The Gunners finished top of Group A which means they will go straight through to the last-16 of the competition.
Arsenal finished top of the Europa League Group A after a 1-0 win over FC Zurich at the Emirates last night. Kieran Tierney produced a moment of quality which was sufficient to win the game,
and finishing top means we avoid another round of fixtures early in the new year.The result,
good. The rest, well. Not so much. I’m not going to complain about a win,
far from it. We made 7 changes from the side that beat Nottingham Forest,
but fleshed out the starting line-up with Ben White, Gabriel and Gabriel Jesus,
while Aaron R amsdale started again because Matt Turner remains injured.
Zurich started well, high on the fumes their fans had produced with a load of flares,
but we gradually got ourselves into it. A nice pass from Reiss Nelson found White overlapping, he cut it back, Vieira’s shot was blocked,
it squirted towards Tierney outside the box and he got his foot over it well to half-volley into the bottom corner.Vieira had first half chances;
one blocked by a defender,
one by Jesus (I think).
Eddie forced the keeper into a couple of saves, one from a very decent header,
and there was a moment when he could have gone down in the box when his shirt was pulled, but given the way this referee gave us nothing all night,
even if he did.Clearly this particular official watched the Southampton match recently,
and thought ‘This ref is my hero.
I’m going to be exactly like like him!’. So,
Zurich defenders were allowed clatter our players from behind time and time again, and we got nothing,
but when their big baby left-back let out a squeal every time anyone went near him,
they got a free kick. Tierney literally had his shirt ripped in two and we didn’t get a decision in our favour. The decision to book Gabriel and give Zurich a free kick in the depths of second half injury time was an abomination. Thankfully it came to nothing.
Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard came on,
but at that point the momentum – such as it was – was with the visitors. In 20+ minutes, Odegaard only had 8 touches of the ball,
Zurich had a goal rightly disallowed for offside,
a warning sign which didn’t see us react in any other way except ‘Oh shit, let’s defend’.