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, 29 January 2014

Arsenal drop points with draw against Southampton

Arsenal were held to a frustrating solitary point as they drew with Southampton 2-2. The first halves display was very disappointing and because of that a draw was deserved. The hosts were the better side and even had more possession showing just how good they were. Jose Fonte opened the scoring in the first half but the Gunners came back fighting after the break as Giroud and Cazorla scored quickfire goals. However we then switched off again to allow the Saints to score an equaliser. It was a bitterly tough result to take as it means that if both Chelsea and Man City win this game week then we'll slip to third. With our up and coming games, it was a match we really couldn't afford to drop points in.
Mesut Ozil was back to his best as Arsenal drew with Southampton
In terms of the line-up we fielded it was vastly different to the one that had started against Coventry. Szczesny, Sagna and Monreal all came back in for Fabianski, Jenkinson and Gibbs respectively. Meanwhile Jack Wilshere missed the game and The Ox was back on the bench so Arteta and Flamini started in midfield. Ozil regained his place whilst Cazorla and Giroud came in for Podolski and Bendtner.

I'll start off with the negatives from the game. Our usually talented midfield was especially poor and setting up with both Flamini and Arteta next to each other hindered our performance hugely. We lacked a deep lying play maker in the form of a Ramsey and Wilshere who both were injured so in a way we had no choice over who to play. Oxlade-Chamberlain played there in the FA Cup win over Coventry but he didn't impress hugely. Three of our worst performance this season, Napoli away, Man United away and now Southampton away all occurred when Arteta and Flamini were playing beside each other. To make matters worse, Flamini was sent off. It was a moment of madness from a very experienced player. He went in two footed and despite getting the ball, a challenge like that was always going to be a red. He will now miss the next four games which will be a big loss.

Our usually solid defence also wasn't at its best. Saying that though, without Mertesacker and Koscielny saving us on various occasions we would've lost the game. Monreal wasn't at his best and the defence lost concentration way too often for a back line that has the best defensive record in the Premier League this season. Their first goal was sloppy defending from a cross whilst their second was easily avoidable as Adam Lallana fired home un-marked. Despite that, Southampton were very very good and Luke Shaw at left back, Adam Lallana in midfield and Jay Rodriguez upfront all impressed.

Onto the positives though and that started with our brilliant response after the break. Sagna fired in a low cross which Olivier Giroud flicked home to make it 1-1. It's great to see the Frenchman regaining some form. He has now netted four goals in his last five games in all competitions after failing to score in seven games before that. Santi Cazorla also maintained his fine form in 2014 with a goal to put us in front. Mesut Ozil picked the Spaniard out on the edge of the area as Cazorla found the net with his left foot.

Mesut Ozil was the stand out player of the night though. His first half display, along with many of the other Arsenal players wasn't good enough. However when we needed him to step up most he did. As said, he assisted the second goal and was just simply world class for that 45 minutes. One moment included a run which he started inside his own half, dashing past 3 players before hitting a shot that deflected against the bar. After a quiet last few games it was a huge relief to see him back to his best.

So then, a frustrating draw but there was still some encouraging performances. The most annoying thing about the whole performance though was that we couldn't afford to slip up this month. Our next few months consist of league games against Liverpool, United, Spurs, City and Everton. It really is make or break from now on in.

The teams line-ups:

Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, Davis(89), Lallana, Rodriguez, Gallagher(70).
Subs: Davis, Hooiveld, Isgrove, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse(70), Guly(89). 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Gnabry(70), Ozil, Cazorla(86), Giroud(90). 
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Gibbs(86), Oxlade-Chamberlain(70), Podolski(90), Bendtner.

My man of the match: Mesut Ozil.

Referee: Lee Mason.
Attendance: 31,284.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Podolski brace helps Arsenal through to next round

Arsenal safely made it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to a 4-0 win over Coventry on Friday night. The Gunners put in a comfortable performance against the League One opposition as goals from Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla were enough on a wet and windy night in North London. It wasn't the most convincing of displays and despite the huge amount of chances we created, 4-0 perhaps slightly flattered us. Coventry put in a strong fight and were unlucky to not get themselves on the score-sheet. The line-up was much stronger than predicted as there were a few changes from our strong defensive line in the win over Fulham. Jenkinson came in for Sagna whilst Gibbs replaced Monreal. Szczesny was rested so Fabianski was in goal. Mesut Ozil was a surprise inclusion as Nicklas Bendtner returned from injury and Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first start after injury.
Lukas Podolski scored twice as Arsenal beat Coventry
We started off very brightly and had plenty of possession and it was only a matter of time before we broke the deadlock quarter of an hour in. Mesut Ozil broke through the middle and found Podolski who fainted his way past the keeper before sliding the ball home. It was the pairings first goal where they've combined with each other this season. Something we have been looking so forward to seeing since Ozil arrived. Podolski also got the second and it was another German who provided the assist. Serge Gnabry's floated corner was flicked on by Mertesacker and Podolski found the goal with his head at the back post. Podolski has been restricted in his game time since returning from injury but his two goals on Friday night sent out a real message to Wenger to start him more often.

We then had to wait until the final ten minutes before another goal was to arrive. Olivier Giroud came off the bench and rifled home from a Kieran Gibbs cut back. Santi Cazorla also came off the bench and notched his fourth goal of 2014 with a minute left. Jenkinson's shot was parried straight into the path of the Spaniard who couldn't miss. It was a relief to finally see Jenkinson involved in a goal. He had effectively played as a right winger for the majority of the match and there were numerous occasions where either his crosses were wasteful or no one got on the end of it. As for his defensive side of the game, he wasn't really tested.

Overall defensively though we were tested more than we would've liked to have been. Coventry didn't pose much of a threat in the first half but Fabianski was tested extensively when Baker tried an effort from range but the Polish keeper made a great safe to keep Arsenal in front. As for the second half, our defence had a lot more to do. Leon Clarke had two great chances, one that Fabianski got down well to save whilst the other smashed against the post. You have to give credit the to visitors who certainly came out fighting.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played in the centre of midfield in his first start back from injury and he was very rusty, a few stray passes here and there led to our overall performance being hindered. Jack Wilshere though, continued to impress beside him. Mesut Ozil grabbed an assist and could've made it five in the dying embers of the game but struck the post. Serge Gnabry had a much quieter game than he's had recently but still showed signs of how much of a prospect he is. Meanwhile, there was a first Arsenal appearance for 16 year old Gedion Zelalem. He's been talked of a lot this season and it was great to finally see him being given his first team debut. Zelalem became the first player to play under Arsene Wenger having been born after the boss took charge of Arsenal. A quite incredible stat.

So, into the hat we go for the fifth round draw which takes place on Sunday afternoon. Not even a floodlight failure and a pitch invader managed to stop us in our tracks as our quest for the FA Cup continues. Focusing on our next game though, we have Southampton away on Tuesday night. Southampton haven't been in the best of form of late, but considering their form at the start of the season where we know they can perform against the big teams, it won't be an easy game.

The teams line-ups:

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain(71), Gnabry, Ozil, Podolski(79), Bendtner(71).
Subs: Viviano, Sagna, Monreal, Flamini, Zelalem(71), Cazorla(71), Giroud(79).

Coventry: Murphy, Christie, Adams, Thomas, Webster, Seaborne, Baker, Fleck, Clarke, Moussa(88), Daniels. 
Subs: Slager, Burge, Barton, Phillips, Willis, Clarke(88), Haynes. 

My man of the match: Lukas Podolski.

Referee: Robert Madley.
Attendance: 59,451.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cazorla double seals win over Fulham

Santi Cazorla scored twice on Saturday afternoon as Arsenal ran out comfortable victors against a relegation threatened Fulham side. It was another crucial 3 points as the Gunners retained their position at the top of the Premier League table. It was also our sixth straight win in all competitions as we're beginning to build some real momentum going into our tough period in the next few months. The line-up was unchanged from the win over Villa on Monday night, one of the few times that Wenger had decided to stick with the same team. Monreal managed to overcome an injury problem to start whilst Serge Gnabry once more got a chance to shine out on the right hand side.
Santi Cazorla scored a double to help Arsenal remain top
Our last few games have seen us nowhere near our best but we've still managed to come out with the win even when we haven't played as well. Our first halves display was very poor and we lacked a huge amount of end product. We got in the right positions but the final pass or shot was a poor one. Our defence were coming under pressure in situations where we shouldn't have done whilst we were sloppy in possession. Mesut Ozil had a distinctly average game again but did show some signs of influential play and could've had one or two goals. The second half was much better though.

It was our other main play-maker, Santi Cazorla, that came up trumps. Our goals came either side of the hour mark when it looked as though something special was needed to break down a resolute Fulham back line. Cazorla, Giroud and Wilshere interlinked brilliantly before the Spaniard fired home from 12 yards. His second meanwhile came from outside the box when he managed to squeeze the ball into the bottom corner on his left foot. Cazorla has started 2014 off in brilliant fashion and has 3 in 4. He had a slow start to the season but we're finally beginning to see what he was capable of last season. Along with the goals, his quick feet and dribbling was particularly noted.

Jack Wilshere built on his fantastic performance on Monday with another assist on Saturday. He supplied Santi's first and was one of our better players. He really has flourished now that he's back playing in centre midfield. He was heavily criticised when playing out on the wing but with Ramsey out injured we've needed someone to fill that void and Jack has certainly done that. A player that hasn't been critised in the wider areas though is that of young Serge Gnabry. This was his third consecutive start and he showed some glimpses of his great potential. He had 3 shots from outside the box that flew wide, but showed the confidence he has. Meanwhile he fainted his way past one man in the second half to fire a shot in, nut-megged another and had a shot blocked from twelve yards out as well. He was very unlucky not to find the net.

Wojciech Szczesny was making his 100th appearance for the club and he marked it with his 10th clean-sheet in the league this season. Szczesny, like many other players, has stepped up brilliantly this season and had to be alert to sniff out the danger twice in the first half, whilst also making a great save from a pile driver from Steve Sidwell. His form has been helped massively by the displays of Koscielny and Mertesacker this season who maintained their record of winning in every match they've completed 90 minutes together, the run now stretches to 29 games.

Lukas Podolski came on and made an instant impact. He's scored 3 in his last 3 against Fulham and could've had two more. His first touch saw a shot brilliantly blocked by former Cologne team-mate Reither. He then hit the post minutes later with a rasping effort that left the wood work shaking.

The win was more about the points gained than the performance, after all, if we play like that for the rest of the season but continue to pick up points, I'll be happy. That's as long as we do go on to win the title. It'll be a tough fight and we'll have to win as many games as possible because Man City look to have addressed their away form and they look almost unbeatable at home at the moment. We're top of the league by a point and with our tough run in February and March to come it's important that we step up our performances. Against the top sides, we may not come out on top when playing averagely.

The teams line-ups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Gnabry(71), Ozil(85), Cazorla, Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain(85), Podolski(71), Park.

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Reither, Burn, Hangeland, Richardson, Sidwell, Parker, Dejagah(68), Dempsey, Kacaniklic(86), Berbatov. 
Subs: Stockdale, Hughes, Riise, Karagounis, Duff, Kasami(86), Bent(68).

My man of the match: Santi Cazorla.

Referee: Lee Probert.
Attendance: 60,000. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wilshere shines as Arsenal beat Villa

Arsenal managed to atone for their opening day defeat against Aston Villa by beating them 2-1 on Monday night. Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud scored goals a minute apart from each other before Benteke scored late on to set up a nervy finish. However, the Gunners were resilient and despite a flurry from the hosts in the last ten minutes, we managed to come away with all three points. It was a vital three points as well with every club in the top seven winning over the weekend. In terms of the line-up Arsenal put it out, there were a few changes from the win over Spurs. Giroud and Ozil returned after injury whilst Szczesny regained his place after being rested. Meanwhile Serge Gnabry retained his place after impressing in the Cup.
Jack Wilshere starred as Arsenal maintained the pace at the top of the League
It had been nine days since our last game against Spurs, meaning that the players had a very good opportunity to recharge their batteries after a hectic Christmas and New Year period. It had meant that the likes of Ozil and Giroud had a chance to come back fully fit along with Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain who were also returning from injuries. Having lost to Villa earlier in the season it was a brilliant chance to put things right and we did in fairly comfortable fashion up until Benteke's goal. Once again though, as against Newcastle and other sides this season we've managed to see a game out when leading by only one goal. Something that may not have happened last season.

The goals we scored though were of great quality and it was nice to see us not trying to walk the ball into the net for once. We'd built up a lot of early pressure but Villa had effectively parked the bus and it was proving very difficult to break them down. Mesut Ozil played a brilliant ball in behind to Monreal who pulled the ball back to Wilshere who found the net with a precise finish. Villa Park brings back happy memories for Wilshere who scored his first ever Arsenal goal there back in 2010. For the next goal Wilshere turned provider, clipping in a lovely ball to Giroud who then buried his chance beyond Guzan for 2-0. Jack Wilshere was a revelation in this game and completely deserved the man of the match award. After a slow start to the season, he's beginning to pick up some real form when playing in his preferred deep lying role. The talented midfielder now has five goals this season, the most he's scored in a single campaign so far.

The goal we conceded though was not like us at all. Santi Cazorla had been giving the ball away cheaply quite a lot but it hadn't cost us up until the goal. Instead of clearing the ball down field he passed it straight to Lowton who found Benteke with a brilliant cross. Although on a long run of games without scoring Benteke couldn't miss. Cue angry hand gestures from Mertesacker in the direction of Cazorla. That's twice this season that we've seen Per get extremely angry at something which shows the dominant leader that he has become. The Villa game was the German's 100th appearance for the club. In that time he's only lost 19 games, drawing 18 and winning a massive 62 times. When Mertesacker and Koscielny have completed 90 minutes together, we have not lost since January 2012, a quite incredible record.

Apart from conceding, the only bad points from the game where the injuries to Monreal and Rosicky. Yes, more injuries, as if we didn't have enough already? Monreal hobbled off after the hour mark after clashing with a Villa player whilst Rosicky got an elbow in the face. The consequence? A broken nose for the Czech international. On in place of Rosicky was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has missed the last six months having been injured in the corresponding fixture in August. It's a relief to have him back, especially with the news of Walcott. The Ox made an encouraging come back and made a few good driving runs late on. There's definite potential there for the rest of the season that's for sure.

Next up is a game against a struggling Fulham side at the Emirates. Should be easy enough shouldn't it? We've conceded just one in our last few games at home and we seem to be in pretty good form. Every thing's looking pretty nice as we play a relegation threatened side who haven't been good at all this season.

The teams line-ups:

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker(21), Luna, El Ahmadi(73), Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke. 
Subs: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Bacuna(21), Albrighton, Weimann(73), Helenius. 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal(66), Wilshere, Flamini, Gnabry(69), Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs(66), Rosicky(69)((86), Oxlade-Chamberlain(86), Podolski, Park.

My man of the match: Jack Wilshere.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Attendance: 36,097.  

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Cazorla and Rosicky goals seal win in derby

Arsenal probably had one of the most trickiest ties in the third round of the FA Cup. However they didn't make it look like that as they brushed aside their North London rivals with relative ease, beating Tottenham 2-0 at the Emirates. Considering our recent struggles to create chances in our two previous League games we created a lot against Spurs as Cazorla rifled home in the first half before Rosicky dinked the ball over Lloris in the second. It was a comfortable performance from the Gunners who had not picked their strongest line-up. Serge Gnabry lined-up on the right and due to injuries to our strikers Theo Walcott played upfront. Ozil, who was injured for the Cardiff game, was back on the bench whilst Fabianski started in goal with Vermaelen stepping in for Mertesacker at centre half.
Tomas Rosicky scored Arsenal's second and his first of the season
This was a hugely anticipated derby and was the second time the two sides had met this season. We played them near the beginning of the season in which a single goal from Giroud was enough in a much tighter affair than last night's one. That was under AVB though and last night's fixture was against an Arsenal fan in Tim Sherwood. He supported Arsenal as a boy and his team selection of 4-4-2 made us able to dominate the game in the middle of the park and was the reason we probably won the game. It was Arsene Wenger's 47th North London derby and it continued our run of not being knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup since a 1-0 defeat in 1996 to Sheffield United.

Theo Walcott was a handful for the majority of the evening and made some clever runs which almost got himself two goals and then led to the first goal. All of that was to happen before Walcott was stretchered off late on in the game. Surely not another lengthy injury for one of our players? Serge Gnabry was able to exploit the space in order to set up our first goal. He cut inside and then slid in Santi Cazorla who rifled the ball home on his left foot. Both players involved in that goal had fine games. Gnabry could've had one himself whilst Cazorla drifted inside often and hit one or two efforts wide. The other goal came as a result of poor Tottenham play. Tomas Rosicky robbed Danny Rose of the ball and then raced in on goal. Walker managed to track back but the Czech very cleverly ran into his path meaning either a foul or a goal was the only option from then on in. Rosicky then waited for Lloris to go down before dinking the ball into the back of the net for his first of the season.

Our attacking play was far more encouraging compared to recent games and that was all down to a very different style of play we adopted to. We're usually used to seeing either Giroud or Bendtner up top who hold the ball up. However with Walcott upfront the defenders kept dropping off due to his pace, allowing other members of the side to find space. Particularly Gnabry and Cazorla as mentioned earlier. Dembele and Bentaleb found it hard to deal with the trio of Rosicky, Arteta and Wilshere which made it easy for us to pass the ball around into space.

Our defence kept another clean-sheet and that was with there being rotations. It showed that despite not being heavy in numbers in terms of that phase of the pitch, the back line can still put in a shift regardless of who plays there. Vermaelen had to be replaced at half time but up to then he had made a few crucial tackles. Mertesacker came on and slotted straight in and he hardly needed any time to adapt to the game. Koscielny's composure was evident again as Adebayor and Soldado hardly caused us any problems going forward. Fabianski was also good when called upon, making an especially good save when one-on-one with Eriksen with the score still at 0-0.

I was nervous going into the game but only on one occasion was I worried that Tottenham would in fact score. I had confidence in the side and it was the most comfortable derby victories I've witnessed in a while. Theo Walcott being stretchered off but then doing a "2-0" sign with his hands just topped the night off, it was a brilliant piece of banter towards the Spurs fans. The FA better not fine him or ban him, if anyone should be banned it's the Spurs fans for throwing money in Theo's direction.

The draw for the next round was made this Sunday afternoon and we'll be facing Coventry City at home. Last time out, we beat them 6-1 in the League Cup. A repeat would be nice but considering last season's cup performances I'm not ruling anything out. It was nice to rest a few and see a few players that haven't been on top of their game as much as they'd like to be this season have good games. Our next fixture isn't now for 8 games when we take on Aston Villa away from home. Hopefully a repeat of our first game of the season won't occur!

The teams line-ups:

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen(45), Monreal, Arteta(75), Wilshere(71), Gnabry, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott.
Subs: Viviano, Mertesacker(45), Jenkinson, Flamini(71), Ozil(75), Podolski, Park.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose, Lennon, Dembele, Bentaleb, Eriksen, Adebayor, Soldado(63).
Subs: Friedel, Fryers, Fredericks, Capoue, Chadli(63), Obika, Kane.

My man of the match: Tomas Rosicky.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.
Attendance: 59,476.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Arsenal start new year with late win

Nicklas Bendtner scored a priceless late goal for Arsenal that kept us top of the League when all seemed lost. The Gunners had struggled to break down a resilient Cardiff side but the players never gave up as Bendtner hammered the ball home from point blank range with two minutes remaining. Theo Walcott then scored two minutes later to ensure we got off to a winning start in 2014. The Emirates stadium was absolutely rocking as we stayed top of the table by a point. Before the game Arsenal were plagued with injuries. Ramsey, Ozil, Gibbs and Giroud all missed the game whilst Walcott, Wilshere, Rosicky, Monreal and Vermaelen all had to face late fitness tests but thankfully made it. Due to Giroud not playing Podolski got up a chance upfront with Cazorla out wide and Wilshere behind the striker. Monreal came in for Gibbs whilst Flamini started beside Arteta in midfield.
It was one of those games where I just didn't think it was coming, I was sitting in the ground head in hands at the amount of opportunities that had been and gone. The amount of corners we'd failed to convert was ridiculous and Cardiff had parked the bus and barely tested us all game. It was fizzling out into a frustrating 0-0 draw. Cue the arrival of a Danish striker whose been on the bench for most of the season. With Giroud out injured and Podolski having done next to nothing upfront, Nicklas Bendtner was what the game seemed to be surprisingly crying out for. He came on and crosses were being thrown into the box on a regular basis. Nacho Monreal supplied one of those crosses to the back stick with two minutes left. Our other full back Bacary Sagna threw himself at the ball but it was saved, Nicklas Bendtner followed up to smash the ball home to win us the game, and sprain his ankle in the process. It was one of the Dane's most important goals in the red of Arsenal and it sparked absolute mayhem in the crowd!

The other goal was to come from my man of the match, Theo Walcott. When he actually got at the full back he caused all sorts of problems and there were several moments in the game where he had chances to get in behind and score. He did indeed do that for his goal. Jack Wilshere flicked the ball round the corner and Walcott delicately chipped the ball over Marshall for his 5th goal in as many games. He really has been a revelation since his return from injury. Talking of Jack Wilshere though, he excelled in the central attacking role. With the likes of Ozil and Ramsey out, we needed some penetration through the middle and that's what he gave us. Wenger seems to think that his best role is more deep lying but from what I've seen he looks better as a 'number 10', as his number suggests. He didn't create as many chances as you would've liked him to, but he put in a great shift and spread the ball about well, dictating the game to his liking.

We were extremely limited going forward though and it wasn't surprising to see the goal come so late. Podolski was given his first start since injury and was played as a centre forward. However he didn't have much of an impact. He made hardly any runs which meant the wide-men and midfielders were limited as to where they could put the ball. We weren't necessarily missing Giroud, we were missing a striker, and that's what we of course got in Bendtner. Typical that he got injured. 

Back to the positives and another mention has to go to the defence. Koscielny and Mertesacker looked to have carried their 2013 form into 2014 and this season we simply haven't been conceding silly goals to the smaller sides. A thing that in turn, means we're top of the league. We now have the best defensive record in the league having conceded just 18 goals and now just 1 in our last 7 games at the Emirates. Wojciech Szczesny made a great save late on to maintain the clean-sheet and showed his concentration despite having to do hardly anything throughout most parts of the game.
Yesterday more than anything though, showed the team's character, desire and resilience to not give up. Theo Walcott said in an interview after the game that he always knew the goal was coming with the amount of chances they were having. A sign of belief in a team that over recent seasons hasn't seemed to have it in the final moments of a game.

We desperately need to get all our players back as soon as possible now. We have Spurs in the FA Cup on Saturday and I'm praying that we have Giroud and Ozil back. Giroud because of our lack of options upfront and Ozil because of our lack of creativity and movement going forward against Newcastle and Cardiff.

The teams line-ups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini(65), Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski(65). 
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen(90), Jenkinson, Rosicky(65), Ryo, Gnabry, Bendtner(65)(90).

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Caulker, Turner, John, Medel(61), Kim, Whittingham, Noone, Mutch(67), Campbell(79).
Subs: Lewis, Hudson, Gunnarsson(61), Cowie(67), Smith, Maynard(79), Cornelius. 

My man of the match: Theo Walcott.

Referee: Jon Moss.
Attendance: 60,004.