Gameweek 24 concluded with us miraculously taking fourth place ahead of Chelsea on goals scored. Our 2-1 victory against Cardiff at the Emirates, coupled with Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Bournemouth was enough. In what turned out to be a topsy-turvy week, Spurs were the only other top six side to grab three points underlining the ultra-competitiveness of this year’s Premier League. With not much between us, Man Utd and Chelsea in terms of quality, it appears that fourth will go to the team who wants it the most.
This game had a similar feeling to the reverse fixture in September i.e. the team with Lacazette and Aubameyang wins. Cardiff created a hatful of chances in the first half and should have gone into half time with at least two. It’s terrific to see Monreal back, but the Spaniard, who was filling in at centre back, was half a yard off the pace. If we defend like that against Man City we might be on the end of another hiding. Lucky for us our sharpshooters were at it again to secure us the three points.
Aubameyang calmly converted his penalty on 66’ after Kolašinac was fouled in the box. The Bosnian powerhouse continues to be our most creative force. Lacazette then grabbed what would turn out to be the winner on 83’ with a beautifully taken goal. After turning the defender just outside the box, he penetrated the space left behind with a forceful dribble and smashed his effort past Neil Etheridge. The Frenchman’s tenacity and hard work continue to set the tone for the team and he’s starting to look like captain material.
It would have been nice to register a second consecutive clean sheet, but unfortunately Cardiff grabbed a consolation in stoppage time. With every game feeling like a cup final in terms of competitiveness and importance, the win was all that mattered. Although the performance lacked quality, we were dogged and where others fumbled, we kept our nerve. Our form at the Emirates is going to be vital if we are to grab fourth.
Full time: Arsenal 2 -1 Cardiff
Man of the match: Matteo Guendouzi
Sven Mislintat’s greatest gift to us may be unearthing this gem of a player. For someone so young he plays with the confidence and swagger of a seasoned professional. He was a cut above the rest of the midfielders on the pitch with Cardiff players having to nibble at his heels to even get close. He is the type of player you can build a team around.
Next up: Man City
The champions lost 2-1 against Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, the last thing we needed before heading to the Etihad. As most fans I’m not confident of getting anything out of this fixture, but we must not be blown away like at Anfield. Also with Lacazette and Aubameyang you always have a chance.
P.s. Welcome Denis Suarez. A winner against your old employers on Sunday would be the perfect way to start your Gooner adventure!