Weekend Blues as Arsenal Run Riot over Chelsea

Three first half goals were enough at the Emirates as Arsenal took Chelsea to the cleaners. It was an emphatic victory which marked Wenger’s 2oth anniversary as the Manager.


The three goals from three different scorers made Wenger’s anniversary memorable, Kante miserable, Conte confused, Fabregas gassed out, Costa frustrated and Cahill dazzled. 

Three sweet goals; Alexis Sanchez stole the ball from Cahill before chipping the Chelsea goalie. Crisps lovely passes involving Iwobi and Bellerin finds Walcott who added the 2nd. Ozil rounded it up just before the break after nice exchange of passes with Alexis.

You can’t have a better weekend supporting Arsenal. The sight of Costa’s frustration was sweetening to the soul, the boos across the stadium added misery to the yellow card he received for complaining at being fouled. The Kostafi pairing is gelling well enough. I enjoyed the clean sheet.

Coquelin got injured but we didn’t have Flamini pointing in or Arteta adjusting his hair on the pitch. We had Xhaka and no worries. We hope Coquelin gets back soonest. Squad. El Neny couldn’t even make the bench. 

In the NPFL, Rangers moved one step closer to ending their 32 years trophy drought with a 2-1 win over Ikorodu United in Abeokuta. The Flying Antelopes are now 3 points ahead of closest rivals Rivers United with just a game to round up the season. Rivers United were held to a goalless draw in Port Harcourt by Abia Warriors.

Enyimba’s NPFL season ended with a 1-0 defeat at FC IfeanyiUbah. A disappointing season for the current champions. Wikki Tourists’ title hopes were dashed in Ibadan no thanks to a 1-0 loss in Ibadan.

Heartland gave their survival a chance with a 1-0 win over Kano Pillars while MFM lost 3-1 to Niger Tornadoes and Sunshine Stars pipped Warri Wolves 1-0.

The weekend was good and it looked so short. The Arsenal win makes me fired up for work today.

Have a nice week

@AmosCP

Arsenal Welcomes Conte’s Blue 


Arsene Wenger’s anniversaries and a clash with Chelsea have always aligned in recent times – 500th game, 1000th game. Although they have not been the best of memories, Wenger would love to turn it around as he celebrates 2o years as the Boss.

The 4-0 victory in the EFL Cup and the 4-1 victory at Hull has brightened Ashburton Grove and the hearts of the fans but it is yet unclear if the Gunners can replicate such away form at the Emirates. The fans would love a victory even if Mourinho will not be on the bench. Emirates needs to be a fortress.

Xhaka was on everyone’s lips at Hull and Nottingham Forest, thanks to his left hammer as Ozil calls it. Will the manager start him today? Coquelin has been excellent and is preferred as a partner to Cazorla in the middle. Will that pairing continue? 

Chelsea needed extra 30 minutes to defeater Leicester City in the EFL Cup but may likely recall Fabregas to the starting 11 after his winning brace at the King Power stadium. Prodigal or not, he is a threat. Be warned of his long balls. Terry will be off but who would square up against Luiz? Lucas or Alexis? 

How Wenger sets up his team is up to him but they must be disciplined and be careful of Diego Costa. Koscielny is experienced in that. Mustafi has to learn. The Gunners have gotten more red cards than points in recent times from Chelsea. There will be no excuse for a defeat or a draw.

Till 6pm. Ready The Arsenal because Conte’s Blues are marching North.

@AmosCP

Rohr Invites Iwobi, Iheanacho and 21 others for Zambia


​Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and fellow Premier League sensation Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) have been invited by Super Eagles coach for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifier against Zambia.

The duo are joined by new Watford forward Isaac Success who is invited for the first time to the Super Eagles. His club teammate, Odion Ighalo is excused for personal reasons – most likely the burial of his dad.

Full List

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Paul Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem, Belgium)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel); Anderson Esiti (KAA Gent, Belgium)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)

EFL Cup: Reading Again as Another Manchester Derby is Drawn

Arsenal have been drawn to play Reading at the Emirates in the 4th round of the EFL Cup. The last time they met in the league cup, Arsenal came from 4-0 down to win 7-5 at Reading. That was one of my best Arsenal matches. What a comeback.

Arsenal would not want such emotional comeback this time around. A regular 4-0 win will do. A favourable draw.

It was not an easy draw for Mourinho’s United as they will play neighbours Manchester City. It will be another Jose-Pep showdown. Who will progress to the quarter finals? 

The Red Devils are in for a very tough time. Take a look at their upcoming fixtures in October:

Oct 17: Liverpool vs MAN UNITED

Oct 20: MAN UNITED vs Fenerbahce

Oct 23: Chelsea vs MAN UNITED

Oct 25/26: MAN UNITED vs Man City

Don’t you love football? 

Mario Balotelli seems to have discovered himself in Nice. He got a brace last night. In the La Liga, Barcelona, Atletico and Madrid drew but the biggest news is Messi’s injury.

In Nigeria, Rivers Angels progressed to the finals of the women Federation Cup with a 1-0 win over Nasarawa Amazons. The Flamingoes are getting ready for Jordan 2017 FIFA U-17 Women World Cup. 

Enjoy

@AmosCP

NPFL: Abia Warriors out of the Relegation Zone


The rains were at work few hours before the Abia Derby in Umuahia but Abia Warriors knew they needed all 3 points to move out of the relegation zone. It was a game against their big brothers Enyimba but survival was utmost on their mind.

Enyimba made 8 changes hoping to get their 1st win in 4 NPFL matches. The Elephants lost by a dubious penalty in Lokoja, beaten in Abeokuta and miraculously held in Port Harcourt. The title had slipped away – nothing more to fight for – except pride and higher position.

The Abia Derby is usually full of goals and the teams didn’t disappoint. Abia Warriors raced to a 2-0 lead in the 1st half with goals from Michael Olaha  (32′) and Ndifreke Effiong (42′). Alloy Browne pulled one back for Enyimba from the spot (69′) before Shedrach Asiegbu ended the game from the spot with Abia Warriors’ third in the 80th minute.

The win moves Abia Warriors to 14th on the table above Shooting Stars, MFM FC and Warri Wolves. Warri Wolves are now 17th and may remain so if the home-win theory plays out. 

For Enyimba, the results mean they cannot finish in the top three this season. They most likely will finish outside the top 10. Poor.

In other matches, Kano Pillars needed a 15th minute Rabiu Ali penalty to end El-Kanemi’s 6 match unbeaten run. The result moves Kano Pillars to 6th.

In Owerri, Heartland defeated Niger Tornadoes 2-0 with goals from Chinedu Efughu (32′) and Chidiebere Ajoku (70′). The result moves Heartland to within 2pts of safety with 40pts. Will Niger Tornadoes ever get an away point this season? 

That’s the NPFL summary from yesterday. Don’t ask me about the LMC vs Jos Court.

@AmosCP

Forest Razed by the Gunners in the EFL Cup

Arsenal went, saw and conquered Nottingham Forest in the 3rd round of the English Football League Cup last night.

Wenger made 11 changes to the starting 11 at Hull City. Martinez manned the post with a centre pairing of birthday boy Holding and Gabriel, who was making his first appearance this season. They were flanked by Kieran Gibbs – captain of the night – and young Maitland-Niles on the right. 

Xhaka, El Neny, Rene-Adeliade, Chamberlain, Akpom and Lucas Perez made up the starting 11. Chris Willock, Bielik and Zelalem made 2nd half appearances.

It was a 4-0 whitewash as the Gunners strolled into the 4th round. Xhaka opened the floodgates with another bullet from 30 yards. The goalie got a hand to it but the Swiss got his 2nd goal in consecutive matches for the Gunners. The goal was lovely and I think it is good to expect more. 

After the break, Chuba Akpom was brought down in the box and Lucas Perez converted the resulting penalty to open his Arsenal account and double Arsenal’s lead. The Gunners have had 5 penalties already this season. Last season they had just 3. 

Played through by Akpom, Lucas showed ruggedness and determination to get his brace and Arsenal’s third to snuff any hope of a comeback by the host. Lucas later turned provider for Arsenal’s fourth in the closing minutes as Oxlade-Chamberlain slotted in.

Bendtner put up a decent game, got a yellow for hacking Xhaka and shot narrowly wide in the 1st half. He gave key passes which were not converted. We wish him well. Next up for the Gunners is Chelsea.

In the other EFL Cup matches, Chelsea needed extra time as they came from 2-0 behind to defeat Leicester City 4-2 at the King Power Stadium. Fabregas had a winning brace. Liverpool were 3-0 winners at Derby County. Bournemouth lost 2-3 at home to Preston North End while Everton were defeated by Norwich 2-0 at Godison Park.

In the NPFL, there are three rescheduled games today. Abia Warriors host Enyimba in the Abia Derby. Heartland have their relegation battles in their hands as they welcome Niger Tornadoes while Kano Pillars welcome El-Kanemi Warriors.

It is a wet day in Lagos. Time to enjoy it.

Enjoy

A Trip To The Forest To See The Lord

Tonight, Arsenal face Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup and it is a sort of reunion for Armand Traore, Henri Lansbury and Nicklas Bendtner.


Last season, Arsenal were knocked out at this stage but will hope to do better with a more better squad. Wenger, yet to win the league cup, is expected to rest his 1st team players and feature fringes like Gibbs, Debuchy, Akpom. El neny and Xhaka should taste action with Perez spearheading the attack. Holding should return to the starting 11 paired by Gabriel.

A 3-1 win will be fine with Perez and Bendtner on the scoresheet. Wouldn’t you love to see a goal from the lord? He has promised he won’t go crazy a la Adebayor but he would celebrate. Wouldn’t you? 

Wenger had some nice words for Lord Bendtner and he believes he is being misunderstood:

Sometimes when you are a player of his quality, you just need an opportunity. We know he is a top-quality player, but he needs to play.

“He was very young [when I first saw him], 16 or 17 years old and I thought he was very interesting because he has a good technique, good stature, good pace, good in the air, good link play – he had it all in the locker.

“He had good periods in his career, and then periods when it went less well for him. He could explain it better as to how he assesses his career because he is an honest guy.

“When he makes mistakes, he is big enough to say it is his fault. Sometimes it was not his fault but you felt he had it all in the locker to make a fantastic career.

“Yes, the perception people have of him is that he is overconfident, but I don’t think so. He was sometimes impatient when he was with us. Sometimes he was disappointed not to get the chance and you can understand that.

I truly hope he gets his career up again. I have a soft spot for Nicklas.

We will be watching tonight

@AmosCP

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