What a day it has been for Arsenal – Petr Cech got his 200th Clean sheet, Mkhitaryan netted his first Premier League goal in Arsenal colors and the combination of Mkhi-Auba continues to trouble opponents. Three-Nil win for Arsenal : Three points in the bag and back to full confidence.
Petr Cech has to wait for 11 games to get his 200th Clean Sheets, as he becomes the first goalkeeper to reach that mark in the Premier League. Mesut Ozil and Mohammed Elneny played their ‘A’ game and the sprites among Arsenal players continues to grow.
How both the teams lined up for the fixture?
Arsenal: Cech, Maitland Niles, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Watford: Karnezis, Femenia, Prodl, Mariappa, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Janmaat, Pereyra, Richarlison, Deeney
Arsenal comes into the fixture with a spine of confidence after a win against AC Milan on Thursday. The visitors were dominated right from the first whistle, as the hosts created enough chances to go ahead easily in the eight minute when German combination of Mustafi and Ozil does the job. Mesut Ozil swings the ball from a free-kick on the left hand side and Mustafi heads the ball past Karnezis.
Both the teams went back into the tunnel at half-time with Arsenal leading by one, but the way Arsenal have played they easily could have had couple of more. Mesut Ozil missed a clinical opportunity which should have gone into the net but it was saved by Karnezis legs.
Coming into the second half, Watford stepped up their game and looked a grade ahead of Arsenal but their Batsman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extends the lead. The chemistry of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang does the job for Arsenal again. The Armenian International was running at Watford’s defence but makes a pass to Aubameyang on the run – who rounds it around the goalkeeper to make it two!
The joy just doesn’t end here, immediately after Pierre made it two – Petr Cech saves a Penalty. Ainsley-Maitland Niles awarded Watford a penalty – but Troy Deeney shoots it directly in hands of Petr Cech. This is Petr Cech’s first Penalty save in Arsenal’s colors.
Arsenal were already playing on a high, and Henrik Mkhitaryan makes it three. The roles played it second roles are reversed as Aubameyang lays it onto Mkhitaryan, who is sitting on the edge of penalty box and perfectly shoots it behind Karnezis.
Arsenal are high in confidence as they are set to host AC Milan this Thursday. They have to continue these kind of performances as they are set to progress in the ‘last 8’ of Europa League beating AC Milan. They already have advantage of two away goals going into the match.
Who said What:
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, speaking to Sky Sports: “We have got the win today and overall I believe it was important to continue after Milan to show that consistency. Watford came back strong in the second half but overall it was a convincing win and an important one.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, speaking to BBC Sport: “You cannot say that because we won two games in a week we are out of it but it is a big step forward to try and finish the season on a high and see what we can get.
“Watford were quite dangerous in the first half and had a few chances and then in the second half they had a penalty. We know what can happen when you are 2-0 down. There were a few comments after the last game but we are professional and take it on board. It was more important what we do than what Watford did.”
On first Arsenal penalty save(Petr Cech): “It has been while. Sometimes you do the right thing and the outcome is wrong. It had been a frustrating but you have to carry on your work, I believe I got this far through my work ethic.”
On keeping 200th Premier League clean sheet(Petr Cech): “We took 18 games to get to nine clean sheets, I got to 199 and then had to wait 11 games to get another clean sheet. It was a bit frustrating but we have eight games and we have to make sure we win most of them.”