Arsenal vs. Shrewsbury: Match Summary and Commentary from the Emirates Stadium
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Arsenal 3 - 1 Shrewsbury
Gibbs (33') Collins (16')
Shrewsbury gave Arsenal a scare in the first half, but an excellent second half performance from the Gunners took care of business. They now move into the fourth round of the Carling Cup. This win should give the team some much-needed confidence, although defensive questions still need to be answered. Good performance all-round from the Gunners, especially Coquelin, Gibbs, Benayoun and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was fantastic. Park was a disappointment and Djourou really needs to lift himself. Dangerous patterns emerging here, bringing back memories of Sylvestre and Squillaci. Fabianski didn't have a game to write home about, either, and he continues to lose ground to his young countryman Szczesny. That's it from me. This was my first live blog, and while I struggled at first, it was fun. Good night.
Who do you think was Arsenal's man of the match against Shrewsbury?
90: Full time at the Emirates. 3-1 to the Arsenal.
90: The Arsenal defense have acquitted themselves fairly well in this second half, though in fairness, they’ve barely been tested. Gibbs has been really good. His goal seems to have galvanized him
90: Four minutes of time added on
90: Aneke comes on for Chamberlain, who gets a deserved standing ovation from the Emirates crowd. Man of the match, without much doubt
89: Over-confidence from Benayoun who goes past three and is intercepted as he tries a fourth. Good play from Coquelin, who started the move and found the Isreal captain
88: Now it looks like the powerful Chuks Aneke is coming on. “One Arsene Wenger” is the cry from the Arsenal faithful. Music to the ears
85: Free kick for Shrewsbury. Jacobson goes for a training ground routine, but Arsenal’s defense handles the situation with relative ease. Over at Elland Road, Berbatov is now playing in the back four for Man United. Brilliant!!
85: Chamberlain looks like he’s taken a knock on the ankle. He’s limping. Hopefully he’s OK, because he’s had a fantastic game
84: Quiz. When was the last time two Englishmen scored for Arsenal in the same game? I have no idea
83: Break in the game as Marvin Morgan is down for Shrewsbury
78: ARSENAL GOAL!! 3-1. Ozyakup gets to the byline and cuts the ball back to Benayoun, who can’t miss from seven yards, and doesn’t. His first goal for Arsenal too. Game over
76: Now the young Dutchman Ozyakup comes on for Frimpong
74: Arsenal really must score a third to put the game to bed
72: Ryo comes on for Arsenal, replacing Park, who didn’t have the best of debuts. Arsenal back to 4-2-3-1
71: Elsewhere, a very oddly manned Manchester United are leading Leeds 3-0 at Elland Road, with goals for Michael Owen (2) and Ryan Giggs
69: The crowd really getting behind Chamberlain and Coquelin, Arsenal’s two best players. Ryo Miyaichi looks like he’ll be coming on for the Gunners
68: Oxlade-Chamberlain takes another cracking strike on the half volley, and Smith saves again. Corner for Arsenal. The ball falls to Chamakh who wins another corner. Chamberlain running the show for Arsenal
66: Good defending by Miquel, who takes the ball away from Morgan. He hasn’t been mentioned so far, which, for an Arsenal defender, is great
65: Gibbs breaks up play and finds Benayoun, who immediately looks for Chamberlain. Shrewsbury being run ragged now. And when they do intercept, they give the ball right back to Arsenal
63: The official crowd is put at just over 46,000. Not bad, given the team’s nightmarish start to the season
62: The confidence seems to be back with the Arsenal players. Shrewsbury very much on the back foot
60: Chamberlain gets past two defenders and is he brought down in the penalty area? The crowd thinks so, but the referee says no
58: ARSENAL SCORE!! 2-1. Sensational right footed strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from 25 yards. Drilled it. Keeper might have done better, but The Ox fully deserves his goal57: Smith punches Benayoun’s corner away
57: The Arsenal fans getting behind the team at last as Park gets into the area, latching onto a Benayoun ball. Wins a corner
56: Chamberlain makes a sensational break. Finds Park, who unfortunately over-hits his ball for Jenkinson. Disappointing end to a promising situation
54: Collins makes a break for Shrewsbury. Possible foul by Coquelin in a “last man” situation. Referee says no foul. Would have been interesting had a foul been called
50: Good run from Oxlade-Chamberlain. Shades of Theo Walcott. Leaves four Shrewsbury defenders in his wake. Looks for Chamakh but Smith intercepts. It’s all Arsenal now
49: Frimpong has a pop from distance, not for the first time. Ben Smith holds on at the second attempt. Shrewsbury not seeing the ball at all.
48: Jenkinson finds Coquelin in the box, and he earns a corner. Swung in dangerously, but Shrewsbury get it away
47: Benayoun finds Gibbs on the overlap. Gibbs tries to find a teammate but fails. Bright start by Gibbs and Arsenal
45: Johann Djourou coming in for some stick from fans and experts alike. He was doing quite well last season, but his confidence seems to be shot. Reflective of the entire team, come to think of it
45: Oxlade-Chamberlain gets to the byline on the left after an arsenal throw, but his cross is intercepted. That’s the last action of the first half. The players go in to the tunnel with the score at 1-1. Plenty of work to do for Arsenal. While they’ve looked good going forward, the defense has been all over the place. Djourou, Gibbs and Fabianski have all struggled, and Arsene Wenger is sure to have plenty to say to his team at half time. Going forward, Coquelin, Chamberlain, Park and Chamakh have had their moments. Benayoun, being the most accomplished of Arsenal’s players picked for this game, has not had the expected impact
43: Free kick for Arsenal as Chamakh is fouled 35 yards out. Frimpong has a crack, saved by Smith. Chamakh can’t get to the rebound. Shrewsbury clear
41: Wonderful 50-yard pass by Coquelin for Park, who cuts in and shoots. Just wide. Good play by Arsenal
38: Coquelin down for Arsenal, clutching his right leg. Seems to be in a lot of pain. Hopefully he can shake this off. Has looked very promising for Arsenal tonight
33: ARSENAL SCORE. Cross from Jenkinson on the right, and Kieran Gibbs scores with a downward header. 1-1. Can Arsenal make more of this revival?
32: Shrewsbury trying to play it behind Arsenal’s back four at every opportunity. Arsenal’s defense playing a dangerous high line
31: Corner for Arsenal as they try to create something. Frimpong can’t get to the ball. Shrewsbury break, and look dangerous, but Coquelin tracks back and crucially intercepts. He’s been Arsenal’s best player. Shrewsbury might have made it 2-0
28: Fabianski doesn’t go for the corner and the ball flashes across the face of goal for a goal kick. Arsenal living dangerously
27: Wright with an effort for Shrewsbury. Takes a deflection off Djourou and goes just wide. Corner for Shrewsbury
26: Gibbs gets into a promising position on the left after great work on the overlap. Looks for Benayoun but finds an opponent.
25: Great left-footed attempt by Coquelin from outside the box. Fine save by Smith in the Shrewsbury goal
23: Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain linking up well on the right. One of the few bright areas for Arsenal
21: Arsenal on the break via Park on the left. Morgan intercepts and counters. Gibbs can’t stop the shot which goes harmlessly wide
20: Corner to Shrewsbury, conceded by Gibbs. Arsenal players look at sixes and sevens while defending.
18: Shrewsbury all over Arsenal. Gibbs giving the ball away. Needs to up his performance. Fabianski’s goal under siege.
17: Shrewsbury score through Collins, off a header. Morgan with the cross. Djourou ball-watching. Nightmare start for Arsenal. Boos ringing around the Emirates.
13: Great chance for Shrewsbury. Ball hits the bar and follow up effort goes into the side netting
9: Park, Chamberlain and Chamakh looking lively for Arsenal
5: Another save by Smith off a Chamakh attempt. The Moroccan forward is looking lively
4: Towering header from Chamakh off a Gibbs cross. Great save from Shrews 'keeper Ben Smith
2: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seeing plenty of the ball early on. Sign of things to come?
1: Arsenal line up in a rare 4-4-2
Arsene Wenger has followed his recent approach of mixing younger players with some of his squad players for the Carling Cup. The team has experience in the form of Lukas Fabianski, Johann Djourou, Yossi Benayoun and Marouane Chamakh, and the home fans will be excited to see new signings Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju Young Park and Ryo Miyaichi.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Miquel, Djourou (C), Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Frimpong, Benayoun, Park, Chamakh
Shrewsbury: Smith, Hazell, Jacobson, Grandison, Goldson, Wright, Wroe, Ainsworth, McAllister, Collins, Morgan
Arsenal: Martinez, Yennaris, Boateng, Ozyakup, Aneke, Ryo, Watt
Shrewsbury: Neal, Taylor, Richards, Leslie, Male, Bradshaw
Arsenal, the pride of North London, are currently languishing in 17th place in the Premier League, with one win, one draw and three losses from five league games. Their goal difference of minus-eight is currently the worst in the Premier League.
Shrewsbury, 54 places below Arsenal, currently lie third in League Two, with five wins and two draws from nine games. It seems crazy to type this, but they are the form team going into this tie, with five wins in their last six league games.
All said and done though, Arsenal must be considered favorites to go through against the minnows from Shrewsbury. But Cup football wouldn't be what it is without the odd upset, and without a doubt, the Shrews will be up for their day out at the Emirates Stadium.
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