By Walter Broeckx
The most important player in the line up is the return of Koscielny on the bench for this match. Also Monreal back on the bench after a (too) long lay off because of an injury. Alas no Holding anymore as he will be out for the rest of the season probably.
Arsenal team at the start: Leno, Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Torreira, Xhaka, Aubameyang, Lacazet
On the beach: Cech, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Nketiah
Huddersfield trying to apply a very high pressure from the first seconds so Arsenal having some problems to develop their game plan in the opening 5 minutes. Huddersfield making lots of small fouls stopping Arsenal when they want to get an attack going. A Huddersfield player then falling badly on his arm causing the ref to stop the play for a treatment. Still 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Torreira almost sends Bellerin away but the keeper was first on the ball. Arsenal playing the ball too slow so far and playing back too much to really get forward and the passing not precise enough. Huddersfield committing small foul after small foul. You can give a card for that ref. Just pick a player. Oh but he can give a card when Xhaka dived. No problem with that but no cards for the rotational fouling? Xhaka with a low cross to Aubameyang but he misses the target from 9 meters out. Not a minute later Guendouzi with a ball to Lacazette but this time he slipped when he was going to shoot from 14 meters. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Finally the ref pulls out a card after the umpteenth foul of Huddersfield and Pritchard gets it. Xhaka with an attempt from distance but the ball went well over the goal. A tackle from behind from Williams sees him getting a yellow card. Another yellow card this time for a foul off the ball from Smith. Sokratis also goes in the book for a dangerous tackle. This is what happens when a ref lets too many fouls go without giving a yellow card. Then players start to think they can do it all and will do what they want. Then Lacazette scores but the flag goes up as Lacazette took advantage of his offside position when Aubameyang headed the ball forward. Well the assistant had a sharper eye than the one at Old Trafford this week. Arsenal losing control a bit letting Huddersfield have shot from a dangerous area but the ball goes over. Torreira with a great shot from distance but a stunning save from the keeper who saved for a corner. Mustafi going down but again the ref gives a card for a dive. 0-0 after 45 minutes. We have to improve in the second half.
It seems I somehow missed the yellow card from Lichtsteiner. Ref Tierney was very clever to book all Arsenal central defenders so now they have to play with a lot of caution to not get send off.
Mkhitaryan and Iwobi enter the field for Lichtsteiner and for Lacazette. So a change in formation for this second half.
Mkhitaryan with a first shot but it went wide. Mooy smacking an arm in the face of Torreira but that is no yellow card for the ref…. Leno going down well on a low shot at the other end with Depoitre lurking for the rebound. Huddersfield now in time wasting modus and the ref even given them a hand by walking up to the time waster in a slow way and to give nothing. Pritchard trying to win a penalty, ref says no (correct) but this time no yellow card????? Would have been his second. Another Huddersfield player suddenly on the floor. He seemed to have pulled a muscle and has to be stretchered off. Still 0-0 after 60 minutes.
A corner from Xhaka is headed wide by Aubameyang. Mustafi then also pulling a muscle and he has to come off. Koscielny preparing himself but it looks to be Monreal who will enter the field. And he does after 66 minutes. Aubameyang just can’t get on the end of a cross as he slips and the keeper has an easy pick up. Kolasinac send away but his cross is blocked and somehow Huddersfield can clear. The ref has once again forgotten his yellow cards as Huddersfield once again committing foul after foul but no more cards. Still 0-0 after 75 minutes.
All 11 players from Huddersfield around their penalty area and as said when Guendouzi goes down in the penalty area another yellow card comes out. Mind you there was contact, no foul but Pritchard was spared earlier on. A header from Mkhitaryan goes over after a cross from Kolasinac. A cross from Guendouzi goes to the right hand side and Aubameyang picks out of the air but he can’t finish so he crosses the ball and Torreira with a volley from close range shoots it in. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 84 minutes. Finally.
Bakuna goes in the book for a clear foul on Mkhitaryan. Aubameyang clearly winning the ball but the ref gives a foul against Arsenal. Depoitre going down and the ref gives nothing. But also no yellow card. Aubameyang slips when he wants to take a shot. Be careful could have been a yellow card.
7 minutes of extra time given. So the time wasters now get extra time to maybe score a equaliser. Huddersfield sending their keeper up after a free kick but Arsenal can counter but too much huffing and puffing and the keeper can clear in the end. Arsenal trying to play the game out at the corner flag.
Arsenal win 1-0 a deserved but hard fought victory. 21 matches unbeaten now. Lets keep it going.
- How far down might these points deducations take clubs?
- Big clubs that foul less lose fewer players of their own to injury
- What takes clubs up and down the league: attack or defence?
- Referee Extremism: the situation in Spain and in England
- Didn’t appreciate KO time, M1 is a disaster, but watching Arsenal is a joy