15 March 2018

Arsenal 3-1 AC Milan—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Arsenal domianted for long stretches, conceded a brilliant goal against the run of play, equalized through a divey Welbeck converting the pen, and killed off the tie when Donnarumma couldn't smother Xhaka's long-distance missile. Welbeck earned a more-honest goal in 87th minute when he nodded home a deflection from Ramsey's header. The result allowed us to advance to the quarterfinal on the strength of a 5-1 aggregate and does beg the question: why can't we play this well more consistently? Ahh, the mysteries of life, which one can ponder at another time. For now, savor this one, let it settle in your stomach like a nice bit of mac and cheese, and then go rate the lads!

12 March 2018

Man U's Mkhi, Arsenal's Alexis—who's made the better deal?

It's been roughly six weeks now since Henrikh Mkhitarayan and Alexis Sánchez swapped squads. That's time enough, isn't it, to assess the early returns? Risky rhetorical questions rarely require actual responses, so we're plowing ahead regardless. At first blush, the notion that Arsenal would again sell a talismanic goal-scorer to its own rival would seem ludicrous. Having already sold van Persie to Man U, how could we at Arsenal suffer seeing such a scorer succeed elsewhere? This time though, however, we at least extracted a player in return, one who might just make us all forget the sexiness that was Sánchez. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has, in the short term at least, more than picked up the slack that Alexis left.

11 March 2018

Arsenal 3-0 Watford—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Arsenal thrashed Watford thanks to goals from Mustafi, Aubameyang, and Mkhitaryan; and Čech saved Deeney's penalty and finally got his 200th clean sheet. We've left that dismal, depressing February behind and have looked invigorated and determined through the first two weeks of March. It's a fitting rejoinder to Mr. Deeney's now-infamous cojones remark—it was he after all who fluffed his line on the penalty. Aside from that he was largely anonymous, and, to be honest, the less said of him, the better. We have—believe it or not—bigger fish to fry. Adios. Let's get down to the poll!

08 March 2018

AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Henrikh Mkhitaryan ended the apparently invincible AC Milan's defense run of clean sheets with a well-struck shot in the 15th minute that took a deflection on its way in, and Aaron Ramsey found a sublime goal in first-half stoppage time, slipping through to run onto Özil's little through-ball, and we've left Italy with a beautiful win, two away-goals, the inside track to the quarterfinal, and an end to a miserable month of football. We've seen our boys turn a season around thanks to a European conquest; let's hope this one launches us on a long, strong run-in. More on that later; for now, let's rate the lads!

04 March 2018

Brighton 2-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player-Ratings & MOTM!

One can find excuses for losing twice in five days to Man City. They are a behemoth of a squad at the moment. One can rationalize a second-leg loss to Oestersunds FK—we had essentially booked passage to the Europa League Round of 16 already (hadn't we? I mean...). However, it's much harder to understand how we let ourselves go 2-0 to Brighton down inside a half-hour. Only an Aubameyang goal just before halftime restored some sense of hope, but this was hardly the rally or fight-back of a squad ready to go to the San Siro on Thursday, much less salvage a season. Seven minutes of stoppage-time were not enough for us to find a way through Brighton's stubborn defense, and even when we did, shots were tame or off-frame. What else is there to say?

01 March 2018

Arsenal 0-3 Man City—Vote for Player-Ratings & MOTM!

You have to know that when your game-plan consists of hoping that the opposition will go easy on you after thrashing you just a few days ago, you're clutching at straws. Man Cit waltzed in and picked up right where they left on Sunday, scoring three goals in the first half to end this one before it had even begun. The only real question was whether they would relax enough to let us score. We did see Mkhitaryan earn a penalty, only for Aubameyang to squander it with a tame shot that Ederson had no trouble saving. While it's true that we came awfully close to opening the scoring, we again fell apart after we conceded. This was an ugly one. Well, hold your noses and get down to the poll to give 'em what they deserve...