Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ely City 1 AFC Sudbury 4

In the latest preseason friendly Ely took on a strong Sudbury side from the Ryman League.

Despite the gulf in levels between the two clubs Ely held their own for most of the first half despite falling two goals behind. The first goal should probably have not been allowed due to a hand ball before the goal was scored anyway. The second one was brilliant though and Ely were showing weaknesses from the left where the passage of play broke through. That said Ely did have a completely different goalkeeper in the first half and on balance the possession was pretty equal. It just looked like Sudbury knew how to put it in the net and Ely didn't.

In the second half changes were made on both sides, however it was Sudbury who seemed to change for the better. The centre forward who came on for them was especially impressive. He scored one to extend their lead and also hit the bar and post all with thumping shots. Ely pulled one back with 10 minutes left, but the man up front almost broke the net to make it 4 to the visitors.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Arsenal 6 Lyon 0

In the second game of the Emirates Cup Arsenal took on Lyon. The French club came second in the league last year and ran PSG close, it could be argued that they are further behind in their preseason preparations, but Arsenal really handed them a lesson in football. Apart from trying to sure up a leaky defence by signing Petr Cech as their new number 1, the Gunners have been pretty quiet in the transfer market. A lot of people thought that they would be trying to strengthen at the back, but yesterday's performance would suggest that they think attack is the best form of defending.

Arsenal were firing and attacking from the start with Oxlade Chamberlain tearing down the right wing in an attempt to secure a starting place in the team. Looking back it seems surprising that it took them 30 minutes to open the scoring.

The first goal came on the half hour mark when Oliver Giroud headed/ shouldered/ cheeked the ball into the back of the goal with after Oxlade Chamberlain crossed. Five minutes later and the Ox scored one for himself to double the lead.

Arsenal were now in a ramp and mood and just two minutes later Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi made it 3-0 when he connected with the ball at the far post. Just two minutes later and Aaron Ramsey had scored another well taken goal to make it 4-0.

Lyon were left reeling by 4 goals in 9 minutes, and must have been glad that Arsenal didn't punish them again in the last 7 minutes of the half.

Arsenal started to take things a little more calmly in the second half, but the young players like Iwobi, Akpom and even the Ox were still trying to impress. However, it was Mehmut Ozil, who also has a bit of a point to prove who got the 5th on 62 minutes.

Shortly after this Arsenal introduced wholesale changes and they lost their rhythm a bit, much to Lyon's relief. However, it always felt like Arsenal would get one more and with one of those substitutes being Santi Cazorla there was a slight feeling of inevitability. With five minutes left he was given the opportunity  when Arsenal were awarded a free kick in shooting distance. The wall jumped as they expected him to try curling it into the top corner, but he squeezed it under the jump and the rout was complete at 6-0.

It was a really impressive performance by the Gunners, but only time will tell if it is going to be their season as we were almost, but not quite as impressed with them when they destroyed Benfica in the competition last year.

Wolfsburg 1 Villarreal 2

The Emirates Cup started yesterday with a match between Villarreal and Wolfsburg. There were moments in the game where both teams showed what they were capable of, but also periods where the game was quiet and had that preseason feel about it. As usual the Arsenal fans were just wandering in throughout the game, so at times motivation must have been hard for them to keep up.

After a quiet opening few minutes Ivan Perisic struck for Wolfsburg after being threaded through by Kevin De Bruyne. The lead was short lived though and the Villarreal midfield showed real pace in going forward. Just two minutes after Perisic had scored Mario Gaspar found the back of the net with a well taken goal on the counterattack. On 17 minutes the Yellow Submarine again broke quickly against their German opponents and Mattias Leiva scored a brilliant goal to give the Spanish side the lead.

The skills and abilities of the players on both teams were never in doubt, and occassionaly shone through at periods in the rest of the first half, but it was pretty uneventful and the half finished with Villarreal leading 2-1.

During the second half Wolfsburg did most if the pressing and De Bruyne continued to impress and Perisic and later Jung and Bendtner had decent chances. Villarreal continued to look dangerous on the break, but ultimately the game finished 2-1 to Villarreal.

Oxlade Chamberlain scores for Arsenal

Photo of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain's celebration after he put the Gunners 2-0 up in the 6-0 victory over Lyon.

Arsenal warm up

New Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech didn't  take part yesterday, but helped with the warm up by sending a few crosses in.

Photos from Wolfsburg v Villarreal Part 2

Ivan Persic in the attack for Wolfsburg in the first half.

Nicklas Bendtner comes close to an equaliser for Wolfsburg.

Sebastian Jung takes a corner for Wolfsburg.

The corner goes in but nothing comes from it.

Photos from Wolfsburg V Villarreal Part 1

The teams line up before kick off.

Wolfsburg press forward.

Villarreal on the ball in midfield.

Villarreal press forward in the first half.