Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal – Impressive performance from Arsenal in deserved win

Some eyebrows were raised once the team line up was revealed with David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka all starting, however, the defence did quite well in the first half and the youngsters Saka, Willock and Smith Rowe were all very impressive.

Martinez in goal had to make a few very good saves to thwart the Frankfurt front line but Arsenal had just as many chances at the other hand with some wasteful finishing from Smith Rowe and Torreira.

The game certainly flowed from one end to the other and it was Arsenal that took the lead on the 38th minute.

Kolasinac began the move feeding Saka who took off like a horse in the Derby who linked up with Willock on the edge of the area and he then decided it was goal or bust, he went by one Frankfurt player, unleashed a shot on goal that deflected over the head of the Frankfurt keeper to give the Gunners a one-nil half time lead.

I felt it was an even half but no one can begrudge Arsenal the lead, the youngsters put in a huge effort, Aubameyang did a load of good work up front, the midfield and defence were strong. No complaints about the first-half performance from the lads.

The second half started off at a blistering pace with Frankfurt determined to get an equaliser but some great defending from Mustafi and a nice save from Martinez kept them at bay.

Joe Willock, who was having a great game, went on a wicked 60-metre run to feed Aubamyenag who was unlucky not to score.

The game was ebbing and flowing with Arsenal posing a significant threat on the counter-attack, though Lucas Torreira nearly let in the Germans with some sloppy play.

In the 56th minute, a free-kick from Granit Xhaka flew over everybody and bounced off the crossbar. Frankfurt then came close two minutes later from Silva who should have done better.

Pepe replaced Smith Rowe on the 60th minute and Ceballos came on for Willock in the 73rd minute as the game started to get a bit stretched with Frankfurt mainly attacking and Arsenal looking to counter.

Frankfurt went down to ten men on the 78th minute after Dominik Kohr brought down Saka for a second yellow card and three minutes later Kolasinac, who was also on a yellow, was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a sensible move by Emery.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have made it 2-0 but somehow missed from just three yards out, was a bad miss really but he made amends just a few minutes later knocking in the third Arsenal goal on the night after Saka had scored Arsenal’s second goal.

Saka’s goal was a beauty, it came from a quick counter, Pepe strolled down the right cut it back to the 18-year-old and bang, a lovely goal.

Aubameyang’s goal also involved Saka who stole the ball of Frankfurt’s Abraham and the ball fell nicely for the Gabon international who slotted it past the keeper.

Overall, it was an impressive performance, the defence was excellent, the midfield worked hard and the forwards did their jobs clinically.

Updated: September 19, 2019 — 7:51 pm

79 Comments

  1. I hope Emery would keep using 4-2-3-1 for the next away games, until the players are accustomed to 4-3-3 formation. 4-2-3-1 is vulnerable to quick counter-attacks, but it can work against poor oppositions if our front four worked hard:

    – Aubameyang: Excellent striker and a good RW. Missed a sitter again, but his skills and movements are top notch

    – Willock: Gave us a good physical presence upfront and his runs caused a lot of problems for Frankfurt

    – Saka and Smith-Rowe: Worked hard to get past Frankfurt’s fullbacks. Saka put an icing in the cake of his hard work by creating an excellent goal and an assist

    – Xhaka and Torreira: Nothing special. Torreira needs to work on his upper body strength, otherwise he would always be easily pushed away

    – Mustafi, Luiz and Martinez: Did not have any serious threats to handle, but Mustafi showed that he prefers to play safe now

    – Chambers and Kolasinac: Defended very well. Chambers’ pace could be a problem if he meets faster wide players, but he looked a better RB than both Bellerin and Maitland-Niles

    1. Arsenal need a physical presence in midfield. It’s clear as daylight we need another DM though I rate Torreira highly because of his intelligence in positioning and intercepting ability.
      We need a different type of DM.

      1. if we sign another DM both Torrriera and Xhaka will leave…..

        no top DM will want to be benched

        1. Then good news as long as that DM is better than both.

      2. I would pair Mustafi and Holding

      3. Agree. We need a stronger and taller DM in the mold of Fernandinho or Fabinho

        Torreira is an excellent tackler, but he is not as skillful and not as fast as Kante

    2. Xhaka “nothing special” he was excellent – chasing, tackling and passing. Good shout for m o m.

      1. My MOTM would be Willock for his dominant display in the front and his opening goal, despite it was a lucky shot

        1. Bukayo Saka is my MOTM

    3. Gotanidea
      Have to disagree with you on your opinon about Xhaka tonight. I have always said what is he doing in our team but tonight he was good. Showed real presence
      UE got his tactics pretty much spit on..still felt we exposed ourselves to much but pretty decent. Not many teams go there and do them 0-3.
      As for the formation. It felt more like a 4 1 4 1 which worked well…
      This win was well deserved and hopefully gives the boys a bit of a boast in there confidence…

    4. EXCUSE ME? “CHAMBERS DEFENDED VERY WELL”? Exactly what planet are you on? He had an appalling game at RB and was our worst player by a distance. He is not a RB, though he MAY still make a half decent CB. SAKA HAD A TRULY LANDMARK AND BREAKTHROUGH GAME THAT WILL LONG BE REMEMBERED AS THE MOMENT HIS TIME FINALLY ARRIVED. Willock too was terific , as was Martinez. Poor players were Luiz, Mustafi, Torreira in particular, Chambers(dreadful ,not poor) Smith -Rowe lost the ball constantly but grew into the game eventually after a dreadful start. Pepe worries me with his lack of effort; another Ozil I am beginning to think- lazy to his fingertips. Auba led the line brilliantly and had yet another top game, despite his awful miss. What is clear is that we have a depth of talent but so many mentally and some physically weak players with a defence even worse than Wengers last decade. There appears to be zero defensive OUTFIELD discipline and little evidence of working on shape and support play in PREVENTING GOALS across the team. The win over a poor Eintracht team papered over many deep team cracks and wise fans will not get carried away, except by the two young players, Willock and ESP Saka, who is far more developed than most, myself included, could have possibly realised. There will be strong calls now for his regular inclusion in the Prem start eleven and that cannot be far away now, for certain. If you are good enough age is irrelevant. Adams was a regular at 17, Fabregas at 16 and Saka is ALREADY 18!

  2. Emery should play Willock ahead of Guendouzi because he’s clearly better. He’s a proper box to box player and I only hope Emery plays him in his actual position. I hate to see him on the bench.
    Damien Martinez is a keeper I’ve always rated and there was a time where I felt he could be our first choice keeper. He should have had his chance in the 14/15 season when it was clear Ospina was not good enough to replace Szczesny.Five seasons too late for him.
    Saka also did very well and happy he scored. He is more suited to the wings than Nelson who I believe is an AM or slightly better as a RW.
    All in all an average game for us and a result that again papers over the cracks.

    1. Willock can play as a no 10 or as a CM, whereas Guendouzi can play as a DM or CM. Willock can time his runs very well and Guendouzi has excellent vision

      I believe Martinez would give Leno a strong competition

      Saka showed that the LW position is perfect for a left-footed attacker like him. His goal is what I expect to come from Pepe regularly

      1. Willock better coming in from the deep. He just doesn’t have the proper off the ball movement of a No. 10. That is also important

      2. nice observation. Pepe should learn to take such chances and score. He needs some confidence otherwise he will become the next Gervinho

    2. Another deluded english fan who thinks willock is better than guendouzi, he is bang avg. I say sell him n that Nelson dude. Only player who seems like they might be able to make it are saka n Smith row. Rest are just poor but so are Arsenal fans who have short memory what did willock do in Watford match.

      1. Deluded just because I’m speaking the hard truth??
        You’re just another of them fanboys who overrrate his normal performances just because he’s from Ligue 2. You must prably think he has that Wildhee kind of talent when in truth he’s light years away from that.Emery should play Willock in his actual position and stop using him in more advanced positions.Look at how poor Guendouzi was last season. If that was an English player he would have been criticised all day and would have been called overrated

  3. Saka, what a performance, MOTM. This is how a youngster is supposed to play; No fear! He just stole Reiss Nelson’s spot from under him, and he can only blame himself for trying to play safe every single time he got a chance for us. Willock, wasn’t good over weekend, but much better today, and showed why I have very high hopes for him. ESR continues to look exciting. Chambers was great today as well and deserved an assist. CB’s were fine too. Though I have no faith they will have any sort of consistency and could be horrible during the weekend. Kolasinac was not too great for me. Sooner we get Tierney back the better. And Auba scores as is the usual, no surprise there. Risky lineup for Emery, but his gambles paid off. Let’s just please stick with this same formation going forward. Everybody seem FAR more comfortable in this 4-2-3-1. Hopefully this performance is the turning point for us. Much better from Arsenal this time out.

    1. Nelson is not a winger btw. Saka is much better on the wings and well suited there. Nelson is better as an AM and there were even matches he played as a RWB in the 17/18 UEL where Nelson was killing it.

      1. He’s played wing for the academy, a bit on loan. He should be far better there. It’s not a position that is foreign to him.

      2. Lpl all his appearances to the academy was as a winger, he played as a winger on loan, but all of a sudden he’s a midfielder because you say so? Am not even gonna start arguing with you, just check his academy clips he excelled there as a winger not a midfielder.

        1. If you’re going by academy play then how can you even say Saka is better in a way to imply he’s more talented. This ain’t true at all.
          Nelson is an AM or RW bruh. Even in that 17/18 season where he was getting games it was said over here that he was an attacking midfielder

          1. Please how many games have you watched Nelson played as an Am, like i said base your argument on facts not just what you think or feel. Nelson was known and promoted as a winger not an Am

          2. Go on Transfermarkt where they show what positions players start. They’re very accurate too. Nelson has for the most part been stationed on wings. He did have an academy season where he had a stint as AM, but overwhelming amount of her performances are in wide positions.

          3. He is better centrally. He isn’t suited to the wings at all. I agree that he played most as a winger but his style is better as an AM

      3. Lpl all his appearances to the academy was as a winger, he played as a winger on loan, but all of a sudden he’s a midfielder because you say so? Am not even gonna start arguing with you, just check his academy clips he excelled there as a winger not a midfielder.

    2. As what I predicted, Saka is the best option for the LW position, as compared to our right-footed attackers. This is because he played on his strongest side

      Put him on the other side and we would most likely see him play badly like Nelson, because they are not skillful enough to be inverted wingers

      I just wish Emery would assign Nelson on the right wing, before Nelson’s confidence is damaged badly

  4. The defending is still horrendous. Frankfurt could have scored lots if not for their equally horrendous shooting.

    Hats off to saka

    1. Yes the defence was a nightmare again.
      Martinez was excellent though.

    2. That’s the problem with our old 4-2-3-1 since Wenger’s era. It’s vulnerable to offsides, counter-attacks and through-balls

      However, it usually works well against poor oppositions, especially if the Gunners focus on the ball possession at the Emirates

  5. All betting tipsters had us losing or drawing tonight! Could have easily lost my money! Who would have guessed we would secure a routine 3-0 win. The red card helped but ultimately we were just too hot to handle. Good job to the boys! Maybe there is hope for Mustafi and Xhaka..they cut out the silly mistakes tonight and handled the opposition professionally. This is what we want to see in the league..not shady, half-arsed performances.

    1. We were average though. Luckily for us Frankfurt have gotten weaker since last season having sold some of their best players. If not we would’ve lost. However, we won but this is just another game to paper over the cracks

      1. @Kev
        That “if” game is a pointless game to play. If Frankfurt had kept there best players, they could have been injured tonight, rested, banned, suspended etc. If Frankfurt had their best players Arsenal could have started all their best players and matched them. If Frankfurt had their best players our players could have put in more effort. If Frankfurt scored first we could have become more urgent and scored even more. If I did bet tonight I might have won and lost it all tomorrow and be in the same position I am today. If if if if if !!!

        1. Just stating facts though. Wee average and only helped by Frankfurt’s poor finishing. I see absolutely no lie wgat I’ve said but I respect that you choose to see the game in that perspective. This is another match that papers over the cracks for me and I won’t be shocked to see the same display against Villa

          1. But every team misses! It’s not Arsenal’s fault Frankfurt didn’t finish their chances. Likewise, every team’s defenders get exposed at some point in the game. If you are looking for a perfect game, @Kev, am afraid you will be waiting a very long time to see one.. the last time I ever saw a perfect game was when City whooped us in the Carabao Cup final. I’ve never again seen a more one-sided game throughtout the top 5 leagues and I don’t think I will ever see one again. One of the reasons that make me celebrate the inept dinosaur is gone.

          2. That’s why I keep saying this is another game which papers over the cracks where there was no sure tion in the team play and we played bang average as usual. We all know the three points is important but when your team is not improving and will probably deliver this kind of performance in the coming weeks you should be worried

          3. Kev
            A fact is a thing that is known to be consistent with objective reality and can be proven to be true … So Sir what you are saying is not a fact, it’s a fact that Nelson rose to recognition as a winger its a fact that he’s yet to have any good game for us since he’s been promoted, its a fact that Saka is way much better than Nelson judging by todays match so please get your facts right.

          4. A fact that Nelson hasn’t had any good games since he came in to the first team?? You must be joking! I rate Saka but on talent basis he isn’t anywhere Nelson and I’m even supported by Jeprge Bird who has spent more than a decade analysing our academy players and rightly predicted Saka was one of our biggest talents in the academy before any of us ever knew about him.

      2. Kev
        How do you know we would have lost,the same Napoli that beat Liverpool yesterday we defeated them both legs, the Valencia that defeated Chelsea we defeated both legs, the coach is not the best and he has hi own faults but please base your arguments on facts not just your emotions.

        1. Fact is we were average and better finishing from Frankfurt would have killed us off
          Sick and tired of seeing such rubbish displays and the acceptance of it

          1. Please name one match that Nelson his Wowed you like Saka did today, am not saying Nelson is that poor but Saka is better have been saying this before today’s match, the only thing that Saka needs now is to add more weight and Jeprge Bird was the same man who said Gibbs is gonna be the best Rb England has ever seen lol.

          2. It was this same Jeorge Bird who also said Saka was our best schoolboy even before you knew about him.
            It’s difficult for me to see how you base your argument on youth football and say Saka is better. It’s clearly not true.
            He might be playing better now but that doesn’t mean he has more potential. Nelson was even played out of position in a season which was supposed to be his breakout season but still did well and hyped up the same way Saka is being hyped or even more.Now it looks like he isn’t rated anymore but I believe he will prove everyone wrong the same way I believe Nketiah will and I believe both have a great chance of being world class especially Nketiah

        2. Are you serious, we won one game n all of you are again defending UE. We have no playing style, we play awful football, our players seem confused all the time to what they are supposed to do. UE is trying to play from back with defenders who are not capable of it. With so much offensive talent most of the time he plays defensive. Tell me one good thing that has happened under him. Defence is worse n attack is just based on share brilliance of our striker nothing UE can take credit of.

    2. We’ve been here before with Mustafi and Xhaka. They are time bombs and can single-highhandedly give our opponents 3 points.

      1. Okay but got to give credit where due man, Xhaka played even better than Torreira tonight. Mind you Luiz has already made even more mistakes than Mustafi made the whole of last season.

        1. Xhaka was just okay, not even great. Didn’t do much to protect back 4 in first half, nor did Torreira. They were the weakest part of our team today. Nobody was terrible in todays match but even if they were amazing, Xhaka and Mustafi have both been around long enough that we know they aren’t cut out to be perform at the required level for a full season.

  6. Have always said Saka is the real deal, he’s way better than Nelson and to imagine he’s just 18, What a performance from him, Martinez I love the way he plays the ball, he pass when there’s no pressure he play it high when there’s pressure, the way he passed that ball to Xhaka that resulted to our 3rd goal was brilliant, that’s what I want from Leno more. Wilock playd well too.

    1. Way better than Nelson?? You must be kidding. You think Nelson was compared to Sancho just for the sake of it? Even Willock is currently doing better than Nelson but that doesn’t mean he’s more talented.
      The club are misusing him and couldnt even send him out on loan.

      1. Lol Sterling was compared to Messi does that mean he’s as good as Messi, harzard was compare to Ronldo, that you compare a player yo another Player does not mean they are equal.

        1. Noone is saying being compared to a player means you’re equal. I could also list players for the reverse scenario. Just stating the fact that his impact at youth level is above that of Saka and currently any player at our U23’s. Talent and actually showing it are two different things. I dont see how Saka is more talented than Nelson just because he’s currently playing better

      2. Nagelsmann benched him for half the season & was a sub for most of last season despite scoring goals. If a coach like Nagelsmann isn’t starting him despite his scoring then he obviously sees that Reiss’ game in not complete yet, and I would have to agree. Nelson has been a ghost every time he’s played for us. Never even attempts to take players on. Needs another loan to develop because Saka is definitely further along than him. I’ve seen some of Nelson’s NT performances where he looks much better, but it’s not the same as EPL for obvious reasons. He was only compared to Sancho because they were both in Germany and Nelson had a purple patch where he was scoring. Anybody who watched the matches knew Sancho had WAY more potential & he was always rated way higher too.

        1. He was compared to Sancho long time ago before they both played in Germany and Sancho was even widely known to be the best talent in England for his age group that you had to be exceptional in terms of talent to be compared to him.
          I also watched him at Hoffenheim and as a one who didn’t care much about his stats(goals) but rather his overall play I also believed he should have gone put on loan for this season.
          When someone like Jeorge Bird says you’re the biggest talent after Wilshere he isn’t just spewing rubbish and he actually proved it in the Arsenal academy.

          1. Kev, ive never heard of the Sancho/Nelson comparisons before last year. I know they are friends, but whenever Sancho was mentioned before they went to Germany, I never heard Nelson’s name mentioned alongside him. I agree that Nelson should’ve been put on another loan though, because he is clearly not ready for EPL yet. I think he should be at a Championship club like Eddie where he can get all the game time he needs.

          2. Compared a lot especially in Sancho’s final season with the City U18’s.
            Nelson is being put down to be made to look like an inferior talent bit he isn’t all. Same thing was said about Reine-Adelaide who was naively sold by Arsenal.

          3. He could end up becoming a amazing, but at the moment it looks like he needs another loan and isn’t ready, and Saka is more ready than him. They are 18/19 so obviously so much can still happen.

          4. Saka is looking more ready than him because Nelson is off form.
            I tell you that although Saka is good there are so so many gaps in his game that needs to be improved before we can rely on him.
            I rate him highly but I don’t believe he is more talented than Nelson at all.

      3. Nelson has skills and talent more, but not the aggressive engine that can guarantee consistency to stand him out. That why Saka is the real deal, he is dead hungry, and aggressive about it, he also got the pace and quick transition. He is just the real deal.

  7. to me , it sounded like martinez was man of thee match. vital saves at vital times in the game kept us in it. such a confident keeper,i wonder if he deserves a run in the league, cant be any worse than leno. there is just something uninspiring about lenos play .

    1. Agree gerry. Great saves, commanded his box and didn’t piss around trying to play it short.

  8. Can y’all just agree that Unai Emery understands the game better than any of you. Just saying……

      1. Well, he got the result in spite of all the apprehension and gloomy predictions when the lineup was announced before the game. We can do all our fictional analysis here, but UE still remains the valid expert. There is a reason none of you are soccer coaches. Some cynics have even suggested that was just a lucky win.

  9. So relieved
    When we all saw Mustafi, Xhaka, Luiz on the same lineup, we were like ?????

    But they did surprisingly well
    The youngsters too ie Saka, Smith Rowe, Wilock

    Chambers did well on the right

    Great night.
    Now let’s best Aston Villa on Sunday

  10. Good game. Saka was brilliant. So was Martinez. Midfield was good and held strong. Commanding performance from Xhaka I would say. Also torreira was everywhere and very good game intelligence from him. Mustafi was calm and so was Luiz, thankfully. ALL AROUND A SOLID PERFORMANCE.

  11. Saka should be promoted to the first 11, what a dazzling performance.
    He should keep his place for the next match.

    I see an at least 25 game unbeaten run going.
    2 draws, 1 win so far.

  12. Martinez was a commanding presence in goal and could well challenge Leno for the number one position this season.Willock and Saka did very well and are clearly real talents who can go places.To be brutally honest however, the result was better than the performance against what was on the night, moderate opposition.

  13. UE had the guts to pick a young team, and his faith was rewarded.
    Saka and Willock were great, Smith-Rowe a bit up an down.
    Xhaka was unbelieveably good and Mustafi did well.
    Chambers was a nightmare in the first half, but improved in the second.
    Let’s build from there.

    1. A very well worded perspective on the game.

  14. Martinez & Saka MOTM.

    Brilliant performance, especially Martinez, he kept us in the game and Saka helped us close it.

  15. Great result and well done to all concerned, especially UE who, once again, played Xhaka and, yhis time, we saw why.

    The youngsters were excellent and the older players were really up for it, especially kolasinac and mustafi.

    Chambers started very slwly (understandably) but I think he settled down as the game went on and proved to be a better r.b. than AMN.

    Now back to the premier league and the real challenge, but congratulations again to UE and his team for being the first team to win there and 3-0 was brilliant.I am a really happy gooner tonight, please don’t ruin it on Sunday though.

  16. Actually nothing special about the performance tonight. Same average performance but happy with the 3points and clean sheet. Some players in fact the team performed averagely so I’ll say this headline is just a total hype and opposite of the game the performance wasn’t impressive rather lucky.

  17. Got to a point I knew Frankfurt would never score us

    It was just a poor team VS a poorer team

    Xhaka was fantastic today
    Chambers was eager to impress

    Luiz is a calamity waiting to happen
    Mustafi did well

    Torreira is slowing coming to the Torreira we know

    Saka had a very beautiful goal, does not mean he was fantastic as some are saying – Decision making still not OK

    Smith Rowe was out of position, struggled and was unhappy

    Auba is such a Tiger in the box, beauty to watch, relentless movement
    Team’s defending is still incredibly SHIT!

    Willock & Saka starting to make me think Pepe is just a dribbler and doesn’t know what shooting on target means

  18. Saka, Auba and Pepe should always start up front until Laca returns.
    Willock should be CDM, Ceballos and Torreira midfielders.
    Rotates the usual suspect at the back.

  19. Good luck and get to the final.

  20. It was a superb win, really liked it. Was inside the stadium, atmosphere was Superb too. Will go for other matches too.

  21. Just seen the replay. Had I not known the score I would have given it away before half time, but I wanted to see the youngsters and had to wait until nearly full time.
    Arsenal players need testing for colour blindness they don`t know the difference between red/white and black.
    Frankfurt, with all their shots on goal, don`t have a colour problem ,they`re just blind. Well done the youngsters:and Martinez.

  22. @last I saw crosses and decent ones being delivered from the left wing position, had enough of the cutting in thing! Ooh saka boy fantastic game keep the crosses coming. What I really miss now is us controlling games

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