Same Old Drog: Arsenal 1 – 2 Galatasaray – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 1 – 2 Galatasaray

After salvaging a draw from their first fixture versus Napoli, The Gunners looked to improve on their performance by beating Turkish Super Lig Champions Galatasaray. However, with the Emirates Cup in reach of both sides, the Turks were determined to put up a fight.[quote_right]”New boy Yaya Sanogo showed some clever touches, but – in typical Arsenal fashion, he also demonstrated some lacklustre finishing.”[/quote_right]

The first half started off slow, and remained that way for a while. Galatasaray were happy to sit back and invite Arsenals offensive pressure.

Despite the stagnant circumstances, Arsenal managed to create a few chances, the most prominent of which was crafted by an excellent lofted ball from Aaron Ramsey to Theo Walcott in the nineteenth minute. The Englishman’s first touch was perfect, but his finish went just wide of the post.

As the game progressed, Arsenal continued to look threatening going forward, with new boy Yaya Sanogo showing some clever touches, but – in typical Arsenal fashion, he also demonstrated some lacklustre finishing.

Ten minutes after his missed chance, Walcott managed to find the net in a rather unconventional way. After a short corner exchange with Mikel Arteta, Theo crossed the ball into the box with power. Felipe Melo misjudged his defensive header, allowing the cross t glide past a host of players, and into the far bottom corner. An unintentional goal, but a goal nonetheless.

The rest of the half went by uneventfully, and as the half time whistle blew, The Gunners were on track wo win their fourth Emirates Cup.

Galatasaray sparked off their second half by introducing both Drogba and Sneijder – and what a difference they made.

The Turks began to press much higher up the field, playing in some intelligent balls to Didier Drogba, who was looking extremely lively. His trickery got the better of Gibbs and Mertesacker at times, and managed to test the gloves of Szczesny.

Drogba’s offensive threats helped revive both sides. Arsenal Introduced Giroud and Zelalem, who both worked hard to create in the final third.[quote_left]”The final whistle blew on yet another Didier Drogba onslaught on Arsenal, who deserved nothing more, and nothing less.”[/quote_left]

Unfortunately, in the seventy-seventh minute, Didier Drogba reminded us all of his sour conduct. Ignasi Miquel, who came on to replace Gibbs, touched the back of Drogba as a cross whizzed over their heads. Typically, the Ivorian threw himself to the floor, and even more typically, the referee pointed to the spot.

Drogba stepped up, and hammered the ball into the net, sending Szczesney the wrong way in the process. Frustrating, to say the least.

Remarkably, Drogba wasn’t finished. Despite bringing on Podolski and Akpom, Arsenal looked incredibly tame going forwards, and vulnerable at the back. Inevitably, in the eighty-seventh minute, Sneijder played in a good ball to Drogba, who used an excellent first touch to get away from Mertesacker, and followed that up with a blaster past a helpless Szczesney. In fairness, it was a superb goal.

The remaining few minutes were consumed by toothless attacks and tired passes by The Gunners. On the stroke of the ninetieth minute, the final whistle blew on yet another Didier Drogba onslaught on Arsenal, who deserved nothing more, and nothing less.

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[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]

Szczesny: [6/10]
Produced a few good saves, especially in the face of a tricky long shot from Sneijder. He had some communication issues with Gibbs and Mertesacker at times, and he perhaps needs to save his anger for more competitive matches. Great to see his passion though.

Jenkinson: [5/10]
Another poor performance from Carl. His passing was lazy, and his defending was shoddy. He gave the ball away on quite a few occasions, and committed his fair share of fouls.

Sagna: [7/10]
Continuing in his great form, Sagna looked very comfortable at centre‐back. He won many aerial battles, and managed to keep a cool head whenever under pressure.

Mertesacker: [6.5/10]
Per looked fine in the first half, but struggled to deal with Didier Drogba in the second. The German struggled with Drogba’s pace, and was outdone with he clever touch leading to his second goal. Although, in fairness, Mertesacker made a great last-ditch challenge on Didier moments before, and looked solid enough in other aspects of his game.

Gibbs: [7.5/10]
Looked good defensively, and did very well to bring the ball forward on a number of occasions. The back line suffered considerably when he left the pitch.

Ramsey: [7/10]
Made a fantastic lofted pass for Theo Walcott in the first half, and showed some good dribbling skills throughout the game. Needs to work on the accuracy of his close range passing.

Arteta: [6.5/10]
Made a host of passing errors in the first half, and looked tired in general. Didn’t pull the strings as he usually does.

The Ox: [6.5/10]
Showed great pace and trickery at times, but couldn’t produce anything of real value in the final third.

Cazorla: [6.5/10]
Santi’s first game back was quiet. He showed some clever touches whilst on the ball, and distributed play well, but he worked very little off the ball.

Walcott: [8/10]
Theo was a constant thorn in Galatasaray’s side. His pace and energy got him into promising positions, and he was unfortunate not to find the net after a great touch inside the area in the first half. His goal was accidental, but deserved.

Sanogo: [6.5/10]
Yaya certainly looked promising when it came to his passing and first touch, but his finishing was lacking conviction. It will be interesting to see how much he improves over the coming weeks.

Subs:

Giroud: [6.5/10]
Didn’t have much to work with, but managed to get a strong shot away which was saved by Muslera.

Zelalem: [7/10]
Gedion made some good passes, and looked absolutely fine under pressure, even from the likes of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder. He turned away from danger, and did well to bring Arsenal forward at times. The future of Gedion Zelalem is promising indeed.

Miquel: [6/10]
Made some good defensive headers, but was quite frankly embarrassed by the power of Dider Drogba in the dying moments. However, the ”Penalty” was not his fault.

Podolski: [6/10]
Did very little to get envolved, but didn’t have bags of time either.

Akpom: [6/10]
Didn’t have time to make an impact, but chased down loose balls whenever he could.

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[title]Same Old Drog[/title]

Today was not Arsenal’s day. There was no galvanizing comeback, nor was there any sturdy defending to keep the enemy at bay. Instead, it was the Arsenal that we have become all too familiar with.

Going forward, Arsenal were toothless for almost the entire ninety minutes, with only a fortunate goal to show for it. By the time Dider Drogba came on, the stage was set for his typical theatrics and deadly finishing. In the end, it was the same old Drog.

A draw and a loss within your own tournament is not exactly encouraging. Arsenal fans will now be as eager as ever before to see what moves Arsene Wenger makes in the transfer window ‐ if any.

What did you think of the Arsenal vs Galatasaray match? Share your views in the comments section below!

Image: Arsenal

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