By Walter Broeckx
A back 3 with Sokratis, Koscielny and Mustafi and with Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac as wing backs. On the beach we had the return of Bellerin and Monreal. No Özil to be seen in the team.
Arsenal team at the start : Leno, Sokratis, Koscielny, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
On the beach: Cech, Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Torreira, Ramsey, Nketiah.
Neither team with a real good start and the first kick at goal after 5 minutes but the ball was just a pick up for Leno. A first shot from Arsenal but Lacazette missed the target from outside the penalty area. Moss letting a few fouls go on Arsenal players indicating advantage that was not there. A very quit opening from both teams. Lacazette then with a first chance but Fabianski could stop the effort and then the rebound went over. A bit later a cross from Aubameyang but Lacazette could only head it over. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Moss inventing a foul against Lacazette so he can’t come on the end of a ball that migh have resulted in a big chance. Kolasinac being sent through and he could have gone for the shot but he tried a cut back but a defender first on the ball to stop Lacazette from shooting. Arsenal the better team in this phase of the match. Nasri has a shot but meters wide of the goal. 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Felipe Anderson with shot for West Ham that went half a meter wide from Leno’s goal. Guendouzi with a shot that went just wide off the post. A bit later the young Frenchman is pulled down by Nasri and falls bad on his shoulder and needs treatment. Meanwhile we see Pat Rice in the stands. A bit of a dissapointing half so far with neither team really going for the opening goal but always playing with a lot of safety in their mind. Brice with a free header after a corner but he completely missed the target. 0-0 at half time.
Mustafi in the book for a late sliding tackle. Arsenal can’t really clear a corner and the ball falls for Rice who shoots it in. 1-0 for West Ham after 47 minutes.
Arsenal try to reply and the cross from Lacazette is almost turned in to an own goal but Fabianski stops the bouncing ball. Guendouzi with a shot but a meter wide. Noble blocks the ball between his legs and then gets a foul in his favour at the corner flag. The free kick brings nothing. After 58 minutes Torreira and Ramsey come on and Xhaka and Mustafi leave the field. Kolasinac gets a yellow card for tripping Antonio. 1-0 after 60 minutes.
Ramsey with a cross but Aubameyang can’t properly connect with his head the ball sails wide. Kolasinac to Aubameyang but his left footed shot goes wide from a promising position. Ramsey with a delicate touch to Iwobi with the shot from the left side but the ball went wide. Guendouzi with a low shot but too straight at Fabianski. After 68 minutes Bellerin comes on for Maitland-Niles. Still 1-0 behind after 75 minutes.
The passing is below standard from Arsenal and too many balls get lost. We will have to produce better in the last 10 minutes. Ramsey to Kolasinac who gave it to Aubameyang who forced it over the line but Kolasinac was clearly offside and the linesman raised his flag. 3 minutes of extra time. Koscielny scores but again it is disallowed correctly for offside in the build up.
Too slow in the build up, too many slow passes, too many back passes and we miss a player who can turn things around. Someone like… Özil.
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