Report: Ostersund 0-3 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Starting XI: Ospina (c), Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck

Subs: Macey, Holding, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah

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Arsenal are in a prime position to qualify for the Europa League last sixteen after a comprehensive 3-0 first-leg win over Ostersund in Sweden.

Nacho Monreal’s early opener and an own goal by Sotirios Papagiannopoulos helped Arsene Wenger’s men to a two-goal advantage before the break before Mesut Ozil grabbed a killer third on 58 minutes. The home side had a chance to reduce the deficit in stoppage time but Ospina saved Pettersen’s penalty.

First half

Unfazed by the cold, the artificial pitch and the fact the whole of Europe was cheering for the Swedes, Arsenal started brightly. One touch, pass and move was the theme as we worked nice angles in the final third of the pitch.

The home side sat very deep, seemingly hoping to catch us on the break with the occasional long ball. In truth, their only front man looked very isolated with Maitland-Niles mopping up in front of Chambers and Mustafi.

It wasn’t long before the chances started to flow for the Gunners. Danny Welbeck should have done better with a header on 8 minutes, his effort fell wide, and Mkhitaryan missed a golden opportunity to open his Arsenal account after he and Ozil closed down a short kick out from the keeper – with the goal gaping the Armenian was denied by a last-gasp clearance on the line.

We kept tightening the screw before finally finding the net on 13 minutes. Alex Iwobi did well to work space before firing a cross shot at keeper Keita that was spilled into the path of Monreal. The Spaniard, so often our fox in the box recently, pounced on the loose ball to score from a couple of yards out. (1-0)

Having stung the palms of Keita from long-range, Mkhitaryan again found himself at the centre of the action as we doubled the lead. Ostersund surrendered possession inside their own box as they faffed over a clearance and our number 77 smashed a cross into the back of the net off defender Papagiannopoulos. (2-0)

The second goal seemed to spark Ostersund into life. First Gero headed straight at Ospina, then the Colombian made a fine stop to keep out Ghoddos’ rasping drive from the edge of the area. The livewire Ghoddos tried his luck a couple more times before the break as the game was played much more in Arsenal’s half.

Second half

Ostersund made a couple of changes at the break and initially had a bit more of the ball in midfield but Arsenal held their nerve and soon went up the other end to grab a third.

Mkhitaryan picked up his second assist of the evening playing in Ozil from the left. The German controlled neatly before squeezing the ball under keeper Keita for his fifth of the season. (3-0)

The action was thin on the ground after that. Welbeck, who looked rusty, to say the least, scuffed an attempt wide after cutting in from the left on 81 minutes. That was pretty much the best of it. He was replaced by Nketiah with eight minutes remaining. Kolasinac and Nelson also got run outs in place of Monreal and Mkhitaryan. I say run out, really the game was being played at walking pace in the final moments.

Of course, Arsenal being Arsenal, we decided to make things a tad more difficult for ourselves. Bellerin gave away a penalty in stoppage time. Amazingly, Ospina, captain for the night, made the stop to deny Pettersson.

All in all, a comfortable night for the Gunners. The second leg is in a week’s time and you suspect Wenger will now field a weaker starting XI.

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mrtanmay
mrtanmay

can we have a rating for how clean this clean sheet is please…

Maniac
Maniac

Straight out the wash mate.

Maniac
Maniac

An Arsenal keeper saving a penalty? Are my eyes deceiving me?

NewSeason
NewSeason

Should we replace Cech with Ospina in the Premier league?

Nketibag
Nketibag

Ospina can actually pass the ball as well.

VintageFuzz
VintageFuzz

Ospina will be found out in the Premier league due to the sheer voume of crosses a modern day GK needs to deal with there.

2121
2121

Only when there’s a penalty against us

Robins Boost
Robins Boost

Sub him on if we concede a penalty

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Clean sheet, penalty saved, away game. What.

Goonstein
Goonstein

Haha damn. I just complained the other day about all the people saying Ospina is more probable to save a penalt than Cech. Being cocky backfiring hard!

Jack
Jack

First clean sheet in 300 games and first penalty save in 3 years. Thank you Ospina

Redsy
Redsy

At least we can rest some players before the cup final with city, nice save by ospina on the penalty

Axedsoul
Axedsoul

Ospina should start for us in the league more often.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

He is piss poor against height and crosses though, and has regularly been targeted/found out in the league like this. A hybrid of Cech and Ospina would be an absolute beast however.. completely opposite strengths.

yen
yen

Disagree. Čech has been doing well this season and saved us from trashing many times (don’t have to go far for an example – last Spurs game). Yes, I would surely like him to catch a penalty once in a while, but I would be even happier if our defense wouldn’t give away so many penalties in the first place. Despite that, he’s still the better goalkeeper out of those two.

Yet I think we should get an upgrade in the summer anyway.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Agreed. People forget Cech’s saves against Spurs. He saved us from a hiding.

His occasional mistakes do make you question him though.

Cechmate
Cechmate

Cech enjoys a lot of goodwill due to his Chelsea days than Arsenal ones! Cech has conceded quite a few goals in his near post, bad passes and from long range shots and we would have been absolutely critical of Ospina if he had done that and would have questioned his height and reach, as he doesn’t have a history with another club like Chelsea.

There’s nothing to suggest that Ospina wouldn’t have blocked those shots against Spurs – in fact he’s been the better shot stopper in reflexive stops. Cech has aged and is a tad slower than Ospina in reactive stops.

Lastly, there’s a diff between someone playing regularly and someone who plays once in 2 or 3 weeks. We thought Fabianski was a disaster in Arsenal and Scz was totally error prone but they seem to be doing pretty well after Arsenal. Prob is not with Ospina entirely and Wenger to needs to decide if Ospina is the one to replace Cech and if so, he should start giving him more playing time.

Chippys chip
Chippys chip

Agree. Ospina ina. Cech out. Martinez back as back up.

tiny
tiny

I think the answer is that in any game that could end in a penalty shoot out at least have Ospina as a sub and bring him on at the end.

Abhi
Abhi

Van Gaal, is that you?

Frank
Frank

Good result, thought we had a classic Danny screamer off the shin for a second only to realise it was an OG. Credit to Ostersund thought they played well after the first 20, dunno about the penalty though, looked a dive to me on the replay despite Savages assertion it was a ‘definite penalty’, no matter in the end though.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Savage is a knob

Nketibag
Nketibag

“Osterstands”
He better not be on the home leg – just spouts clueless dross.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

You just realised?

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

If Robbie Savage says something, the opposite is always true.

The dirty blonde fanny.

ETTAN
ETTAN

Looked like a dive for me too, but the camera angle wasn’t great on replays.

Rossi88
Rossi88

Good result. Fuck me, thats one of the most unambitious performances I’ve seen. We are so poor at the minute in my opinion. Danny Welbeck, bloody hell. Honestly, the levels were playing at is just terrible. That team would have got spanked by any of the teams above us in Prem. This is not an Arsenal team. No confidence in possession of the ball, no desire to beat a man, no attacking flair at all. Death by 1000 passes commentators said. Honestly, a 3 nil win, any other time Id be very happy. I just cannot accept this level we find our team at. Just getting a result isn’t enough, especially when it seems all season we either scrape it or get beat. Wenger needs to go. The Arsenal board shouldn’t find this acceptable. Get Luis Enrique at the end of the year, spend some bloody money, get the average players out, move on and compete again. Wheres the pride gone?

Vonnie
Vonnie

A three nil win on a plastic pitch in the arctic, and you’re not satisfied. If you can”t accept that the I suggest you go troll somewhere else, this really isn’t the time or place.

Rossi88
Rossi88

Vonnie, im not a troll. Im an Arsenal fan that wants to watch my team play like Arsenal should. -2 on a state of the art 4g pitch….you make it sound like playing on concrete in -50. Yes we won 3 nil. but wither your blind to think we played well, or you have adjusted your tolerance levels of watching shit, unambitious football, against a team that is quite frankly league 2 standard with one handy forward. some of the players out there aren’t good enough. I dont accept this season as acceptable for Arsenal football club. We are a poor football team at the moment. Il support them either way, but this is a forum to have your say. So il have my say pal, okay.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

3-0 away in Europe isn’t “just getting a result”…

Mootilated
Mootilated

It’s fucking Ostersund, mate. Chill out. This is why nobody likes Arsenal fans. They beat a shitty team, they make a big deal out of it. Then they face a team with some quality and they’re brought back down to Earth.

Rossi88
Rossi88

this is exactly my point. fact remains were nearly 30 points off top of Prem in February. Playing consistently poor football. It’s almost people have forgot we just got beat in the NLD having one shot on target, because we just beat some shite from Sweden. i cant honestly see us winning Europe league or League cup. I’d be happy if we do, but you can’t keep playing poorly and win cups, and definitely not Prem.

ETTAN
ETTAN

Good win, tie over, well done lads. Can’t ask for much else.

Mein Bergkampf

Stuck at work, how did we play?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Alright … didn’t really get out of second gear for most of it, didn’t need to

Mein Bergkampf

Sounds like the shift I put in at work…

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Most of my days are like that

Aloha
Aloha

Did they engage first gear?

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

Alright.

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

Plastic pitch usually means that dribbling is out of the question, ball rolls away from you and you just can’t catch the bugger. So… When we passed it we were decent, when we ran with it we lost it. Winning 3-0 having hardly broke a sweat is good but that’s probably as much down to the quality of the opposition than anything special we did.

SensuallyEatingAHotdog
SensuallyEatingAHotdog

Lacazette injured. Shame. Giroud sold. Sad. Welbeck misfiring. Comedy. Aubameyang cup-tied. Bonkers. But its’ okay my friend. We have Monreal.

yen
yen

3 goals, clean sheet, job done. Still feels like the quality gap between us and them should be wider.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Ainsley’s blend of athleticism, speed and technique is what this midfield has needed for 3 years now. Top performance – now play him in the league.

Runzac
Runzac

AMN still not ready for the big games. Lost possession too many times. Big exciting prospect though

steve
steve

Lost possession too many times?
have you been watching Xhaka this season? lol
Ainsley’s tracking back throughout that match was impeccable, i’d feel much safer with him in midfield rather than Xhaka plodding along a mile behind the opponents breaking through our midfield like its not even there – like so many times this season.

A Different George
A Different George

Maitland-Niles’ play did not make me forget the absence of Jack and Ramsey who are still worlds better than him.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

But he also recovered the ball himself when he did lose it…and it think you are confusing the times he also slipped on the shit surface for carelessly giving the ball away like the big left footed idiot always does.

Goonerink
Goonerink

Yeah OK amn won’t do a 40 yard pass to an on rushing Auba like xhaka will.
But xhaka also won’t run when the ball is more than a yard away.
Tbh a xhaka amn duo would be nice to have but am I fuck dropping wilshere AND rambo. Its bad enough we can’t play them both without needing an extra defensive body.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

You realize the option today was Welbeck who AMN actually did find when dat guy finally made a decent run midway in the 2nd half…..and outwide it was Mhki and Ozil who are not going to give you width or anything to hit.

Reality check
Reality check

He completed 87 of his 93 passes.. you just noticed the ones he missed. His running with the ball and break up play was quite decent for his first ever start in this favoured position.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Xhaka would find it useful to be rotated with AMN for league matches and could very well become our own Kanye

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

*Kante
Sorry mr. West, lord bendtner gave us enough narcissism for a lifetime..

Nketibag
Nketibag

Xhaka and AMN for me, they compliment each others weaknesses. Elneny looked a bit sluggish tonight.

steve
steve

Wilshere and AMN for me

xxxrob
xxxrob

Elneny had something like 106 passes and 97% completed. Say what you will about the ambition of some of those passes but he keeps us ticking similar to what Arteta used to. He has the long shot of Arteta too, more mobility but sadly, not the vision. Still, not a bad player, I like him.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

A good, versatile squad player.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Kanye? You mean marry a fat bozzo in tight clothing and end up on reality TV every other week?

Keneh
Keneh

Job done, tidy

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Want to see Niles start ahead of Xhaxa in the league.Made a few mistakes but at least has the speed to make up for it..He and Elneny also seemed to form a decent partnership. Also bailed Chambers and Mustafi out a few times (they were poor and cant pass out of he back for shit)
Ozil and Mhki made me laugh at how much they didn’t want to be there but still turned it on enough to have a few highlights.
Welbeck should be ashamed that there striker looked far better than him. Yes he is regaining fitness and is rusty and low on confidence but still.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

So he’s “rusty and low on confidence” but should be better? A total contradiction mate.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Chambers looked fine…..So did Monreal……Both been out recently with injuries.
Yes he should be better…Im not asking him to pull up trees against the top six sides but don’t look like a poorer version of Lukaku on his worst day against some swiss side no one has heard of. Got put to shame by their striker,
Why do people get so sensitive calling these players out.

Runzac
Runzac

Welbeck looking very rusty. Chambers as well. AMN will be awesome one day in midfield.

RealGooner
RealGooner

That was shit to watch

A Different George
A Different George

I watched Real Madrid-PSG yesterday which, amazingly, was not any better.

Nordin
Nordin

If Cech was in goal, I doubt it would have a clean sheet because of the penalty awarded against us. He would not have save it!!
Poor Ospina, couple of good saves and a penalty save and there are still fans unhappy with him. Just cant understand.
Very good win and scoreline to take back home for the second leg. Next up…last of 16. Just four more games to win it and qualify for CL next season.

yeah
yeah

*8 more games

Heihaci
Heihaci

Decent result.Wele not good enough..can we do a swap deal with Leicester for Mahrez?

santori
santori

Comfortable win for once.

Granted Ostersund but we’ve been so “iffy” lately.

Felt it was slightly risky with to Cbacks given recent form but I guess there’s still a gulf in class between Ostersund and us.

For the most part, Chambers and Mustafi held fine. A couple of dodgy moments by Calum otherwise solid.

They were a little overawed at start of the game. Once we got the two goals, they came out to play and weren’t bad but lacked finishing.

This midfield worked OK considering opposition’s level but against a better team, we are still too wide open.

Good save by Ospina at the end for the penalty to deny them and keep his clean sheet.

Good to see Mhkitaryan again involved for two goals. A fortuituous own goal for our second (but a decent cross) and a nice lay off for Ozil for the third.

Iwobi also heavily involved pulling them around and his shot open up for our first goal with Monreal (Maybe he should be the fox in the box for us)

Nothing really stand out otherwise form the game just a job well done and on to the return leg.

Gudaffiduck
Gudaffiduck

Finally, an away win and a clean sheet (even if we did almost mess that one up last minute). Ospina has much better feet under pressure than cech it seems. Miki directly involved in 2 goals and everyone fairly solid although complacent in the end. Expected win but you can never tell with us! Coyg

SB Still
SB Still

The usual away game, this season.

It showed their team is managed by an Englishman who watches a lot of the English league and cup games. It wasn’t difficult for him to work out that the high press works well against us in away games. It just took his players some time to believe.

However before that the opposition did the Arsenal thing in big games – nervous and concede early. So by the time they woke up, we were up two goals.

Then they started pressing and we made errors, so it was an even game!

With the caliber of teams in Europa League especially the likes of Dortmund, Athletico, Napoli dropping down from the CL, I worry for our chances based on our defensive ability.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

and yet we can wipe the floor with most teams at home

Highbury
Highbury

I get (irrationally) annoyed when I see Ö replaced with O. It’s not the same letter, the umlaut isn’t an accent. If it’s so difficult to type the correct letter, at the very least write it phonetically: Oe

OdalGooner
OdalGooner

Me too. Are *all* english commentators so completely without language skills that they have to keep calling Özil “oh-seal”. I know some of them are ex footballers, but didn’t any of these asshats ever attend school? Or travel? Or listen to people from other countries? Or perhaps watch a match or two with foreign commentary? I’m not expecting them to cure cancer or be fluent in mandarin, but if they can’t say anything remotely interesting for 90 minutes, why not find someone that has been outside the country without being so pissed up that they never realized the other people spoke a different language. He’s a world class footballer and he’s been on the german national team for years. Surely it can’t be THAT hard.
..not that it bothers me *that* much. *ahem* 😀

Nick
Nick

My wife comes to sit next to me as I’m watching the game this evening.

“Is this champions darling, is this champions? (She always calls the Champions League just ‘Champions’, I don’t know why.)

No, it’s the Europa league.

The what?!

Doesn’t matter. It’s just another competition.

Why isn’t it champions?

Because we’re not in it.

Why?

Because we’re crap, it doesn’t matter.

But I like the music.

Yes, well, that’s just how it is.

When is it going to be champions?

I don’t know.”

I know we won tonight, but for the love of God, please let us be in the Champions League next year so I can avoid conversations like this.

US Gooner
US Gooner

CHAMPIONS!!!! Got the love of God, CHAMPIONS!!

Kostas
Kostas

Comment of the year!

Clock-End-Mike
Clock-End-Mike

“Mkhitaryan picked up his second assist”… Nit-picking, I know, but is a deflected cross that becomes an own goal an assist? Not according to Opta — but I believe some commentators and statisticians do count assists for own goals.

There is no generally accepted definition of an own goal — for example, many (but again, not Opta) would credit Iwobi with an assist for the first goal (which rebounded to Monreal off the keeper); neither do Opta accept that the fouled player gets an assist when a resulting penalty is scored by another player, or that a player attempting to pass to the goalscorer still gets the assist when the ball is actually diverted to the goalscorer by a defender.

renwahh
renwahh

In some ways it’s even better than an assist, a pass so good the defender has no choice but to score. Should be worth more? That’s 5 assists for MK in his first 3 matches

Clock-End-Mike
Clock-End-Mike

of course, I meant “no generally accepted definition of an _assist_”

Obama Young

So Arsenal CAN get an easy win on the road, and Arsenal CAN save a penalty! I had been wondering if these things were possible anymore, glad to see they are.

DBMÖ10
DBMÖ10

Now that we’re done with preseason, let the fun begin ! Oops..

Arshavin\'s shadow
Arshavin\'s shadow

Anyone for Nacho starting up top? Even though a tap in, I thought he took the goal well with his weak foot. Looks a natural born striker. Shit, better than Welbeck.

Lula
Lula

They were pretty shit and we were unimpressive. But it’s the result we needed to save the first team for the final. So it’s exactly what was needed.a calm, patient game in the home leg should be enough.

Biased Iranian dude
Biased Iranian dude

We should sign Saman Ghoddos <3 !!