Arsenal stroll to victory as Dundalk mistakes punished

Arsenal have maintained their 100% record in the Europa League so far, with a 3-0 victory over Dundalk at the Emirates.

The Irish side started the match brightly, forcing our goalkeeper into an early save, and while our side started slowly, we grew into a controlling position after the half-hour mark.

Arsenal were not pushing the task too hard, waiting for their chances to arise, and that is just what happened.

Eddie Nketiah found himself surrounded by Dundalk players as a corner has clattered into space, and he made no mistake of getting it into the net.

We barely had time to celebrate the opener before we had doubled our lead, when Nicolas Pepe’s blocked shot fell into the path of youngster Joe Willock, who fired strongly into the net.

We expected the team to open up in the second half, with the hope that the Irish side would take some chances in hope of getting an unlikely result, but it wasn’t long before Nicolas Pepe had put us three ahead.

The Ivory Coast international blasted a neat right-footed effort out of reach of their goalkeeper, putting the game to bed.

Some players used the advantage to play with more freedom, while our opponents decided enough was enough and attempted to keep the score as it was.

Arsenal will have no reason to complain, getting the result they wanted, but fans will have wanted more goals in what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

Should the team have gone out to get a big morale boosting victory, or was there no need to risk injury and effort with the big game against Manchester United only days away?

Patrick

Tags Dundalk

49 Comments

  1. Joe Allysons says:

    Was nice and controlled. I think I enjoyed most of it. The complaint I had concerning Auba and Laca sort of was visualized today. Many of our opportunities came because Eddie came out and played a give and go with Willock. Pepe could successfully play a one-two with someone. With Laca and Auba, they just both look club footed. Like they can’t play one deft touch and keep moving. I feel like this game should be a case study for Sunday. Move the ball fast and move it smooth.
    I don’t know who’ll replace Nelson against utd, but it better be someone with vision.

    1. Sid says:

      We may see a Willian-Aubameyang-Pepe front three. But as you said, Auba is a little slow in One-twos, but maybe he can play in people like he did with Saka against city.

      1. Joe Allysons says:

        I would go with Saka Auba Pepe, but rather than play them as a front three , I’d play the two slightly behind Auba. Consider how Auba and Saka weren’t really wingers against Leicester. I’d still go with one CM wide right and the other wide left (Xhaka and Elneny hopefully) and push Tierney and Bellerin all the way up to stretch the Utd defense. My worry would be how well Auba handles the physical battle with two big centerbacks.
        My other worry would be how Mustafi deals with not having two permanently stationed holding midfielders infront of him to cusion the attacks.

        I’d still stick with bypassing Partey in the buildup and only using him to recycle posession.

      2. zamind says:

        We need a no 10. I say play Willcock

  2. Sid says:

    Good win. Could have scored more but not complaining. Reasonable runout for Balogun, he is a different player to Eddie in that he favours the conservative press(what I saw in this match, not seen his U 18 or U 23 matches). Nelson and Willock had fun. Even Kola had a decent game. Let’s hopefully win on Sunday.
    COYG!

  3. Gily says:

    Willock and Nelson just enjoying themselves.
    Rare to see a match without a single yellow. The Dundalk didn’t even commit a single foul – wow!
    Congrats to them for their dogged defending, otherwise…

    1. Ed says:

      Pulling players back by the shirt is fair play in Ireland!

      1. Ed says:

        Truthfully Dundalk defended really well in numbers and highlighted the challenge Arsenal have in breaking down an organised team wholly committed to not conceding.

        1. Gily says:

          👍👍

  4. Sue says:

    I was happy with it, especially in the 2nd half…. Nelson and Willock played well… my only wish was for a Kolasinac goal 😁 Great goal from Pepe – job done!
    Fair play to Dundalk… they put a good shift in, especially in the first half..

  5. Trudeau says:

    Biggest surprise of the night? Pepe has a right foot!

    I liked a lot of Nelson’s game but his final decision making wasnt great. I know he’s not even close to this guy but dare I say he’s got a bit of Raheem Sterling in his game.

    1. Sue says:

      Pepe has a right foot!! Well, blow me down 😂😂

    2. Reggie says:

      It was a good win and there was some good performances from especially Willock and Pepe, both were a threat and had an end product. I do feel it was hard work again attacking wise, at times we looked like we have most of the season, keen to pass sidewards and back far too much. It did improve as the game progressed but i think Arteta has to find a way of soving a rocket up a few arses and quick. We cant carry on playing negative first football.

    3. PJ-SA says:

      It was almost a scoop shot but we’ll take it!

  6. gotanidea says:

    Good to see Nelson and Willock dance in the field. Nelson was really determined to showcase his skills and hoepefully he can be a super sub at the Old Trafford

    If Nelson can dribble and hold the ball like that in EPL, we will solve our winger issue

    1. Joe Allysons says:

      He needs to be able to pass the ball to someone to score. Dribbling and holding won’t do the trick.

      1. Reggie says:

        Agree Nelson has no final ball.

  7. Gibson power says:

    Am really happy for the win it’s a confidence booster for the lads going up against man United this weekend after the loss to Leicester and I really pleased with Nelson performance, he really need this game for a boost. Nketiah is not good to lead the line for arsenal and pepe what a waste of 72mil, apart from the goal he was p*ss poor and arteta really need to introduce balogun more he was will to make those runs in behind the defenders which was neglected from our passive side ways passing but all the same am really happy for the win and lads unto the next game…

  8. Grandad says:

    Nelson can only improve his final ball if he is given more game time to become match aware.Willock was impressive tonight on and off the ball.They both did well.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Agree with Nelson. Was initially glad he didn’t go on loan but maybe half a season of regular football at a club like Brighton would do wonders. Really like his potential but need to see it against better competition

  9. Gily says:

    He finally shut some people up; those who keep accusing him of being one footed and stuff.

    1. Gily says:

      I meant Pepe

      1. Trudeau says:

        To be fair Gily, that must be the first time the ball has touched his right foot since he arrived! It was a great strike though and I’ll gladly shut up if he shows it more consistently

        1. Gily says:

          I believe you only want to tease. Frankly he uses his right foot frequently to shoot and to pass.
          Some are not able to ague against that fact this time around because he scored a goal with it.

  10. Sue says:

    No injuries – Woohoo!!!

  11. Mike says:

    Much beter performance, we played at a good tempo used the ball well created good space for each other good movement off the ball good energy beter going forward we need this type of performance to build confidence and keep everyone on their toes yes the opposition made mistakes but we forced them into making them with our clever press tonight really enjoyed watching this game keep it coming

  12. Mogunna says:

    Good performance from everyone on the pitch, willock, Niles & nelson showed they can start games. I’m sorry arteta only gives time to Ceballos or Willian Xhaka instead

    Leno
    Bellerin Gabriel – Mustafi tierny
    Partey
    Nelson. Willock

    Auba. Laca. Saka

    But Arteta will play

    Leno
    Bellerin Mustafi Luiz Tierny
    Partey.
    Ceballos. Xhaka

    Pepe. Auba. Saka

    A good 11, but must at no case play Luiz

    1. King Teddie says:

      I’ll pair Ceballos with Partey and play Saka in front of them as a 10. Keep Auba – Laca – Pepe as the front 3.

    2. zamind says:

      Partey,Ceba and Xhaka in same team will not work. that is a very slow mid that will quickly be closed down.

  13. Malaysian gunner says:

    I like the way Nelson ran with the ball to the opposition. We must have more of this against the epl sides rather than passing all over the pictch.
    As for Pepe ,I think Arsenak have been suckered into paying an obscene amount for him
    He still has to prove his worth

  14. Kieron Blandford says:

    I agree the run nelson made reminded me of gnabry/ox on their day, something we’ve not seen in an arsenal shirt for some time.
    I hope to see more of it from Pepe soon.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      I really don’t know what is wrong with Pepe, it’s very clear the boy has talent and he’s really trying but nothing seems to be working out for him.

      1. PJ-SA says:

        He over complicates his task. Once he’s beaten a player, he wants to beat them again. Many a time he is passed a defender and waits to wrong foot him again instead of just running hard.

        It’s an African thing, happens all the time if you watch any of the African leagues or CAF Champions League

        1. Munster says:

          Pepe is more French than African. Was born there.

  15. Lenohappy says:

    The Dundalk forward didn’t really test Runasson but I love the way he comes out and claim those corners and other set pieces, let’s hope he can really push Leno.

  16. Zicky says:

    Now no one is talking about our new boy runnarsson,he kept a clean sheet for goodness sake
    👏👏👏

  17. Gunner23 says:

    Good game, Dundalk didn’t really posed a threat, Pepe no more taking corners please Xhaka was doing fine. Need this positive attacking in the EPL. Happy that the youngsters got their minutes.

    1. Gunner23 says:

      Now play all midfielders vs man united,
      Saka Auba Nelson
      Ceba partey Will
      Tier Xhaka Neny Amn
      Just kidding don’t overreact.

  18. vieiralynn says:

    I’m not quite sure what most of you were watching, but that was far from a great performance…this Dundalk team were poor and provided crucial assists on two of our scores, which won’t be the case against quality sides…not to mention, there’s no doubt that Arteta made particular changes in the 2nd half in the hopes that we would easily pop in a few more goals, to no avail…the biggest question that game raised was why is it when Willock, Elneny or even Lucas play they are constantly showing up in the box, yet when our supposed first stringer midfielders are on the pitch this almost never happens…I can’t even think of the last time I saw Xhaka, Ceballos(minus when he scored last season) or even Partey, actually inside the box, except when there’s a set piece…it’s mindboggling that this would be the case…think about it, Willock has more shots in tight, in his relatively few appearances, than all of our midfielders combined over the last calendar year

    1. Joe Allysons says:

      Think about it, no Arsenal player played more games than Willock last year.

  19. Wenger91 says:

    Great game, the attacker did well and so happy to see Willock and Niles being in this performance, we need something like that when Laca and Auba can’t score!

    Pepe seems to have a better job with these youngster ha?

    Elneny!! is he getting better or what? I think he is hearing the fans when we asked him to pass forward rather than the sides or back, most of his plays and Xhaka’s were to our thirsty forward!

    I think when Ceballos came in he has the role of keeping the ball and killing the match because we didn’t continue attacking.

  20. Goonster says:

    Now let’s try to play like this in the league.
    Arteta can you please take the Handbrakes off the team and let them express themselves a bit more?

    Thank you.
    😊

  21. Ade says:

    I am very happy the way the players performed tonight, we need more of this, beautiful and attacking football.

  22. SueP says:

    These European nights can be tricky so 3/0 is more than good enough for me – even against a much poorer team who give it their all

  23. Val says:

    Personally, I thought we played well last night.
    If anyone was expecting Dundalk to come out and play positive football are a little deluded.

    I would maybe have expected that in the first half to try and get a goal but they didnt.

    They set out to defend and limit damage, which to their credit they did.

    The positives from last night for me were Pepe, Nelson and Willock, i thought they all played very well, with Willock my MoM.

    Watching him at times last night, his movement, skill and vision reminded me of Ozil at full pelt which was refreshing to see from the young man.

  24. Sue says:

    “A real honour to make my debut tonight. Thank you to everyone for the messages! Journey is just beginning…”

    This was Balogun’s tweet…. and listening to MA say “If he wants, he’s going to have a future in the club”…. sounds good to me!!

    1. Val says:

      I hope he gets some game time and signs a new contract, he has been brilliant for the U32’s in recent seasons and would be a shame to lose another prospect

      1. Sue says:

        Couldn’t agree more, Val..👍

  25. Gworm says:

    I thought AMN was a revelation (again). I didn’t realise he had all that vision and trickery in his locker. When Willian and Ceballos came on they both looked average. I can’t understand why they are taking up squad places when our talented kids could get runs in the team.
    Runarrson? Aaaah!! A goalkeeper who can catch the ball and play with his feet!

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