Arsenal return to winnings ways on return to European football

Arsenal have clinched the three points from their opening Europa League clash of the season, beating FC Zurich 2-1 in Switzerland.

The Gunners made as many as seven changes from the team who lost to Manchester United at the weekend, with three players in Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira and Matt Turner making their full debuts .

The two sides started the match rather evenly, with the home side really trying to assert things by pushing up the field, but their eagerness saw them pay the price early on when a rapid breakaway move saw them punished.

Fabio Vieira showed a touch of class as he set Eddie Nketiah free down the left hand side, and he used his pace to get down the wing before whipping a low cross into the path of Marquinhos to score on his debut.

We began to assert our dominance after the goal as we looked to take the game to our rivals, but just as we looked destined to take our lead into the break, Nketiah was then the culprit as he brought down the Zurich striker for a penalty just before the break, which they duly tucked away into the bottom left, sending Turner the wrong way.

It seemed to be all one-way traffic shortly into the new half however, although our efforts weren’t really testing the opposition goalkeeper, that was until Marquinhos and Nketiah combined again, this time with the Brazilian’s in-swinging cross teeing it up perfectly for the striker to head home.

The boss moved to make a triple change soon after which seemed to slow our progress, with Zinchenko, Saka and Odegaard coming in for Tierney, Marquinhos and Vieira, and there was few chances beyond that which were worthy of noting.

There was a late foul in and around the box at the other end in the dying minutes however, but thankfully the linesman had deemed it to be offside and we held on for the victory.



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  1. Zurich weren’t better than Bournemouth since they had no courage to build from the back, but most of our squad-rotation players were still rusty. It was an entertaining game though, because of our total domination

    I think Tierney still needs more games to adapt to his new role and Marquinhos looks more suited to our tiki-taka style than Pepe

  2. Great 3 points and as said before, thats the most important thing. The big plus was the quality Marquinos provided. The negative we again are so easy to get through, our defence is so disjointed. The scary thing is it was close to our best defence but the cohesion is missing. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways on Sunday in the league.

    1. What a crock…. it’s nowhere near our best defence !

      No White Ramsdale Saliba or Zinchenko

      So literally only one defender from our strongest line up played!

  3. It was a good win but we were casual in our play. We dominated the ball but we also invited pressure on to ourselves with our poor passing at times. These are the kind of matches that you could dominate and out of nowhere you could just lose or draw. We need to keep at it for the full 90minutes and not be sleeping the job. I think we should’ve done better. Some new players really impressed today so all in all its a good win.

  4. Glad we won. Bit of a dull, slow game.

    Very happy for Marq, has a solid game. Bit disappointed with Vieira against average opposition but still early days.

        1. Maybe once fit but he missed placed a lot of easy passes last night, that’s not skilful to me. Not saying he’s a bad player at all but he wasn’t good last night in a low pressure game.

          1. I was disappointed as he didn’t look as polished as I was expecting, but the little move and pass that led to the first goal was quality – hopefully that’s a sign of things to come

  5. The finishing is still a concern….. We should out teams to the Sword in the first half but again we’r too young and it can backfire at times like agianst Man U

  6. Not a fan of EL but I did watch it for a change ,early rounds remind me of earlier World Cup or euro games ,playing teams you are ment to beat .
    Obviously good that we get to rest players but that end team wasn’t far off our usual first team ,which is a worry that we could only beat a team (who probably would be in our 4th division)by 1 goal .
    A few positives and a few negatives,but job done onto Neverton next .

    1. He reminds me of Modric who could also be mistaken for being light weight. He tries to get involved and tackle and he has good ideas in passing. Some a bit optimistic, but it shows he trusts his abilities. Anyway it’s still early to judge, he’s rusty and he hasn’t had a preseason. Lets just support and have the best hopes him.

  7. Underwhelming but also seems unimportant today.
    Successes? Marquinhos is ready – goal and assist while playing to orders and well within himself; Sambi improving in that position and excellent; Tomi – Mr Reliable.
    Disappointments? Martinelli back to his headless chicken style; Holding atrocious and it rubbed off on Gabriel; Tierney looked uncomfortable all game – couldn’t pass for toffee; our penalty area play, always one bad pass too many, bad decision making, poor finishing.
    Some credit in the bank though for it being a team with 7 changes.

    1. lol Holding rubbed off on Gabrielle, have you watched Gabby this season not much to write home about.

      The fact it was pretty much our 1st team is a worry

      1. Agree Savage, who rubbed off on who? Fact is Gabriel has his Mustafi days and needs someone alongside him who can keep a clear head.

    2. Our centre backs were not convincing, which , in the case of Holding,was to be expected in his first start of the season.Marquinhos looks very promising and when he gains match fitness to go with his undoubted technical skills I am confident Vieira will make a big impression.

  8. Didn’t leave 3rd gear which is fine by me, job done. Marquinhos with some good crosses and a good goal. That’s really the only thing to write about. No injures always a plus. Keep it moving, will prob not be playing this weekend either. More rest time and for players to come back

  9. Sorry, but, apart from the win, getting any pleasure from this performance is beyond me.

    Our opponents are bottom of their league, weren’t playing at their home ground and have lost five of the seven games played.

    It was good to see Marq, Vieria and Turner given playing time and the former looks like a really good prospect.

    Martinelli disappointed me, as did Holding and Gabriel.
    Tierney was in effective and Tomi looked hesitant and unfit.
    Xhaka, as captain, was really good and was MOTM for me.

    Anyway, no further injuries and three points, so it’s on to the PL this Sunday.

        1. Viera played well. Amazing how even with all the changes, particularly in the first half, we played good possession football. Sometimes not enough edge in front of goal, but well done Marquinos though. There’s actually a 3min compilation of Marquinhos on YouTube of tonight’s game. What a gem.

  10. I was watching on my phone so everything was quite small. The highlight for me was watching in awe as Martinelli made one of his trademark sprints back in the first half to dispossess a Zurich attacker … only to realize it was Xhaka

    Where did that come from?

    1. Because people’s perception that Xhaka is slow is total misguided due to their dislike of him. I wanted to use far stronger language but didn’t want to get deleted.

      1. I’m in the Xhaka camp and agree with you about the misguided comments GB but I’ve never seen a burst of pace like that from him before.

      2. He’s playing the best football of his arsenal career. It seems to me we signed him because he is big and is good at long passes – we wanted him to be xabi alonso! It seems that he’s much more effective when he has the freedom to join the attack, rather than trying to hold in front of the defence – that’s just not his game. We may have been shoehorning him into the wrong position for years.

        1. Agree Davi, credit to Xhaka where it is due.
          Also Francis Coughlan scored a great winning goal for Villarreal in the Conference League.

  11. *OT
    Arsenal is the only team to ever be invited to have tea with the Queen. She was a supporter. R.I.P. QEII…

  12. OT: Man Utd lost at home.

    I suspect they’re not as good a side as their last 4 results suggest – their % possession stats tell a story, it’s not as if they want to play a defensive/counter-attacking strategy.

    A shame to see the weekend fixtures cancelled. Playing Everton now is a good idea, they could end up being the Newcastle of last season (they’ll probably improve if/when Lampard gets booted).

  13. Arsenal must sign a centre forward and at least a midfielder in January to guarantee a top 4 finish this season. With a new CF, we can play Jesus on the wings.

  14. This may not have been a vintage performance, but looking at the results of MU & Chelsea I’ll take it happily.

    Although MU/Chelsea are worse than they were, the standard of some “lesser” teams has gone up, although
    MU seem to have a very easy group, so they’ll probably qualify at a canter anyway.

    The other result to note in our group is Bodo getting a draw at PSV (who almost always qualify for the CL) so this may not be an easy group when you look at Bodo’s results over the last season or two, thrashing Roma and Celtic.

  15. More concerning is Potter to Chelsea. With the talent and recourses now available to him he will now make things a lot more difficult for Arsenal.

    1. It’s a big step up for Potter but an interesting one. He’s been in management long enough but so far has not had the egos to deal with or the total lack of patience as shown by Chelsea under the Abramovitch era.

  16. A win and the 3 points it brings along are always welcome. Inspite of massive changes to the squad, we got the job done. Nketiah with a goal and 2 assists…. Lol. However, the game was such a borefest, looked too slow and laboured. Painful to watch. On another note, did anyone else thinks Xhaka has added a yard of pace?

  17. First time a starting 11 anywhere near this has played together. Good job.
    On the positive side was Marquinhos and also Nketiah, who really showed he is dangerous and is a good alternative to Jesus. Especially, if he stays out of our own penalty area 😉

  18. A great way to begin our European campaign with a win. Marquinhos was exceptional and so was Vieira. These 2 youngsters can be really relied upon. As regards the PL matches for the next 10 days, not sure whether they will take place due to the sad and untimely passing away of the Queen. Anyway a great win for us and one that boosts our confidence even more.

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