Cardiff City 2-3 Arsenal – Premier League review
A hard fought win in the Welsh capital for us, and about time we got another away win. Our last trip to this part of our country saw one of our worst defeats last season. But today, we got the win, and overall it was well warranted.
I usually do match reviews by giving an overview of both halves, and the impressions and player ratings.
But some things stood out for me, which leads to me doing it differently. There were many positives here but mixed with a few critical negatives. As we won, I’ll start with the negatives first, and then end on a brighter note:
- Playing from the back
Cech got caught out early in the match and was lucky not to concede a goal. The playing from the back clearly needs more work. Or it could be Cech is not comfortable with this new style. I think also Cech and the defence needs to use some common sense. Football at its most simple-level is about decision-making. It’s about moving the ball to ultimately not concede, not give the opposition space, and progress the ball to score a goal. If there is no space, then hit the ball long. It’s that simple. Clearly this needs more work, but a keeper of Cech’s experience and stature should know better in my view. That said, it is something that can come in time, for all of the defence.
- Defensive positioning
Both of Cardiff’s goals were scored from defensive errors. The first was a loose pass from Xhaka, and the second was poor marking. Emery clearly needs some work to correct this, and this too can come in time.
However, Sokratis and Mustafi were able to handle most crosses, so it’s not an individual issue. It’s a collective formula, which needs more work to resolve.
We were unlucky in some cases, but our finishing was top notch in most areas. Lacazette hit the post in the first half, and Aubameyang got his first of the season. Watch out Salah, your Golden Boot could be under threat. And watch out Kane, you have a serious rival to it this year.
Our pressing game is evolving and we were able to fashion numerous chances from this. Lacazette and Aubameyang were able to press from the front, with Guendouzi, Ramsey, and Ozil pressing well in midfield. Via this, we were able to match their physicality, which saw us reach a good intensity level.
After letting them equalise twice, we did well to get the winner. Clearly, we are very confident in our attacking play, and being able to take chances when required. I know bouncebackability is not Standard English, but I think it was Iain Dowie years ago who coined it.
We got some good width from Bellerin, and our attacking play overall was good. We’re looking good going forward, and this told via scoring three goals.
This was a welcome away win, and overall we warranted it. Cardiff has some chances, but we had more, and our attacking prowess made us win.
Our defensive woes cost us again, via both individual and collective errors. We’ve conceded eight goals thus far, most of which were from our own doing. This is something that needs to be corrected if we’re to regain top four this season.
We also did well to match Cardiff’s physicality, and it’s clear Warnock gave them a strong game plan. It didn’t pay off, but their pressing of us was well-constructed. I think in some cases, we matched them, and our extra quality surpassed theirs in the end.
This was a deserved win though, and it’s good to get two wins on the bounce, and our second away win in 2018. Let’s hope the next game is a clean sheet for us, and a third win on the bounce since I’ve forgotten what a clean sheet actually is…..
Man of the match
Scored a thunderous goal, and his overall work-rate, link-up, play, and pressing, were top notch.
Cech – 6
Bellerin – 6
Mustafi – 6
Sokratis – 6
Monreal – 5
Guendouzi – 5
Ramsey – 5
Xhaka – 5
Ozil – 5
Lacazette – 8
Aubameyang – 6
Welbeck – 5
Torreira – 6
Mkhitaryan – 5