Chomping on Blackpool rock
Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool
The Cowabunga Cup returned as Arsenal faced the Seasiders on a cold Wednesday night with a place in the Quarter Finals at stake.
Rotation was the key word on everyone's lips as Unai Emery opted for a mixed bag of second string players blended in with a bit of first team, obviously with 'that match against Liverpool' in mind, all a bit 'Cherry Bakewell' and nothing like a 'Strawberry Trifle; and Lemon Posset Crumble'.
Carl Jenkinson was living the dream again with a start at the Emirates along with the impressive Smith Rowe and young Julio Pleguezuelo (who?). The young Spaniard playing alongside Mustafi in the heart of the defence, interesting that Shodran got the nod, felt like punishment for his 'banter' display against Crystal Palace... only time will tell on Saturday evening.
Arsenal: Cech, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Pleguezuelo, Lichtsteiner, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Maitland-Niles, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck
This is going to be a quick one. I swerved this night of glorious entertainment opting for a trip to the local instead, I say local, it doesn't feel very local walking up a very steep hill after a couple of pints, but they're a friendly bunch at The Vanbrugh Tavern, a hidden gem in the back streets of Maze Hill.
What about the footy?
Ok, well I can sum this whole match up in a few sentences and maybe the odd gif.. so here goes...
Arsenal easily put Blackpool to the sword going into the half time break 1-0, after 45 minutes of easy possession and a goal from Lichtsteiner.., his first for Arsenal. It came on 34 mins and was ably assisted by a neat pass from Guendouzi.
The second Arsenal goal came in the 51st minute, Welbeck burst down the left, he fed Jenkinson whose cross was a bit rubbish, however it fell into the path of Smith Rowe with his shot going into the ground and bouncing up and into the roof of the net. Great for the youngster, and big things are expected of him, especially now Aaron Ramsey has been shown why he has no future at the club.
The Arsenal youth, when you think of Maitland Niles, Rhys Nelson, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Smith Rowe and Holding at the back are looking bright!
So Arsenal saw this game out without any further dramas?
Our very own 'Side Show Bob' got in on the act with two very soft bookings, receiving a red card in the 56 minute, meaning he misses Liverpool on Saturday!
This event got those lovely chaps from Orangeville rather excited and all very noisy... putting the willies up Mustafi and his defence. When the goal came, it was from a corner in the 66 minute. Ramsey getting beasted and Shodran missing the ball completely... the two most experienced players on the pitch and the two that won't be around much longer making the errors.
Cech had a 'moment' in the 69th minute trying to convince Unai, he still has what it takes when it comes to playing the ball out of defence... he failed miserably.
There was still time for Blackpool to even the game up, but instead they evened up the playing staff, going down to ten men themselves in the 84th minute. 'A Blackpool thug' failing to cope with the considerable step up in class that is Patrick Aubameyang.
Bad foul, very deserved red!
And that was that, Arsenal saw the game out from there on in and to the victor go the spoils!
The Spuds at the Emirates in the next round. A chance for Tottenham to play in North London for the first time this season!
Positives: Mustafi playing, meaning he might not play against Liverpool and Smith Rowe.
Negatives: Mustafi defending like a wet cucumber again & Guendouzi getting that red.
Cech: One scary moment with the ball at his feet. Halloween scary! 4/10
Jenkinson: Bombed on like he does. 6/10
Mustafi: Just stop it. 3/10
Pleguezuelo: Good game, must have wondered what he was playing alongside. 7/10
Lichtsteiner: Lovely finish for the goal, defended ok. 7/10
Guendouzi: Looked great unitl he got sent off, will learn from it. 7/10
Ramsey: Ran around a bit, hardly showing £300,000 a week form. 5/10
Smith Rowe: Great performance, neat finish for the goal, want to see more. MOM. 8/10
Maitland-Niles: Did a job. 7/10
Mkhitaryan: Ran around a bit. 6/10
Welbeck: Rand around a bit more. 7/10
Auba: Got mullered in a bad tackle and caused Blackpool problems. 7/10
Iwobi: Worked hard. 6/10
Torreira: Looked like he wondered why he was on. 5/10
Next up its Halloween three days after Halloween as Liverpool hit the Emirates.... I really hope I'm wrong.