Sunday, 15 October 2017

LaPercy Review: Watford vs Arsenal


The matchday 8 between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage road ended in a shock 2-1 win for the home side as Tom Cleverley and Troy Deeney cancelled Per mertesacker's header as they once again shocked their opponents just like their previous  two matches which they saved in the dying moments. This was not the only shocking result and Chelsea were shocked by Crystal Palace, Juventus by Lazio and Borussia Dortmund by RB Leipzig all having the 2-1 result. 
            Arsenal were genuine title contenders before the season started and after a difficult start to the season they are back in the title race albeit barely as they trail Chelsea by 8 points with 16 games to go. Not the ideal situation for the gunners who also resume their Europa League campaign in couple of days time. As the games come thick and fast at this time of the year Arsenal need to dispose off teams like Watford if they were to retain their place in premier league top 4. Couple of good wins can get them back in the top half of the season and well clear of relegation zone which is the priority for the club. 
                The first goal for Arsenal came in the 40th minute. It all started via a great cross from Xhaka, bent in from the right with his left foot. Per met it with the meat of his forehead as he leapt like the proverbial oncorhynchus in the six yard box to meet it at the apex of his running jump and thunder it past Gomes. For the rest of the half Arsenal were not the passing team they used to be, a parody of a passing team at times. This season they have certainly moderated their style, varying it to include some longer passes and width from the wing-backs. It's a work in progress and in this XI they lacked a couple of genuinely outstanding players but it's been efficient, productive so far in the 1st half. Arsenal should have scored the second in the 70th minute as it was a superb break from Arsenal as Kolasinac plays it down the line to Iwobi, who charges infield and plays an angled pass to put Ozil clear on goal. He looked offside, wasn’t flagged and hit a low shot that was well saved down to his left by Gomes. It should have been 2-0. Wenger was livid and rightly so at the award of that penalty in the 72nd minute and was no different to the Welbeck/Holebas incident at the other end. Richarlison ran at Bellerin on the left side of the box and when the two bumped shoulders Richarlison went flying. That was a dive. Troy Deeney scored the leveller for Watford as he placed the penalty firmly to Cech's right having sent the keeper the wrong way who believes that the Spaniard’s long hair might have been the problem. Watford continued their amazing run of surprising teams right at the end as Cleverley who was at fault for Arsenal's opener as he rectified that mistake. The former Manchester United man lashed home in stoppage time after the visitors were unable to clear their lines to give the Hornets a first Premier League home win of the campaign and it started via a shoot from Holebas which was defected, Deeney went in with Cech and fell on top of him. The keeper sprung up to save the shot hit on the rebound. The ball fell near Cleverley who rammed his shot into the roof of the net. 
     It must be some consolation to the Gooners as Liverpool once again dropped points as they were held to a 0-0 draw which continued  their bad form since Alex Oxalade Chamberlain joined them in this transfer window. I think Alex is somewhat happy as he is now sitting in the middle of a 7 men bench and he's finally got that central role he was looking for after leaving the Gunners.

Author's Comment: Arsenal always turn things around when they have their backs to the wall but they are at their most vulnerable when coming into a game in rich form. Watford match might prove a banana skin for Arsenal but most of the players were fresh after international break and playing away at Vicarage had too much quality in their ranks to lose this game to Watford for the first time since 1987. I hope they can improve their game against their Europa League opponent Red Star Belgrade

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