Initial afterthoughts from the Arsenal v Galatasaray CL game.
It was all going swimmingly well. Four nil to the good guys and Ozil, Santi, Alexis, and especially Welbeck, were having a field day. And then Szczesny spoiled it all with a rush to the head…. Well, that was my first reaction…
The first goal: great joint attacking by Alexis and Welbeck, with superb running both with and without the ball, and a quick and decisive finish by the young Englishman. The second goal: all about perseverance and strength and keeping a cool head…..bad defending no doubt, but Danny took his chance and had a lot to do to finish it.
The third goal: made by Ozil and coolly finished by Alexis. They gave us so much space and our players were very happy with this gift of gifts. Still Alexis had to do a lot but he showed once again how calm and deadly he is in the box. 3-0, game over… surely.
Second half sees Galatasaray take the initiative and they even manage to put some pressure on us. But pressure up-front means space at the back and once again we benefit well from this, supported by some fine defending and keeping it tight in front of our ‘D’. Ox had made a fine run from his own half all the way into the box, but just let himself down by opting for the wrong pass. But moments later he does find Welbeck with a measured through-ball into the box from just outside of it, and Welbeck produces his first Arsenal hat-trick with a controlled finish. The boy is ecstatic and feels the love from the crowd. A lovely moment for player and fans.
4-0! Are we going to give these Turks an enormous hiding all the way back to formerly named Constantinople?
Aaaah, well… Wojciech has been getting a bit bored in this game and a fine through-ball makes it into the box to Yilmaz. The Pole senses the danger and decides to come out and thwart the attacker (good), but his timing is very bad and he gives away a pen; and even worse, he has to go off with a straight red… And the penalty goes in, and the Turks have a new lease of life it seems…
I am thinking what a diff. This game was in the bag and now we have to dig deep to play with ten men, risking fatigue and injury to key players, thanks to WS’s fine mess.
But the players fight for each other and find a good cohesion whilst defending collectively.
There is a great spirit and determination not to concede again, even though the Turks are pressing hard. Ospina is now fully in his element and makes a number of class saves without losing his concentration once. And I am starting to think, this second half is just what the doctor ordered, just what we need before we go to the Bridge and meet one of our modern day arch enemies. This is the perfect preparation to deal with potential Chavs pressure once we have scored against them and our backs are against the oily wall.
So thank you, Wojciech: for your kind sacrifice to the team; for providing us with the perfect confidence booster and great all-round preparation for this weekend’s crunch game; for allowing Ospina to show us what a good goalie he is; and for making Arsene’s 18th work anniversary an unforgettable one! 🙂
Written by: TotalArsenal.