Arsenal cruise into the next round but credit to BATE

Arsenal have secured their place in the next round of the Europa League with a comfortable 3-0 win at the Emirates.

The Gunners were gifted a level tie after our opponents put the ball into their own net, with Aubameyang getting credit for his positive play in the lead up to the goal. Pierre ran at the Bate right-back and shot past him to get into a crossing position, but the defender failed to compose himself and ended up putting the ball into his own goal despite a lack of pressure from any of our players.

The Belarussians didn’t allow that goal to get into their heads however, and came back at us shortly after, and our defence was far from convincing, although thankfully Lichtensteiner was in the right place to save us from conceding, and 1-1 at that point in the game would have put huge pressure on us to win by two clear goals.

We continued to plug away at the other end too, and before you knew it, we moved ahead in the tie. A neatly taken corner from Granit Xhaka is found by Shkodran Mustafi’s head, thanks to a stunted run by the German, which appeared to confuse his marker.

The second half proved to be much the more comfortable, and Alex Iwobi was key in us piling forwards at speed, but unfortunately his shooting leaves us with a little more to desire, which can be said on many occasion.

I won’t pretend to be his biggest fan, but if he could work on his shooting and his composure then there could be some hope for him.

Just as the game was becoming a bit routine, another corner sprung us our third goal, with the recently added Sokratis getting on the end of it with his first touch of the ball. The cross was whipped in at speed just above Mustafi’s head which took the goalkeeper out of the equation, for his defensive partner to put away into the open goal. 3-0 and coasting.

Denis Suarez came into the game to replace Henrikh Mkhitaryan shortly after the third goal, but despite the opportunity to showcase his talents with no pressure, there was little to talk about from the final moments of the match, but we can certainly be happy with our overall performance, and we now await the draw tomorrow.

Which teams do need to avoid from the next round draw? Did our performances over the two legs deserve such a comfortable passing?

Pat J


  1. gotanidea says:

    BATE’s bad marking let Aubameyang and Iwobi ran around freely. Guendouzi’s, Mkhitaryan’s and Ozil’s performances were nothing to write home about, but should be a good warm-up for them before the upcoming two EPL home games

    The two CB goals remind me of Mourinho’s strategy. Perhaps Arsenal should look for more tall players and wingers that can produce more corners next season, to capitalize on the set-pieces

    1. Gily says:

      Nothing to write home about?
      When was the last time Ozil played a match?
      Guendouzi is tired; he is not supposed to have played at all.
      They won a match. You should be happy.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I am happy, just giving them my critical assessment in the hope of a better performance from them next time

  2. RSH says:

    Job done. Nothing fancy, but efficient and good enough in the end. A solid 7/10 for everyone, 8/10 for Xhaka and his two assists. Glad we were able to make up for previous poor display. Fixture list hots up from here and the performance over the two legs will have to be drastically better to beat any EPL side.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Xhaka’s playmaking looks good when there is no real pressure and intimidation from the opponents

      Unfortunately he cannot keep a cool head

      1. Gily says:

        Something about his passing range, speed and accuracy I like.

        1. gotanidea says:

          The next match is at home again, therefore he would be able to express himself in the deeper midfield area

          Because Soton would most likely sit back and let Arsenal’s midfielders come to them

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    Emery is the best manager ever! Give me a new 5 year contract! We were outstanding! Don’t worry, I’m just highlighting the complete over reaction from the first leg.

    Strange second half. At 2-0, I could understand Bate keeping it the same tactically, as they only needed a goal, but at 3-0, I am shocked that they didn’t have a go. They had to attack, which I think confused the Arsenal players a little, as they were expecting a lot more space in the final third, yet Bate continued to defend in numbers, and the game just petered out. I actually feel a little faint after witnessing a clean sheet for us. A real shock to the system. Haha!

    Cech 6
    Lich 7
    Mustafi 7
    Kos 7
    Monreal 7
    Xhaka 8 (2 assists from lovely corners, and solid display in the middle)
    Guendouzi 6
    Miki 7
    Ozil 7.5
    Iwobi 7
    Auba 6.5

    Sokratis 7
    Torriera 6.5
    Suarez 6

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Him not me* (although I’ll take a 5 year contract please)

    2. jon fox says:

      I t occurs to me but clearly not to you that Bate were simply nowhere near good enough to ” have a go”. You need the ball and they were outplayed throughout. “HAVING A GO” ASSUMES YOU HAVE AT LEAST SOME ABILITY. THEY HAD NONE, TO SPEAK OF. iI fail to see how you can award Guendouzi the equal lowest mark too. I thought him our best player overall and do not agree about Xhaka, who is so slow and telegraphs all his passes. Speed and mobility, neither of which he has, are vital in our game.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Having a go, attacking, has got zero to do with ability, it’s tactical. Just look at Newport Town for example. They are well down the footballing ladder, but have been knocking out Premier League teams! Bate just sat back, and seemed content with defeat in that second half.

        And I love Guendouzi and would happily sell Xhaka, but Xhaka was far superior to him in this game, and got 2 assists. Guendouzi kept slipping over, and seemed to be rushing things. I just felt Guendouzi was our least affective player. It pains me to say that, but I’m just calling it how I saw it.

  4. jon fox says:

    A real curates egg of a perf from us.( Some good, some not so good). On thrplus side plenty of committment and energy and some fluid passing. Iwobi was hinself and as usual, a curates egg too. Travelling at speed with the ball he looks good but not much productive ever happens. Still can’t understand why Licht plays; what is wrong with Jenks. Is he unfit? Otherwise he is miles better and much younger than Licht, who was less awful today but is past it. Ozil and Mkhi were neat and tidy but scarcely game changers and for me our best player was Guendouzi who got a big crowd applause when subbed. Defence as usual was all at sea and the sooner the whole current back four are gone the better. I would, on balance only , keep Sok for a while though and Cech is finished. His play with his feet is a real danger to us. We badly need more young players and it shows how slow and past it most of our defenders are, despite being brave players. But you need talent and speed to go with bravery.

    1. John Wick says:

      Absolutely Jon, every time he has the ball at his feet it feels like he’s got an error in him! I’d much rather Leno played in the remaining games. On the bright side we live to see another day, let’s just hope the draw is kind to us tomorrow but in the meantime it’s all about the 3 points on Sunday ?

      1. Sue says:

        Where’s the I told you so?! ?

        1. John Wick says:

          I did say 4 so I’m wrong Sue ? big OL is on 6 goals in EL ?

          1. Sue says:

            You said they wouldn’t score ? what will the score be on Sunday? Maybe you could pick my lottery numbers while you’re at it ?
            He always seems to score, not sure if he means to or they ricochet in off him ? then he’s benched!! He must be frustrated!!

            1. John Wick says:

              Haha ok I told you so ? 3-1 Sue and here they are 7, 11, 28, 29, 33, 38, 42 ? he can be a lamppost at times ? Chelsea through will we draw them ? ☺️

              1. Sue says:

                7 is my lucky number, so that’s a great start John!!
                That wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest – Oli to score an OG, because he loves us so much!! ?

                1. John Wick says:

                  Big OL should have been sent off threw an elbow ? laca sent off for the same thing ? well your bound to win now Sue all thanks to me ?

                  1. Sue says:

                    Has it finished now?
                    Haha for sure… then I can phone work & tell them I won’t be in….. ever again!!! ?

                    1. John Wick says:

                      Your work colleagues won’t like that Sue ? yeah, were you not watching it ? I thought Chelsea were your 2nd team ? (jokes) ?. I want Slavia Prague in next round.. lovely city crap team perfect ?

                    2. Sue says:

                      Haha I’m sure they’d cope ? no…Haha 2nd team…2nd team that I can’t stand ?
                      We’ll find out tomorrow at 12 I think? I don’t really mind who we get… when is the next round do you know?

                    3. John Wick says:

                      Don’t be modest Sue ? haha no trips to Stamford bridge on the horizon then ? ? It’ll probably be during the next round of the Champions League 2 or 3 weeks maybe.. 12 then I’ll look forward to that stade Rennais through also that would be nice too ?

                    4. Sue says:

                      Haha not a chance!!
                      So I just looked.. 7 March is the next round 1st leg. 29 May is the final (can’t be your Birthday, as Taurus ends before then, right?)
                      I hope we go one further than last season… makes me sick thinking of Griezmann doing that stupid dance when he scored ?

                    5. Sue says:

                      Price came from 5-2 down to draw 6-6… not bad hey?! I missed it though as he was on first ? his walk on music is Ice Ice Baby ?? just thought you’d love to know all of that ?

                    6. John Wick says:

                      Haha that dance always makes me laugh not when he scored against us (I almost threw the TV out the window) koscielny messing about ? but last night proved how good Atletico are they’re a well drilled machine ? even CR7 couldn’t penetrate them! No haha my birthday is the 11th May usually the last PL game of the season

                    7. Sue says:

                      Reckon they might win CL?
                      Well if it falls on it this time, let’s hope they win!! Think it’s Burnley away (the UFC lot) ?

                    8. John Wick says:

                      Price seems to be a draw specialist ? not vanilla ice ? mine would probably be Gimme Shelter by Rolling stones just because I love the stones ? no Sue I think they will fall short, maybe City, Real, Barca or Bayern that’s my call ? Burnley away not good trip up north to a rugby team ?

                    9. Sue says:

                      He’s doing much better than last year! Your walk on song would be the Stones?? Mine would have to be something lively… 21 pilots, Kasabian, Drake, Camelphat, BMTH, Sub Focus… I couldn’t choose!!!

                    10. John Wick says:

                      Or something Zeppelin.. kiss god of thunder is a killer tune so I’d draw up a shortlist of classic rock ? the only 2 I heard of is Drake and Kasabian ? why where did he finish last year ?

                    11. Sue says:

                      He came last!!
                      Sounds like you’d do really well in School of Rock ??

                    12. John Wick says:

                      Haha I’d blame my old man for that he was a massive Led Zeppelin fan so grew up listening to them and various other rock groups and it just stuck ? he had the long hair and handle bar moustache was rock mad ? last Sue ? Do they not get relegated??? ?

                    13. Sue says:

                      That’s fair enough! Reckon you’ll have hair/tash like that one day?
                      Uh yes ? Oh well he’s upped his game & hasn’t lost yet!!

                    14. John Wick says:

                      Haha I’ve done the moustache for the last few movembers I usually shave it off not long after that but don’t do the long hair at all ? maybe if I was from the 70s ? maybe the next Phil Taylor you think ?

                    15. Sue says:

                      Spoil sport ? you could look like Forrest Gump after he stops running for however long it was!!
                      Ewww no not that campervan perv… go with Michael Van Gerwen instead!
                      So I watched the inbetweeners last night.. a guy was doing sign language in the corner… I’d never seen sign language for boner, clunge, vag, bender, spacca, all the swear words b4… his facial expressions were hilarious ???

                    16. John Wick says:

                      If van gerwins good ? what’s up with that guys hairdo the one with the coloured hair and crazy designs ? I’ve never grown a beard that long bloody caveman ? haha you gonna learn them Sue ? the guy from quiet place does sign language ?

                    17. Sue says:

                      He does my head in… his hair & what’s painted on the side of his head usually match his trousers ? weirdo!!
                      ?? caveman!!!
                      Haha I’ll have a go! Yes he does, although I don’t remember him doing the boner sign ?

                    18. John Wick says:

                      He looks like he ran through a rainbow and got attacked by a lawnmower on the other side ? haha I haven’t seen that sign ? have you ever seen fright night Sue ? The 1985 one not that crappy new one ?

                    19. Sue says:

                      Hahaha you’re not wrong!!!
                      I have, I used to like that.. I didn’t mind the new one.. although wth was David Tennant in it??? Don’t like him! You obviously liked the original?
                      So it would have been Steve Irwin’s Birthday today ?

                    20. John Wick says:

                      Yeah David Tennant is in it as Peter Vincent ? I loved the original, I liked the 2nd one too ? all the dangerous animals he faced crocs, venomous snakes etc and gets killed by a stingray ? we have a Europa League game followed by man utd ?

                    21. Sue says:

                      Oh ffs isn’t that always the way? Hopefully we won’t be too knackered after the EL game then, as I don’t want to be doing United any favours!!
                      We have a game Sunday, Wednesday & Saturday!! Jeez!! Would love to win all 3, not sure if that’ll happen. One thing I don’t want to see is Kane or Alli celebrating ? don’t forget IF Son scores, you’re not allowed to cheer!! ?

                    22. John Wick says:

                      Man u are already out of the CL so they’ll be fresher ? we got injuries too, Koscielny for one and I don’t even know how long he’s out for! If we manage to get 4 points from tott-utd games we’re a good bet for top 4 ? haha I don’t like him that much ? he’s the kind of player we’re crying out for, MKH is useless ?

                    23. John Wick says:

                      Well Sue, it’s a short trip to France to play the mighty Rennes ? should be in the quarter finals after that draw ? oh and according to sarri we have fewer points than his Chelsea team I’m guessing he doesn’t check the PL table ? so we go again on Sunday (the mighty Southampton) haha anyway have a great Friday Sue and don’t forget to do your lotto tomorrow ?

                    24. Sue says:

                      That’s not a bad draw John! It could have been worse!
                      Sarri’s a miserable sod, maybe he needs to get back on the fags!! ?
                      Most teams are mighty when they’re playing us John ?
                      Yeah the lottery is as good as done & if they come in, I’ll be kind & share ?? thank you btw!
                      Have a great day too!

    2. gotanidea says:

      Maybe Jenkinson is excluded because of no contract extension and a series of ordinary performances during his loan period

    3. Declan says:

      I agree with you Jon, Guendouzi was our best player, again. Yes he makes some mistakes but that’s because he has so much of the ball and some of his passes were sublime. Iwobi looks good but that’s all it is, looking good but with no end product. I thought our defence was a shambles at times and a better team than Bate, who are a very poor team, would have punished us. I can’t understand why we persist with short corners which come to nothing. The two times we took proper corners, we scored two goals, nice crosses Xhaka. Good headers from Must and Sok. Glad to see Ozil back and playing some good balls, also made a couple of tackles!

    4. Namo says:

      So very spot on and unbiased assessment of our performance. Well done!

    5. Midkemma says:

      Out of the 3 senior CBs that played today, the one I would keep is Kos over Sok, Sok still has some resale value along with Mustafi… While neither will set records, they can contribute towards a top young CB.

      I’m sure you’ve read the De Ligt rumors as well? Fantasy as it may be, if we could get £40 million for Sok and Mustafi then it would be £30 million from our rumored £40 million budget (excluding UCL/UEL contributions).

      I’d like to see Chambers come back to us after his loan, he could help Emery have that deep DM who transitions between a central CB and a DM, if not though then I bet we could get £30 million for him. Young, EPL proven, having a good loan spell in DM and English (so bumped up value)… Might be able to get more than £30 million in today’s market?

      I like Sokratis warrior instinct, I am happy to think he will be with us next season, from a business only perspective then he is one of two who we might be able to raise funds with for new additions.

      I know what I said won’t happen. It is a way to potentially spend big and a side benefit would be less wages paid… Hey, it might happen XD (jk).

      1. Achala says:

        30 mill. for Chambers??

        He’s valued at 12,5 mill., but as you said, being English, we could probably get 15 – 20 mill., which we should take as we can get a better CB for that, and to be a backup to Torreira at DM, we could again get a better player from Ligue 1 for the same money or just a few million more.

  5. Bur says:

    Thought Ozil had a good one, Miki in and out but happy enough, Auba not one of his best, Iwobi got into good positions but poor crosses, Guendouzi still wants more time on the ball , still the jury is out on him. Sorry to see Kos going off I hope it’s not bad, he done well and was comfortable.
    A win is a win but should not have been in this position at the start of the game, roll on the next round.

  6. Ramterta says:

    Passed the ball well but not sure this is the team or the performance that would worry premier league teams.
    If at the end of the season the standards are acceptable then we can start judging Emery from next season

  7. Sue says:

    2 great headers from our CB’s… so glad Sokratis is back. Hope Koscielny isn’t out for too long….
    How lush was that seeing Mesut ??

    1. Mobella says:

      The result is the most important so I’m not going to say anything today about the performance. Sue, I’m glad our defenders got the job done. At least they showed us they are good at something. So more cornerkick in our next match. All the 3 goals were scored by defenders may be that is why Emery played with 6 or 7 of them every match ??

      1. Sue says:

        Haha it had to pay off eventually ?

  8. Kieron says:

    Job done lots of positives but……
    Is it me or is Emery a little ignorant?
    No clapping the fans or congratulating both sides of players? He needs to get with the English traditions.

    1. jon fox says:

      Yes, I think going straight down the tunnel comes over as rather aloof. You don’t have to exactly imitate Klopp to be at one with the fans BUT as a likeable and excellent man manager Klopp uses his natural personality advantages to great effect. Emery can and should watch him and learn the importance of a warm and approachable persona, esp to British fans. Passion and showing that passion is very fan/ manager bonding and right now he needs the fans more on his side. He would be wise to think seriously about this matter.

  9. pires says:

    Xakha has a hell of a left foot

  10. Kieron says:

    It was great to see ozil his creativity brings the same in others around him.
    However I do back Emery with his stance on training attendance defensive transitional work rate etc.
    If he’s not confident to start him always then he must always at least be on the bench to be able yo affect games

    1. Sue says:

      Well Kieron… I think we’re better with him than without him.
      Training attendance?? I don’t always understand
      UE’s way of thinking if I’m honest!!

      1. Agree sue we are better with him than without him. If he’s not part of the managers plans, which appears to be the case then in the summer he can look at options. However with our current squad it’s a travesty that ozil isn’t being used in my opinion. I know the fans are split about mesut a bit like with wenger in his latter years with the club, but if supporters genuinely think we have players better than ozil at being creative I would be perplexed! Let’s use him whilst he’s ours and if unai wants rid in the summer, then so be it. And again before anyone starts, would o play him away at the spuds, no I wouldn’t but in our next 2 home league games he should definetly start. All the best Paul

        1. Sue says:

          I always wanted him to end his career with us, but not sure that’ll happen.
          I totally agree with everything you’ve said Paul!
          I hope he gets a game on Sunday… I can’t see him being picked for the spud game… unless he has a blinder against Saints and/or Bournemouth. A lot of games coming up…so surely there’ll be some rotation….

  11. ken1945 says:

    Decent crowd tonight considering the kick off time and they were noisy throughout.
    What crowd attendance did the club give as I haven’t seen that yet.

    Let’s hope the chanting of Ozils name might have reached UE, who was excellent on the sideline and his celebration at the goals showed his commitment to the club, which I never doubted anyway! Just his tactics and selections.

    On to the game:
    Player wise, what did Cech(7) do wrong? Ofcourse he looks nervous, it’s his final season and he’s being asked to do something he hasn’t done in his career until now.

    The defence ( average 7)were never really tested, but did what they had to do.
    Monreal(5) hasn’t got back to his best and Lichs (6) had a good game.

    The midfield were comfortable and Guez was very active, but with no real end result. Good substitution by UE.

    Ozil (7) had some very good touches, but also made a couple of bad passes. For his first full 90 minutes not bad at all.

    Myk (7) also had a good game until he was substituted, his best for a long time.

    Aba (7) was actually wanting it today and put in a good shift.

    Iwobi (8) was my pick of the day, UE obviously loved him, as he never stopped running and didn’t run into so many dead ends tonight.

    Performance wise: We looked so much better going forward and deserved the win against a side we hammered last season 10-4, this season 3-1:

    So I won’t get carried away, but the win was the important thing tonight and we are into the last 16…on to Sunday and I can’t stay away from that!!
    Watching on TV knowing my seat was empty did my head in!!!!

    1. Midkemma says:

      Iwobi is good at putting in a lot of effort, his final ball has been lacking and today he could have had more if he was better in the final third, great effort though.

      One interesting thought I have had a few times is what would Iwobi be like as a CM? He is big and powerful, he has pace and some trickery… If he can learn to tackle better and learn the def side then he could be the Nigerian Pogba. I’m not suggesting Iwobi is made a CM and I doubt Emery would encourage that style in the middle but I find it an interesting thought.

      Was nice to see Ozil put some tackles in and the way he helped orchestrate the play at times was a pleasure, I hope the team can make more use of his vision even when he isn’t on the ball.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Midkemma, good point regarding Iwobi, I actually studied him more tonight after all the different views good, bad, indifferent.
        He certainly put in a shift tonight and his build/speed would be an advantage as a CM.
        How do you propose to suggest it to UE

        Ozil also did well and there was one particular incident(watch the comments fly back “only one”) where he won a corner on the right with a cross and when the corner was taken he had run across to receive a short ball from said corner.

        Didn’t mention Xhaka 7.5), his best game for ages I thought.

        Let’s see if UE viewed it the same way as we did!!

  12. Midkemma says:

    This was a better game, I know it was ‘only’ Bate but hey, it was ‘only’ Bate last time and look what happened.

    I praise Emery for the back 4 and for playing Ozil, I thought we looked better today and it had more exciting moments, I’m still not sold on Emery after 1 good game in how many?

    Emery needs to get the team performing consistently exciting as well as grabbing the points, I look forward to the next leg and hope we can take today as a springboard for better performances.

    1. Bur says:

      I think the last 20 mins was pedestrian we should be kicking on and destroying teams when on top. Emery, himself, does not lack enthusiasm but some of the players do not reflect his passion.

      1. Midkemma says:

        I will leave my moaning for another day 😛
        I am pleased with the clean sheet for once, it was nice to see the manager show passion and while players like Ozil don’t beat their chest or whatever… I thought all our players shown passion. Mkhi was getting his head down and working hard for the team, Auba was running the channels and Xhaka was as feisty as ever in the middle. I thought they all shown passion in their own ways.

  13. TOM says:

    A few points. Sokratis is going to be huge for afc in the next few years. He is a big unit and therefore will get injuries and due to his age, take a little longer to recover But he will take over from Kos as our reliable centre back and be hugely helpful for our younger defenders over the next 24 months. Chambers (most interceptions in the league as a cm, holding and Manvo).

    Gendouuzi is a kid so he will need time to understand the league and his own ga,e but a real find for us. Both him and Torreria have big futures at afc.

    With Sanchez we saw a glimps of what he can do playing wide. He tucked in to help create triangles when our cm had the ball. It helped bring the ball from cm to attack by playing in between the lines. If he has a future at afc it will be because of his consist ability to tie up movement and be secure on the ball.

    Good win today and I have a funny feeling we will get Napoli in the next round!!!

    But next task is two home games and six points up for grabs

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