By Walter Broeckx
Note before the match: If anything in this match report is not accurate or seen with rose tinted glasses or dark tinted glasses this is due to me having knee surgery this afternoon and I just got home from the hospital and might be slightly under the spell of all the sedation they gave me today.
Anyway a surprise start for Gooner/Gunner Car Jenkinson and for the rest also starts for Pleguezelo, Smith Rowe and Maitland Niles. Pfew they give me a lot of typing work today.
Arsenal team in full : Cech, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Pleguezelo, Lichtsteiner, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Maitland Niles, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck.
On the beach: Martinez, Holding, Torreira, Willock, Iwobi, Aubameyang and Nketiah.
Jenkinson at left back and Maitland Niles in midfield with Smith Rowe joining the attack. Arsenal on top as can be expected from the start but not really getting through the Blackpool defence. Mkhitaryan almost at the end of a diverted long ball but the keeper first on the ball. Still 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Mkhitaryan with a shot that was clearly deflected for a corner but the ref gave a goalkick. Guendouzi goes in the book for what looked the first foul in the match. The ref then gives a handball against Welbeck when the ball clearly was controlled by the shoulder. Are we looking at an ambitious ref who wants to climb up the ladder? My stream going down more than I like it for the moment. But still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
And while me stream goes down and comes up again I see a pass from Guendouzi that is turned in by Lichtsteiner at full stretch. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 34 minutes. After that my stream is more stopping than running but just enough to see Ramsey miss a big but difficult chance when he can’t finish a cross with his left foot. Half time score 1-0.
Hopefully a better stream for the second half. And a better Arsenal. Welbeck with an attack and Jenkinson on the overlap. A cross down the middle from Carl but the keeper with hand to it but the ball falls to Smith Rowe who shoots the ball against the net with his left foot. GOAL!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 50 minutes. A fine finish from the young talent.
A corner for Blackpool and he ball is headed against the crossbar. A let off and the first chance for Blackpool in the match. Well what I have seen from it up to now. Marc Bola the former Arsenal youth player clears a dangerous cross from Ramsey. Mustafi heads the resulting corner just wide. We can’t let this happen thinks the ref and so he sends Guendouzi off for…. the slightest of pulls. Coote remember the name as this will be one to fear in the coming seasons I think. Guendouzi goes off with two yellow cards. Ridiculous.
Torreira comes on to give some cover in defensive midfield and Maitland Niles is the victim of the acts of the ref. 2-0 after 60 minutes.
Mkhitaryan escapes but the ball took him wide to the left and his shot only hit the side netting. Blackpool get a corner and the score from it. They were giving a life line by the ref and took it. 2-1 after 66 minutes. Cech then with a folie losing the ball but lucky the Blackpool striker that scored was in an offside position from the pass.
Iwobi comes on after 71 minutes and he replaces Smith Rowe. The folie of the referee making sure that the youngsters have to be withdrawn from the playing field. And that first teamers who should get a rest before Liverpool have to come in action. The ref really calling everything in favour of Blackpool. Still 2-1 after 75 minutes.
Aubameyang comes on for Welbeck after 75 minutes. A dangerous cross from Iwobi but Blackpool can clear in front of Aubameyang. Aubaemeyang then torpedod down and even for this ref this was a red card. This was a brutal attack from behind with a scissor tackle. Both teams continue with 10 players after 85 minutes. I think the ref damn well knew he had tilted the pitch a bit too much. Aubameyang away but offside given and it looked correct. Twice. Trice. Cullen with a header for Blackpool but it went over. 6 minutes of extra time given? I missed the long injury then. Arsenal playing out the time in injury time not really looking for the third goal.
What looked an easy win was made a hard days night by a stupid decision from the ref. If you would give a second yellow card for such a minor foul then you should send off 5 or 6 players each match who commit two fouls.
In the end we won 2-1 and are still in the cup.
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