Sunday’s game against Manchester City left us all grinning like idiots, but how did our pre-match predictions stack up?
Here’s what they think of their predictions after the game:
Lee Hurley Predicted – draw 2-2
I chickened out.
I wanted to predict an Arsenal win but after feeling like they would ‘prove a point’ in just about every top game for the last three years and being left with egg all over my crying face, I let my own fears get the better of me and plumped for a draw.
As I said in my prediction Arsenal were just as capable of winning the game as they were of losing it 6-0 but I’m not sure any of us expected the side to put on a performance like they did on Sunday.
I called a draw and I was wrong.
I can live with that.
Players ratings: Ospina 7.5, Bellerin 8, Mertesacker 8, Koscielny 8, Monreal 8, Coquelin 8.5, Ramsey 7.5, Cazorla 9.5 ,Oxlade Chamberlain 7, Giroud 8, Sanchez 8, Gibbs 6.5, Rosicky 6.5, Flamini 6.5.
Helen Trantum Predicted – win 3-2
So the drinks are on me at Daily Cannon HQ this week after I was the only contributor to correctly predict an Arsenal win this weekend!
Have a little faith guys!
I have to confess I didn’t see the clean sheet coming, and the fact that we didn’t need to make any attacking subs rather put paid to my last scorer prediction, but Arsenal finally delivered the big game result we’ve been threatening for a while.
Unexpectedly our goals came from two dead balls but with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, it was perhaps obvious that Santi was going to be the difference given his current form. Along with Coquelin and Ramsey, the pint-sized Spaniard’s stamina and commitment in the centre of the park was outstanding.
Pellegrini’s tactics looked like a hilarious mix of wanting to keep it tight but desperately needing the win, but his gambles backfired as he didn’t count on Kompany having a bit of a shocker, not only conceding a penalty (where he knew exactly what he was doing), but also lucky to get away without a second yellow for a cynical chop of Alexis.
In the end Clichy was the only former Gunner to appear for City but my prediction of his impact at least was spot on, as he demonstrated his Arsenal training with his crossing and was frequently caught upfield as Arsenal ran the channel behind him.
It seems we’re back to the 2.0 goals per game statistic, but as long as they’re all for Arsenal, that’s all that matters.
Player ratings: Ospina 7 (relatively untested, 1 wobble), Nacho 8 (outpaced early on, stepped it up), Kos 8 (faultless after early booking), BFG 8.5 (calm, assured, great first half tackle), Bellerin 8 (promise, but know when to stay home!), Alexis 8.5 (always threatened but tired late on), Santi 10 (nuff said), Coq 9.5 (literally everywhere. David who?), Rambo 8.5 (super human energy levels, proper soldier), Ox 8 (rare bad decisions but carried the ball well), Oli 8.5 (grew into the game, dominant in last 20 mins), TR7 7 (slotted in so seamlessly you barely knew he’d come on) Gibbo 7 (did what he needed to), Flamini 7 (he was on the winning team…).
Stephen Bradley Predicted – draw 0-0
As the only Daily Cannon writer to have faith in our defence and confidently predict a clean sheet, (ahem) even I was surprised by how well we defended as a team.
After Koscielny got booked in the first couple of minutes, I feared the worst. But after that, everyone settled down, sat back, and watched City pass the ball in front of them for 20 minutes. It was as if we had been set up in a way that kept us solid at the back yet kept us dangerous on the counter, you know, like how everyone else plays away from home.
It was nice to see, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come, and not just a one-off.
As well as we played though, it has to be pointed out that City were dreadful yesterday, especially in the first half.
It was only after Jovetic was brought on that they displayed any sense of urgency in both passing the ball and pressing our players when we had it. Even after they got their act together, though, we still looked solid, consistently pushing them out wide and clearing crosses at will.
More of that please, Arsenal.
Player Ratings: Ospina 6, Bellerin 7, Koscielny 7, Mertesacker 7, Monreal 7.5, Coquelin 7, Ramsey 7, Cazorla 8.5, Alexis 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Giroud 7. Subs: Rosicky 6.5, Gibbs 6 Flamini 6.
Paul Williams Predicted – defeat 3-1
Let’s start with what I got right, shall we? Team selection and a noble performance.
What did I get wrong? Well, the result for a start and never have I been so happy to be wrong.
Arsenal finally turned up, both mentally as well as physically, in a big game and ended up coming away from the Etihad with three points.
Led by the irrepressible Santi Cazorla and, fast becoming undroppable, Francis Coquelin, from 1-11 Arsenal were composed, committed and, frankly, excellent.
2-0? At the home of the champions? As Gary Neville said in commentary, “Hallelujah!”
Player ratings: Ospina 7, Bellerin 8, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 8, Monreal 8, Coquelin 8, Ramsey 7, Cazorla 9, The Ox 7, Giroud 8, Alexis 7.
Sylvain Jamet Predicted – draw 2-2 with a dodgy red card
Well, I got most of the things wrong on that one.
Arsene used his usual 4-3-3 with Coquelin as his lone defensive midfield player and it worked. A superb defensive shape was maintained by the whole team for the entire game. So un-Wenger like!
It was very pleasing and if they can maintain that kind of positioned defensive block to soak up pressure then things will surely improve immensely.
Mike Dean did not mess up either which was a big surprise, no red card given, a few bookings here and there. I did manage to get one of the goalscorers right (Giroud).
I will be pleased to get all my predictions wrong if the team can perform that well every week.
Players ratings: Ospina 7, Bellerin 7, Mertesacker 7 ,Koscielny 7 ,Monreal 7, Coquelin 8, Ramsey 5.5, Cazorla 8.5 ,Oxlade Chamberlain 7, Giroud 7.5, Sanchez 7, Gibbs 7, Rosicky 6.5, Flamini 6.
Lewis Ambrose Predicted – draw 1-1
“If we take the lead then I wouldn’t rule anything out…”
Can we just say this was my prediction for the game?
That being said, I was surprised by our win. Not so much by our approach; we played similarly at Stamford Bridge this season but couldn’t get the opening goal.
The structure of the team was excellent and we were dangerous on the break throughout. The most professional and well carried out Arsenal performance in a long time. Mike Dean was very good, and even gave us a penalty!
Most surprising of all, Arsenal have now taken 14 points in their last 7 games refereed by Mike Dean – the curse is over…
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) January 18, 2015
These games require a solid plan as well as good performance from pretty much everyone; otherwise you can’t carry it out.
We finally did.
Player ratings: Ospina 6.5; Bellerín 7.5, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 7.5, Monreal 8; Coquelin 7.5; Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Ramsey 6, Cazorla 9, Sánchez 7; Giroud 8. (Gibbs 6, Rosicky 6.5, Flamini 6)
Nia Griffiths Predicted – draw 2-2
To say yesterday’s result against Manchester City was a ‘pleasant surprise’ is a bit of an understatement.
I’d resigned myself to a well-fought draw at best, abject humiliation at worst (and it wouldn’t be the first time). However, we played outstandingly and didn’t just scrape a scrappy win – we genuinely deserved our three points, which is such a vast improvement.
I’m so proud of all the lads, they all fought with everything they had, passing the ball quickly, keeping their shape, covering each other and doing the ‘ugly’ defensive work.
Santi in particular is such a pleasure to watch and I’m so glad he’s ours.