Watford 2-1 Arsenal
Hornets sting Arsenal……
So….is this the same old Arsenal?
I think so.
Without complaints of sour grapes, I don’t believe Watford overly dominated. It was a mix of Watford’s clinical finishing when it mattered, and Arsenal’s slackness.
Both teams had some good inter-passing, but created few clear-cut chances. Arsenal had more possession, and took the lead from a set-piece by captain Mertersacker. It was a powerful header, and our first away league goal this season.
Welbeck and Lacazette also had other chances, but overall Arsenal maybe shaded it on intent alone.
It started very dull for both teams, but Ozil missed a golden chance to make it 2-0 at 65 minutes. He was free after a through ball, but hit the ball at Gomes. Iwobi also missed a good chance, though Gomes managed to make a great save.
However, Richarlison was a constant threat on their left side, and managed to get a penalty from a challenge from Bellerin. Was it a penalty? Maybe. Bellerin was shown to get the ball, though he did also knock down Richarlison. Deeney however smashed the penalty home, and Watford from this point looked more dominant, amidst Arsenal’s slackness.
The winner from Cleverley came in stoppage time, with bad Arsenal defending, and an overall lack of desire.
Watford got their first home win of the season, but the referee overall had a decent game, bar the contentious penalty.
It was “same old Arsenal”.
Despite looking comfortable in the first-half, Arsenal essentially capitulated towards the end of the second-half.
It was a recurrence of the same and persistent mentality and attitude issues we’ve seen over YEARS.
Why does this happen? Well…..I won’t diss the manager. Yes, he is failing. But then I respect him despite his contemporary failings.
I do believe though that we had enough quality to beat Watford. It was as always a lack of application in this context.
Cech had a decent enough game, though Bellerin and Kolasinac didn’t provide the width as much as possible. Per, Kos, and Monreal looked relatively solid, though scrambled for the second Watford goal.
Cech 6, Bellerin 6, Kolasinac 5, Per 7, Kos 6, Monreal 6
The midfield passed the ball well, but then towards the end were overrun. This is more due to coaching than individual performance in my mind.
Elneny 6, Xhaka 6
Iwobi looked lively, as did Welbeck pre-injury. Lacazette was OK, though Giroud and Ozil didn’t contribute much.
Iwobi 7, Welbeck 7, Lacazette 6
Giroud 5, Ozil 5
Holding also came on, but didn’t have time to impact the game – 5
So…..we’re looking at the same issues as before, and the Chelsea game was a seeming aberration.
Top four is possible, but only with a drastic alteration in how methods, mentality, and approach.
Man of the match
Overall, I would say Richarlison, bar the apparent dive.
For Arsenal, Iwobi stood out for me. He looked sharp, could have scored himself, and he clearly looked buoyed after his Nigeria successes in the week.