Arsenal cement top spot with impressive performance

Arsenal have continued their fine form in Europe with another win against Rapid Vienna.

The Gunners welcomed their fans back this evening with an especially impressive performance, in which they came away with a 4-1 victory to cement themselves into first place.

Arsenal no longer have a chance of being drawn against the teams dropping out of the Champions League after their win tonight, and the fashion in which they achieved it was impressive.

Despite making a number of changes from the weekendโ€™s match, we took little time in moving into the lead when Alexandre Lacazette fired in a fireball from outside the box, which the keeper failed to stop due to the movement on the ball.

It wasnโ€™t long before we doubled our lead either, as within 20 minutes we moved 2-0 up thanks to Pablo Mari.

Lacazette nearly added the third after some fine work down the right flank, only to be denied by the post, but the half-time whistle couldnโ€™t come quick enough for Rapid Vienna to stop us from getting a third.

Again some delightful interchanging and passing saw us hone in on goal, and Eddie Nketiah finished it off with his second attempt, scoring from his own rebounded shot.

We started the second half a little on the slow side, and were duly punished by the Austrian side, but substitute Emile Smith Rowe capped his second appearance off with a goal, again finishing off another series of technical passes.

Willian and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could have had at least one each in the second half but were wasteful when in on goal, but the performance overall was top, with both Nelson and Lacazette being my picks to start at the weekend.

Is this performance in front of the fans a statement for the weekend?

Patrick

Tags Rapid Vienna

52 Comments

  1. Nero says:

    Did watch the match

    But my questions are why cant arteta try niles in the midfield, with the way cebbalos and xaka are sleeping..

    Cedric is a great crosser.. Of the ball, why not try him instead of bellerin.. We need fire at the front..

    He needs a way to incorporate saliba into the team though..

    Just my thoughts

    1. Nero says:

      *didn’t

      1. Grandad says:

        Some of us have been perplexed by the Manager’s reluctance to play AMN in midfield.After last night, surely be will recognise why we are so frustrated and play AMN, along with Elneny and Willock in midfield against Spurs.As for the front three, Nelson must be pushing for a starting place .

    2. EDU says:

      Who will head Cedric balls. You don’t have Olii remember

    3. gotanidea says:

      If Arteta can use Maitland-Nilesโ€™ pace, athleticism and movements in midfield, we might be able to surprise Spurs

      1. Malaysian Gunner says:

        True indeed. I prefer him in midfield rather than at the back. Left side Tierney seems to be our best palayer at the moment.

      2. Longbenark says:

        Yea you get, Niles, Nelson, Willock, Tierney, Lacazette are energetic players(box to box kind), use them for some form of urgency in the games.

  2. Sue says:

    Arsenal have mustered 94 shots in five games in the Europa League, compared to 95 in 10 Premier League match….

    Nothing lethargic about that performance!! Really enjoyed it..
    So many positives, glad to see Mari and Chambers back… 4 great goals, so happy ESR got on the scoresheet…
    And a massive shout out to the fans! You were incredible! Had me chanting along in my living room ๐Ÿ˜„
    Great night, now let’s go and mash some spuds!

    1. Khadii says:

      Nice one Sue..
      Although our fortune in the league has to change for the better.
      Also, Arsenal fans showed that football is nothing without the fans.

      1. Sue says:

        Yes, Khadii, starting on Sunday ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Very true, they savoured every moment and after 9 months out, who can blame them!! I can’t wait to get back there!
        Loved how the team applauded the fans before and after and even the stewards applauded every single fan coming through the turnstiles. Nice touch!!
        Sweet dreams tonight, Khadii ๐Ÿ‘

        1. Khadii says:

          Thanks Sue.. I definitely had sweet dreams..
          Didn’t even know when I slept. At least since the Wolves game, I was able to sleep like a new born.
          Lol.. thats what being an Arsenal fan means right? One week on, One week off.

          By the way, nobody mentioned Runnarsson. The boy can play with his feet. Picks the right passes and knows when to go long.
          This is what Leno lacks that constantly puts the CBs under unnecessary pressure.
          So much for German keepers and playing from the back eh..

          1. Sue says:

            ๐Ÿ˜ Yes, unfortunately we’re on a high one minute and then in the depths of despair the next – the joy of football hey?!
            I did big up Runarsson last week -looks a real find! His playing out has been really good.. I feel like doing the viking thunder clap now ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
            I like Leno… could be worse – we could have Courtois ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    2. gotanidea says:

      Arsenal are too cautious in EPL. If Maitland-Niles can play like that in EPL, he could be the best replacement for Ramsey

      1. Sue says:

        He deserves to play in the PL, gai…

      2. Longbenark says:

        Really I donโ€™t know how Arteta sees things but having Elneny /Partey, Maitland-Niles and Willock in a 4-3-3 midfield would be blistering as this 3 are athletic and strong.

        They would relieve Aubameyang, saka /Nelson/Smith-Rowe and Lacazette/Pepe upfront.

        Arteta if you are reading , we need steel in that midfield .

        1. Gunner23 says:

          @Longbenark 442 diamond maybe?
          auba laca
          willock
          elneny amn
          partey
          tier gabs hold bell/cedric

  3. Khadii says:

    Play like this on Sunday, and even if we marginally lose, I won’t be mad.
    Some nice football tonight.
    I wish this team that started tonight can play on Sunday. Except Auba for Nketiah probably, with Gabriel and Tierney coming in.
    COYG

  4. Declan says:

    I have to apologise.
    In an earlier article I said 2000 fans in our stadium would be insignificant but I was wrong, they were magnificent. They made a huge difference, well done the Arsenal.

    1. Sue says:

      I thought it’d be a drop in the ocean… great atmosphere with them all in the lower tier…

  5. lcw says:

    It’s all on the coach. Today he gave the players the freedom to play football. He should continue and try to help them get better instead of treating them like robots. WTG! and nice feeling for a change.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Icw relax bro, it’s only Rapid even our academy will probably beat this Rapid team and the truth is we have always played better in the Europa league even when Emery was here our best matches was always in the Europa cup

      1. lcw says:

        Lenohappy: When you get old like me you are always relaxing whether you like it or not๐Ÿ˜‰
        You are right the competition is not great but when you are losing often you can’t be choosy.

  6. Lenohappy says:

    When I read things like cedric is better than bellerin I just laugh. Great performance but I’m not going to get carried away with the result but Pepe has seem to be playing better now.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Bellerin is obviously faster and trickier than Soares

      1. RW1 says:

        Bellerin a worse defender … neither are great but would prefer to see Cedric and free up space in middle for more forward play

  7. Gibson power says:

    If we had played the way we played today in some of the matches we lost we wouldn’t have lost those games, great performance from the team. Big shout out to Nelson and lacazette and the team in general…

  8. Trudeau says:

    Don’t want to go overboard, even Willian looked okay in his cameo, but highlights for me were (a) AMN in the midfield, would love to see him start on the weekend (b) Nelson is looking lively and making some good decisions – but he really needs to spend some time on the training pitch practicing set piece kicks and (c) the collective freedom and joy that Arsenal played with, a far cry from the last few PL games.

    1. Sue says:

      Spot on, Trudeau. Tonight the Emirates is our happy place ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Declan says:

        My happy place was watching Arsenal and Celebrity Cyclone at the same time.

        1. Sue says:

          Right little multitasker, Declan!! ๐Ÿ˜œHow good was Vernon?! Would like him to win, but i think Jordan will….

          1. Declan says:

            I was surprised Shane went out Sue and I have really changed my opinion of Vernon in a good way but think Mumma G will be crowned Queen today.

          2. Sue says:

            Not long to go, Declan!!

    2. PJ-SA says:

      I’d love to see AMN along side Partey, both are very pacey and defend well but also have the ability to push forward when required

  9. Gurrosco says:

    Much much better performance and for Arteta. So much energy and movement in the opponent’s half. Tactics are finally aggressive and dynamic instead of cautious and dull. Also love to see the fans returning to energize the squad.

    However… (sorry guys), it’s just rapid wien. After what happened post-Molde, I won’t get excited until we witness something symmetrical in the league.

    Will Arteta build on this new setup? I sure hope so. COYG!

  10. Atid says:

    As i said earlier 4411 is the way forward for our current staff

    GK: Leno/Runarrsson

    D: Bellerin/Soares; Saliba/Gabriel Holding/Mari Chambers/Luiz Tierney/Kolasinac

    M: Pepe/Willian AMN/Ceballos Partey/Elneny Xhaka /Willock Saka/Nelson

    F: Auba/Laca Nketiah/Martinelli Balogun /ESR

    Obviously I have left out Macey, Mustafi, Sokratis and Ozil, but for me they could all be gone in January or the summer. We could well see a few more go too. Luiz, Kolasinac Soares, Willian, xhaka and even Lacs. If there is money to be made that is how we can improve our squad and more importantly starting x1. Off load those 10 and replace with 3 world-class starters and 2 quality squad players and we could be going somewhere, as it stands none of those 10 would be in my starting x1 and that is without signing new players. There is also decisions to be made on all the loanees.

    1. Longbenark says:

      @Atid, nicely said, Maitland-Niles needs to be in that midfield, this youngsters have steel and pace

  11. Sue says:

    Partey is training with the team tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kstix says:

      Hurrah Sue, about time

  12. Reggie says:

    Pretty poor team in Rapid V but you can only beat what is in front of you. Pepe was excellent along with AMN and Lacca. The next game is a nothing game in the EL, play the future in it Arteta. Lets see what we have behind our inconsistent first teamers.

    1. Malaysian Gunner says:

      Pepe didnt score today. But it was okay for me as long as he can create chances, or can bring the ball forward to easier our attacking option. A goal doesnt matter if u are creative enough to create for other players to score. Pepe seems got his confidence back.

  13. gunnerforlife says:

    Great win! A recipe for Sunday! I want Laca to start on Sunday along with AMN and Elneny. Also Mari had a great match and glad to see Chambers back. All in all a performance ensuring revival.

  14. gunnerforlife says:

    Bring on the Spuds on Sunday!Up the Gunners, thats the spirit!Let AMN start on Sunday!

  15. Wenger91 says:

    Although it was strange to see Laca in this position he did well!
    Nelson is showing great potential and with AMN behind him, I think they deserve to play again in the next match!

    Since we don’t have Pepe in the next match I will be happy to see Saka in his position while keeping Nkeitah or Auba in front and Laca in the same position as apparently, we need him if Auba can’t score. Elneny should start ahead of Ceballos!

  16. gunnerforlife says:

    Arteta should go with a 422 system on Sunday:
    Lenno
    Belerin Gabriel Holding/Mari Tierney
    AMN Elneny/Partey(if he is fit to play)
    Nelson Saka
    Laca Auba

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Love this line up…..cannot wait to see Partey and AMN in midfield next to each other(hopefully MA agrees)

  17. gunnerforlife says:

    Sorry that should read 442 system.

  18. Vinod says:

    Leno
    Bellerin Holding Gabriel Tierney
    Mo Elneny Xhaka
    Nelson Laca Saka
    Auba

    Sub: Willian for Nelson, Ceballos for Elneny and Willock for Laca

    1. Khadii says:

      Xhaka…
      Worst midfielder ever..
      Too slow to progress play…
      Watching our game yesterday, it was very obvious Xhaka puts the defenders under pressure with his constant back passes.
      I’d rather ESR till Partey is fit.

      Midfield should be AMN/Ceballos- Elneny- Partey

      1. Vinod says:

        I would also like to see Partey and AMN in the midfield but I suspect Arteta will prefer Xhaka if Partey is unavailable and AMN might not even be on the bench.

        This is the most predictable 11 that Arteta prefers (maybe Willian over Nelson).

  19. gunnerforlife says:

    Partey has slowly started training with the first team but I doubt whether MA will risk him by starting him on Sunday, he might bring him on as a sub. In that case the midfield should comprise of AMN and Elneny in a 442 system. AMN has the athletic ability and pace to counter the Spuds pace and Elneny is stable and reliable. Let Laca play just behind Auba as a central creative outlet and let Nelson and Saka support from the wings, Saka’s pace will disturb the Spuds defence. We should go at the Spuds at every opportunity but at the same time keep a compact defence to counter the pace of Son and Kane. With such a plan and the mentioned personnel I think we should win on Sunday, we need the win badly to move up the PL table.

  20. S.J says:

    Aubameyang,

    Saka, Lacazette, Nelson,

    Elneny, M-Niles,

    Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Bellerin,

    Leno.

    I will love to see this selection against Tottenham.

    Tired of Xhakaโ€™s slowness and immobility.
    Ceballos needs to up his game to get a starting spot.

  21. jon fox says:

    I am hearted to see now a general Gooner recognition of the harm that XHAKAS DREADFUL LACK OF PACE AND MOBILITY DOES TO OUR TEAM. Some others and myself have been saying this consistently ever since he first arrived.

    Slow, immobile players are useless in our fast moving, mobile Prem. Until he is ditched for good we will still suffer. How he plays instead of the pacy and energetic AMN is to me one of life unfathomable mysteries!

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