Mesut Ozil – The Curious Case of The German at Arsenal

Mesut Ozil - The Curious Case of The German at Arsenal

Arsenal star, Mesut Ozil, is considered to be one of the most creative minds in football. Yet, he can’t seem to find a way to break into Unai Emery’s first-choice XI. 

Mesut Ozil has now started only one of the Gunners’ last 10 outings and wasn’t even on the bench for Thursday night’s embarrassing 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie.

Mesut Ozil, 30, has had a roller coaster of a career at Arsenal. Moving from Real Madrid in 2013, the German slid right into Arsene Wenger’s first team, and deservedly so. His quick decision making, vision, and passing range opened up new avenues at Arsenal, and the fans just couldn’t get enough.

Under Arsene Wenger, Ozil got the freedom to express himself, his lazy brilliance. He glided between the defensive lines, placing inch-perfect passes, and reminded time and again why he deserved to be the most expensive German player in history. However, even during the Frenchman’s reign, he struggled from time to time. But his creativity and brilliance eventually came out on top, always.

Wenger’s keen eye and love towards Ozil’s intricacy, helped the former Werder Bremen man flourish. Between 2013 and 2018, Ozil played 196 games across all competitions, registering 37 goals and 71 assists.

Wenger’s successor, Unai Emery, has brought in a new philosophy. He wants his players to run tirelessly and effortlessly for the entire 90 minutes, suffocating the opposition, forcing them to make a bad call or two. Ozil, as we all know, is not the player that Emery wants. The former Real Madrid playmaker runs only when he desperately needs, not just to put pressure on the opposition. He also doesn’t track back as his coach wants him to and often loses his marker.

So, technically, Arsenal should be well off without such a player. But in reality, they need him more than they care to admit. Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi all are exceptionally capable players but aren’t even half as creative as the German. They can run, defend, hassle players out of possession, but they can’t unlock stubborn defences, not even if their life depended on it.

Also Read: Mou explained how to find balance with Ozil

BATE Borisov aren’t the most decorated team, but even the Belarusians knew how to get the better of the Londoners. They just sat back, surrendered the ball to the Gunners, and invited them to come at them. Emery’s side tried their best to play between the lines but didn’t have an architect amongst them. So, instead of penetrating through the middle, they tried crossing from all angles, hoping to get lucky. BATE, the physically superior of the two, dealt with the balls rather effortlessly and eventually cruised to a famous win against the Premier League giants.

Yes, Ozil has his flaws. He isn’t the most attentive, not the most driven. But the player has something that none of Emery’s hard-working midfielders does — the ability to bring even the most stubborn of defenses to its knees. Integrating a dedicated number 10 will be a challenge for Unai Emery, but if Arsenal are to qualify for the Champions League next season, the former Paris Saint-German boss must solve this puzzle as soon as possible.

Unai Emery Backs Arsenal to Bounce Back from Shock UEL Defeat at BATE

Unai Emery Backs Arsenal to Bounce Back from Shock UEL Defeat at BATE

Arsenal head coach, Unai Emery, has backed his side to book a place in the UEFA Europa League round-of-16 despite succumbing to a shock defeat in Belarus on Thursday night. 

The Premier League outfit were dealt an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie, with Stanislaw Drahun heading home just moments before the half time whistle to secure a historic win for the hosts.

Unai Emery’s side, as expected, were the outright favorites going into the match. However, the picture, in the end, turned out to be quite different than anticipated. Arsenal dominated possession (77%) and sprayed the ball around comfortably, but BATE’s low block made sure to keep them out of threatening areas. With Mesut Ozil left out of the squad, Arsenal struggled to play between BATE’s defensive lines and cut a frustrating figure.

Drahun’s thumping header on the stroke of half time took the wind out of Arsenal’s sails. They tried to get back into the game but lacked the intensity to make the hosts suffer. Finally, to make matters worse, Alexandre Lacazette was given marching orders in the dying minutes of the match for a blatant elbow on BATE’s Aleksandar Filipovic.

With the return leg set to be played in one week’s time, Arsenal need some major improvements to turn the tie around, and Emery remains confident his side have enough quality to book their place in the last-16.

“We play another 90 minutes next week and I’m sure it’s going to be different. We worked. I am happy with players’ effort. Our big opportunity is next week at home.” Unai Emery said, as quoted by Daily Mail.

“Today is not the result we wanted. We deserved more but they worked for this. Next week is going to be different. I trust in our players and in our stadium with our supporters. We can win or lose but we play the second match and I trust in our work and preparations to make a different result.”

“I am not shocked. I knew before the match it would be two games. We wanted to get best result. I respect them and watched matches they played. They are defensively well organised. We worked to stop them but they scored one. In attacking moments we had more chances than them but the last action was not efficient.”

“We did all to win. It’s the first 90 minutes. But we know it’s more difficult, we prefer a better result.”

On Lacazette’s dismissal, the Emery added:

“I didn’t see the action but we need to control the frustration. It’s bad news. Next week we won’t have him but there is a chance for another player.”

The decision to leave Ozil out of the squad probably didn’t bode well for Emery’s side, but the former Paris Saint-Germain refused to concede.

He said: “Today those that were here, we can win with them and we deserved that.”

“Last week we won (against Huddersfield) and we played with the same players. It’s not for one player or another player. We can win with every player and lose with the same players.”

Also Read: Mou explained how to use Ozil

‘I Was Not Surprised’ – Arsenal Boss Unai Emery Backs Jose Mourinho’s Dismissal


Arsenal boss, Unai Emery, has revealed that he was not shocked by Manchester United’s decision to sack under-fire manager, Jose Mourinho. 

The Old Trafford outfit relieved Jose Mourinho of his responsibilities, last month, amid disappointing results and claims of multiple dressing room fallouts. Former Manchester United forward, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come in as his temporary replacement and has overseen a massive overhaul of mentality and performance.

Since taking over from the Portuguese manager, the Norwegian has led the Red Devils to six consecutive Premier League wins and success in the third round of the FA Cup. Thanks to Solskjaer’s tireless work, United find themselves level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal and only three points behind fourth-placed, Chelsea.

Unai Emery has hailed the commendable work Solskjaer has done at United and backed the United board’s decision to sack Mourinho.

When asked about the decision to axe Mourinho, head coach Unai Emery, as quoted by Goal, told reporters:

“I was not surprised because I think they can win with normality.”

“This team is with big players, who want to win the Premier League. This is normal. They can be in the position to win the league, but the reality is they have lost a lot of points this season.”

“But now, they are very dangerous and in a good moment. Now, this team is different. I don’t know why. But this team is different and they are playing with more confidence,” he concluded.

The Spaniard then talked about former Arsenal star, Alexis Sanchez, revealing how close he was to signing the player during his time as Paris Saint-Germain boss.

The Chile international has struggled to make the desired impact since moving to Old Trafford from Arsenal as part of an exchange deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, last January.

Also Read: One Year Later: Alexis Sanchez vs Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Hindered by niggling injuries, he has only managed to score 4 goals for the Red Devils over the course of the last 12 months. He may not look like a world beater anymore, but Emery still has plenty of respect for the Chilean.

Asked if he tried to sign the former Barcelona forward, the Spaniard, as quoted by Sky Sports, replied:

“Yes. He is a very good player and, when I was at PSG, we thought he could help him.”

“We spoke about a lot of players, about a lot of important players, and one was the possibility of Alexis. But it was not possible.”

“I respect him,” Emery added.

“In my preparations, every player is (prepared in) playing against the best players from Manchester United and one is Alexis Sanchez.”

“I don’t know why his performances or quality is better or worse in these circumstances. Now, in the last matches, they are playing very, very well with very big performances.

“He’s been starting on the bench after an injury, but, if he plays Friday, we need to work to stop him because he is a very good player,” he concluded.

Arsenal’s next outing sees them welcome Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

FA Cup: Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview, Probable XI, and Prediction

FA Cup: Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview, Probable XI, and Prediction

Unai Emery’s Arsenal welcomes Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium on Friday night in the fourth round of the FA Cup. 

With 25 FA Cups between them, Arsenal and Manchester United are the two most successful sides in the competition. Their previous clashes have provided the tournament with some of its most iconic moments; and with both of them full of confidence coming into the tie, we expect them to make a few new memories, tonight.


The London club have done quite well under their new boss, Unai Emery. Yes, they are yet to break into the Premier League top-four, but they certainly are in contention. Ahead of Arsenal’s weekend clash against local rivals, Chelsea, Unai Emery asked his men to show intent, claiming a defeat would practically end their top-four challenge. The players responded in the best possible way and produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Having already crashed out of the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and Europa League are the only two trophies the Gunners can practically aim for, this season. They have a relatively good record against fellow Premier League clubs, winning 12 of their last 13 ties, with the only defeat coming against Watford in the 2015/16 campaign.

The Gunners will be without Hector Bellerin, who has been ruled out for up to nine months with a knee injury. Former Manchester United pair, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck, as also sidelined with ankle injuries. Rob Holding (knee injury) will also miss the tie.

Projected XI (4-1-2-1-2): 

Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Xhaka; Torreira, Guendouzi; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang


Unai Emery on Manchester United: 

“It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they’re playing with a big performance now,” as quoted by BBC.

“I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.”

“For us, it’s good because it’s a very big test for us in this competition.”


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has really turned the club’s fortunes around. Since replacing Jose Mourinho at the helm, the Norwegian has overseen seven consecutive victories across all competitions. Following last week’s 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester United find themselves tied with Arsenal on fifth and within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

To be fair, the Norwegian still hasn’t faced many stern tests in his managerial career, but he, certainly, has done enough to be lauded for Manchester United’s evident improvement. He has brought back the enthusiasm that the team lacked under Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils have scored 19 goals in their last 7 seven matches, conceding just 4 – a proper indication of Solskjaer’s commendable work.

Solskjaer doesn’t have any injury concerns as of now but is expected to give Marcus Rashford and David de Gea a little breather. Alexis Sanchez will start against his former team, while Luke Shaw is also fit to feature after recovering from illness.

Projected XI (4-3-3): 

Romero, Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Sanchez


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Arsenal: 

“That’s the one fierce football rivalry of my years here as a player.”

“We were always the closest rivals. They won the double, we won the treble. The games were just fantastic.”

“We had a great team, and they had a very good team. There were some tackles flying in between the two teams. They were fantastic games.”


On paper, this seems like a pretty even contest. 13time champions, Arsenal, will be desperate for a win, but Manchester United’s winning-momentum could end up knocking them off their porch.

We predict a 2-1 win for the Red Devils.

Emery Unai and his weapons at Arsenal FC

Emery Unai and his weapons at Arsenal FC

It’s now for more than six months, Unai Emery has succeeded Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. And little by little, he imposed his paw on the game of Arsenal, and to impose his style, the former PSG coach relies on and off the field. Since 1996, Arsene Wenger left Arsenal last April. 

After many negotiations, Unai Emery was chosen to take the torch and put Arsenal FC back on track. But to pass after such a figure have to be solid tactically, and to be ready to upset some old habits.

Also Read: Arsenal FC Appoint Unai Emery As Their New Manager

The Arsenal board prepared this transition and put in place some in-depth changes. But from a sporting point of view, it’s Emery, the commander-in-chief. Coming for his job interview with over a hundred pages of analysis on the team, the Spanish technician already had a clear idea of what he was going to do and who he could rely on to apply his principles of play.



Image result for arsenal coaching staff

His staff: The all-hazard safety

Emery did not land alone in London. In his luggage, he brought several faithful to compose his staff and put a little order in the house of the Gunners. In the first place, there is his deputy, Juan Carlos Carcedo, who gives a lot of instructions to the defensive players. He is thoroughly on the set pieces, explained an English journalist recently. Carcedo is someone who can challenge Emery intellectually, who also is very precious to him. There is also Pablo Villanueva who, beyond his appearance of a shy and reserved character, he turns on completely in the training ground. Physical trainer Julen Masach also arrived, along with Javi Garcia, the goalkeeper coach, and Victor Manas, video analyst. They all have a different personality.



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Torreira-Xhaka: The central base of the team

The Gunners coach has groped a lot in the middle. He conducted a lot of tests and analyzed the various options. Finally, a complementary duo emerged. On one side, Xhaka, responsible for healing recovery, guide to the game and give rhythm by the quality and timing of his transmissions. And then there is the warrior, a pit bull named Lucas Torreira, arrived this summer in London from Sampdoria for a sum of about 30 million euros. The Uruguayan has done a lot of good to Xhaka, who for a long time assumed a defensive role that did not suit him. He had the almost exclusive charge of controlling the midfielder, almost like a No. 6, but with qualities that the Swiss did not have.



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Alexandre Lacazette: From shadow to light

Last January, when Aubameyang signed for Arsenal, the question of the future of Lacazette was raised. At the beginning of the season, the Gabonese relegated the Frenchman to the bench. But the situation has changed. The former OL striker took the lead on the left wing. He became indispensable in the role of a complete attacker. Unlike Auba, Lacazette participates in the game, serves as a fulcrum, knows how to use the ball as it should, create and use spaces and most importantly, he makes others play. Although he is not a pure goal scorer like Aubameyang, he scored 5 goals in League this season.



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Shkodran Mustafi: The enigmatic

The German is the only player in Arsenal to have played all the minutes in the Premier League. Conversely, he did not take part in any matches of Europa League. In short, he represents the perfect profile of the indisputable holder. Emery’s tactical approach, with the idea of starting from behind, with the centrals as the first launching pad, he has an important role. Against Liverpool, where Arsenal has certainly achieved his best performance of the season, Mustafi got the ball 102 times, for 81 passes, with 93% success, the best rate for his team.



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The supporters: The cornerstone of this new chapter

When you’ve only known one coach in 22 years, it’s natural to feel exciting when a new cycle has just started. Especially when Arsenal, last year, had the worst season of the Wenger era, finishing sixth in the Premier League and eliminated in the semifinals of Europa League by the future winner, Atletico Madrid. At the end of the year, the Emirates seemed empty, but after the draw against Liverpool in early November, Emery returned to the atmosphere in the stadium. Emery also praised the support of supporters, vital to push and stimulate the players.

“I want to help the players from the bench, I want to give them confidence and transmit my energy, but the most important contribution comes from the fans,” he confessed to the press. Message received, apparently…

Premier League | 3 things to watchout for as Arsenal host Liverpool

Unai Emery Jurgen Klopp Arsenal Liverpool

As Unai Emery’s men welcome Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to the Emirates, football fans around the globe will be glued to a match that promises to be nothing short of a blockbuster. 

Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League this season and are on second place, only behind Manchester City on goal difference. But they will be facing Arsenal, a side that are unbeaten in the last 12 games in all competitions. Fans could only hope that the match will deliver all that is expected of this high-intensity matchup. It’s Jurgen Klopp vs Unai Emery’s men at the Emirates. Let’s take a look at three key factors to watch out for as the two sides square off against each other.

Liverpool need a win to solidify the “title contenders” status

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team have shown a lot of improvement this season on the aspects that they were lacking in last time out. The most important aspect is their defence. Since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool have the best defensive record in all of Europe and that has had a telling impact on how their season has turned out thus far. The Reds now manage to win games that are hard fought by a small margin, something that they failed to do last year. With the front three firing again in the last few games, Arsenal will have a game on their hands come matchday. With Manchester City playing Southampton, they will most certainly get the three points and hence, Liverpool cannot afford to drop points if they are to keep up with Pep Guardiola’s men and challenge for the title.

Fans hoping for a goal fest

The last five times Liverpool faced Arsenal, they managed to score at least three goals and have a total of 17 goals against them. If they are to repeat the feat, it will be the first time a team has done it against Arsenal six times in a row. But with Aubameyang and Lacazette firing on all cylinders for the gunners, and the attacking style of play of both teams, the game promises to be a goal fest and the defence of either team will decide who the winner will be at the end of the 90 minutes. 

Unai Emery’s big test

Emery had a tough start to the season as the Arsenal manager had to face Manchester City and Chelsea in the first two games in charge as the manager but his team has improved considerably as the season progressed. And the matchup against Liverpool is a chance to prove that this is an improved Arsenal team. However, it wouldn’t be an easy task. Jurgen Klopp is yet to lose a game against Arsenal as the manager for Liverpool and will be well aware of what this Arsenal team is capable of on their day. 

The game looks like a matchup between two very attacking sides and promises to be a goal fest. However, fans hope that this match wouldn’t turn out like the match between Manchester City and Liverpool that ended in a boring one all draw after all that it had promised before kick-off.

Crystal Palace 2 – 2 Arsenal | Goal of the week for Granit Xhaka?

Crystal Palace 2 - 2 Arsenal | Goal of the week for Granit Xhaka?

Premier League Highlights: Eleven-match winning run for Arsenal finally ended with a 2 – 2 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic, who had missed a penalty in the defeat to Everton, managed to convert from the spot not once but twice to nullify a beautiful free-kick by Granit Xhaka and Aubameyang’s controversial goal to earn a hard-fought draw against Arsenal.

In order to pay respect to the people affected by the horrible helicopter crash at Leicester City, players from both the sides donned black armbands.

The hosts started splendidly with star player Wilfred Zaha hitting the woodwork and Andros Townsend shooting just wide of the post after a free-flowing move down the left flank. Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring for Palace as he calmly converted from the spot after Shkodran Mustafi carelessly felled Cheikhou Kouyate inside the box.

The Gunners reacted well after the break and managed to equalise in the initial minutes of the second half, Granit Xhaka pounding home his second free-kick of the season, past Wayne Hennessey from the corner of the box. Unai Emery‘s side, who were known to produce scintillating football and overpower their unexpecting opponents in the second half, were revitalized by the emphatic goal and found their stride shortly after.

Just five minutes later Arsenal went ahead through their inform striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Alexandre Lacazette seemed to use his hand to lead the ball towards Aubameyang, who drove the ball towards goal in the 56th minute. It seemed uncertain whether it had crossed the line but goalline technology proved it had by a mere 11 millimetres. With their second goal, Arsenal seemed to be at their usual best in the later stages of the game.

The Gunners appeared to be on their way to a record-breaking twelfth straight victory in all competitions. However, it was not meant to be as Wilfried Zaha won a second penalty of the match being tripped by Xhaka into a questionable foul inside the box and the initial scorer Milivojevic managed to convert his second penalty of the match to earn Palace their first point at Selhurst Park this season.

Arsenal host Blackpool in the Carabao Cup on Thursday, 1st November and face Liverpool for an exciting match in the Premier League on Saturday, 3rd November. On the other hand, Crystal Palace travel to Middlesbrough for the Carabao Cup tie on Thursday, 1st November and then to Chelsea on Sunday, 4th November.

Arsenal 3 – 1 Leicester | A Goal and an Assist by Ozil

Arsenal 3 - 1 Leicester | Premier Legue 2018/19 Highlights

Premier League 2018/19 Highlights: Captain Ozil inspires Arsenal to come from behind to beat Leicester 3 – 1 on Tuesday for the 10th successive victory.

Leicester were lucky to take the lead at the Emirates when Ben Chilwell‘s strike deflected in off Hector Bellerin early in the game. But Ozil’s well-placed finish just before the break proved to be the catalyst for an Arsenal comeback. Aubameyang came off the bench to score two goals to make it 3-1. Mesut Ozil, who captained the match, was directly involved in all three of the Gunners‘ goals in an inspiring victory, which came on Arsene Wenger‘s 69th birthday.

It seemed as if Arsenal‘s winning streak would be tested when Kelechi Iheanacho saw an effort deflected over and then had another good strike saved by Bernd Leno early in the game. The Gunners were open at the back and undesirably relaxed in possession in the first half. They were lucky not to concede a penalty when the ball hit Rob Holding‘s hand in the box.

Leno then made a fine low save to deny a header from Harry Maguire before Leicester’s persistence was eventually rewarded in the half-hour mark. Ben Chilwell bursting up the left flank, going past Bellerin with an excellent first touch and then firing a shot which found the back of the net after a deflection off the Arsenal full-back.

However, the goal sparked the Gunners back into life and they equalized right before the first half ended. Ozil found the net in the most nonchalant way possible as Bellerin found him inside the box. The goal proved to be crucial as Arsenal controlled the game in the second half. The Arsenal number 10 also made history by becoming the highest scoring German player in Premier League history with 30 goals.

Leicester’s only chance came in the 57th minute when Wilfred Ndidi‘s header rattled the bar from 10 yards out.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead in the 63rd minute, after coming on in the second half. He found the net from close range after Bellerin played across the face of goal from Ozil’s perfect pass.

Ozil was involved yet again in Arsenal’s smooth third goal, dummying for Alexandre Lacazette and then chipping a return pass across goal for Aubameyang to tap into an empty net. 

Arsenal face Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, 25th October before facing Crystal Palace on Sunday, 28th October. Leicester City host West Ham United on Saturday, 27th October.

Fulham 1 – 5 Arsenal | Premier League 2018/19 – Highlights

Fulham 1 - 5 Arsenal | Premier League 2018/19 - Highlights

Arsenal climb up to the 4th position in the Premier League table after a 5 – 1 victory over Fulham on Sunday.

Arsenal were sloppy in the beginning and granted Fulham the first chance of the match, but goalkeeper Bernd Leno denied Luciano Vietto with a brilliant save.

Fulham started splendidly but were caught on the counter by Arsenal, with Alexandre Lacazette finishing superbly in the 29th minute to open the scoring. Alex Iwobi fed Nacho Monreal down the left side and Monreal was allowed far too much time to pick out his man Lacazette, whose excellent first touch took him away from his marker before firing into the net.

Fulham were reacting well but were goalless until Andre Schurrle equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half-time. Vietto‘s through ball was perfect but Schurrle still had plenty to do and he expertly lofted the ball over Leno to restore parity.

After the half-time, however, Fulham had no answer to Arsenal’s display of their attacking talents, with the in-form Lacazette restoring Arsenal’s lead at the 49th minute, beating goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, who had just pulled off an exceptional save to deny Hector Bellerin‘s ferocious strike from distance.

Ramsey nonchalantly finished off a flowing move to add a third in the 67th minute, in less than a minute after coming off the bench. Arsenal’s third goal was so brilliant that it could be a contender for goal of the season, and a reminder of the old Arsenal. There were flicks, through passes and brilliantly-timed runs, finishing perfectly when substitute Ramsey backheeled the ball into the bottom corner from Aubameyang’s pass. This style of attacking often referred to as “Wengerball” by the Gunners‘ fans. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had quite the impact from the bench himself, as he helped himself and the team to 2 late goals. Arsenal attacking with the confidence like never before, Aubameyang scored the goal at the 79th minute. His first was a grand finish, as he spun sharply in the box and fired into the bottom corner, almost a splitting image of Lacazette’s first goal. In his second, he slotted home after an Aaron Ramsay pass gave him the time and space to fire it into the bottom-left corner past Bettinelli in stoppage time to complete a stylish victory.

Arsenal occupy the 4th spot in the table just above bitter rivals Tottenham after their 6th consecutive Premier League victory, while Fulham sit just above the relegation zone in 17th after a second consecutive league defeat.

Arsenal host Leicester next after the international break, 23rd October, Tuesday while Fulham travel to Cardiff on the 20th, Saturday.

Also read: Qarabag 0 – 3 Arsenal | UEFA Europa League Highlights

Arsenal 2 – 0 Watford | Premier League 2018/19

Arsenal 2 - 0 Watford | Premier League 2018/19

Arsenal bag their fifth straight Premier League win after a hard-fought 2 – 0 victory over Watford. 

Watford‘s confidence that had not been shaken since their perfect start to the season was ended by a draw and a defeat from their last two games, and they tried to press Arsenal hard from the start at the Emirates but eventually failed.

Will Hughes failed to take advantage of the let-off when he planted a volley wide from the edge of the box early in the match when he should have found the net provided the time he had to shoot.

A tough competition followed for both the teams. Arsenal spent much of the game lacking creativity, and their best chance of the first half came from a Watford mistake when Alexandre Lacazette caught Cathcart in possession, before rushing through and missing the far corner.

Petr Cech was forced off with a hamstring injury just before half-time and his replacement Bernd Leno needed to be in good form to keep up with his predecessor’s performance.

Andre Gray had a one on one saved by Leno and an Isaac Success effort glanced the post with the scores goalless. It was Leno’s decisiveness rather than his reflexes which denied Gray when he raced off his line to narrow the angle when the striker played through one-on-one and shot straight at him. But he was nowhere near keeping out Success’ effort when the Gunners‘ defence again proved to be shaky and allowed him to find space in behind, and was relieved to see the forward’s effort brush the far post before going out.

Arsenal’s sighs of relief soon turned to cry of joy when Iwobi’s cross to Lacazette struck Craig Cathcart’s leg and bounced into his own goal at the 81st minute. Two minutes later, Arsenal quickly added another, Lacazette transforming into a provider and Mesut Ozil firing home a goal to give Arsenal a seventh consecutive win in total, and the fifth in the Premier League.

Those two goals extend the Gunners‘ winning run to 5 under Unai Emery to make it their longest run of Premier League victories since August 2017. 

Arsenal faces Qarabang FK for Europa League match on Thursday, 4th October. 

Also read: Premier League Team Of The Week | Gameweek 6