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Vitoria vs Arsenal Match Report- Same Old Arsenal As Xhaka's Curse Continues

Same old Arsenal as Xhaka's curse continues

For the 5th time this season, arsenal would be finishing a game level after taking the lead. And in 3 of those times, they have led with 2 goals or more. Its Emery out now or never, we’ve had enough.
A win over Vitoria Guimaraes a could have made Arsenal the first team to qualify for the round of 32 of the Europa league. But another bottling has cost them that opportunity.  They should be happy with a draw, cause if we are to be sincere throughout the game Arsenal looked second favorites, lucky not to leave Portugal with something worse.
It was a cold night in Guimaraes and it rained heavly throught the match, not a perfect atmosphere for football adding to the fact that the stadium was half empty. The traveling fans perhaps have not seen anything convincing in recent weeks to make them turn up in mass.

Team News

Unai Emery made 8 changes to the side that drew with wolves over the weekend, Martinez was back in goal for Leno. Mustafi, Holding ,Willock , Niles, Martineli, saka and Pepe were all given the Nod.
Unai Emery opted for a 3-4-3 formation for the first time this season. And that made it the 4th formation Unai would be trying out this season, after previously playing (4-2-3-1, 4-3-1-2, 4-3-3-)
While I vieria chose to play a 4-1-4-1 formation, with B. Duarte leading the line after his outstanding performance in the 1st leg.

1st Half

The first half started and the best chances fell to the home team. The Arsenal’s defense was compact, so they had to try their luck from distance. It took only 8mins for Vitoria to make their intentions known. A shot from Pepe(vitoria’s version) Beat Emiliano Martinez in goal, but the ball was saved by the upright.

Vitoria came close again in the 11thn minute when Marcus Edward lashed into a poorly cleared ball to try his luck from distance, but Martinez was equal to the task to push the ball out for a corner kick.
Arsenal failed to pose to any reasonable threat to the Vitorian’s goal. Vitoria took charge of possession and almost came close in the 17th minute. Mustafi gifted Vitoria a freekick after dragging down Davidson. From the resulting freekick, Pepe picked out Edmond Tapsoba, whose header was saved by Martinez.

A series of fouls, free kicks and near chances made up the remaining of the first half. Davidson shooting wide, Arsenal trying to get ahead from set pieces but all to no avail as the first half ended 0-0.

 second Half

Arsenal ended the first half with no shot on target and things got worse for them after the break  when Dani Ceballos picked up a hamstring injury. Arsenal all season has been complaining of lack of  creativity all season, with Ceballos injured, the most creative player in the squad was gone. Matteo Guendouzi was picked to replace ceballos.

Arsenal were settling in a bit and controlling possession. Their best opportunity in the opening hour fell to Mustafi in the 63 min, when he headed over from a corner from Nicholas Pepe.

It continued raining heavily and in some areas of the pitch there was a bit of surface water. Rob Holding got booked for an off play foul Lucas Evangelista, in the  65th minutes which prevented his sides counter attack. That’s as bad as it comes.

Arsenal came knocking again in the 80th minute, and this time they got an answer. Mustafi got on the end of a freekick from Pepe, to head home what seems as that time to be the winner. Everyone thought it would be easy from then on. But if we’ve learnt anything from this Arsenal’s team. It’s to never expect too much from them.

In the last minute of the game, after a string of complacency from the Arsenal team, a header inside the 18 yard box from Marcus Edwards fell to Duarte whose acrobatic effort found its way into the net, despite about 7 Arsenal players being in the box at that time.
1-1 it ended, both teams shared the spoils. Maybe Emery thought that by striping Xhaka of the captaincy that Arsenal’s poor performance would improve. But sadly, the curse continues.
 Arsenals are yet to win a game since beating Vitoria 3-2 in the 1st leg of their Europa league clash. And after the outburst between the fans and xhaka, they have Drawn 3 times and in all, they took the lead first.

Dani Ceballos injury  might be good news for Xhaka, cause he might just be reintegrated into the team out of necessity. This may not sound good to many who still have grudges against the former skipper. But his passing ability were needed in this game and it was missing. Even with the introduction of Lacazette and in form Martineli, they couldn’t do much cause supplies were missing from the midfield.

Many are calling for the head of Emery, but this weekend they pay a visit to in form Leicester city. It might just be the last test for Emery. Should he fail to please his Employees, he might just be on his way out.

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