Sporting CP v Arsenal Review – Welbeck makes it an amazing 11 wins in a row!

We didn’t expect an easy game tonight in Lisbon, which is not surprising since Sporting haven’t lost at home for over a year, and it was Atletico Madrid who knocked them (as well as us!) out of this competition last season, but they still beat them at home.

Going by our usual MO this season it is no surprise that we didn’t have the best first half, but we definitely had most of the possession and we had quite a few attempts at goal. The great stat is that we didn’t allow Sporting even one shot on target and to be honest Rob Holding is starting to look World Class to me. Nani, Acuna and Ribero gave us a few jitters but nothing serious enough to give Leno and worries.

We all thought we would start to take control in the second half but although we started brightly we didn’t really make much impression in the first 15 minutes although Aubameyang was getting a few chances come his way. Lucas Torreira came on after the hour mark for Elneny to get our midfield more balance. Then we started to take control and it was Danny Welbeck that finally put the ball in the back of the net in the 68th minute but it was disallowed for offside.

But ten minutes later Welbeck pounced on a ball after the Porto centre-back lost his footing and made short work of sticking the ball between the goalkeepers legs to give us a cheeky lead. Are we really going to get another win to add to the other ten? It certainly looks good!

Straight away Emery takes off our scorer to give him a rest and adds Lacazette to the mix to give Sporting even more problems, but we only have to hold on for ten more minutes to get our historic win, and maybe even score another one if Sporting start going for the point and leave space at the back.

But there is no big need to score and it is prudent for the Gunners to spend more time defending, and with five minutes to go Aubameyang is replaced by Iwobi. It is very interesting to see Emery making attacking changes as we all know Wenger would be adding extra defenders to keep our lead…

With 5 minutes to go, Sporting still haven’t had a shot on target so it’s looking very easy for Arsenal and for a change we are grinding out a win from a difficult match.

It may not have been spectacular – but what a win!!!!



  1. gotanidea says:

    If not because of Ribeiro, Arsenal would have won with bigger score. I applaud Emery for not using a no 10, to have an extra CM in 4-3-3, but our two CMs tonight are no Cazorla:

    – Aubameyang: Good show of skills and pace, unlucky that his shots were blocked by Sporting’s excellent GK. His creative flick gave Welbeck a golden opportunity

    – Welbeck: Glad to see him score after all his hard work in the field. A great team player and his athleticism helped the team a lot

    – Mkhitaryan: Worked hard as usual, but could not click well. Good spirit though

    – Ramsey and Elneny: Not skillful enough to control the midfield in 4-3-3 formation. Somehow I feel Ramsey did not play with his 100%

    – Guendouzi: Adventurous DM that got caught several times, but has good vision in creating through balls, has nice skills and good in the air as well. I predict he would be a world class DM in the future, if he keeps playing like this

    – Lichtsteiner: Too cautious for my liking or maybe his age has caught up with his pace/ stamina. Good in defending, but I don’t think he is the ideal attacking fullback in Emery’s scheme

    – Xhaka: This is his second time playing as left fullback at Arsenal, so it’s normal if he is very careful

    – The CBs: Excellent performance

    – The GK: Not really tested

  2. Uzi Ozil says:

    Eleven Eleven Eleven!

    Congrats to the boys and Emery

    Up next Crystal Palace

  3. Break-on-through says:

    Interesting observation about the attacking changes, didn’t occur to me. Boy it feels great to be winning, doesn’t have to be in style, we know it can be more difficult when not playing so well. Mentality!

  4. sanmi.marvellous says:

    Now it is getting serious @ Emirates.
    11 wins ?


    I am happy we fans have reduced our intra-insults on this platform. We can sit back and enjoy Mourinho v Man Utd drama.
    The only time we can intervene in their saga is the point of taking Anthony Martial from them as a winger.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I think Man United would offer Martial a much bigger salary, because he is doing good in this season

      I would be surprised if Arsenal can steal Martial and Kroenke has already surprise us once with Aubameyang

  5. Gily says:

    Arsenal is good!

  6. waal2waal says:

    do we dare to dream? we have to add quality to this foundation if we expect to sustain this kind of form. Not so long ago i recall people on this thread angling as if they no longer want to follow this club – How you like it now? we are impressive to say the least; happy for all fans thumbs up emery

  7. Sue says:

    First win in Portugal…. Welbz megged the keeper…. we didn’t concede…. our 11th win in a row…..
    I love you Arsenal ?????

    1. Gily says:

      A goal through the keeper’s legs is supposed to be 2 in 1 goal. It’s like he has scored in all our Europa matches. Am I right?

      1. Sue says:

        I don’t think he scored against Qarabag

    2. John Wick says:

      Scored a great header as well Sue should never been disallowed ???

      1. Sue says:

        True John…. good ole Welbz ?

  8. ramterta says:

    what was wrong with welbeck’s first goal?

    1. Kent says:

      I think it actually was disallowd because of a foul, and a soft one at that!

    2. gotanidea says:

      Didn’t see anything wrong, but maybe the officials thought Welbeck pushed Sporting’s right back to win the header

      Too bad, but Welbeck got what he deserved with his excellent striker goal

    3. Goonerboi says:

      Ref thought welbeck pushed the defender but the defender actually slipped.

    4. Thinesh says:

      @ramterta it was a goal actually, unlucky for us! But win is a win

    5. Gily says:

      He tried to stop that stupid defender from leaning on him, and the crasy referee disallowed our clean goal?

    6. RSH says:

      bad ref is what happened

      1. Kedar says:

        Sokratis was very lucky to stay on pitch in 1st half… He could have been off as being last defender…

  9. Kent says:

    Great win, it wasn’t easy but the boys grinded it out! On to the next one!
    I think the disallowed Welbeck goal was a foul though, and a soft one at that.

  10. illiterate says:

    Ecstatic with the wun tonight although it wasnt that convincing for me.

    Of Topic :
    Loftus Cheek will be playing for Chelsea tonight. Will Iffy be watching he’s replacement for Ozil?

    1. gotanidea says:

      I don’t think Loftus-Cheek is suitable to be a no 10, but he seems to be able to play as a false nine

  11. John Wick says:

    Lovely jubbly! Kinda becoming the norm us winning these days, never thought I’d say that ? have to laugh at Glenn hoddle trying to pick holes in our performance, played on Monday night and then again tonight with a mix matched team and xhaka playing lb! Praising Chelsea cos they scraped past a video team with the mighty hazard, They come on TV and clearly show their hatred for arsenal and as for Paul Merson well that man is a bitter old drunk does nothing but tear into Arsenal every opportunity.. he must be praying he’s proved right soon! Anyway his opinions in one ear out the other nobody cares.. onwards and upwards let’s get that 12 on Sunday batter Blackpool and take the scousers to the cleaner’s ?

    1. Sue says:

      Ha just because his beloved spuds were crap & drew!!!
      Hell yeah John!!!! ??

      1. John Wick says:

        Haha he will make every excuse available when spuds get dumped out of the Europa League when they join the competition ? that Chelsea defeat seems like last year now Sue ??

        1. Sue says:

          It sure does John, what a great feeling hey?! ??

  12. illiterate says:

    He scored!

    Me and my big mouth.

    1. Sue says:

      ? you jinxed it

  13. Jones F. G says:

    Torreira came in… Then we became stable.
    What a player!

  14. Robin Vanpayslip - does my bum look big in this? says:

    The team is getting better game by game. The indifference seems to be leaving the squad bit by bit.

    1. John Wick says:

      100% true ?

  15. benex says:

    wow gunners keep the line moving, 11 matches in a row
    Holding was Tony Adams in disguise.
    watch out for the young lad.
    Emery should do me a favour my selling Ramsey in January

  16. gotanidea says:

    Giroud and Fabregas versus Hleb tonight

    Strangely, I am rooting for Hleb

  17. Smashing! Torreira steadied the ship and made sure we finished off Sporting. The decesions didn’t go our way today but quite honestly we have been very lucky with the referees for most of the season. Great result, hopefully a win on Sunday…again!

  18. Innit says:

    Happy Times ?

    Emery is really getting the best from the players we have. And Guendouzi/Torreira have been awesome signings

    Glad we nipped a win to keep the streak alive

    1. Sue says:

      Leno is too. He is so cool & calm…. what a bargain for 19m

  19. Gogo says:

    Quantico dream lucky how pls?

    1. Rob Holding’s blantant hand ball versus Leicester City? Aubameyang’s obvious offside goal versus Everton? Some pretty dubious calls have been going our way bud!

  20. Bur says:

    Another away win. Good to see. .job done. It seems we are getting a panel together that are fighting for positions. How good is that? We are doing well and long may it last.

  21. Midkemma says:

    Praise to Holding and Sokratis, another clean sheet… Of course it was massively helped by Torreira to keep it that way.
    We are starting to look better at the back, I’m not saying bring on City again anytime soon 😛 but credit where it is due right? Holding looked solid and he looked a good partner for Sokratis, I’m eager to see those two play together again.

    Lich was disappointing for me, I thought he would do better than he did, not that bad that I was cursing him or anything, I just expected more from him with his experience.

    Xhaka at LB… starting to wonder if he could do better in that role than CM lol, not overly impressive but I think how he stays back a bit more allows the other side to attack without leaving too few people back.

    Well done to Welbeck, Emery has worked hard with our attackers and we are seeing our athletes become a bit more reliable, good work ethic and the type of goal was good… I am not surprised by moments of brilliance by Welbeck but I wouldn’t have had faith he would score that but today as soon as he pinched the ball, I was cheering… He had a hunger after the disallowed goal that I just believed it was a matter of time before he got one.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the improvement in Iwobi and Welbeck are here to stay, I really hope they can consistently play as well as they have, best feeling is when the club develops a player into a highly rated superstar…

    1. Sue says:

      ? nice one Midkemma

  22. Leboo says:

    Who else thinks elneny and ramsey should go already
    Who else thinks holding deserves a long run no matter what mistakes he makes for his confidence #coyg?? lets make it 12

  23. Khadii says:

    And Iffy’s Cheek scored 3…
    its official… chelsea strikers are useless…

    I think Arsenal has the most potent strikers in England

    1. Sue says:

      Another game where Giroud doesn’t score! You’re right

  24. ozziegunner says:

    Arsenal inflicted the first loss of Sporting Lisbon, since they lost to FC Barcelona 12 months ago. Arsenal scored an away goal (should have been 2!) and a clean sheet.
    The back four were very good defensively and Leno had everything covered, including the shot that fizzed over. Socrates made one bad mistake which could have resulted in a “last defender” red card.
    Danny Welbeck has improved his finishing under Unai Emery and has so far scored more goals, in a lot less minutes played, than Sanchez and Lukaku. He deserves a new contract as he is a good, hard working team player and squad member. Arsenal won’t get a better player value for money wise. The only downside would be if he restricts opportunities for Nketiah.
    Unfortunately, Arsenal lacked creativity in mid field with Ozil not selected. Ramsey was very disappointing and showed no reason why he should not be sold in January.

  25. Elvinho says:

    Was Ramsey in that game?

    just thinking out loud because I spotted someone wearing the number 8 shirt running around.

  26. Abel says:

    We desperately need Ramsey to double down and score a few scorchers before January else we get peanuts for him or lose him on a free after paying his salary till his contract ends.
    With his present form, we’d be lucky if an offer of 20M was made for him!

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