Despite the amazing 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Match Day 3, the task facing Arsenal in terms of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League is monumental. Of course Arsenal put themselves in a hole by losing to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos in the first two rounds, but with three matches left qualifying for the last 16 is still possible.
Making today's match even more difficult are several factors:
- Bayern are one of the best teams in Europe and want revenge for the last match in London.
- Arsenal are without a number of key players including Theo Walcott, the Ox, Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and more.
- Arsenal are preparing for this weekend's North London derby with Spuds as they continue to chase the EPL title.
So here's hoping that Arsenal can get a positive result today and keep the club's Champions League hopes alive.
Just arrived Munich in time before the game tonight. Don't know what to expect. But I remain optimistic as ever. Come on you Gunners!!!!!!— Prince George (@Princegunner11) November 4, 2015
It's an Arsenal week of cup away trips. First Sheffield and then Munich with my boys. COYG @carlopm @NorfolkArsenal pic.twitter.com/Dw9XQbG67I— Sam Marchiöne (@sammarchione) October 27, 2015
Wasn't there a time when Arsenal fans were panicking that Hector was playing becoz Debuchy was injured.— Rue (@auqmy) November 4, 2015
Good luck to all @arsenal ahead of tonight's big #UCL match v @FCBayernEN. Will be cheering from Switzerland! #COYG— Alex Smith (@alex_smith84) November 4, 2015
Come on Arsenal. Make us proud tonight! ❤️— Arsenal News (@__arsenalnews_) November 4, 2015
Well that was a colossal mess. The final score of 5-1 was flattering. Bayern Munich are just at a different level and frankly seem a sure bet to make it to the finals next Spring.
After Robert Lewandowski's header gave Bayern the lead in the 10th minute, Mesutz Ozil equalized and it was game on. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed for a phantom handball. From there it was all Bayern. Giroud got one back in the 69th minute but it was game, set and match way before that.
Arsenal still have a chance to qualify for the knock-out rounds, but there are a lot of things that have to fall in to place for this to happen. Of course the obvious thing that Arsenal need to do is win the last two group matches versus Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos.
We can still go through though. I have faith.— Joe (@RedAndWhite11) November 4, 2015
Injuries cost us tonight but our first 2 games cost the competition— Arsenal4Life (@SophieAFC) November 4, 2015
Fully expected that. #Arsenal— James (@JamesK_1312) November 4, 2015
Time to shutdown the internet and bury myself in series and music. Until sunday. #BringOnTheDerby. #AFCvTHFC— oLUwAsEuN (@HoluwaseunAFC) November 4, 2015
Oh well, back to focus on the league. Let's beat the scum on Sunday. COME ON ARSENAL.— Grant (@TWDGrantAFC) November 4, 2015
Don't know what to think after that. Really don't. Still think we can win the league though. Weird isn't it? #AFC #Arsenal #YaGunnersYa— Mick Coppock (@MickCoppock) November 4, 2015
This is what we get for that disastrous third kit— Ethan McDonagh (@EytMcD) November 4, 2015
So 2 cup away trips in a week, and 2 thrashings total 1-8. But we still love following Arsenal and always will COYG! pic.twitter.com/nNdKhXltrB— Sam Marchiöne (@sammarchione) November 5, 2015
Sunday November 8, 2015 Arsenal vs. Tottenham 11AM EST
Regardless of the midweek humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich, the North London derby is a match that Arsenal are always up for. With Arsenal near the top of the table and the fact that Tottenham are, well Tottenham, means that this is a match that we need to win, should win and must win.
So, what do you think of Tottenham? What do you think of shit? Come on Arsenal.
Today Santi and Ozil need to boss the scum midfield. Have them chasing the ball and committing fouls. If they do, we'll win.— Old Bald Gooner (@OldBaldGooner) November 8, 2015
today is big, not only for the 3 points but to send City a message that we will take advantage of every slip up.— GoonAFC (@GunnerAB10) November 8, 2015
What do you think of totenham? SHIT!!! What do you think of SHIT? Totenham!!! #FOYS— Amirul Mukminin (@tariganz07) November 8, 2015
In the end, the points were shared. Overall it was a disappointing match from an Arsenal point of view. The team looked slow and lethargic in the first half. Things got worse when the new poster boy for English football, Harry Kane slotted home in the 32nd minute. Regardless, I was confident that Arsenal would come back and win the match.
Arsenal upped the tempo a bit in the second half and looked threatening. Still a goal never came. Finally in the 77th minute Arsenal scored from an unlikely source. Three minutes after Kieran Gibbs entered the match as a sub he was in position in front of goal to meet a Mesut Ozil cross and put the ball in to the back of the net. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job and Arsenal were back in the match.
The go ahead goal never came and it was a point a piece. Arsenal had the chance to jump Manchester City in the table after their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, but remain second on goal differential.
Next up is a two week international break which for many of the players will be a welcome break and it gives our injured players (Ramsey, Walcott, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Bellerin) a chance to heal and get back on the pitch.
OK, where do it start? That was one of the worst performances I have seen in ages. Thank god we got the point. So disappointed. #Arsenal— Scötty Gööner (@sbgoodguy) November 8, 2015
If you're an arsenal fan and you're happy with a draw against the scum then reconsider who you support. #WengerOut— Joseph Harris (@08ajharris) November 8, 2015
Not the best of performances but we got away with a point so can't be too downhearted.— The Gooner (@GoonerFanzine) November 8, 2015
On my way home. Abysmal 1st half. Much better 2nd. If the French lamppost had scored that sitter, free header from 1m out we could've won.— Izo Finn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@EzioGooner) November 8, 2015
If we had Ramsey,Theo,Wilshere,Ox,Bellerin today or even coming frm the Bench we will be talking abt 3pts! Context is needed #ArsenaI— S Samuel (@Arsenalman2011) November 8, 2015
Yes we didn't play the best football but some of our fans are quite ungrateful pricks— Natasha Saly Sanchez (@sallynatasha6) November 8, 2015
.@MesutOzil1088 becomes the first player in EPL history to have an assist in 6 straight matches pic.twitter.com/8AUnPZsn3J— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) November 8, 2015
Arsenal are top of the table 2nd by a 4 goal differential. Yet according to my timeline it's #WengerOut time yet again. Fickle tweeps. #COYG— Jocelyn Taub (@JT4Mets4Arsenal) November 8, 2015
Saturday November 21, 2015 Arsenal at West Brom 10AM EST
The two week international break is over and it's back to the league today for Arsenal. With a true title challenge on, it's imperative that Arsenal pick up maximum points from games like this. After a rather tough run of fixtures, Arsenal are finally graced with matches against a number of the teams towards the bottom half of the table. (After West Brom comes Norwich, Sunderland and Aston Villa).
It's games like these where Arsenal need to show that they have what it takes to be champions. As we've seen time and time again in the league, you really can't take any team lightly. Facing a team managed by Tony Pulis was always a bit of a battle, but his days at the helm at the Cavemen of Stoke are over and West Brom thankfully doesn't possess thugs like Ryan Shawcross and Charlie Adam.
Here's hoping that the match is as easy on the pitch as it is on paper and Arsenal walk away with all three points.
Gibbs starts!! I've been calling for this— D.J Patel (@whattheflight_) November 21, 2015
Probably the first time we gonna see Alexis playing on the Right wing for Arsenal. Should be fun. #COYG— Fäisal B (@The_Gunnersbury) November 21, 2015
Strong team: Giroud and Koss start. Bellerin returns. Gibbs starts on the wing with Alexis oppppsite. #afc.— Aido (@LeWookieGooner) November 21, 2015
What a nightmare of a match and a nightmare of a performance. Of course that means a return to the #WengerOut brigade and all the negative whining and vitriol that comes with any Arsenal stumble. In addition to Arsenal blowing an opportunity to go top of the table and stake their name as title contenders, they also lost midfield rock Francis Coquelin to injury that will keep him out for three months.
It all started well with both teams feeling each other out. The breakthrough came in the 28th minute when Olivier Giroud headed in a free kick from Mesut Ozil. Unfortunately it all went downhill from there.
West Brom equalized in the 35th minute from terrible Arsenal defending, but that was just a prelude to the disaster that was yet to come. When Coquelin limped off in the 14th minute Mikel Arteta came on as a substitute. Arteta soon proved that the venom directed at him from Arsenal fans might be warranted. In the 40th minute Arteta scored the winning goal...unfortunately it was for the other team. Whatever the hell he was trying to do on defense who knows, but he inexplicably ended up putting the ball in to the Arsenal net.
But wait, it gets worse. Alexis was fouled in the 74th minute and the ref signaled penalty. The usually reliable Santi Cazorla stepped up, slipped and sent the ball sailing over the net.
After that it was same old, same old Arsenal. They had 73% of the possession, 3 times as many shots on target and once again couldn't turn their domination in to victory.
The only guys that looked like they came to play were Ozil and Alexis. Other than that, everyone needs to get their act together or take a seat on the bench. Unfortunately with all the bodies currently out, there is no more room on the bench.
The less said about that game, the better.— Prince George (@Princegunner11) November 21, 2015
Arteta is just a disaster.. Don't know why we keep relying on him.. Flamini could've played instead of him.. Prayers for Le Coq #WBA/ARS— galileo cromwell (@gcrom101) November 21, 2015
Arteta came off the bench and had a great cameo for #WBA. Won em the game single handedly 👏👏👏— adhdhu (@adhdhu87) November 21, 2015
Bad result today, yet we could still have drawn or won. Gutted but not as bad as fans on here spout. 2pts off the Top with 25 matches to go!— Sam Marchiöne (@sammarchione) November 21, 2015
Tuesday November 24, 2015 Arsenal vs. Dinamo Zagreb 2:45PM Champions League Group Stages Match Day 5
So now it's on to the Champions League for Arsenal and it's simple what they have to do to even have a chance of qualifying...win. If Arsenal win and Bayern top Olympiakos today, then Arsenal will go in to Match Day 6 with a chance of making it to the knock out rounds despite the tremendous hole the club put itself in.
Some are saying Arsenal should give up on the Champions League and concentrate on the league. Personally, that's a pretty lame thought for a club of Arsenal's level. If Arsenal want to finally join the European elite they have to take every match seriously and put in a strong performance. I'd be really disappointed if they didn't do that despite all the injuries the club currently has.
Happy Matchday Gooners, we will do this,Bayern will not want to lose points,they will want top spot,bring on pic.twitter.com/0qjQzYN0fb— The Home of Football (@emirateslady4) November 24, 2015
On our way to see The Arsenal. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!! #AFC— Barbara Mitchell (@Oo_2_Oo_2_b) November 24, 2015
Pep Guardiola: "I can assure Arsenal fans that we will try to win against Olympiacos at the Allianz Arena. We always want to win"— Arsenal News (@__arsenalnews_) November 24, 2015
Must win game,Come on Arsenal pic.twitter.com/9K7uvEM40q— Amechi (@Greenwitch44) November 24, 2015
Just been asked in the pub by another #Arsenal fan, do I want us to win tonight. Fucking idiot, I'd want us to win a game of tiddlywinks ffs— Paul Swain (@paulswainAFC78) November 24, 2015
Talk about Jekyl and Hyde. After this past weekend's shambolic performance against West Brom, the Arsenal that we saw today might as well have been a completely different group of 11 players. However, outside of the now injured Coquelin, it was the same team and gladly it was a very different performance.
Ozil and Sanchez ran the show. Ozil got the breakthrough in the 29th minute from of all things a header. Four minutes later it was Alexis with Arsenal's second. Alexis put the game to bed in the 69th minute and Arsenal's Champions League hopes are still alive.
Arsenal dominated this game and never looked in much danger, which makes it even more ridiculous that they were beaten by Zagreb in Match Day One.
With Bayern defeating Olympiakos, it comes down to Match Day 6 when Arsenal travel to Greece. If the Gunners win by 2 or more goals, they are through. The fact that they even have a chance after the club's horrendous start to the group stages is amazing.
In addition to Ozil and Sanchez, almost every other player on the pitch put in a good shift. For those that declared Arsenal's season over (yes there were some alarmists that actually said that) after losing Francis Coquelin for three months, Mathieu Flamini played well in his place. The defense was solid and both Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell looked good throughout the match.
Now it's time to take this good form and get back to the task of trying to win the EPL title.
Felt great to be back on the pitch tonight. A good win, we'll go to Greece confident we can qualify #AFC #ChampionsLeague— Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) November 24, 2015
The Great Wall of China was originally built to block Mesut Ozil's assists🔥🔥🔥🔥 12 assists 😄😄😄😄 pic.twitter.com/ZyIQESamDs— kiyaawe flava (@Kiyaawe) November 24, 2015
What a game by Ozil and Sanchez their connection was great but overall a well played match by Arsenal 👏🏽🙌🏽⚽️❤️🇨🇱#AlexisSanchez #amazing— Zuri Moraga (@curleymixchick) November 25, 2015
Great victory last night. Ozil and sanchez bossing again for us. Looking forward to Ox and the lads coming back.— Gooner maths (@GoonerMaths) November 25, 2015
We need to buy more of these real and barca unwanted galacticos. Amazing play by ozil and sanchez #arsenal— I_dude (@gunners_4eva1) November 25, 2015
3 goals 3 points 3 Magicians (#Ozil,#Sanchez,#Carzola) Brilliant football, Great comeback. @nealcol @ThabisoTema pic.twitter.com/hL4UUkx8vs— Lebona Moleli (@LebonaMoleli) November 25, 2015
Ozil and Sanchez proving to be the big game changers we crave for. Petr Cech also making crucial albeit unspectacular saves. # world class— tactical Arsenal (@dunckson) November 25, 2015
Arsenal set up all-or-nothing clash vs. Olympiakos after punishing Dinamo Zagreb - https://t.co/ODdywUXbDY https://t.co/vtVALTPgSm— Arsenal Fansclub (@ArsenaFansclub) November 25, 2015
(Video) Arsenal 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb Highlights: Ozil & Sanchez score, Gunners in a serious Champions League batt... https://t.co/l5f7AG0p2f— IG: @wf_deejaykheed (@Wf_deejaykheed) November 24, 2015
It's back in our hands now! ⚽💪 Thanks to all Gooners for assisting us! 👏😉 #YaGunnersYa #AFCvZAG #BeTheDifference pic.twitter.com/IcJaUKNwWZ— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) November 24, 2015
Sunday November 29, 2015 Arsenal at Norwich 11:15AM EST
It's time for Arsenal to get back to what they do best and that is winning. Starting today with Norwich, the team has a run of matches against the bottom clubs in the table. This is when Arsenal must pick up points.
The EPL table still seems a bit off with Leicester City at the top and one of the worst Manchester United sides I've ever seen still hanging around. A win today and Arsenal are level at the top with Manchester City and Leicester. If the team win by more than four goals then they go clear atop on goal differential.
Either way, these are matches that Arsenal must win. Let's hope that last week's horrendous performance and result at West Brom was just a blip.
Best thing about Ramsey getting back is our movement and passing in final 3rd will improve. Ramsey is by far the best RW we have— Alexis Sanchez Baby! (@afc_mj) November 29, 2015
Come on Arsenal! Let's get the 3 points and step closer to the top! #NCFCvAFC #AFC #COYG pic.twitter.com/JIDcEWteS3— Jahan Miah (@AllAboutTheAFC) November 29, 2015
Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances away from home. [@Orbinho] #afc pic.twitter.com/6fpL4IuIEg— afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 29, 2015
All I want from this weekend, is 3 points from Arsenal! #COYG— Arsenal News (@__arsenalnews_) November 29, 2015
Once again it's a major let down for Arsenal against a team that they should easily be handling, After last week's loss at West Brom it was important for Arsenal to take advantage of another match against bottom of the table competition.
Mesut Ozil opened the scoring in the 30th minute and it was looking like they had control of the match. Unfortunately, in the end it was another match where Arsenal dominated possession (63%) but failed to win. Some poor defending by Gabriel allowed Norwich to draw even two minutes before half time. Gabriel had come on in place of Laurent Koscielny who hobbled off after just 11 minutes.
Arsenal were unable to get the go ahead goal and they had to settle for just one point. Even worse was the news that Alexis Sanchez would be joining Coquelin, Wilshere and the rest of the injured Gunners.
With Manchester City winning, Arsenal now find themselves in fourth place; two points behind City and Leicester and one point behind United.
Just been let down having had faith in this side. Team doesn't look to compete for title. CHANGE has to HAPPEN @Arsenal !! #NCFCvAFC #AFC— Jahan Miah (@AllAboutTheAFC) November 29, 2015
Another wasted opportunity.— AhmedCorleone (@Aash_AFC) November 29, 2015
New injuries, dreadful kit, no loss and 1 point. Better luck next time @Arsenal, onwards and upwards 🔴⚪— ✌ (@EvaMcL3) November 29, 2015
No heart no fight same old arsenal something's will never change Ramsey Campbell giroud per ain't good enough shockin players— wexford gooner (@Deano1112) November 29, 2015
Can't win the league in this type of display....— Fixie Gunner (@chomandely) November 29, 2015
Another game that Arsenal should've had the full three points, but we'll settle for one. #COYG #NORARS #NCFCvAFC pic.twitter.com/GcKnL9ZrgR— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem) November 29, 2015
West Ham, West Brom and Norwich... 1 point !! #champions— Gary The Gooner (@goodgary99) November 29, 2015