By Walter Broeckx
As Lacazette was out with an ankle injury we might have expected a few changes. A first start for Özil in this campaign and Ceballos getting a starting place.
Arsenal team at the start: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang
On the beach: Martinez, Chambers, Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli
A first shot after minutes from Watford but Leno managed to hold on to the ball somehow. Arsenal trying to attack but playing at a pedestrian speed in the opening minutes. Watford trying to attack with speed and Leno has to produce a good save on a shot from distance. Watford have another shot after the corner but Leno with a good stop. Watford again using speed when they go forward but the shot this time off target.0 –0 after 15 minutes.
Finally Arsenal with some speed in the attack but the shot from Pepe went wide. Kolasinac with an interception on the halfway line after a good touch from Ceballos. Kolasinac runs up to the penalty area, gives it to Aubameyang who turns and shoots: GOAL! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 21 minutes.
A dangerous cross is just missed by Aubameyang. And shortly after another dangerous cross from Özil but Watford can somehow clear for a corner.
Pepe almost send away by Özil but he just couldn’t pick up the ball and keep his speed. 0-1 after 30 minutes.
Arsenal passing the ball around. Özil with a great ball to Maitland-Niles and his simple pass to the middle finds Aubameang who taps home his second of the afternoon. GOAL!! 0-2 to The Arsenal after 32 minutes. Great passing move and excellent run from Maitland-Niles and vision from Özil.
Watford with a dangerous attack but Kolasinac can clear the cross with a firm header. Arsenal then trying to commit suicide with Guendouzi losing the ball from the goal kick at our penalty area but Leno can stop the effort from Watford. Could we please cut out that Russian roulette game please please please….
Arsenal overplaying it at the back a few times putting ourselves under pressure. We stopped too much playing forward after doubling our lead. Kolasinac goes in the book after a late tackle. A result of too much playing around our own penalty area. Leno can catch the free kick. Delofeu almost away but he was outcrowded by the Arsenal defenders. Pepe unhappy with a strong kick in extra time leading to some pushing and shoving.
Could we please keep away from those things as it only will lead to yellow cards. Guendouzi is the one for Arsenal and Cholevas for Watford. These yellow cards can come back to haunt us later in the season (or in the match if you get a second yellow card….). 0-2 after 45 minutes.
Guendouzi again with a disastrous ball in the own penalty area giving an enormous chance to Watford but luckily Xhaka was on hand to kick the ball away before the Watford player could pull the trigger. Again a result of us playing too slow around our own penalty area. Özil with a nice move but the shot from Xhaka was always rising. Ceballos with a good defending action before Delofeu could get dangerous. Again Arsenal being careless and losing the ball deep in our own half. We are putting ourselves under pressure that way and give hope to the opposition.
And we keep on playing it and give the ball in the feet of Cleverly who can score from our own goal kick. This is disgusting! 1-2 after 53 minutes. I wonder who keeps on giving this order to keep giving the ball away like that deep in our own half and in our penalty area.
I think we are in for another difficult end of the match. Kiko gets a yellow card for pulling Özil back. After 60 minutes Willock comes on for Ceballos. Still 1-2 but Watford who looked dead and buried full of hope to produce a comeback.
Arsenal clearly nervous and not able to set up a good attack since we gave that goal away. Sarr with a good turn but his effort from 6 meters out goes wide. A backheel from Watford goes wide. Torreira comes in after 66 minutes in the place of Guendouzi. Another shot goes just wide. After 70 minutes Nelson comes on for Özil.
A shot from Nelson but too central for the keeper to beat him. Aubameyang and Nelson combine but the last defender could cut the danger out. Leno gets a yellow card for time wasting. Pepe with a good action followed by a shot of Torreira but the keeper saved. At the other end a player goes down and the ref gives a penalty. Perreira scores. 2-2 after 80 minutes.
We shot ourselves in the foot with tactics I have called out in all the matches so far. And that against a team that was dead after 45 minutes. Another shot from Watford goes just wide. Leno with a match winning save in extra time (well a point winning save) when a shot is taken almost from the penalty spot.
Arsenal with a hopeless performance in the second half with a disastrous tactic that got punished and that cost us the 3 points.
- Last season the table after 3 games was headline news. But probably not this season
- 117 players tipped as coming to Arsenal before the window closes
- Why Arsenal recruited a new defence first, then a new attack
- After two games we can start to make one or two judgements
- Winning the opening two league games is not that common for Arsenal