Watford 1 – 3 Arsenal
Exactly how we wanted the game to go especially going into an international break. The only thing worse than losing a game is losing one before an international break. Two weeks to moan over a result is exactly what no one needs. Early discussions were around the changes the manager made, Ozil returning to the starting eleven and dropping Coquelin for Xhaka. Santi Cazorla returned to the position where he excelled for us last season before injuries deprived us of the partnership he had formed with Coquelin
These changes were instrumental to how we played in the first half as Santi was excellent controlling and dominating play high up the pitch especially with Sanchez drifting a lot to the left and Ozil almost playing like a false 9 at times. Having Santi on the pitch proved instrumental as he is our first choice penalty taker, thankfully a foul on Sanchez meant Santi had a chance to turn the game in our favour which he did, driving the penalty straight through the middle for Arsenal’s first. (Hello, Theo that is how to take a penalty). Highlight of Santi’s game in the first half however was tackle of the season contender he made around the 34th minute. If you haven’t seen it you should.
Brilliant tackle by Cazorla pic.twitter.com/T9oHLxlcyV
— Terje (@ArsenalTerje) August 27, 2016
As expected, Watford started to come out a lot more and they were almost credited with a goal, first by Koscienly which drew and excellent save from Cech and various half chances. Gaps were beginning to appear in our midfield and they sought to capitalize. However, Sanchez who really had struggled this season decided he was having none of the Watford pressure as he scored the second for Arsenal. I don’t know about you but I celebrate all Arsenal goals with a lot of energy and Sanchez’s goal which required help form the GDS meant it was a somewhat cold celebration. However, it felt nice to see him smile again. Special mention to our “I want to be a winger again” Theo Walcott for the assist.
Our third was rather ironic, while the Watford fans were booing Sanchez as he had the ball at the far left corner of the pitch; why they were booing him I will never know. The Arsenal man was focused on creating an excellent ball in for Ozil who ghosted through the Watford defense with the craftiness of squirrel to nod in a lovely third. All smiles as the first half ended.
And to be honest, we had to keep our smiles till the end of the game as you would struggle to find two halves of the same game that can be so different. Arsenal failed to turn up and we were under constant pressure from every angle of the pitch. The players could not find the same motivation in the second half like they had in the first. For most part, it was shocking to watch.
Expectedly, Watford got their deserved lead and bar Peter Cech who was spectacular on the day, they should have had a second in the 68th minute. Cech pulled a double save that kept our heads on our shoulders and saw us through the game. The manager had to make changes and Nacho really was who struggling all through the game and physically after being on the receiving end of a very terrible tackle had to be taken out. Early changes were made to shore up our midfield and in the end we were able to see the game till the end.
Given how our season had started, it was nice to finally win a game. Hopefully, the players can come back all refreshed, fully focused on the season as a group especially as the transfer window would have closed and we can put some air in our title chase.
Honourable mention to the EPL TV. I felt like I watched only 60 minutes of the Arsenal game. The remainder was spent watching goals from other games and a huge sprinkling of “goal rushes”. Goal rush, really? Don’t they have special highlight programmes for all these kind of things? Yes, it’s nice to know what is happening in other games and that is what scrolling the scoreline of other games used to serve. Goal alerts also work perfectly. Continually minimizing the main game I am watching to show me “Goal Rush” is absolute bollocks in my opinion. Seems we might all be rooting for lunch time or night-time kick off’s if any of these continues.
Anyways, it’s been a good day and a really nice win for Arsenal. Can’t wait for our next game. COME ON YOU ARSENAL
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