Not a very good first half. Thank goodness for Leno – it could have been worse

The starting line up was as below but we made two changes during the first half…


Bellerin Mustafi Mari Tierney

Xhaka Guendouzi


Abuameyang Nketiah Saka


No one predicted that!

So with Now TV not giving me what they tell me I have paid for I move over to Arsenal TV and what happens? They are fading in and out like a fading in and out thing that is fading in and out.  What is the matter with these technology people?  I want to support Arsenal TV, but if this continues when the kick off comes in a minute a two it will be back to Five Live.

Message from Now TV

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And we are off….

Ozil is not on the beach.

Free kick on the edge of the D for Manchester City and just wide.  Xhaka is down and getting treatment.  Xhaka has gone off Ceballos is on. are saying a little bit about referees being influenced by the crowd, but the commentator goes off the topic quickly and they replace it with chat about away teams being more adventurous, as if the commentators have been reminded, no you don’t criticise the ref.

15 mins and Eddie has a chance; goes about 4 yards wide after a good run.

It’s drifting on at 0-0; and now after 23 minutes it looks like Mari has got an injury with a calf injury.  David Luiz is coming on.  Two Arsenal subs at 25 mins.  No fluency in the game after the first few minutes.  So half an hour gone and Arsenal have used two subs and as the radio has just said, it is an open game of football.  The feeling on Arsenal TV is that Arsenal are coping.

And now on 35 minutes Nketiah is pulled back but the ref does nothing except to tell Eddie to get up.  The commentators say it was  clear free kick on the edge of the box, and it was a terrible mistake by the referee.  Good to hear the commentators speaking his mind and not being held back by PGMO pressure.

Then a great save from Leno as Arsenal are under increasing pressure.  And another on 39 minutes.  He’s saving us at the moment.  Coming up to half time City are just working their way through the Arsenal defence.  Man City are moving from one side to the other waiting for the break through.

And yet one mistake too many – David Luiz – and Sterling scores.  1-0 just before half time.  An indeed yet another goal just before half time.  Not looking good – and indeed Arsenal have given away a penalty and it looks like David Luiz is being sent off.

So 2-0 down, two players off injured, one sent off.  Tierney playing centre half.  Could we see the return of Holding at centre half from now on?

Lacazette, Maitland Niles, Reiss Nelson coming on.

Guendouzi, Nketiah, Willock coming off.

Pepe and Martinelli not being used at all in the game.

And after all that yet another great Leno save.  Tierney gets a yellow card.

If we are looking for a positive Maitland Niles playing in central midfield looks a very interesting option.  Otherwise the game is just drifting along except for a chance for Saka but it goes wide.  Long delay now with a Man City down.  Lot of players crowded around the Man C player who is being taken off.

After an 11 minute injury break, with the teams playing 10 v 10 Man C score a third.  3-0.  Interesting also that Arsenal TV are calling the line up that Arsenal put out as “Interesting” and the performance as “so frustrating”.

Excellent move at the end for Nelson who passes to Aubameyang, and it looks like that is the last chance.  A lot of praise being given to Nelson, although the commentator has suggested maybe it is just that he is wearing a tighter shirt.

It ends 3-0.  12 shots on target for Man City, none for Arsenal.  The feeling is that Arsenal were ok for 20 minutes and that was it.

26 Replies to “Not a very good first half. Thank goodness for Leno – it could have been worse”

  1. Taylor being Taylor and the commentator talking down Arsenal at every opportunity. It’s like nothing has changed.

  2. This is not a game between teams in the same league- it is a fake contest. One club has been encouraged to buy all the talent across the world at whatever the cost- the other club can’t club can’t. Whats more the games regulators make it worse favouring the wealthy.

    The premier League is the most unregulated and corrupt league in the world. Football is sick- it has ceased to become a competitive sport. Never has the gulf between mega rich and the rest been so great. It is also getting greater.

  3. I think, Lima, the phrase “in other words” means that one phrase is equal in meaning to another. Your phrase reduces a complex point to four words, and generally speaking whenever that happens much of the meaning is lost.

  4. Lima
    Yes- they are but why are they? Is it because Manchester City are able to buy literally all the best players- and offer wages that almost all other clubs can’t compete with? Also buy the worlds best coach- who looks miserable in Manchester.This is not right- and this is what has happened. They have created a virtual monop[oly and only people like you who will watch it think its credible. If you want to destroy a competitive sport well hurray you have succeeded. You and a few other City fans can delude yourself but you have turned the EPL Into a billionaires toyshop

  5. What the Liverpool and the Manchester fans` don’t get- and probably never will- they are in the process of killing football in England.

  6. Another three points bought and paid for by an oil rich state with zero integrity. Well done.

    In terms of Tony’s question from previous articles as to whether refs would deliberately continue to support home sides, on this showing certainly nothing has changed. Home team 9 fouls (excluding the obvious ones not given) for one card. Arsenal 7 fouls for a red and yellow. And no, I’m not saying the red wasn’t deserved but I saw three bookable offences all committed on Ceballos in the first half. It’s quite clear that the PGMO have decided on business as usual.

    And let’s just look at the first game for evidence of further 7nbelievably incompetence. 98% of decisions correct…… arse!

  7. I thought we were ok in the first half. And if Taylor had given that absolutely obvious free kick just outside the box, we might have easily gone ahead. Very disappointing to see the refereeing as crap as ever.

  8. Goonergerry – an honest question, why did you include Liverpool in your post about teams ruining the game? I wouldn’t have thought they have a limitless pool of money to buy whoever they liked.

  9. Unfortunately, we sometimes make it too easy for the PGMOL to do their worst.
    Luiz is a streetwise player, he will by now know what Arsenal are up against
    Two early injuries, and then falling behind in that way just before half time did not help
    In some ways, difficult to read too much into such a game in such conditions, however there was evidence of old failings that won’t have escaped Arteta.
    With out injury rate, I fear for the upcoming schedule
    But Leno was rather good

  10. What does Liverpool have to do with it? We have a much higher net spend on players than they do in the last 5 years sir

  11. What fools we were, to imagine that Taylor had “changed his spots”.
    The sustained rugby tackling on Nketiah, just outside the box in the first half was no different to the incident which brought about the City penalty.
    Taylor confirmed his status as a true son of the PGMO mafia.

  12. The PGMO continues to ensure that the standard of refereeing in the PL is on a par with that in professional wrestling. Would honest refereeing have made a difference, sadly we’ll never know!

  13. Taylor is just a small cog working for a bunch who ultimately want to see Liverpool fighting for the title with Utd year after year. Of course a few chosen will be allowed to come close, maybe the odd title in a blue moon, but this is the world of the premier league Scudamore set up and left as his legacy.
    I suspect the likes of our owners are far from stupid, and are well aware of where things stand, and probably invest accordingly.

  14. Stand to be corrected, but
    Looks like we now sit top of the league for penalties conceded, and red and yellow cards against, such a dirty team. Would like to see other teams with such stats
    Pretty obvious something is very wrong here, perhaps Raul and co should be taking this up?

  15. Someone should please remind Anthony Taylor the significance of kneeling before the kick-off. It looks like it’s nothing short of a routine to him…. Unsurprisingly exposed again!!! Not even in our dreams are we going to succeed in teaching an old horse new tricks. Hail the Great PGMO Marcus Anthony Taylor.

  16. Some years ago the double punishment has been removed from the game because that was unfair. So why was David Luiz red carded? But nobody asks about it.
    Another point: when there is an offside in Bundesliga, Liga, Serie A or Ligue 1, a replay is shown in order to see if it was the good decision or not. In Premier League these images, in most cases, are not shown. That’s crazy. I have the feeling that at least one of the 5 offsides whistled was so tight that the referee should have let the game continue because we now have VAR to judge afterward if there was something wrong. That’s how it works everywhere else in Europe.

    This way of refering is totally unfair and actions should be taken before they permanently ruin the beauty of football. Justice should be involved!

  17. The hypocrisy of PGMOL taking a knee when their organisation is blatantly segregated and unrepresentative of the ethnic mix of the game is a sham. The obvious evasion of comment by the media is also a blatant statement of acceptance of the racism in football.

  18. Mikey

    “The fouls on Nketiah first half was worse. Taylor being Taylor”

    -Exactly what I said last night. It was such an obvious foul that not giving it had to be ‘deliberate’, as opposed to a genuine ‘error’, which would of still be pathetic.

    “Home team 9 fouls (excluding the obvious ones not given) for one card. Arsenal 7 fouls for a red and yellow.”

    -And it took until the 78th minute to issue them with a card.

    Mandy Dodd

    “In some ways, difficult to read too much into such a game in such conditions, however there was evidence of old failings that won’t have escaped Arteta”.

    -I have to agree. At the moment we are simply not in the same class as either Liverpool or Man City. But even with some of the old failings that you quite rightly pointed out to be still around, I think we are at least equal to Chelsea, Spurs, Man Utd and the rest, as our results against them suggest.


    “Some years ago the double punishment has been removed from the game because that was unfair. So why was David Luiz red carded? But nobody asks about it.”

    I believe the defining point between a Yellow and a Red card is whether there was an attempt to play the ball. If not it is a Red. Under the rules I do think a Penalty and a Red was the correct call.

  19. Why are we not discussing the team selection, rather than concentrating on the referess actions and decisions?

    I understand we are not privvy to what goes on in training and what each playeris contributing in that time, but why oh why was the decision made to leave out Ozil, when, under MA, we had not lost this year when he was selected?

    Just look at how many shots we had on goal – a big fat zero!!! Now watch how many times Auba wanted a through ball to be played to him and what happened?

    The ball was played across the park and city were able to cope with this ridiculous type of play all evening.
    Arteta says it was for “tactical reasons”, so can anyone explain to me exactly what tactics were employed last night in order to put city under pressure?

    I am certain that MA will bring us successful football back to the club, but surely the simple statement that “playing your best players” must have been drummed into him by Pep?

    As for Luiz, this was another disastrous signing made by the new regime, chelsea must be laughing all the way to the CL next season, watching this player destroy any slim chance we had of competing for a CL place and…if Luiz hadn’t been caught out yet again for the penalty, the referee wouldn’t/couldn’t have made that double jeapordy decision.

    If it had happened against us, we would have applauded the correct decision he made, it doesn’t matter what we think about biased decisions or the PGMOL, if we make the play that allows this corrupt organisation to punish us with impunity, then it’s about time the club changed their tactics OR actually brought there concerns to a wider audience, such as the media, in a way that cannot be ignored.

    In summary, Ozil has to be in the team if we want to see Auba in goal scoring situations, we need to play the in form players from actual games, not at trainig or for “tactical reasons”, we need to ship out Luiz to the club he wants to play for in Portugal and, finally, stop giving referees the opportuinty to punish us at every opportunity – while also acknowledging that city have such better players than us with eleven on the pitch…we played with ten the minute Luiz wlaked onto the pitch.

  20. Ken concerning your statement “As for Luiz, this was another disastrous signing made by the new regime”

    That may well be true – but what strikes me is that I have also seen others here saying much the same about players signed by Emery and Wenger. so should the question not be, why are Arsenal managers so awful at choosing good players?

  21. @Ken, I don’t know about ref bias, I didn’t see any of it last night, neither do I know much about Ozil’s usefulness or not. But you’re right when you say that’s not what we should be talking about. What I think we should talk about is how to get our team closer to being a top 4 team, and stop decieving ourselves about the phantom ref bias

  22. Tony, there have been similar awful signings by Wenger I agree wholeheartedly, but we are now in the “present” and surely that is what we should be looking at – who is actually being employed to do the job of contracts, salaries, buying and selling of players is today’s question.

    We should remember that Raul Sanllehi joined us in February 2018, as head of football relations, along with Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy – dubbed the three musketeers by some – all part of Gazidis’s new regime that heralded the headlines “We’ve got our Arsenal back”…so I don’t actually lay the blame on either AW, UE or MA from that time onwards.

    In fact, it has now been claimed by Unai Emery himself, that he wanted Zaha and got Pepe, along with a number of players that Arsene Wenger wanted (Griezmann as an example) but was undermined by gazidis and/or the new regime. As for Mikel’s wishes, we have to wait and see if he is backed up by those above him.

    So, yes, while understanding your question about our manager/coaches, it’s now a different set up that Edu explained recently and, while the coaches have a degree of input into new signings, the real decisions are not theirs.

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