After two days of Champions League football, the last English team had their European Quarter Final. Arsenal is sixth in the Premier League and isn’t going to reach the top four anymore. Winning the Europa League is their only route to the Champions League of next season. In this post I give a recap of Arsenal versus CSKA Moscow.
Arsenal versus CSKA Moscow line-ups
Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Skhodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette.
Igor Akinfeev, Alexsei Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski, Konstantin Kuchaev, Aleksandr Golovin, Bibras Natcho, Alan Dzagoev, Georgi Schennikov, Ahmed Musa, Pontus Wernbloom.
The first interesting thing is the goalkeeper position at Arsenal. It looks like Wenger swapped his keepers. Where Cech played the Premier League and Ospina the Europa League is it the other way around right now. Another interesting fact is the Russian backline. Look at this picture Dutch tv programme Voetbal Inside posted on Twitter.
The back four is exactly the same as it was 12 years ago when these teams played against each other in the Champions League.
Arsenal had a furious start of the match and after a goal was declined, it was Aaron Ramsey who scored the first valid goal of the match. A defensive error by Arsenal led to a free-kick which was beautifully netted by Golovin. Arsenal never looked shocked by this goal and continued what they were doing from the start. Dominating the match and try to play forward. Mesut Ozil was brought down in Moscow’s penalty box and Lacazette stayed calm from the spot. Both Ramsey and Lacazette scored another goal in the first half which meant a safe 4-1 score at half-time.
The Gunners seemed very happy with this score and Moscow was unable to create any serious chances. By times you hear people talking about Mesut Ozil disappearing in the big games. I hope they will stop saying that for a while now. The German attacking midfielder played an outstanding match. Just like Lacazette. The French striker was criticised by his own fans, especially after a big miss in the North-London derby. But he really showed his qualities in this match. I can’t see CSKA Moscow scoring three goals against Arsenal in Russia without conceding, so it looks to me that the Gunners will be in the draw for the semi-finals. That means they’re only 3 matches away from Champions League qualification.