By Walter Broeckx
The most important news is that Aubameyang stayed in London with a sinus problem. Arsenal revert to a back 4 with Monreal, Sokratis and Maitland-Niles partnering Koscielny.
Arsenal starting with : Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Özil, Iwobi, Lacazette
On the beach: Cech, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Elneny, Guendouzi, Willock, Nketiah
Not much to report in the opening 5 minutes with neither team being dominant. Arsenal with a spell in the half of Wolves but apart from a corner no real danger. Arsenal having an enourmous amount of possession and Wolves just leaning back a bit but for the moment we can’t create real openings. Still 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Doherty stops a promising attack by pulling Monreal back and he gets a yellow card for his foul just outside the penalty area. Torreira kicks the free kick against the wall. A combination inside the penalty area from Arsenal but Iwobi just couldn’t get a shot in as he was slightly off balance. Moutinho had a shot for Wolves but his ball curled one meter off target. A Stoke like far throw causes some trouble in the Arsenal penalty area but the ball goes over from some 6 meters out. Monreal gets a yellow card for stopping a dangerous Wolves attack. Neves takes the free kick and the ball goes in goal. 1-0 for Wolverhampton after 27 minutes.
Arsenal having the ball (75%) but Wolverhampton create the most dangerous attacks on the counter so still 1-0 after 30 minutes.
Xhaka gets a yellow card for dissent when the ref gives another free kick for Wolves. This time Neves hits the wall. The corner results in a harmless header that goes well wide. Arsenal now not being able to set up any good looking attack. Lacazette goes past a few defenders but then he blasts his shot completely off target from a difficult angle. Maybe an attempt of a cross would have been better? Leno with a difficult stop on a low cross. The corner is taken in two times and the ball is headed in by Doherty. 2-0 after 37 minutes.
Iwobi with a cross but a defender gets a foot in and diverts it for a corner. But Arsenal can’t really create anything so far. We will have to improve massively if we want to get something from this match. But for the moment it looks like that. Torreira gets a yellow card for showing his studs but he cleanly won the ball and his feet were on the floor. A bit soft. Lacazette standing on an island most of the time surrounded by 4 or 5 Wolves defenders so he can’t create anything. Arsenal give the ball away in their own half and Wolves go on goal and Leno can’t stop the ball. 3-0 right at the end of the disastrous first half.
Backwards passing, slow build up, this has been the image of Arsenal so far this match. On a personal note the last Wolves won against Arsenal (at Arsenal) in 1979… I was in the stand for my first ever Arsenal match.
Wolves counter and have a good chance to score but luckily the control lets him down. Lacazette goes down in the penalty area but the ref gives nothing. After 57 minutes Kolasinac comes on for Mkhitaryan and Guendouzi comes on for Torreira. Still 3-0 after 60 minutes. Do miracles exist?
No movement in the team, lots of bad passes… this must be the worst match of the season so far. Wolves break away but the shot goes wide. A rare good attack from Arsenal but nobody at the end of the cross from Özil. After 70 minutes Iwobi comes off and Nketiah comes on. Nketiah goes past his man and his cross finds Lacazette but his shot is blocked. Still 3-0 after 75 minutes.
The ref doesn’t give a yellow card when Coady stops Lacazette by pulling him clearly. Not that it really matters for the final score but a yellow card is a yellow card and not just for Arsenal players. That is what we want to see when cards are shown: consistency. Lacazette almost has an effort after Wolves make a mistake. The corner is headed in by Sokratis. GOAL! 3-1 after 79 minutes. I think this is what they call a consolation goal.
Bennet gets a yellow card for stopping Nketiah. The free kick is headed out for a corner. Koscielny falls bad on his back but he can continue. Xhaka with a free kick but the keeper stops the ball. 4 minutes of extra time. Nketiah with some good movement but his shot is blocked. Well one could say he was the only highlight of the day from an Arsenal point of view.
Arsenal lose but the performance really was terrible. No real drive going forward, too many backpassing that went wrong for the 3rd goal, Leno having a not so good match today.
As long as we can’t perform away from home we should not talk or dream of CL football.
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