Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Arsenal suffer opening day defeat to Villa

Arsenal got off to the worst start possible as the Premier League kicked off on Saturday afternoon. In a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates the Gunners conceded 2 penalties, had Koscielny sent off whilst Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sagna all had to go off injured. Everything that could've gone wrong, went wrong and the signs to spend some money and get players in had never been so evident. Arsenal's only acquisition this summer had been that of young French striker Yaya Sanogo. There had been so many rumours of who Arsenal were chasing but Wenger hasn't been able to complete a single deal. Suarez was the closest we've come but Liverpool rejected the £40m+£1 bid. The squad is looking as thin as it ever has after getting rid of over 20 players over the Summer. Getting players is an absolute necessity now otherwise we're looking at not getting a top four finish.
Arsenal players stand dejected during their defeat to Villa
However, the Gunners did get off to a flyer as they took the lead within 6 minutes. Oxlade-Chamberlain got down the left hand side before finding Giroud who fired home confidently.

Arsenal were to then give away a penalty as Agbonlahor raced through on goal and then tried to go round Szczesny but the Polish keeper brought him down and was then quite lucky not to have been sent off. Benteke's penalty was saved but he then headed home the rebound.

Szczesny was far from his best as he then came racing out of goal unnesserceraly to cut out a pass. He then had to track back quickly to keep out Westwood's long range shot.

Arsenal's performance was far convincing as they struggled to create many clear opportunities in the first half as it ended 1-1 after 45 minutes. Santi Cazorla came on after the restart to replace the injured Oxlade-Chamberlain but not even he could prevent Arsenal from losing.

On the hour mark Cazorla was robbed of the ball by Agbonlahor who raced inside the box and was then brought down by Koscielny. Controversially a penalty was given after it looked as though the Frenchman had got a part of the ball. Koscielny was booked and  Benteke stepped up once more to slot his penalty home.  

A few mintues later Koscielny clipped Weimann and as a result was sent for an early bath. Not a great start to the season for a man who was in fine form in pre-season.

Arsenal were to have two brilliant chances to draw level though. The first fell to Rosicky after great link-up play with Giroud but Guzan made a fine stop to deny the Czech. The second fell to Cazorla but his effort was saved against the bar.

With 5 minutes left Villa scored once again as the visitors counter attacked with debutant left back Luna. He was left one-on-one with Szczesny and he comfortably found the corner of the net.

With Fenerbache in the week in the Champions League qualifier it's going to be a very strong test due to our current injury striken squad. There is certainly no guarentee that we'll be in the hat for the group stages!

The teams lineups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna(90), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs(29), Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain(45), Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson(29), Frimpong, Cazorla(45), Gnabry, Podolski(90), Sanogo. 

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker(16), Luna, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Weimann(88), Benteke. 
Subs: Steer, Okore, Clark(16), Bacuna(88), Tonev, Bowery, Helenius. 

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 60,003

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