Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Alexis, Iwobi, Welbeck
Subs: Cech, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Giroud, Walcott, Campbell
Arsenal followed up the 2-0 win over Everton with an impressive 4-0 victory against Watford at the Emirates this afternoon. Arsene Wenger kept faith with the same side that beat Everton, although Petr Cech returned to the squad with a place on the bench.
The Gunners started brightly and only smart defending prevented Danny Welbeck with a free header, however they went ahead in the 5th minute through Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean saw a header from an Alex Iwobi cross saved by Gomes but he was quickly on hand to tuck away the rebound. 1-0.
Alexis was involved again, providing a cross for Nacho Monreal which the Spaniard headed over, before warm applause broke out in the 7th minute in memory of David Rocastle. The former Barcelona man fed Welbeck but the England man’s shot was tame with Ozil outside him. Iwobi then forced Gomes into making a fine save with a curling effort, before Welbeck saw a shot deflected just wide of the post after some excellent movement in the box.
Welbeck was then denied an obvious penalty when he was shoved over inside the box by Sebastian Prodl, referee Anthony Taylor typically gave us nothing, the baldy bollix.
Coquelin and Elneny saw shots blocked, Alexis got a 25 yard free kick on target which Gomes pushed around the post, while at the other end there was little to cause the defence or David Ospina any real worry. A Gabriel slip in the box might have proved costly if Bellerin hadn’t been there to clear, and the Brazilian had to go off for treatment when he was booted in the leg by Coquelin.
Just as the vistitors lookedas if they were going to get back into the game, Arsenal doubled the lead. The ball was worked through midfield, Alexis got free down the inside right channel, he pulled it back for Iwobi to run onto and finish low beyond the keeper. 2-0.
It was his second goal in as many games, and the 19 year is fast becoming a fixture in this Arsenal side. Watford made a sub before half-time as their manager Dr House sought to change things, but the Gunners took the two goal lead into the break.
Watford made another change at the interval, Amrabat coming on for Ighalo, but Arsenal began the second period as brightly as they did the first. In the 48th minute Hector Bellerin made it 3-0, his volleyed effort after a poor clearance deflecting off Ben Watson and beyond the reach of the keeper.
It was almost four moments later when the buzzing Iwobi crashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar with Gomes well beaten. There was real confidence to the Arsenal play, with backheels and Olés from the crowd, but there was end product too.
Alexis had a shot saved, and the Chilean set up Ozil for a flicked chance which Gomes blocked. Welbeck flicked a header straight at the keeper, and at the other end Monreal headed a Prodl header off the line when Anthony Taylor gave Watford a free kick for nothing.
There was a yellow card from Nyom who took exception to Ozil being really good at football by booting him up in the air, before Arsene Wenger made his first change, bringing on Olivier Giroud for Danny Welbeck in the 69th minute.
Ospina made a good save from Troy Deeney, the first time he’d really been tested all game, while Giroud got into the action with a header that Gomes kept out without too many problems. Theo Walcott was then given a run out coming on for Iwobi in the 74th minute, with Joel Campbell replacing Alexis a few minutes later.
The game was very flat, with little doubt about the result. Mohamed Elneny picked up an 84th minute yellow card and as the game went into the final minute, Arsenal got a fourth. Ozil set Campbell free down the left, he drove past the defender and cut the ball back for the winger who finished nicely from close range. 4-0.
It was some icing on what was already quite a tasty cake.
Now, fingers crossed those ahead of us don’t get any cake at all. Or a cake made of poo and injuries.