guendouzi making a needless foul 5 meters outside the penalty area results in a free kick that is expertly converged by Judge from Brentford. 2-1 after 58 minutes. We need to pick up the tempo and our concentration level.
We don’t and Brentford almost scores a second goal but the ball goes over. 2-1 after 60 minutes. Welbeck goes in the book when he got a kick first and then tried to make up for it but lunged at the Brentford player. Lacazette comes on for Smith Rowe after 62 minutes.
Brentford putting us under some pressure and having a few shots but Leno up to the task. Dean giving a foul in favour of Arsenal after two successive fouls. But then he gives a goal kick to Brentford in stead of a corner. We should score another goal to make sure Dean doesn’t pull something out of his hat. Holding almost does after a corner but an amazing stop from the keeper from the effort from close range prevents an Arsenal goal. 2-1 after 75 minutes.
Torreira comes on for Mkhitaryan. Leno with a good stop on a shot under pressure. Some Arsenal players overdoing it a bit instead of letting the ball do the work. Lichtsteiner with a shot that hits Lacazette and ends up with Welbeck and after some touches the ball goes out for a corner. Could have gone anywhere that ball. Arsenal having trouble with finding the right speed in the pass so they ruin their own potential attacks. After 84 minutes Ramsey comes on for Elneny.
A double one two between Ramsey and Lacazette gives the latter a shooting chance but under pressure he fires off target. A Brentford player goes down claiming a penalty when he tried to run between Torreira and Lichtsteiner but that is even too much for Dean. 4 minutes of extra time given.
Arsenal has to work hard till the final whistle. That happens when you put your foot of the pedal against a decent team. Lacazette battles to win a bouncing ball in the Brentfot half and under pressure between two defenders he scores! GOAL !!! 3-1 to The Arsenal after 93 minutes. Okay, no more room for a Deanesque moment now. And Iwobi even with a goal but he was ruled offside when he got the ball from a blocked shot from Ramsey.
That was it. We won 3-1 and had to work very hard for it in the second half as we thought the match was in the pocket.
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