Arsenal kept a clean sheet for the second time this season and went on to maintain a 5 game winning streak in the league.
The match against the Hornets was a hard-fought battle as the match was played at such a high tempo.Bernd Leno had a taste of Premiership football as he made his debut late in the first half after Petr Cech pulled a hamstring.
The visitors gave the home team a run for their money as they played long balls and used their physicality to challenge for the ball.Their tactical discipline was very astute. But for the own goal by Cathcart and a quick fire goal by Ozil, the Watford Manager,Javi Gracia believed they deserved at least a point from the game.In his post match interview he said,
“We had more chances,more clear chances,more shots,more shots on target and felt really good but at the end we didn’t deserve the result.I think all the players put in a good performance,and I’m pleased with the attitude of my players and with the performance as well.I think we can only be proud of them keeping a good level and competing in all the games and deserving more.But I am sure in the future we will get it.”
Arsenal had an opportunity to go ahead in the first half when Lacazette picked up a loose ball and raced in front and was one on one with Ben Forster but he put his efforts way off the target.Alexander Lacazette toiled hard to get on the score sheet but it wasn’t to be.Early in the first half, he should have gotten a penalty as he was tripped in the 18 yard box. Most players would go down under that challenge but he tried to stay up but couldn’t keep his balance in the end.It was a clear foul because he was clear on goal but it was waved aside.
The game wore on as the visitors sent long balls into home team’s penalty area but it was calmly dealt with. Hughes had a chance to put the visitors ahead but his effort was off the mark.Probably the rays of the sun played a part but he should be scoring in such positions.Cech made some pretty good saves to deny the visitors until he pulled a hamstring.His deputy, German international,Berd Leno stepped into the pitch and gave a good account of himself. He had a commanding presence in the penalty box. Except for one misjudged aerial cross, he dealt with crosses very well.His performance ensured the Hornets didn’t get a goal.He denied “cojone” Deeney to patch things up for the visitors.
Emery showed that he is good at reading the game with the introduction of Alex Iwobi who had a hand in the two goals scored by the home team.Watford’s introduction of Nigerian international, Isaac Success almost gave the visitors the advantage but he missed two glorious opportunities.
Aubameyang had a pretty bad day on the pitch. He was almost ineffective as his play on the flanks didn’t do him any good.He was substituted later on.Welbeck’s cameo appearance also went unnoticed. He needs to be starting games especially when Arsenal are playing teams who play with so much physicality.
Rob Holding put up a stellar performance.He was cool, calm and collected.He rarely made any mistakes.He put Troy cojone Deeney in his place. He needs to be consistent.And he needs a lot of games to that. Holding against Watford made 9 recoveries,3 clearances and 7 interceptions. Not bad at all.
The match against Watford was a keenly contested one.Arsenal are beginning to show resilience and belief under pressure.Rob Holding at the end of the match via Sky sports said,
“It was a really competitive and physical game and we knew that coming in, we just had to stand up to the battle and late on I think they tired and we managed to get a few passes together and score the goals.”Yeah, that’s what it was. They look to play off the second balls and work hard to get hold of them, so we just had to match them physically and we had the ability to pick them apart and score some goals.”
Two seasons ago,Arsenal would have either drawn or lost this match.It is clear that Emery wantsr to erase that fragile mentality of the players as Holding said:”The manager has said that he wanted to bring in a winning mentality to the club”.This statement is a clear statement of intent but let’s hope we see more of this kind of performance from Arsenal as they challenge for the Champions League spots in the league.But never say never, anything is possible.
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