Arsenal v Zagreb Review – Job half done!

So the impossible dream is still alive and the Gunners now just have to go to Olympiakos and win by two clear goals to amazingly reach the Champions League knockout stages. It was strangely quiet in the stadium for most of the first half but Arsenal were dominant right from the off.

It seemed a little tense early and Cazorla somehow managed to sky our first chance of the game, but as the news came in that Bayern Munich had raced into a 3-0 lead against Olympiakos the Gunners just knew that they had to keep their part of the bargain. There was visible relief when Ozil broke the deadlock after half an hour with a beautifully placed low header. Nerves were laid to rest just four minutes later when Sanchez was given an easy shot from a Monreal pass. Arsenal were much cooler now and camped out in Zagreb’s half without actually scoring again, but the Gunners dominance was highlighted at half-time with the stat that we had 9 shots to Zagreb’s 1 in the first 45 minutes.

Into the second half and Zagreb actually starting getting near the Arsenal goal, but only for about ten minutes and without actually troubling Petr Cech. The Gunners quickly regained ascendence and started peppering Zagreb again. Campbell hasn’t really managed to impress again, but even he was rewarded with an unlikely shot on goal, but screwed his shot completely. With half an hour to go (surprise!) Wenger sent Aaron Ramsey out to warm up, but we were all surprised when he took a frustrated Giroud off to put the Welshman on.

With Olivier off the pitch, he could hardly have settled into his seat when Sanchez scored his second and Arsenal’s third after a lovely pass from Campbell (at last) and a brilliant dance with their goalkeeper, the game was put to bed. There was a little excitement when Sanchez thought he’d earned a penalty, and then Zagreb shocked us by putting the ball in the net but was ruled offside.

Wenger then took off Bellerin and Cazorla (for Debuchy and Chambers) with just eight minutes to go. In the dying minutes Alexis did an Ozil-like chip in the box straight to Ozil’s head! He tried a theatrical header but was just not able to get it into the goalmouth.

A convincing win, and hope is still alive that we can go through to the knockout rounds yet again….

Tags Ozil Ramsey Sanchez Zagreb


    1. how the hell did we lose to zagreb and olmpiakos in the first place!! good win – time to climb mount olympiakos

      thanks fc bayern

      1. Everyone keeps saying we need a 2-0 margin, but in fact 2-1, 3-2, see us through. First thing first is get the two goals early then keep pushing just like bayern did last night.

        1. @atid,
          2-1 victory cannot see us through to round of 16 because Olympiacos scored thrice at Emirates. These are away goals. In the event of tying on points (which we envisage now), the head-to-head rule comes up first before goal difference.

          In other for us to usurp Olympiacos, we have to beat them just as they beat us or better that.
          Succinctly put, we have to beat them, at least, by 3-2 that they inflicted on us at Emirates. Thus we will qualify via goal difference.

          OR we beat them by the margin of 2-goal difference such as 2-0, 3-1, 4-2, 5-3 etc. before we qualify.
          Best of lucks to AFC

    2. Job half done…everyone was great and as much as I don’t like Campbell he was good today. Coyg let’s beat olympikaos by the same margin.

      1. After today it’s safe to say his poor displays were due to lack of form. He’s finally showing the same urgency he had in the world cup and wow his vision is superb, he pulled off a good number of through balls you would expect Cazorla to do.

      2. What has Campbell done for you not to like him. He’s 23 years old, been loaned out most seasons, which is pretty unsettling, and has sat on the sidelines for ages. You cannot expect any player to be at the top of there game unless they are getting regular first team experience, and you can see he is developing. Yes some matches he isn’t as good as the last, but hell that’s life. Today he was pretty awsome. He kept the ball well, recycled it well, showed great attacking skill, and did some awsome passes into the box one so sublime to Alexis that it lead to a superb goal. That was a damn good game from the young forward.

        1. Some people forget that he is about the same age as wilshere. I want to see him given a consistent run as the CF.

  1. One more River to cross.

    PS: Thank you, Arsene, for taking that bad truck (Giroud) out of the way.

    1. dude – why take a shot at giroud?
      his run took defender away for one of the goals

      he wasnt that bad??

      1. Giroud trying to do the Zlatan, cracked me up badly!!! Muahahaha!!! Nothing against him though.

    1. Seriously? Seriously? You dare to say anything about Ramsey? What are you? Just sit down and don’t even dare to raise your head. You don’t deserve to speak about Arsenal tonight let alone Ramsey. Shame on you and others thrashing Ramsey until now. I know you will do the same from now on but at least leave us, people who believe in this team to enjoy these moments. Don’t come and ride on the success you didn’t believe in.

      1. Hahahhahaa!!! Lol!!! You remember indeed, Budd my old foe. Ramsey can be trash in most cases, but glad to have him back.

          1. My friend, you are not smart. If you merge Two 2, don’t u know you’d one 1 Twos? You don’t know that the 2 twos will be made one?

    1. Knowing Arsenal’s history with these scenarios they won’t score until the last 10min and will either make it or bottle it by conceding

      1. we dont bottle qualification for CL knockout stage. some things we bottle, but thats not one of them.

    1. I was about to write what kind of waste you are but I am just so sad seeing people spitting on Arsenal until now coming back and cheer like they won it so I thought, what’s the point. Some things will never change.

      1. @muffdiver
        Gotta say, that was brave of him to go in for the header, beatin the goal keeper like that…

      2. Ozil has honestly always been consistent his numbers will back it up. To me he has more desire and is more of a goal threat

      1. It is true that sometimes Alexsis tries to do too much. He knows the club relies on him to create opportunities so sometimes he works the ball just a little too much. I have accepted this as one tiny negative amidst a sea of fabulous positives. Not a bad tradeoff.

  2. Good performance, some magic stuff from ozil and Sanchez. Campbell had a decent game, hopefully we can take this momentum to the weekend. Glad to see Rambo aswell! COYG

  3. Ozil again! consistency it’s called. Alexis -you know what he can give you. Joel Campbell did excellent today (best game so far )…

    And Cech was like watching the game.

    Olympiakos, prepare for war come 9th December.


  4. I still wonder how we loss our first two games. With poor performances, we shouls have at least come out with draw in both games.

    Anyway, I hope Arsene has a solid plan ahead of the last game.

  5. I hope that those people who keep slagging Flamini and Campbell off saying they should be sold give them the due credit they deserve. Personally, I thought both gave there all and were solid in there roles. I think Joel is starting to look an exciting prospect, and he obviously enjoys playing with Bellarin. As for the Flame, no rded cards no bookings no two legged tackles. I’m a happy chap. Good on you guys.
    As for Ozil, how could anyone ever have doubted his quality. He is genuinely a most elegantly beautiful player, who can play a game of football like a grand master chess player. We are a most lucky team to have this wonderfulplayer.

      1. @NY_Gunner I’m going to guess you mean Flamini re holding position. Yes he did hold a good position, but we are lucky because he has learned his trade on the continent, so knows how to act as a “water carrier”for our centre backs to for the defensive triangle. Classic French and Italian footie (sorry I’m saying something that you know already). I think Flamini’s problems arose when he seemed to upset Arsene, an apparent radio prank and the shirt sleeve incident. He then tried to hard to make up for it and got some silly red cards.
        I really hope that he can fill in until Coq recovers, while I know we would all like to sign a world class CDM in Jan, getting one is another matter.

        1. Flamini still likes to go forward and he sometimes gets caught in a forward position. It all worked well today vs. Zagreb but he will need to maintain a bit more position discipline vs. some stronger clubs.

          (I think he caught the goal-scoring bug when he scored those goals earlier this season and he would like to catch that feeling again.).

          1. Sometimes that is no nad thing remember, it keeps a higher press. He just must rememner his past 30 now so not quite so fast at getting back. He did, however, break up some of there counter attacks with some masterful sly fouls which is what we need.
            The other thing we forget that the Flame does for us is his steel. I remember him having to go and explain himself to the FA about a comment he made to a player after he had repeatedlyfouled Jack. He is a pitbull, and a leader who plays for our club to win. So God bless him.

  6. Ozil is just a wizard im running out of adjectives to describe him what a performance.

    I’d like to say congrats to the flame and Campbell both played very well and did there jobs.
    Let’s concentrate on Norwich now!

    1. @gilo
      Thats what I’m sayin. Too many people try and compare him to Theo or Ox. Theo has pace and Ox likes to take it to defenders straight up. But Joel has finesse. Dude gotta work on his stamina though…

      1. Exactly NY, JC technically is a far superior player to both Theo and Ox but lacks there direct style when on the wings.

        Honestly both the Ox and Theo are one trick ponies when deployed outsides, whereas JC links up play and interchanges with MO and AS

        The assist to AS was Ozil esque

          1. His main problems are a lack of right foot and lack of stamina. He’s still young and I hope he improves in these areas.

            1. @Twig
              We only have 2 two footed players in Santi and Hector. Joel is left footed. No problem there. Agree though with the lack of stamina issue…

              1. Campbell’s own lack of two footedness is glaring. Even Ozil is one footed, but you hardly notice it. Maybe moving him to the left would solve the issue.

  7. wow, hating on joel campbell for no reason. had a decent game, got an assist. if you play a left back ahead of him, you shatter a young lads confidence. ffs relax, he isnt much older than the ox, yet gets far more slack. he is a tidy player and does his defensive duties. he can finish, you he needs some confidence though.

    1. He is technically in another world than the headless chicken Ox, who if not for his British ilk would be callously ridiculed and denigrated on this site.

      The assist to Sanchez was pure magic and near gem to Ramsey shows the young lads class and understanding of the game.

      More games and Ox can concentrate solely on Euro 16.

      1. Exactly, although I was mad at him after the Sheffield game I also thought maybe his mediocre display was due to a lack of game time, thankfully he’s proving that to be true and I really like him as a player. He has great awareness, composure and skill but 1. he needs more upper body strength 2. to learn how to rely on right foot 3. better goal instinct. He was in the right position to score at times but he lacks that goal hunger which I think will come in the next few seasons, we know he can hit curlers if he wants.

  8. Bla, bla, bla. An average player is an average player. He does not become world-class just becuz he had one good game.

    To Whom It May Concern

    1. Howdy, @NY? Lol!! No hating here though, just some factual thought.

      @BigVal, u shud be glad u can read. U’re welcome.

  9. For some reason, it looks as if Arsenal winning 3-2 is more easier than winning 2-0 away at Olympiakos. It will be like the 2nd leg of the 2nd round knockout matches of the past 4 seasons, just this time it will be to qualify for that stage. Early goal required!

  10. Welldone Lads……Campbell stepped things up tonight. Ozil almost had 2goals with his head. Happy for the win. Olympiakos v Arsenal in 2weeks time is gonna be the decider…

  11. Me: Iam back from watching Arsenal game vs D. Zagreb.
    Wife: At this time? Iam not happy.
    Me: Silently in my heart “After Ozil and Alexis scored goals” I will not say anything but to go to sleep in joy.
    Concs Gunners!

  12. At the end of the day the lads from 1-14 all played and ran their socks off for this club this evening and restored abit of pride and most defo confidence, was great seeing us moving the ball about. I said earlier wasnt getting my hopes up as we disappoint and im still not getting too confident away to olympiacos as we have visited their 3times and came away with nothing, different scenario i get that though we need to win by 2 clear goals, they can afford a 1-0 defeat but im sure they will be playing for the draw! This game, as the games around us in the league are all winnable imo, is the make or break and biggest of our season.. We go through we focus on league through xmas/new year with njuries comin back (close to fullsquad) and a player maybe 2 in January then Arsenal may have a great season!

    Well done to all the lads keep the concentration up!

  13. I thought Cazorla was our best player until he was subbed. It was good seeing him shooting once again instead of just passing.
    Ozil was immense. Him and Cech have been our most consistent players this season.
    Campbell did many lovely things today. We need more of the same.
    Bellerin, great to have him back. His lung bursting runs absolutely terrify defenders 😀
    The little I’ve seen of Campbell has done little to convince me that he’s made for that area. I’m not convinced, sorry.

  14. It will be completely different v Olympiakos. They will park the bus defending a two goal ‘lead’ if you like, and doing counter attacks.

    For that reason it would be better to play Paulista alongside Koscileny. Mertesacker can’t deal with counter attack. Once the ball goes over him, he gives up the chase.

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