Referee announced for Sheffield United league clash | Arsenal have never lost a home game under him!

While Arsenal’s recent record under Kevin Friend (the referee for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash) might not be the best, Gunners fans will be pretty happy with the appointment of Lee Mason for this weekend’s Premier League clash against Sheffield United. Mason will be assisted by Mark Scholes and Timothy Wood, with Robert Jones set to serve as the fourth official.

The Gunners have a fabulous record under Mason- they’ve lost only three out of 29 with him in the middle, and have never lost a home game when he’s had the whistle.

Arsenal last five matches at home with Lee Mason in charge

Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle (19/20 season)

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham (17/18 season)

Arsenal 2-1 Swansea (17/18 season)

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke (16/17 season)

Arsenal 0-0 Southampton (15/16 season)

In comparison to the Gunners, Sheffield United are on a five game losing streak under Mason. What’s worse, the Blades were scoreless in each of those five games. Continue reading “Referee announced for Sheffield United league clash | Arsenal have never lost a home game under him!”

Ref analysis- Arsenal have won only 1 of their last 6 under referee for Liverpool EFL Cup clash

The referee for Arsenal’s League Cup clash against Liverpool has been announced as Kevin Friend, but the Gunners’ recent record under him doesn’t exactly make for good reading! The 49-year-old Friend will be assisted by Adrian Holmes and Simon Beck, with Paul Tierney as the fourth official.

In their last six games with Friend in the middle, Arsenal have won only one. It’s the exact opposite with Liverpool- they’ve lost only one of their last six games that Friend has refereed.

Arsenal record under Kevin Friend | Last 6 games | all competitions

Everton 0-0 Arsenal (2019/20 Premier League)

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal (2019/20 Premier League)

Everton 1-0 Arsenal (2018/19 Premier League)

Arsenal 3-1 Burnley (2018/19 Premier League)

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal (2017/18 Premier League)

Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal (2017/18 Premier League)

Liverpool recent record under Kevin Friend

Liverpool 4-0 Southampton (2019/20 Premier League)

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool (2019/20 Premier League)

Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield (2018/19 Premier League)

West Ham 1-1 Liverpool (2018/19 Premier League)

Brighton 0-1 Liverpool (2018/19 Premier League)

Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea (2018/19, EFL Cup)

Liverpool’s last defeat under Friend, as you can see above, was in the EFL Cup two seasons ago- they lost 2-1 to Chelsea. Continue reading “Ref analysis- Arsenal have won only 1 of their last 6 under referee for Liverpool EFL Cup clash”

Crucial Lacazette miss, Pepe’s poor corners, Bellerin’s foul throws & more- Talking Points from Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the new Premier League season as they went down 3-1 to defending champions Liverpool at Anfield. Here are our talking points from this Round 3 fixture.

Crucial Lacazette second half miss: In the 63rd minute of the game, with Liverpool leading 2-1, Alexandre Lacazette, playing his 100th Premier League game for Arsenal, found himself in a one on one with Alisson after a great pass from Dani Ceballos. The Liverpool keeper was in a poor position, and Lacazette attempted to take it around him but only ended up shooting straight at the Brazilian.

Given the limited chances Arsenal had in this game, this was a golden opportunity- certainly one you’d expect your £50m signing to put away. Unfortunately he didn’t, and with that went Arsenal’s chances of taking something from this game.

Lacazette had an ordinary evening- he did score the first goal (after Andy Robertson’s error), but the nature of that finish didn’t really inspire confidence. In the 59th minute of the game, he was again in a great 1v1 situation (albeit offside), and attempted to chip Alisson, only to fail. Did it influence his thinking for the big chance mentioned above four minutes later? We’ll never know, but Arsenal need their star French forward to do better if they are to pick up points from big games like this one. At 2-2, the game could’ve finished differently.

Pepe’s poor corners: Liverpool, as you’d expect, dominated the game. Arsenal however didn’t help their own cause- substitute Nicolas Pepe, for example, took two corners in the second half, but failed to clear the first man on both occasions. Given the way he took both set pieces, one could only feel this was a training ground routine that didn’t quite go to plan. Again a player fans would expect better from given the price the Gunners shelled out for him.

AFC V LFC

Liverpool are a very, very good side: Mikel Arteta had got the better of Jurgen Klopp in their last league meeting as well as in the Community Shield, but Liverpool were determined not to let it happen again. Continue reading “Crucial Lacazette miss, Pepe’s poor corners, Bellerin’s foul throws & more- Talking Points from Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal”

A tale of two super subs, Kolasinac starts in late switch & more- Talking Points from Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

Arsenal made it two wins out of as many games after beating London rivals West Ham in their first home game of the season. Here are our talking points from this fixture at the Emirates.

Hammers opt to match Gunners with three at the back:

Having previously employed a 4-2-3-1 formation, West Ham opted to match Arsenal defensively here, playing the same three at the back formation as the Gunners. They went for a Ogbonna, Diop and Cresswell back three, with Arthur Masuaku effectively playing as a left wingback. On several occasions, West Ham effectively defended in a 5-4-1 formation- a tough shape for the Gunners to break down, and they were a far improved side from the one that had lost 2-0 to Newcastle at home on the opening weekend.

A tale of two super subs:

Substitute Eddie Nketiah scored the winner for Arsenal, but Andriy Yarmolenko, who had replaced Jarrod Bowen just minutes before, was guilty of ball watching as Arsenal scored. One of the reasons Bowen and Fornals start ahead of Anderson and Yarmolenko is their willingness to do the tough defensive work, and it was a moment of weakness that cost West Ham dearly.

Late disruption to Arsenal’s starting XI

Mikel Arteta had originally gone in with two changes- Bukayo Saka for Ainsley Maitland Niles and Dani Ceballos for Mohamed Elneny. He was forced to make it three after Kieran Tierney pulled up with a injury, thus forcing Sead Kolasinac into the back three alongside Gabriel and Holding. The defence had a tough time, with Michail Antonio constantly a nuisance with his pace and running threat. Continue reading “A tale of two super subs, Kolasinac starts in late switch & more- Talking Points from Arsenal 2-1 West Ham”

Gabriel debut, Rob Holding turns into Ronaldinho & more- Talking points from Fulham 0-3 Arsenal

Arsenal began the new 2020/21 Premier League season with a comfortable 3-0 win at Craven Cottage. The Gunners have had a tendency to be inconsistent on the road, so three points and a clean sheet on the opening day of the campaign was about as perfect as it could get for manager Mikel Arteta. Here are our talking points.

2nd minute mix up between Gabriel and Bernd Leno after AMN’s back pass

A horrible mix up between debutant Gabriel Magalhaes and goalkeeper Bernd Leno following a bad back pass from Ainsley-Maitland Niles nearly resulted in a horror start for the Gunners. Fortunately Leno came out rushing and Kamara, who had attempted to round the German international, fluffed his lines.

Had Kamara been able to capitalise, it could have punctured Gabriel’s confidence early in the game and required the Gunners to come from behind. A vital moment in the 2nd minute of the game.

Magalhaes scores on debut

Speaking of Brazilian Gabriel, David Luiz’s injury forced Arteta into giving the summer signing his Premier League debut at Craven Cottage. He played in the middle of a back three, with Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding on either side of him, and all things considered, had a decent afternoon bar the early mix up mentioned above.

Gabriel also capped his debut with a nice headed goal in the second half. It was Brazilian to Brazilian- Willian (also on his league debut for Arsenal) from a corner to Gabriel.

Arsenal Lineup vs Fulham 2020

Rob Holding turns prime Ronaldinho

There was a little bit of exquisite skill from Rob Holding just prior to the Gabriel goal. Well worth a watch, and the defender and striker Alexandre Lacazette had a little laugh about it too! Continue reading “Gabriel debut, Rob Holding turns into Ronaldinho & more- Talking points from Fulham 0-3 Arsenal”

16th Community Shield, Lovely Auba goal, Ice cool AMN & More- Talking Points from Arsenal v Liverpool

Arsenal claimed their 16th Charity Shield title as they beat Liverpool on penalties to win the traditional curtain raiser to the English league season. It was a nice way to end August for Gunners gaffer Mikel Arteta after having added the FA Cup to the club’s trophy cabinet earlier in the month.

Here are our talking points from the fixture.

Lovely Aubameyang goal: Arsenal’s goal was a thing of beauty. They played it out from the back and completely tore Liverpool apart- not many teams have been able to do so against Jurgen Klopp’s defensively well-organised Reds in recent times. Bellerin and Saka both played important roles in the move, and the Aubameyang finish was simply marvellous.

Reckon we could see more of this when the league season starts- this was a glorious example of Arteta ball.

Ice cool Ainsley Maitland-Niles: Arsenal slotted all five of their penalties in the shootout, but the pick of them was from Ainsley-Maitland Niles, who epitomised cool with his spot kick. He also turned 23 on the day of the game, and was named Man of the Match. A great to celebrate your birthday!

The Marriner factor: Interestingly enough, the three AFC LFC games with Marriner at the helm before this had all ended in draws. And so did this one, rather fascinatingly. A nice stat for the trivia oriented and betting folks perhaps? Continue reading “16th Community Shield, Lovely Auba goal, Ice cool AMN & More- Talking Points from Arsenal v Liverpool”