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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Monday, 5 May 2014

Giroud goal seals win in final home game

With Everton losing to Manchester City a day earlier, the game against West Brom no longer had any real significance for Arsenal. Everton's defeat meant that before we even played we were guaranteed a place in the top four. The 1-0 win over West Brom asserted our position amongst the top four teams in the country as we stretched the gap to seven points over the Merseyside club. Olivier Giroud's goal fourteen minutes into the game was the difference as we played our final game at home in the 2013/14 campaign. The line-up saw just one change to the side that beat Newcastle on Monday as Mathieu Flamini replaced Aaron Ramsey who missed out through a slight thigh problem. Meanwhile Abou Diaby was back on the bench for the first time in over a year having been out of the side for so long with yet another injury.
Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game
One loss. That's all we suffered at home in the league this season, a run of unbeaten games that stretches back to the opening day against Aston Villa. Our season looked as though it wasn't going to go well from that point on, but in theory it got better, but then slightly worse again. We've lead the Premier League this season for longer than any other team but come next weekend it will not be us lifting the trophy. That job will be over to Liverpool or Manchester City as we sit in fourth place for yet another year. However a Champions League spot, and an FA Cup final to come, means we've had a very productive season.

The win over West Brom on Sunday afternoon signified that it was a typical end of season game. We have nothing to really play for and you could tell with the intensity of the game. The match perhaps warranted more than one goal and had it been earlier in the season I think we would've pushed harder for it. Podolski, Ozil and Cazorla all passed up pretty decent chances during the game but it was Olivier Giroud who tucked away his opportunity.

The Frenchman impressed a lot against West Brom and his performance was reminiscent of his early season form. His goal was a well taken one as he got ahead of his marker to find the net from Santi Cazorla's corner. Giroud's start of and end of season form has been brilliant. In his first five games he bagged four goals and in his last 5 games he's found the net three times. Whether or not he'll be the main striker next season though remains to be seen. Surely we'll sign another forward though won't we?

Mesut Ozil also put in another good performance after his brilliant display against Newcastle and he looks back to his best again. The impetus of Aaron Ramsey was of course missed but with Arteta and Flamini we had a more disciplined midfield line.

Bacary Sagna put in another very consistent shift in what could potentially be his final home game in an Arsenal shirt. His contract is up at the end of the season and he is yet to renew his current deal. If Sagna does leave it'll leave a massive hole in that Arsenal defence. He's been one of our most consistent players during his seven years at the club, and it'll be very difficult to find a right back as good as him that is available to sign.

We now have one league game left which is against relegation threatened Norwich who will desperately trying to win in order to stay up. Wenger may well chose to rest players for that game ahead of the FA Cup final the week after though.

The teams lineups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal(80), Arteta(62), Flamini, Cazorla(70), Ozil, Podolski, Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen(80), Jenkinson, Kallstrom(62), Diaby, Rosicky(70), Sanogo.

West Brom: Foster, Dawson, Lugano, Olsson, Brunt, Amalfitano(80), Mulumbu(86), Dorrans, Morrison, Sessegnon, Berahino.
Subs: Myhill, McAuley, O'Neil, Yacob, Sinclair, Vydra(86), Anichebe(80).

My man of the match: Olivier Giroud.

Referee: Mike Jones.

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