Tag: Tomas Rosicky

Premiership: Arsenal 2-0 Everton

Arsenal recovered from their midweek European nightmare to beat Everton 2-0 at Emirates Stadium and move back to third in the Premier League.

Olivier Giroud, who missed several chances as the Gunners slumped to a 3-1 home defeat by Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday, netted a fine volley on 39 minutes to put Arsenal ahead on Sunday.

Substitute Tomas Rosicky then scored a late deflected effort to eventually settle what was at times a nervy encounter.

Everton, impressive winners of their Europa League tie against Young Boys on Thursday night, had plenty of possession, but could not find a way past David Ospina, who made a fine point-blank save from Romelu Lukaku.

Despite their shortcoming in Europe, Arsene Wenger’s men remain in good domestic form, as a third successive league win moved them ahead of Manchester United and are now just four points behind Manchester City following their defeat at Liverpool.

With Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott both left on the bench – along with defender Per Mertesacker as Gabriel Paulista made his first Premier League start – there was not a lot of width about the Arsenal side.

Lukaku, who scored twice on Thursday night, was again the main focal point for the visitors.

In the 17th minute, the Belgian forward capitalised on a hesitation by Gabriel as the Brazilian was caught in two minds whether to head a long ball up field back to the goalkeeper or hack clear.

Colombian Ospina, again preferred to Wojciech Szczesny, showed no such deliberation as he raced out to meet the bouncing ball, palming it away before then making a sliding tackle on Lukaku as he moved wide.

Arsenal continued to probe with some short passes, and eventually created an opening down the left on 28 minutes.

Santi Cazorla, who captained the side, exchanged a one-two with Mesut Ozil before moving the ball out to Alexis Sanchez. The diminutive Chilean clipped the ball through a crowded six-yard box, where Giroud dived in with a brave header to nod the ball just wide as Everton captain Phil Jagielka closed in.

Gabriel, signed from Villarreal in the January transfer window, made a superbly-timed sliding tackle to halt Lukaka as the Everton forward charged into the Arsenal penalty area following another dangerous break.

Arsenal took the lead on 39 minutes.

Ozil whipped in a corner from the right, and Gabriel’s run to the near post opened space for Giroud in the six-yard box. The France striker got ahead of his marker to guide the ball into the far corner.

The Gunners continued to press ahead of half-time, and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard touched over a dipping 20-yard effort from Cazorla.

Everton, who find themselves in the bottom half of the table, made a positive start after the break as Gareth Barry sent a volley over.

Giroud saw his close-range effort cannon off the arm of Jagielka as the Everton skipper made an important block while on the ground before the France striker played a clever one-two with Cazorla at the edge of the Everton box, and the Spaniard sent a rising drive just over.

On 64 minutes, Ospina produced a superb reflex save to turn over Lukaku’s near-post drive at point-blank range.

There was a lengthy stoppage after a clash of heads between Giroud and team-mate Francis Coquelin, leaving the midfielder with blood pouring from his nose.

Ospina showed good reflects again after Seamus Coleman’s low cross from the right was turned goalwards by Aaron Lennon, the former Tottenham winger on as a substitute.

Everton continued to show plenty of industry and were enjoying a spell of possession as the match headed into the closing 10 minutes.

Arsenal almost sealed it on the break, but Jagielka made a goal-saving block as Ozil looked to stab the ball into the far corner after being played in by Giroud.

The Everton captain, though, could then only help a low strike from Rosicky fly past his own keeper as Arsenal eventually made sure of all three points in the final minute, before some seven added on for stoppages.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Brighton 2-3 Arsenal

Arsenal beat Brighton as FA Cup holders march on

Arsenal held firm to see off Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal took the lead inside two minutes with Theo Walcott rewarding Arsene Wenger’s faith with a fine goal as he controlled before turning to fire past goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Mesut Ozil, another player back in the starting lineup after injury, then slid home a deserved second to give the visitors a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Brighton were given hope five minutes into the second half when Chris O’Grady found space at the edge of the area to turn and fire past Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal restored their two-goal cushion within 10 minutes as Tomas Rosicky volleyed home.

Brighton, though, refused to be beaten, and Sam Baldock revived the home fans’ hopes with a dinked finish with around 15 minutes to play.

Alexis Sanchez came close for Arsenal when he came off the bench and hit the woodwork with a deflected free kick, but ultimately the Premier League side progressed with a 3-2 win.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal win despite Giroud red card

Arsenal survived the sending-off of striker Olivier Giroud for a reckless headbutt to beat QPR 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium and close back up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners were in cruise control following Alexis Sanchez’s 10th league goal on 37 minutes, the Chilean having seen a tame early penalty saved.

However, a rush of blood from France striker Giroud at the start of the second half reduced Arsenal to 10 men. The Frenchman charged into Nedum Onuoha, the defender hitting the ground in front of the referee.

Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky, making a first start of the season, swept in a second on the break before Charlie Austin set up a tense finale when he converted a penalty with 11 minutes left.

Unlike at Liverpool last weekend, Arsenal held on under late pressure to move within two points of Southampton and one behind fifth-placed West Ham, whom they play on Sunday.

Arsenal, who had lost only one of their 17 previous Boxing Day Premier League matches, made an electric start and were awarded an early penalty when former Gunners defender Armand Traore tripped Sanchez.

The Chilean held onto the ball, and Santi Cazorla, who scored from the spot here against Newcastle, gave way.

However, Sanchez’s effort lacked any real pace towards the bottom right corner, and Robert Green got down to make the save.

Arsenal’s tempo dropped after the penalty miss, but the home side remained dominant in possession nevertheless as the conditions worsened.

Onuoha looked to have wrestled Danny Welbeck to the ground just inside the QPR penalty area, but this time referee Martin Atkinson was not interested.

Rio Ferdinand, making his first start since October, pulled back former United team-mate Welbeck to concede a free-kick 25 yards out in a central position and was cautioned.

Giroud whipped the ball over the wall, but Green made a smart diving save.

QPR, who had lost all eight of their Premier League away matches so far, continued to defend deep, with six men sitting around the edge of the 18-yard box.

The visitors’ rearguard was, though, breached on 37 minutes.

Cazorla pushed the ball out to Kieran Gibbs on the overlap down the left.

The defender looked up before chipping a cross back through the six-yard box, where no-one had picked up the run of Sanchez as the diminutive Chilean guided a cushioned header into the far corner.

Arsenal were reduced to 10 men on 53 minutes following a moment of red mist by Giroud.

The France striker was bundled over by Onuoha on the edge of the area as they chased a long ball forwards.

Giroud, incandescent with rage, scrambled to his feet to confront the defender, pushing his forehead into the defender’s face. Onuoha went to ground and the referee, who was right on the spot, reached for his back pocket to brandish a red card.

The Arsenal striker, who will now serve a three-match suspension, knew what was coming and headed straight down the tunnel as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger glared on.

Arsenal looked to respond by continuing their pressure, but QPR had been handed a lifeline and manager Harrry Redknapp made a change on 62 minutes as Karl Henry was replaced by Leroy Fer and Traore by Junior Hoilett.

The Gunners, though, soon doubled their lead.

Sanchez made another penetrating run to the edge of the QPR penalty area, where he played in Rosicky on the overlap and the Czech midfielder dispatched a low, first-time shot past Green.

QPR then grabbed a lifeline with 11 minutes left after Mathieu Debuchy tripped Hoilett just inside the penalty area, with the referee again expertly placed although replays suggested the defender did get a touch on the ball.

Austin made no mistake from the spot, blasting the ball down the centre for his 12th goal of an impressive season.

Wenger sent on defender Calum Chambers for the closing stages, replacing Rosicky, and Mathieu Flamini bundled a goal-bound effort off the line as the Gunners battled to victory.

Read more at ESPN