Friday, October 7, 2022

Report: Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough (inc goals)

Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Welbeck, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Monreal, Rosicky, Walcott, Coquelin, Akpom

Two goals in two minutes from Olivier Giroud saw Arsenal ease their way into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Emirates this afternoon.

There were a number of changes from the midweek win against Leicester with Szczesny, Gibbs and Chambers coming into the back line, as well as a debut for Brazilian Gabriel. Mathieu Flamini replaced Francis Coquelin in midfield, while Danny Welbeck came in for Theo Walcott. Despite picking up a swollen knee in midweek Alexis Sanchez kept his place.

It was a hugely attacking selection from Arsene Wenger and Boro keeper Mejias was forced into his first save in 4th minute, getting down smartly to save a left-footed Cazorla free kick which looked like it was going in at the near post.

As you would expect it was the Gunners who put on most of the pressure in the opening stages, playing the game primarily in the Boro half. Mejias was again called into action when he got down to claim a low Gibbs cross, and moments later the left-back was played in by Cazorla but again the Boro keeper was down smartly the cut out the danger.

Olivier Giroud was next to test the Spaniard, his 14th minute shot was palmed away and even though Alexis was following up the angle was too tight and hit the side netting. The Championship side managed to settle down a bit after that and tighten up, forcing Arsenal into the centre, making the game as narrow as possible.

Giroud had another effort saved easily but with Danny Welbeck screaming for a pass the Frenchman got an earful from the former Man Utd man, but in the 27th minute the Frenchman opened the scoring.

It was a brilliant Arsenal move, starting from Alexis who ran with the ball, and a series of one-touch passes including Welbeck and  Cazorla who played in Gibbs down the left, who squared it for Giroud to finish from close range. 1-0.

A minute later it the lead was doubled. Arsenal had a corner, Boro switched off, Alexis took it quickly and aimed it for Giroud’s run at the near post. The striker caught the ball beautifully on the volley, giving the keeper no chance. 2-0.

It was almost three when Alexis’s pace and Ozil’s precision pass almost saw the Chilean get on the scoresheet but Boro’s defenders did enough to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Wojciech Szczesny made his first real save of the game in the 39th minute when Adomah was given time and space to burst through midfield and unleash a shot, but the Pole was more than equal to it.

With the two goal lead the intensity of Arsenal’s almost constant possession dropped, and although they had most of the ball and most of it in the Boro half, they couldn’t add to the lead before the break.

The second period began with a Boro corner that they wasted and almost let Arsenal score a third. Danny Welbeck did brilliantly but couldn’t quite get the shot away. Mathieu Flamini did have a go from 25 yards but pulled the shot wide, while Welbeck was involved again when sent behind by Chambers but his chipped cross missed Giroud in the centre.

Alexis and Ozil combined to set up a chance for the German but the shot was well saved and Alexis then penalised for handball when he took the ball on his chest. The visitors made a double substitution, bringing on Vossen and Reach for Tomlin and Bamford, and when Reach was sent through after a poor Alexis pass, Gabriel picked up his first booking in England when he obstructed the Boro man as he headed towards goal.

The resulting free kick hit the wall as Karanka moved his team to a 442 formation, but Arsenal were next to threaten with a Kieran Gibbs effort which the keeper palmed away over the bar. Mejias was again called into action making a quite brilliant save at his near post when Alexis flicked a Cazorla free-kick towards goal, his second outstanding save of the game.

Alexis and Ozil showed more great understanding, creating another chance which was snuffed out at the last minute, before Arsene Wenger made a 72nd minute double change, sending on Rosicky for the Chilean and Walcott for Welbeck.

Santi Cazorla shot over the bar in the 75th minute after a break from a Boro corner, while at the other end a vigorous Gabriel challenge in our box prevented a chance opening up. Ozil provided a chance for Walcott but the England man’s effort was headed away, before the final home substitution was made when Chuba Akpom came on for Giroud.

As the game drifted to the final stages, Ozil had a shot easily saved, Rosicky fed Walcott who tested Mejias but once more the Boro keeper was down smartly to make the stop, and there was a chance for the visitors when Adomah’s nice run resulted in a shot which fizzed just wide.

A late Kike header which came back off the post was the closest Boro came to a goal, but it would have flattered them and the scoreline, with Arsenal more than worthy of what was a comfortable win.

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cygan'sbaldspot

Great stuff. Ozil was MOTM for me. Absolutely excellent. He’s proving many naysayers wrong… people like Michael Owen, who, no matter what, will never applaud Ozil on something. His voice just cuts right through my soul and pulls my heart out, then stamps on it. Why are there so many anti-Arsenal, boring, cliché-ridden broken ex footballers on English tv? the kind of guys who say everything is ‘top drawer’??

Michael Owen is a fucking cunt, and a shit commentator, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Moonie

Ozil was brilliant. Would be interesting to see the number of times Santi and Ozil combined in by the numbers.

Cab

Ozil and Cazorla ran the show. Boro weaker than I thought, but mainly due to us.

Great foul by Gabriel and Debut overall.

COYR. Hope for a hope draw next time.

kosballs

the cozilla has finally risen! remembered the incredible anticipation i had when Ozil first signed. the partnership is slowly flourishing 😀

AnonymousGun

+ Giroud = Gozilla.

ramsey's spirit

what hapens when danny welbeck finally hits a run of form? Godzilla, thats what 😉

Remember the invincibles

It’s outrageous that he didn’t get a goal or an assist today. How many chances did he create? Must’ve been a hundred

Remember the invincibles

What I love about him is that he keeps it simple in midfield and finds the exact timing to play a final ball, or make a clever more difficult pass. What a player. Some of our younger players should watch and learn from Ozil.

Proff Gooner

Would also be interesting to see the people who complained about Ozil and the back four not being good enough like Chambers come out of the woodworks and make that statement again…

Forever COYG!

DialSquareGoon

Fuck Michael Owen. Who cares what he thinks?!

Sheffield Goon

Not me.

And has anyone noticed how Giroud is now just accepted as our number 9? Took a while I think for many to warm to him. Now? Does a great job in a fine team. Well done Olivier; you’re actually a very good player.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

Ozil could have 3-4 assists today, he was brilliant.

Deano

Fuck the pundits manure and Liverpool loving wankers. Di Maria not lifting many trees this season yet the press and pundits don’t seem to be giving him to much grief. Fact is there fucked off he signed for us and not one of there darlings.

Good solid team performance. Gabriel played well.

monkey

“They’re” and “their”.

Deano

Yeah realised that after it was put on. Thanks cheeky

Oor Wullie

So happy you exist.

Don Cazorleone

They’re

Don Cazorleone

haha oh fuck, just saw the other comment. I’m such a tosser

Don Cazorleone

need a “delete post” option

goonero

The butthurt victims of the invincibles?

kampala gooner

Here here. But I gotta say that was sweet and precise execution style.

AC

Exactly my feelings for Michael Owen! I put the volume down at one point becasue it was really irritating! Especially after yesterdays Liverpool game where he was shouting for penalties for every opportunity! Cunt!

GoonerN16

Brilliant observations, well noted, Owen is a cunt. But we played good football coyg! Good to see….

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Easy enough in the end. Some crisp passing with some deadly finishing by Giroud. Off to the next round, bring on Alan Pardioux and co.

Tom

ehh… they lost

neutral

next PL match…

Jamie

Terrible performance.

Michael Owen AND Andy Townsend?

Hang your head BTSport!

Gunners were amazeballz, tho.

DFS

Well, Townsend and Steve McManaman, decided to do the pre game hatchet job on Oxil in spite of his form and then McManaman topped all by yet again post game saying Boro should have kicked Cazorla off the pitch.

This is the state of commentary? Shit you would not listed to from an idiot in the pub? At least the BBC (after complaints) warned commentators not to say such crap and made Neville apologize. Apparently BTSport could give a shit and thinks ‘kicking players off the park’ constitutes intelligent analysis.

Don Cazorleone

Wait until next week (I think it is) when they have robbie savage, russell brand, and paul gasgoine in the studio!

It’s like they don’t want people to watch their programs

Arsene's Selfie Stick

Penis hard.

AllGunsABlazin

But the Coq didn’t play…

Ultimate Gooner

Another step towards a historic FA Cup triumph!

Vat

An excellent performace. We dominated at the start, crusied after the goals, and broke out of defence superbly. Our counter attacking play was at times sublime. Mesut Ozil was superb. His passing, link up play and some of the touches were breathtaking. This is easily the best he’s been for Arsenal and seems invigorated after his return. Given our form over the last ten games, I’d put down Spurs and Southampton as aberrations; we’ve been outstanding in general. Six months back a performance like this would have been the abberation. And finally, this isn’t knee jerk – if you offered… Read more »

Trez

Woah calm down…lets not go overboard.

Yaya Binks

yeah we’re awesome as long a team doesn’t come at us (like sp*rs last week) if we can find a way to properly play against that tactic who knows what dizzy heights we could hit

F3AR-BONER

Özil and Cazorla, absolutely unplayable! So silky.

Wenger's Glasses

Skill level is mad with Mesut & Santi in this formation. High quality stuff!

& Giroud second goal…. Wow…

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Would somebody talk about primarily about Giroud, the player who scored the two goals of the game? OK, me, Giroud was awesome, sublime technique on that second goal. After Giroud, Ozil and Carzola gave a good contribution.

Rainy

Ozil was majestic

Alexis trousers

Good win. Calm and composed. Gabriel looks like a player.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

Gabriel was thinking to much not to make a mistake, but that is reasonable his first game for us, he just need to adapt and be himself, but he looks like a very good buy.

alexis sanchez

Liked it how he hit himself after conceding a goal…..shows the determination of the man
Love him already <3

alexis sanchez

*conceding a corner

Alexis trousers

He was caught out of position just one from what I can remember. He’s fast, he passes the ball very well and, on the evidence of one single game, moves inmmediately to receive the ball again and relieve pressure. Certainly a more confident passer than the BFG, much better technique. He’ll come good.

masterofthegoonaverse

No he looks like a reincarnated Martin Keown

GoonerN16

Exactly my thoughts and words to mates whilst watching the game..

DialSquareGoon

Got out there and did the business that the badge demands. Nuff said. COYG!

ENJ

I just… I just wanted Chuba to score(why didnt you square it ozil). But Still a good performance from the team. Should be winning this thing.

Fattcheeked

Good performance without ever needing to step things up too much. No injuries too (from what we saw). Good day.

Chuffy

Very good and professional display from us. No question for me, we look better without Ramsey in midfield. He tries to do too many fancy things, gets caught up field too much and loses possession in vulnerable areas. Decent debut from Gabriel, Chambers and Gibbs looked good, at last we have some depth at the back. My word Giroud’s second goal was pure class. Alexis buzzing about like a bee on cheap whizz! Got to love him.

La Défense

Just googled “cheap whizz”. Still none the wiser…

Dick Swiveller

Amphetamines, I think.

No idea why the cheap ones would give more of a buzz though.

WizardOfOzil

Hint: Bellerin and Theo have it in abundance.

Ken

You know the expression “…none the wiser” but cannot work out/baffled by “cheap whizz”.. especially in that context?!

lolcat

If knowing the expression “…none the wiser” is a measure for intelligence, I’m a genius. What a stupid comment Ken.

Ken

knowing an expression = genius… lol!????
its obviously not a measure of intelligent is it LOLcat.

Joe

Amphetamine

Paul

I think Ramsey would have done well against this “caught in the headlights” Championship side…can’t judge players in their absence!
Especially if they won us the Cup last year!

DanSchulof

For me, this front five picks itself as often as possible, assuming the whole squad is healthy. Alexis/Giroud/Welbeck is a balanced and all-around terrific front line, on BOTH sides of the ball (particularly with Ozil and Cazorla, serving up passes behind them). As for the Theo/Danny issue, Theo is most dangerous in the latter stages of games anyways and our pressing game, which is just SO important, falls off markedly when he’s in there. And I’m not sure he’d be as effective as an offensive threat anyways if he worked as hard as Danny and Alexis. Frankly, I don’t see… Read more »

Dick Swiveller

Nah, i don’t think you can call having two players for a position a waste of resources, especially when Santi is covering other positions too, and that’s before we get into the matter of having a little more strength and power in midfield rather than just twinkletoed dancing from Cazorla. If it was just an attacking thing then I’d possibly agree with you, but Rambo gives so much defensively and both him and Wilshere can carry the ball out efectively (less so Jack, but that’s more due to his struggle for form and identity, than anything else). Now, whether Jack… Read more »

alexis' shorts

Also, note that Santi is now 30, with Ramsey and Wilshere 6 and 7 years younger. Most players that do not have the energy of an early 20-something like Rosicky, but Santi’s ball retention and vision are so good that he could certainly go on to be Pirloesque if he stays in shape. Him and Ozil switched roles so efficiently but Santi mostly played deeper and he’s one of our attacking players who never shirks his defensive responsibilities. Nonetheless, having Ramsey and Wilshere is in no way a waste of resources. Even if they’ve been around for years, not many… Read more »

alexis' shorts

also, my definition of ball retention hear is does not include distribution. Both Ramsey and Wilshere have been guilty of some pretty bad distribution recently, but if I wanted to have a player try to dribble in a phone both I’d say Cazorla, Ozil, and Wilshere third. Ox can eventually be in that mix but he moves so quick his mind can’t seem to keep up sometimes

LKoscielny6

As long as we get a home tie in the next round I’ll be pretty confident we’ll be off to Wembley again. Coyg!!!

WizardOfOzil

Watching Ozil + Sanchez + Cazorla in the same team is like being a child surrounded by sweets.

SB

Looks like Wenger is going all out for the cup this year. Its going to be difficult for anyone else to stop us.

COYG!

diefenbaker

Who the fook is MOTM?
Ill give it to the new guy I guess. Weird style of kicking the ball.

What a performance, 90mins of non stop determination from all. Haven’t seen this in years.

Die Hard Gunner

Very good win, COYG. Let us retain our dear cup! Happy to be a Gunner!

Cape Town Gunner

Thought Özil was absolutely sensational today. When he’s on it, he bewilders and embarrasses defenders. It’s quite a treat watching that guy.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

Really impressive from Gibbs. The competition with Monreal is doing him good.

Ex-Priest Tobin

Impressed by Ozil. Hopefully he can show this form against the bigger teams.

GoonerN16

Why always so negative, priest?

oluwapunkey

MOTM performance by ozil…thats what happens when you play him in his prefered position….plus a really good debut for Gab..he’s really quick.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

ozil was all over the place if you didn’t notice, right left center, he had a free role which suits him perfectly than to be only on one position all game.

Mertesacker's Per

Dat jump from Kos!

Tizteezy

That period when Gabriel hit his own head in anger after miscontrolling a ball at the corner flag. Top class!

gammhunn

I had a crappy stream, but didnt he make up for it by heading the ball almost to the other side of the pitch when the corner came in?

Yorkshire gunner

We were excellent, but VERY well played for their keeper, could’ve and should’ve been 6/7-0

DFS

Yeah, he had a blinder.

2 bullets in the chamber

What did everyone think of Gabriel? We looked quite solid in defence but I don’t know whether it was because we were good or boro sucked. Quite liked his yellow card foul. I think we need someone like that who does what needs to be done.

Dick Swiveller

I liked the card too, difficult to say much as he wasn’t under any pressure, nice tackle at one point though.

DFS

Yeah, loved the quick decision to take the booking and not even allow the shot. He looks the real deal.

His positioning in the game was great and he would often shadow the foremost striker tightly. Good impression.

johnny

Great performance, Giroud has improved massively and deserves a lot of credit for that. Loved how we controlled the game 2nd half (bar one chance in the 90th min) that’ll be very important going forward. We’ve improved a lot and it’s good to see!

Seangooner

Ozil was amazing today, some of his passes I think only he could play them. Gibbs was good too, great competition for the left back spot. And respect to Mejias for the save from the Sanchez header, it was brilliant. All in all, it was a great day

I AM ARSENAL

Excellent performance…Didn’t come out of first gear and completely dominated a team that before the game was meant to cause us all sorts of problems. Very professional.

Some class finishes from Giroud

Captain Cazorla was majestic and ran the game with his partner in crime Ozil.

Thought Gabriel had a good game, won alot of headers and was neat and tidy and kept a solid shape with Koscielny.

Only 2-0 but i love when we put on a show..Some nice stuff out there today.

Dale Cooper

Gabriel looks like he could be a great player. Chuffed.

Robbie

Fantastic display from the squad as Ozil tops …….

Gunner pundit

Quality stuff from our number 11. Twisting and turning. Open their team and again him and cazorla toying with the opposition when linking up. This is casual stuff. This is Arsenal.

CB

Home draw please.

Then it’s Wembley, home from home.

Trex d' Gunner

Fantastic win. Ozil was so sublime on the ball today, he was an absolute joy to watch. The entire team were fucking brilliant.

Paul

Ozil excellent, Santi unbelievable, Chambers and Gibbs really good, new boy solid…I could go on and on…. it was a great team professional performance but… Boro were caught in the headlights somewhat!
COYG don’t relax

I AM ARSENAL

2-0 should have been 4 or more. Loads of golden opportunities..But alot of these were created when we had taken the foot off the gas. We still carved them apart at will. Also we have improved immensely defensively, i don’t think borough expected us to be that good without the ball. I think Adomah had two sights of goal from far and they hit the post right at the death.. Other than that they didn’t have a sniff. Alexis does lose possession alot and takes too many touches at times…But he remains our hardest worker and his direct play results… Read more »

Crispy

About as one sided a game I’ve seen in a long time. We we’re excellent everywhere. No disrespect to Boro, but the press had them down as some Championship jugganaut and we just highlighted the gulf between the top of the two divisions. Really enjoyed that game. With a fully fit squad ( ahem) I don’t think the gap between us and Chelsea/City is as big as Owen says.

rossi88

Owen slagging walcott finishing ability…..cheapshot.

alexis' shorts

Walcott on form is probably the calmest finisher we have had since Henry. When he takes his time he has shown he can curl it into the lower far corner with both feet. Also Michael Owen should think about how crap he was after long term injuries cut a career that would probably have had twice as many goals. Where as Walcott has also had a pretty injury ridden career but just came back from his worst to score 3 in 4 games where he hasn’t quite hit his stride. My wish is that Walcott would put more energy into… Read more »

goonero

I think we’ve had some better finishers than theo in that time…most turned out to be traitorous cunts and then eduardo was a special breed of finisher.

David

Easy win against a team that didnt attacked, and in the only danger situation that had, the post kept us a clean sheet. Good thing that our only real competition left is liverpool and if they win (which i wont be too sure giving that they’ve been poor against lower tier teams) United, we’re favorites to win this year again, lets hope we dont fuck it over

Tizteezy

That Rosicky’s magical through pass to Walcott…. Top notch!

I AM ARSENAL

This had no bearing on the game but i think this should be Flamini’s last season.
Flamini played Ok..But the more he plays the more i realize he is just shite.. The way he stood out to me today compared to when Coquelin plays was astounding. There were times when he just looked like a glorified lollipop man. Ozil and Cazorla were running the game deep and high up the pitch. Flamini was just an extra that did some occasional pointing and sideways passes.

ANDR

Last season it was Giroud ( and to an extent Ozil). The season before that, it was Ramsey. And this season its Flamini. Its just that some Arsenal fans need a scapegoat.
Every player goes through periods of lean form and Flamini had one such lean period in the early part of this season. Not too long ago TR7 was similarly written off by many Gooners but thankfully the club knew better. With that in mind lets just lay off Flamini and support him.

Alexis trousers

Wenger already made his choice renewing Arteta’s contract. Flamini is leaving regardless of our support.

I AM ARSENAL

Did you even read what i wrote

”This had no bearing on the game” ”Flamini was ok”

I like Flamini and he has been useful in the past..But seeing Coquelin do so well in that position has opened my eyes to all of Flamini’s limitations..Seeing the difference between them today was astounding.
Flamini isn’t in poor form hes just not that good.

Dick Swiveller

Covered well, made a few tackles and kept his passing simple and direct; he played pretty well I think.

I do think he should go, with Coquelin coming good and Arteta extending his contract, add another guy like Schneiderlin and keep Bielik developing, then there’s no real space for him, but he’s not a waste of space.

AN

I think I’m going to apply for a grant to research and clone Tomas Rosicky.

Tom thumb

Make two so i can have one too

True Red

Oooh, can I have one too?

Iceman

We are coming along nicely arnt we? Top performances all around the pitch. Ozil was different class today. Such a pleasure to see a classy classy footballer get back in form. Chambers was really good today as well. Was bursting down the right flank time and time again to my surprise. Props to the team. They were brilliant tonight. Lets retain the FA Cup. Cmon you Gunners!!

Paul

I wish you hadn’t said “props”- sorry just my age, I think? 🙂

aj

That’s what um talking bout! Y’all call Ne crazy but I want united at Trafford. Want to watch that Sanchez ozil 1-2 around the box ..Ooo mamma mia.. We ain’t scared off no devil.. Bring it on. Coz we r going to Wembley! Coyg!!

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

The Ozil-Cazorla combination was orgasmic. My only question is how would they hold up when they play a great attacking team?

CB

We’ll have our Coq out for that type of match.

wellarsed

Anyone here place any credence in the rumours about Santi moving to Atletico Madrid in the summer? I hope it’s unfounded. Losing Santi would be devastating.

goonero

Cazorla is playing like a (forgive me for this) “xavi” type cm/playmaker. My worries about him getting old are lessened now because that’s a role he can perform till he’s mid 30’s hopefully!! But wow, when our team clicks and we look a real force. Giroud, Ozil, Alexis, Santi, everyone, this really is looking like the strongest group of arsenal players in a long arse time. European championship material? Well if those chavs could do it why not an actual team?

flappylegs

I’ve said this before but Cazorla is way better than Xavi

Trez

What have you been smoking??

goonero

I’m not comparing him to xavi (very different skill sets) it’s just thats the area of the pitch he occupies and creates from, Santi does it with his ball retention and quick feet, players like xavi and pirlo do/did it with their range of passing, either way, it’s a role that santi can continue to do without old legs becoming a restriction…I fucking hope anyway cos I don’t know how you replace that man…or tr7

H. P. Arsecraft

Best thing today was that Özil looked really happy and seemed to enjoyplaying. A happy Özil is a happy Arsenal.

rch

Santi superb in his quaterback role today.

Joe

The quaterback experiment

ScotsGooner

A graphic on the BBC website shows all 11 Arsenal players touched the ball in the lead-up to the first goal (apologies if this has been pointed out numerous times already in this thread). Love that shit!

Ruelando

Good team performance Ozil and Cazorla ran the show, how ever when playing against stronger offensive teams we have to ensure we do not play ozil with cazorla, would rather a cazorla in the middle with a sanchez and welbeck on the flanks. and a two defensive midfielders behind Cazorla

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