Going into the game we were the firm favorites having lifted the goal floodgates in the previous weeks and 7 of our players on score-sheet during the interlull. Confidence was sky-high and either a very poor arsenal performance or an absolutely brilliant Watford performance would manage to topple that confidence.
The game was really an affair of two halves. We started the game sharply but for some reason we were slow in rotating the ball and in decision-making, couple that with a very physical, well-organized and spirited Watford team you get a very open game. Both the sides had very good chances; Rambo should have scored but skewed his shot over the crossbar, he had more time than maybe he realized. And it took a last-ditch brilliant interception from Kos to keep the score nil all at the first half whistle.
Many of our stars were very quiet – Theo, Ozil and Santi had little to no impact on the first half; our defense was generally solid, Kos was maybe hurrying in possession and Per was looking in trouble every time Deeney was making a run at him and he was targeting Per but our full backs were brilliant.
On the other side Alexis & Rambo were their relentless self, pressing for every ball and never giving up. One thing I noticed though was unlike our earlier matches of the season we did not panic, we remained patient trying not to make a mistake and it paid off. I like this new approach, let’s make it a habit.
Whether it was Wenger’ half time talk or the fact that Watford players had lost most of their stamina trying to press Arsenal into mistakes we completely knackered them in the second period. We started brilliantly, reminiscent of the Man united game. Our midfield were looking more comfortable on the ball and were passing it around much faster. Our first goal came off a very neat triangle build up before Santi returned Ozil’s pass to him, who did not stop running; Ozil was fouled in the box but before the Referee could give a clear penalty Alexis put the ball in the back of the net. This guy is simply amazing 7 goals in the past 3 games for us and another 2 for Chile, and all this with a groin injury! 35 million is a bargain! he is so indispensable to us now, so Madrid you can shove that money up your back side.
The ineffective Theo was replaced by Giroud who had an immediate impact on the game, Ozil with just a split-second at his disposal calmly cut back to Giroud who finished in the roof of the net; from then on it was all us. Rambo got the third and his first for the season after Bellerin made a scintillating run on the right flank. Post which it was a matter of game management, Ozil and Alexis were removed for Ox and Arteta respectively. We saw off the game comfortably but kudos to Watford for making the game much tougher than it really ought to be.
Yesterday night was a very good day at the office with many players catching the eyes, in the defense Monreal & Bellerin had an excellent game and our back 4 + cech looks really solid. In the mids Le Coq had another terrific game nipping at everything and dove tailing Santi for loose balls, Ozil and Santi also had good games. Alexis was his usual brilliant-self but the stand out player of the match was Ramsey hands down, I do not know the stats but I counted him getting kicked at least 10 times and once in the head(for which he got booed and the Ref did not stop the game – but I shall reserve my rant) He did not give up, kept running, was determined and was rewarded with his goal. Hopefully he will go on to score more.
We are now back in second and having scored 11 in our last 3 games, confidence seems to be oozing from this team. to come at a ground where Watford had conceded only 2 goals this season(both of them from set pieces) and scoring 3 goals from open play really makes a statement and shows the belief in this team to turn around a game in 12 minutes.
Finally I feel a huge shout out should go to our away fans, some of the chants were downright hilarious & witty, COYG.
Next up in Bayern and if we continue our form, I certainly feel we will not be left empty-handed and then we host a stubborn Everton side who seem to have problems in their attack. So action packed week is ahead of us and am all hyped for it.COYG!