Arsenal coast to comfy win in Azerbaijan

Arsenal breezed to an easy 3-0 win against Qarabag FC tonight, with youngster Smith-Rowe getting his first senior goal.

We started the match brightly, and even broke the deadlock inside five minutes thanks to a somewhat lucky touch from Sokratis, who looked to get the opener with his groin from well inside the nine-yard box.

With such an early goal some of us may have been thinking that we were going to run away with it, but in all fairness our opponents had much of the half. Some may even say we were  lucky to go into the break leading, but 1-0 at the midway point it was.

We didn’t have to wait too long into the second half to push on and build on our lead, and another surprise scorer in Emile Smith-Rowe doubling our lead, having run onto a neat through ball before slotting under the keeper.

It clearly was a day for surprise scorers as Guendouzi completed the rout inside the last 15 minutes. A request a bet on those three to score at any point would have been huge…

Danny Welbeck and Guendouzi both had clearcut chances to try and add a fourth late into the match, but both failed to hit the target but the scoreline leaves us in great stead going into the third Europa League fixture.

Was Smith-Rowe your man of the match? Did Welbeck miss a chance to get into Emery’s first team plans?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Qarabag


  1. gotanidea says:

    Emery was spot on with his 3-4-3 formation:

    – Welbeck: Excellent work rate and team player again as usual. Initialized the second goal by robbing the ball, sadly could not score in the second half (typical Welbeck’s finishing)

    – Smith-Rowe: Liked his movements and pressure on the opponents, plus the good finish. Still needs to improve his vision and skills, but he still has a lot of time

    – Iwobi: Produced sharp passes and showed nice movements/ ball control, like what Sanchez did in the past. Smith-Rowe and him was very good as an AM in that 3-4-3 formation, maybe because of the opponent’s level

    – Guendouzi: Bad first touches in the first half, but improved in the second half and played with a lot of energy as usual. Very good finish for a midfielder

    – Elneny: Worked very hard to harass the opponents

    – Kolasinac: Very good in attacking, okay in defending

    – Lichtsteiner: Still too cautious and I expected more attacking flair from an ex-Juventus wing back

    – The CBs: Defended and built the attack very well

    – Leno: Very good saves

    1. Unaiem says:

      He changed it to 4-2-3-1 at half time, don’t think he like it

  2. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Wasn’t really an impressive game..too many misplaced passes and missed chances.
    But a great game from Leno.
    Credits to Guendozi, Rowe, Holding, Sokratis and Iwobi.
    Glad our Young guns got their first goals.
    8 win in a row, let’s make it 9 on sunday

    1. gotanidea says:

      I think it was understandable, because this is the first time they play with Emery’s 3-4-3 formation in an official game?

  3. Raja Danish says:

    This what a good goalkeeper can do wonders for the team when we were leading 1-0 but we were still some-what sloppy and Qarabag carved out many goal-scoring chances but leno stood to it and made excellent saves otherwise on an another day it could have been 1-1 or 2-1 in favour of Qarabag.. COYG!!!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Leno was excellent, but they could not control the tempo because there were only two CMs in the deeper midfield area

      Had they played with 4-3-3, maybe they would be able to dominate the midfield. But the 3-4-3 formation was effective, proven by the scoreline

  4. Innit says:

    Rowe is only 18
    Guendouzi is only 19
    They are good now
    In 5 years time with more experience and tlc they should be fantastic

    Anyway fantastic night
    big win. clean sheet, we rested players and our youngsters were outstanding

    i love Arsenal and Emery
    keep up the winning streak

    1. gotanidea says:

      Plus Arsenal still have Maitland-Niles and Nelson

      I think Guendouzi could become a world class DM in the future

  5. Was a decent performance. Cleansheet again and superb goals. A routine 3-0 as easy as it gets. I was going to slam Guendozi for his clumsy passing but he made up for it with an excellent goal. Ironically today we wasted the many chances that our opponents normally waste against us ?

  6. diademking says:

    Iwobi MOTM, well taken goals from Rodwell and guendouzi. Not an easy win but 8 straight win guys. On to the next.!

  7. Sue says:

    8 wins in a row…. last time we did that was 2015!!!
    Thank you Unai

    1. st sass says:

      at least we did it

  8. Eddie Hoyte says:

    GotanIdea, yea I sort of expected this kinda game with our senior creative midfielders on the bench, but we were always gon win.
    I think Iwobi will get some game time on Sunday, 2nd half… Emery’s saving energies. I love the fact that he knows what player to take off and who to leave on. Holding has impressed so far… Mustafi a time bomb waiting to explode?? Just 2 more league matches before we play Liverpool… if we win our games before that match, it’ll be 11 winnings in a row, Don’t really know how the Liverpool game will turn out but there’s reason to be positive

  9. jon fox says:

    A real curates egg of a performance. On the PLUS side, another mobile and heartening perf from Iwobi. He was MotM for me. Smith-Rowe is clearly a rising talent with lots to purr over but still inclined to be inconsistent in possession, though I predict a huge future for him. Leno, though very early days , looks born to be our number one keeper, an excellent and even exciting perf. Minuses are Kolasinac who was hopeless, though clearly rusty. But I do not see a proper defender in him at all. He has not the nous a defender needs. Welbeck did what Welbeck does, he ran and ran but to zero effect. That last ballooned shot over the bar , near the end says it all. Sadly, he just lacks top quality. Guendouzi I thought poor tonight despite his nice goal. He constantly lost the ball. Elneny, much like Welbeck; effort but not good enough at our level. Holding and Sokratis were so so only. All in all the scoreline flattered us rather a lot but a win is a win and we will take it gladly. We will need a much better perf to make it nine from nine at Fulham though.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Agree on Iwobi as MOTM, as his playmaking was superb

      Wanna see more of the Naija boy at Fulham

  10. LENOhappy says:

    I think I have to agree with you Jon,iwobi also got my motm,I said it on the last thread that guendozi needs some talking to,he loses possession in dangerous positions,Rowe have a good future ahead of him,when you get a keeper of Leno quality you expect him to make those saves,for some that may be thinking otherwise am not really an iwobi fan,but I know he can do more he’s doing because he has the potential,and am glad he’s proving people wrong,next is Fulham with the type of football they play,it’s going to be a easy win for us

  11. Grandad says:

    Leno and Iwobi did well throughout.I know he lacks match fitness but Kolasinac continues to disappoint me.

    1. mohawk says:

      kolasinac had his worst game as a gunner. when he first arrived he was quite good. now something is clearly wrong with his game mentality. Maitland-niles would be a better choice.

      1. waal2waal says:

        … what is wrong is… he recently returned from an injury. Give Kolasinac a chance…

        1. ozziegunner says:


  12. Godswill says:

    Keep on winning no matter who plays and how we play. Am okay with wins.

  13. Bur says:

    Good to get an away win. It wasn’t a classic by no means. Although Guendouzi scored his rate of completed passes was poor, very poor. Defence was all over the place but a win is a win.

    1. mohawk says:

      yes, guendouzi struggled in first half and kolasinac had his worst game as a gunner. but other players stepped up just enough to take the game. Leno was at his best.

      1. Alldwayfromafrica says:

        Coward!! Really? Leno you don’t think that’s a bit too harsh. I can’t ever remember ozill “blaming” others for his performance…man barely says much aside he whole Germany debacle which in my opinion he had every right too…I know we barely see ozil in full gear but coward really? Your own comment feels salty to me

  14. Good performance and the run continues. Lots of plus points, but am I the only one still frustrated by Ozil effort and his arm waving? Just never puts a shift in, tackles back or makes something special happen to justify his place or wages. I have always been a big fan, but he just doesn’t deserve a place in our side.

    1. jon fox says:

      You are not alone, my friend! Ozil is just not applying himself as he ought to and thousands recognise it. Some though will not see the truth, these days, and still think he is one of the worlds best. But he is ordinary game after game. No player can live on previous reputation for ever . Nor should he.

      1. ArsenalGR says:

        It’s the second time Emery subs him into a match which we are already winning against a small club…I don’t really know why he is doing that, maybe in order to show him who the boss is, but his attitude tonight was far from acceptable… He clearly is at a bad state of mind right know and this is something that needs to get addressed ASAP!

        1. waal2waal says:

          QARA v ARS – isn’t a fixture where we should have need to rely solely on ozil surely the others are meant to weigh-in with performances too. I wanted Iwobi/Welbz to compose themselves and impose their will. Thanks to our future No1 Leno both were afforded the time in which to make some impact on tonights game. I wouldn’t give-up on mesut just yet – there’s more challengers ahead for us at the business end of the europa as well as in the EPL (not to mention domestic cups),

          Its said form is temporary and class is permanent so let’s be patient with MO and enjoy the result.

          1. Sue says:

            Excellent post yet again waal2waal ?

          2. ozziegunner says:


          3. kenya01 Ars fan says:

            wow this leno guy made some good saves .. will b tough when peter returns who should b our first choice??

        2. Chabaloah says:

          Perhaps to improve his fitness? He isn’t the only one he brings along, he also plays Lacazette too, it could be to keep them sharp, Emery said he finds when there are games close together that you are usually better in the second game in his experience.

          None of them are playing a full 90 generally which means they are or should not be as tired going forward into the next game.

  15. LENOhappy says:

    You are so right Jon,i used to love ozil so much that I can get into a fight because of him,but now when I look at him I see a soft man who is a coward and who always try to blame everyone else but himself,at this present time i will take any midfielder in the top 6 team ahead of him,I can’t remember the last he made a direct pass that leads to goal,he’s been mostly useless,but like you said,some still believe he’s the best playmaker in the world,lol

    1. ozziegunner says:

      LENOhappy, after what Mezut Ozil has been through over the last few months, your comments are totally unfair. “Coward”?

  16. Sue says:

    Our squad depth is looking good!!

  17. Innit says:

    the negative comments are a bit silly
    we played AWAY with guendouzi, welbeck, iwobi, Rowe, el Neny who are not regulars and won the match 0-3
    Even Kolsanic was injured for a while
    Constructive Criticsm is fine

    Its about winning. The best teams claw out a victory even when playing poorly
    I didn’t expect us to win 0-3 or higher because i am realistic. Optimitic but realistic
    We don’t have a World Class squad but we are doing pretty damn good

    Last season Everton beat City 4-0 but City still grinded out the Trophy
    City didnt win every match 5-0 but they got the job done

    Job done. Be happy we won
    Lets be positive and move on

    Dont’t forget we are on a 8 match winning streak

  18. Robin van payslip - read my comment and then imagine me dropping a mic says:

    Very pleased for Iwobi. Glad he’s showing the kind of style he did when he first started being a regular.

    1. Sue says:

      Your names are cracking me up!! The last one especially ‘because I’m worth it’ did you flick tour hair to that?!! ??

        1. Robin van payslip - read my comment and then imagine me dropping a mic says:


          I believe in only the best *flicks his hair*

          1. Sue says:

            ?? brilliant!!

  19. Sal says:

    an ok win not the best performance but new system so no complaints…i feel so comfortable now that leno is no1 good performance from him he looks focused, to me based on the saves he was our best player, iwobi brings alot of energy on that wing driving the team forward, but the keeper having that impact early in his arsenal career is a huge confidence boost for the defensive unit, more of the same boys!!

    iwobi is having a good start of season happy he is proving the doubters wrong and he had so many not even a month ago just love how they changed their tune happy for him , more to come from this team we are looking good, gonna be watching us dismantle fulham in the away end this sunday i know the boys won’t dissapoint.

    let the winning streak continue, and please let it be sunny!!

    1. Sue says:

      That’s a really nice ground, Craven Cottage

      1. Sal says:

        taking the lady for her first game of the year hope we get to enjoy some great football Sue :)… my feeling is we will win big!!

  20. Pauladonis says:

    Nice result, good win, clean sheet, three different first time scorers for the club, that has a nice ring to it. I really like the team dynamic at the moment, where anybody can score (we don’t have to rely on any one person for goals). It’s funny that Guendouzi did a RAMSEY today, scrappy performance but gets on the scoresheet so you can’t really criticize him… Ramsey has been doing that for years now.

  21. adi says:

    While Rowe is great, no one has match the ability of Fabregas at 18-20 years old. Not even Iwobi, Nelson, Matteo.

    I think Rowe will be loaned out, he needs to to. Likewise Rashford, he is loosing momentum. Bundesliga, Ligue 1 haas so much youngsters that plays week in week out.

    1. AndersS says:

      I agree with you, that none of our youngsters has shown really impressive ability since Fabregas.
      Yes, some are talented, but really impressive? I don’t think so.
      But Rowe could be the exception. He is showing a lot of ability and improvement. I see no reason why he should be loaned out, as he is progressing nicely.
      Let Ramsey stay out of the squad and let Rowe get more opportunities in cup games. As we are still in 3 cup competitions, there should be plenty of opportunities.

  22. Grandad says:

    Spot on AndersS

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