Fenerbahce 2 – 5 Arsenal: A Cesc Inspired Win, A Good Team Performance, Defensive Issues…

Yesterday's game was without doubt another good European night. Fenerbache and their fans provided a hostile environment in which to ply our trade and our youngsters came out on top.

Fenerbahce 2 – 5 Arsenal
Silvestre 19 og, Guiza 78.
Adebayor 10, Walcott 11, Diaby 21, Song 49, Ramsey 90.

With injuries to Sagna, Gallas and Toure, our first XI started with a makeshift defence. Van Persie was rested and Nasri started in midfield as we employed our usual 4-1-4-1 in Europe. It was slightly different with the personnel involved today as it did really feel more like a 4-3-2-1 formation with Walcott, Cesc, Diaby and Nasri often playing quite high up the park.

Almunia
Eboue – Song – Silvestre – Clichy
Denilson
Walcott – Cesc - Diaby – Nasri
Adebayor

Our captain today was Almunia, and although I’m all for Cesc for captain long term, I think the keepers inclusion as captain was a good calm choice, which allowed Cesc to do what he does best…

A bright start to the game saw us go 2 – 0 up within the first 10 minutes or so, with our midfield marvel Cesc pulling the strings in the middle of the park, sending a nice through ball through to Ade, who scored a composed goal resembling something more of a strikers finish. Without going off on too much of a tangent here, it was good to see Ade score a normal goal. He’s scored a few headers, scuffed a couple in and got a couple of pens, so yesterday’s did real feel like a proper goal.

Moments later, literally, Cesc picked up the ball in midfield and with a slide rule pass, got Walcott in on goal and the England striker finished well to make it 2-0.

The game itself was quite an open game, which is the type of game that suits us best. The Fenerbahce team was back with talent and their starting line up included Turkish wonder-kid Nuri Sahin, who’s been linked with us on a number of occasions, Alex, the Brazilian midfielder who’s starred in a number of Copa America and of course the Spanish striker Guiza. Just for added measure, a slightly less fast and heavier Roberto Carlos was also on the team sheet.

With two teams intent on attack and our defence a little makeshift, this game did always have goals in it, and it wasn’t long until Fenerbahce got one back. An body-check by Song (which could have been avoided) allowed the home peice a set-piece. The goal came as Guiza’s volley across the face of goal was diverted past Almunia by our own man Silvestre (on his Champions League debut for us too!!!). It looks a little unavoidable at first, but replays showed that we didn’t attack the ball well enough in the first place.

Moments later, however, our 2 goal advantage was restored as Diaby found himself through on goal and shot a low left-footed shot hard and low into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

It seemed a bit surreal, but somehow we were up 3-1 on the night and there were only 21 minutes on the clock…]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[I am guessing you have done this so we can start commenting.

    Well what a great result. I never expected us to hit them for 5 in Istanbul, the youngens really coped under the pressure. Which was news to me, but other than that, i think it was same ol' to be honest. The general reaction to the game is to boom The Arsenal with praise. I'm not gonna be on that band wagon though.

    Ok, so we were playing some lovely stuff - but we always have these random outbursts where the football clicks. Problem is, that we could have played that way again but on another day, luck wouldn't have been on our side and we could have quite easily lost.

    What i'm getting at, is i don't think this game is cause for excitement. A team doesn't improve its finishing like that over night and you have to expect us to resume normal service. Also, Fenerbache were quite poor all round. They could have been much more clinical and defensively were a shambles.

    I'm not sure whether to point out our lack of concentration at the back, because it was a second string. Thing is, had Almunia not been 8 ft tall and wide all game then it could have been a very different result. He had to bail us out 1 vs 1 too many times. Luckily, he was pretty outstanding last night.

    On the attacking side of things, i aint denying we were pretty sumptuous. Cesc was majestic, Diaby was dangerous, Walcott was electric, Adebeyour was.... well his usual self in all honesty. It was great to watch for the neutral, but i was dreading the comeback until Ramsey scored!]]>

  • harry Utd

    arsenal played well, but that’s it- a one gamer & you can bet your life the next game will be the same old rubbish- create a thousand chances and not score. Their defence (if you can call it that) is a joke- if they play like that against Utd, Chelski or even L’pool they’d get hammered by 6 or 7 goals i think. Good attacking display but as we all know that doesnt win you anything. UTD For the Treble

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[As always with Arsenal I don't know where to start. The positives with Ramsey making a memorable european debut, Adeybayor keeping his composure and looking like a strike for once and Walcott bossing yet another european tie - or the negatives with our horrific defensive lapses and Adeybayor still looking like a prize plum.

    I think you're right Dan in parts, going forward we looked fantastic, but back peddling we looked edgy at best. The thing is, in attack we had most of the team. Fernebache were always going to look dangerous on the break when our two central midfielders were in the final third. Against any other team, or without 2 goals in the opening ten minutes I think we'd have perhaps been a little conservative.

    In terms of excitement I was practically dancing last night. Both Diaby and Ramsey shone, helping to perhaps break the illusion that our squad is dire, and Silvestre looked solid if a little unfit. But again Dan - the excitment stopped this morning with thoughts already turning to Sunday.

    Stacking it up, there were more positives than negatives especially considering Almunias performance. The jury was out on him until last night, but he is definately flourishing in goal.

    Again, I firmly believe that Arsenal need to work on set pieces. I do not subscribe to Wengers view that set pieces cannot be practiced because each is unique - especially when defending. Chelsea spend 1 day in five purely training on set pieces - how many goals have they conceeded and scored from free kicks and corners? Hopefully playing together can only strengthen the back and the enforced rest that Gallas/Toure are under will bring them back fitter and sharper.

    An alternative view prospered by a collegue this morning did sober my pessimism though - he claimed that Villa (brummy git) would love our defence from last night and considering three of our first choice defenders were out.... thats quite a compliment. We were also facing last seasons La Liga top scorer, so considering they scored one goal (discounting the og) we must have been doing something right!]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Sorry rereading that makes it sound like i said set pieces were unique. Wengers words not mine.

  • jeffvip

    < ![CDATA[I also do feel our defence needs improvement. The fact that we scored 5 goals cover the 2 goals we conceded. In fact, without Almunia heroic display, Fenerbahce striker might get a hat-trick in his bag. Our front line wont be scoring 5 goals every game. While everyone is happily celebrating with our front line member, I feel that our back line is the one that we need to put attention on it. Honestly, I really not sure what can we done to improve it. Is it the hole left by Flamini is not yet covered? I do think so.

    Until now, lets celebrate with Fabregas and gang...]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[I am with you on the dancing. I was dead excited once the match was over. Suddenly we looked strongest in central midfield with Diaby playing so well and the rest just clicking. Then like you i woke up and realised that we have been here before, and things usually turn sour.

    I think David Pleat (what a nob) mentioned last night that our defensive line being so high, pushed the midfield closer to the attackers which is where the great football stemmed from. It makes sense to me, but i don't know if it would work a second time because the amount of times they were in behind us was too much.

    I think it was Adebyour who left Dani Guiza as he spun to the back and was completely free from the set piece. They do have to be practiced. We clearly look uncomfortable when the ball is floating in. Everyone forgets their man it seems.]]>

  • devday

    Indeed Dan, thought I’d start the thread so the comments can come in!

  • vladivostox

    < ![CDATA[I need to correct a very small mistake you did in your post. You mentioned a wonder-kid Nuri Sahin playing for Fenerbahce last night. Actually, the player whose surname is also Sahin was Selcuk Sahin, and let me assure you that he is not a wonder-kid at all.. :) Most of Fenerbahce fans hate him so much, and also he was not a regular player during our very successful campaing last year that was enden by Chelsea FC.

    Harun, from Turkey.

    Thanks]]>

  • ArseFan101

    < ![CDATA[I think Eboue had an awesome game. He really does seem like a different player this season and I can see why Arsene kept him. I wonder why he was so bad last season!

    If we get a fully fit squad, Rosicky, Eduardo and our back line back, especially with Nasri and Walcott and Diaby in midfield, we will be a force to reckon with!!!]]>

  • pissed off

    Dan absolutely right are. lets look upto sunday and what we can offer. But something still boarders me though;Wenger looks drained and dry since our lose to Hull. Do u guys see that.

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[It's quite a negative response to a 5-2 win in Turkey! Come on you gooners, you've proved to us that you've got the quality!!

    Our season starts on Sunday where either Liverpool or Chelsea will drop points!!]]>

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