By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette
On the beach: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck.
Cech had to be attentive and come out on time to smother a ball before Watford could become dangerous. Lacazette being clipped in the penalty area but Taylor being Taylor from the start. Lacazette tried to stay on his feet giving Taylor the chance to wave it away. Not really much fluent football in the opening minutes from Arsenal with Watford trying to press us high. A dangerous shot from Watford from 17 meters out but one meter off target. Lacazette stealing the ball from the last defender and he tried to lob the keeper but the ball went well wide. What a big chance after 15 minutes so still 0-0 for now.
Watford replying with a shot that was diverted but a clear foul on an Arsenal defender so it wouldn’t have counted anyway. A looping cross from Bellerin is cleared just in front of Aubameyan at the far post. The match really is open and end to end stuff. A cross from Özil finds Monreal who heads in front of the goal but Lacazette just can’t touch the ball to put it over the line. Özil then sends Aubameyang away but the keeper rushed out to clear far outside his penalty area. Arsenal can just clear their line when the ball bounces around in their penalty area but they manage to clear it. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Deeney lunging in studs showing against Monreal and he gets a deserved yellow card. Cech with an important stop in two times on a dangerously kicked free kick. First on the header and the smothering the ball on the rebound. A dangerous cross from Bellerin is missed by Aubameyang and then Xhaka has a shot that the keeper has to save for a corner.
Taylor being blind when Watford players get in the back of Arsenal players. Something he spotted every time when Arsenal did it. Torreira gets a yellow card for a challenge that was a bit late. Cech then kicks a long ball and goes down holding his hamstring. That looks like match over for him and I fear for a rupture. Leno comes in to action for the last seconds of the first half. Ramsey gets the captains armband and we go in at half time with the score 0-0. Not the best of Arsenal half let us hope we improve in the second half.
Arsenal win a few corners at the start of the first half and Holding just can’t make proper contact from close range. At the other end Deeney at the end of a free kick but a great stop from Leno to stop the goal bound effort. Watford from the start of the match using the block the keeper routine that is not allowed but with Taylor they can get away with it much to the surprise of Leno. Aubameyang on the right with a cross to Lacazette but he can’t direct his header. Xhaka with a high ball in his own penalty area and Leno can’t reach the ball with too many people in front of him but Arsenal can clear in the end. Still 0-0 after 60 minutes.
Mustafi gets a yellow card as he reacts a bit too furious when he thought we should have been given a corner. Ramsey is taken off and Iwobi comes on after 62 minutes. With the subbing of our keeper we can only make 2 changes so not easy for the coach. Xhaka tries to find Monreal but he couldn’t really make proper contact at the far post. Leno then with a great block when Watford suddenly find an opening and had a one on one. Excellent save that came falling out of the sky as Arsenal had 71% of possession so far in the second half. A minute later a shot from Watford sails just past the far post. Holding with a good block on a shot from Watford who have found new energy it seems. Still 0-0 after 75 minutes.
A free kick bounces around dangerously but Leno stops it somehow. A Watford player escapes but his ball goes off target with Leno making difficult enough for the striker to find the target. After 75 minutes Welbeck comes on for Aubameyang. Still 0-0.
Deeney challenges Torreira a bit late but off course no action from Taylor in the form of a second yellow card. Dissent from Watford player Doucoure results in a yellow card a bit later. Arsenal attack on the right flank. Bellerin to Iwobi who had switched flanks after the introdcution of Welbeck and Lacazette and a defender go in to the ball that ends up in the back of the net. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 82 minutes. Replay looks it might have been an own goal. Lacazette his modest celebration indicating this also.
Welbeck wins the ball in midfield and the ball goes from Iwobi to Lacazette. The Frenchman crosses to the middle and Özil in on hand to put it against the back of the net. GOAL!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 84 minutes.
Mr. Emery moving around as if he was taking part in the match himself. Mustafi kicking a clearance against the head of Deeney was a bit of extra fun. A good cross from the left by Watford is header well over. That was as the result of a counter from them. Arsenal players looking also determined to keep the clean sheet.
Arsenal playing out the time in the added time. Lacazette with a last effort but it went wide. One of the best Arsenal players for me was Rob Holding who cleared a lot of high balls. 7 wins in a row now.
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