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Today we have a match report from our very own Singapore-based Bergkampesquer, 84. Enjoy. 🙂
Here is the match report on the events and take-aways last night.
On a cooling night, a pre-season game was played out in Singapore. With an attendance of just over 23 thousand, it is definitely not something that would make any local fan feel proud of.
We started with a young team. Matteo Guendouzi started his first match for the club against a proper top-class team, in the DM position, while Reiss Nelson started on the right of midfield, playing in front of Bellerin. Bernd Leno started in goal.
The game started on a positive note, with Guendouzi and Emile Smith-Rowe running the midfield. Atletico’s youngsters started the match in the absence of players playing in the World Cup, and they were kept in their own half for most of the game, and played a counter-attacking game.
We were playing 4-1-3-1-1 in a flat formation.
We had a couple of good chances in the first half, with Lacazette and Auba leading the attack. Atletico’s strength is in their defence and their ability to turn defence into attack quickly, thus it was no surprises that we were almost caught out at times. However, Holding, Guendouzi and Mustafi did well to protect the ball from going into the net.
The problem with our playing style is that we liked to pass the ball a lot in our penalty area. So many times we were doing that and a slip by the defender will mean that we will lose the ball and concede a goal. We were very lucky that this time Emery put his DM nearer to the defence, a similar style to where Elneny will play, to put an extra man to help the defenders.
We conceded from a quick Atletico counterattack from a cross, and the defenders should have done better.
The first 45 ended with lots of half chances, and misplaced passes, and the team will gel better by the time we start the new season.
The second half started with a bang.
Our stadium announcer for the night was split between Nigel, in charge of announcing for the Gunners, and a local announcer for Atletico Madrid. Our changes for the night was a little mixed up, as the assistant referee and the team wanted to bring on the subs but were thwarted by the referee. Confusion also reigned when we had a few fouls against us that should not have been given at first. That was the trigger for the loud boos in the stadium.
Then came the equaliser. Smith-Rowe did a Rambo and ran at the Atletico defence, and he decided to take a chance to shoot. And what a chance that was. Arrowed into the net.
We had a good chance from Nketiah too, but the keeper saved it.
There were times when Perez and our Tank failed to get on the same wavelength, and some through-passes were misplaced on both flanks of the pitch.
The game ended 1-1 and Penalty Shootout is the tie breaker for the day. With so many youngsters and Cech in goal I did not think that we will win it.
The feelings during the penalty:
The first Atletico penalty was against the right upright. Game on for Arsenal.
Mkhi got his spot kick saved by Adan. Downcast for me again.
Atletico got their penalty saved by Cech. Game on again.
One of the youngsters got his penalty saved. Oh man.
Atletico scored their first penalty. Sh**. 1-0
AMN scored for Arsenal. Ok, we might be scrapping through. 1-1
Atletico scored again. 2-1.
Another youngster got his penalty saved.
Then Adan scored his spot kick, bringing an end to the game.
My take on this game was that there were good passes and bad ones within the team, and the youngsters should try to shake off the rust if they are to be a mainstay in the team. Guendouzi and Smith-Rowe are quick players, and they can grow to be world-class players.
Bernd Leno is still young and needs to gel with his defence better. For me, the current number 1 is still Cech. Leno as his number 2 until he gets better with dealing with pressure.
Overall a good kick-about from the lads, and the game against PSG will be better as the atmosphere will be huge and the stadium will be packed on a Saturday evening.