Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Arsenal battle to hard earned point

Overall it was a disappointing night in Germany, as Arsenal let slip a two goal lead to draw in a game where three points would have been very important.

But in actual fact, had we escaped with a win it would have been very undeserved. Schalke started like a train on fire, whilst Arsenal could barely put more than two passes together. But t was us who struck first; a long clearance from Mertesacker was flicked backwards by a Schakle defender and straight into the path of a seemingly offside Giroud.

The Frenchman failed to even get a proper shot away, but ably following up was an on form Walcott, who grasped his chance in only his third start this season, as finished coolly. The goal gave us some much need confidence and following some good link up play between Wilshere and Cazorla, the second goal came. Podolski easily beat his man and Giroud ran through a static defence to fire home an important header. Arsenal had only been playing for 5 minutes, but we had a two goal lead.

The important goal for Schalke came just on the stroke of half time as the superb Holtby gave a delightful ball to Huntelaar, who finished thunderously. After the break it seemed clear that Arsenal's lead would be short lived, and the Germans eventually got their equaliser through Farfan's shot deflecting of Vermaelen into the net.

Schalke had more chances to win, and in goal Mannone had one of his better performances for the gunners. In the end a point was probably fair, but gives us some work to do in the remaining two group games, especially a very difficult game at Olympiakos.

There are some positives to take from yesterday. We shook off some of the shackles from Saturdays dismal display, and Podolski, Cazorla and Walcott were impressive in attacking areas.

After the game Arsene said: "For us it was important first of all not to lose and if possible to win. We managed the first part, not the second one. The regret we have is that we conceded the goal just before half time and we missed the chance at the end of the game.
I believe we have shown a good response to Saturday’s game and you feel the team is getting better."

The return of the Ox, Szczesny, Diaby and Gibbs in the next few weeks will be very much welcomed, and will hopefully spark a good run of form from our side.

Arsenal are not back to their best, but last night we took a step in the right direction, against a very able Schalke side.

Mannone 7.5
Sagna 6.5
Mertesacker 6
Koscielny 6.5
Vermaelen 6
Arteta 6.5
Wilshere 6.5
Cazorla 7
Walcott 7.5
Podolski 7
Giroud 7

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