Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal
A trip to Yorkshire and a 3pm K.O (What are they?) awaited Arsenal as the chance to banish the memories of Citeh came in the form of Huddersfield FC. Sitting bottom, without a manager or a goal at home in decades the omens were good, only Arsenal could Arsenal this one up!
The team news forced Unai into changes with injury and illness taking care of Ramsey, Aubameyang, Sokratis, (cough Ozil), adding to the long term crocks of Bellerin, Holding and Welbeck. Mykitaryan was back though and Maitland Niles got in at right back.
Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi, Kolasinac, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette
A scrappy start, with Huddersfield scenting southern softness and Arsenal giving sloppy passes away the game was penetrated in the 15th minute with a goal. Kolasinac doing well on the left and crossing to the back post, Iwobi was there to volley, which he did, kinda! the ball hitting a defender and going it in at the near post, completely wrong footing the keeper. 1-0 Arsenal and a typical finish from Iwobi, did he know where it was going? did it matter?
This didn't actually settle any nerves in fact in it seemed to push Huddersfield on to another level, forcing errors from Maitland Niles and of course Mustafi and but for a couple of good saves from Leno the outfit in stripes really should have been level. Despite the poor performance, there is quality in this Arsenal side and that was shown with a minute to go to halftime, Mykitarayn holding the ball up well to feed the unrunning Maitland Niles, his burst and subsequent whipped cross led to a Lacazette tap in. 2-0 Arsenal!
A good goal and shows what can be done with good movement and quick passing against poor opposition! HT 2-0 Arsenal.
No changes at halftime and why would there be, despite a less than convincing half Arsenal were cruising on the good ship "two goals to the good" without an iceberg in sight!
The only blip on the horizon would be complacency and sadly that's what Arsenal gave the travelling support. Lacklustre to say the least the second half was littered with sloppiness from Maitland Niles and Mustafi and poor finishing from Iwobi, who despite trying very hard and he has to be commended for that, just failing again with a final ball or when one on one with the keeper. If the boy could produce a trick or finish then knives wouldn't be out so much, he's young but played a lot and as I've said before if you're in the front three playing for the Arsenal then at the very least you should be troubling the keeper, for me, he's a great sub with energy to come on but not a starter!
Two LOL moments to end the match, the first Elneny taking a chance when Lacazette was about to finish it himself, the WTF face was awesome!
The second moment came with seconds to go as Kolasinac under no real pressure stuck one in the onion bag for the home side. Like a little present in from of a tiny individual pie from Marks and Spencers for each home fan and a goal that secured another away game without a clean sheet for the gunners!
So 2-1 the final score and 3 delicious points. Points with a little kick to the neither regions however, Arsenal were very poor against a team sitting bottom without a manager or a hope, yet still made them look at least mid-table! This can only be fixed in the summer, I just hope Unai has a good plan!
Positives: Guendouzi looking great again
Negatives: Arsenal fans booing Iwobi - I get it, but fans they are not!
Leno: Did ok. 7/10
Maitland-Niles: Asleep, awake, asleep awake, just don't get it. 5/10
Mustafi: Just stop it, getting worse. 3/10
Koscielny: Held it all together at times, one man defence. MOM 8/10
Monreal: Looking old. 6/10
Guendouzi: Getting better each match, needs help though. 7/10
Torreira: Looked a bit tired. 6/10
Iwobi: Scored but like an olive still leaves that taste. 6/10
Kolasinac: Missing at times but a great own goal. 4/10
Mkhitaryan: Looked classy, against Huddersfield though. 6/10
Lacazette: Worked hard again, unlucky not to score. 7/10
Elneny: Top banter taking a chance away from Lacazette. 7/10
Willock: Great for the kid to get on, looked ok. 6/10
Suarez: Ran around a bit, still looks worried. Que? 4/10
Next up two games against Bate Borisov, oh the joy!