Gareth Southgate has officially revealed his England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and if you’re an Arsenal fan, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. The bad news is that Jack Wilshere hasn’t been selected, whereas the good news lies in the fact that Danny Welbeck will be on the plane to Russia.
In the first game since veteran boss Arsene Wenger announced he would leave the club in the summer, Arsenal recorded a 4-1 win over West Ham at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal had the first attempt on goal of the game on nine minutes, as centre-back Laurent Koscielny headed wide of goal from a Granit Xhaka corner kick.
At the other end of the pitch, Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario drew a smart save from David Ospina, while Marko Arnautovic also saw a shot on goal blocked by the Gunners defence.
Arsenal’s draw against CSKA Moscow in Russia last night ensured their passage into the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, although it wasn’t as straightforward as many fans were expecting. They went behind on the night, the Russian side were piling on the pressure, and for a while, it looked like the Gunners may follow in the footsteps of Barcelona earlier in the week. Thankfully for Arsenal fans, Wenger’s side were able to show some serious growth for the first time in what feels like forever.
Arsenal are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League after a 6-3 aggregate victory over Russian side CSKA Moscow. The aggregate score sounds highly convincing. However, in reality, it was until the last 15 minutes of the second leg that the Gunners sealed progress.
Arsenal made it difficult for themselves
The second leg in Moscow was never going to be easy, despite the fact that Arsene Wenger’s side won the home leg 4-1. For much of the contest, it looked like the Gunners would cruise through until 50th minute when CSKA Moscow took a two-goal lead on the night through Kirill Nababkin.
Arsenal drew 2-2 with CSKA Moscow at the Arena CSKA on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-finals second leg, to win 6-3 on aggregate in the tie.
CSKA Moscow made a strong start to the game without really troubling the Gunners backline. The first real attempt on goal arrived on 21 minutes, as Bistrovich sent a long-range effort well wide of goal.
The game finally saw a real threat on goal on 27 minutes. It all stemmed from Alan Dzagoev having a shot blocked by the Gunners defence. The ball fell to Danny Welbeck to released Alexandre Lacazette. The French striker just hesitated on the ball for too long and A. Berezutski managed to block the effort.
Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck seems to not know if he wants to be brilliant or brilliantly rubbish. The former Manchester United striker scored the winner in the Gunners 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.
However, he also contrived to miss an absolute sitter from close-range against the Saints too. The performance against the relegation-threatened team from the south coast summed his career up.
Can be a threat
Danny Welbeck has many good attributes. The forward is quick, good with his feet and will work hard for the team. He never hides, even when he has missed the easiest of chances.
Arsenal beat Southampton 3-2 at the Emirates in their 32nd game of the Premier League season, courtesy of one goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a brace from Danny Welbeck to overrule goals from Shane Long and Charlie Austin for the Saints.
Welbeck and Iwobi
This duo can be fairly considered as a pair of squad players, the manager’s tools for when his preferred options are unavailable or need rest. With the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette fully fit and firing, they are hardly likely to get a look-in.
On Sunday afternoon, Danny Welbeck bagged a brace for Arsenal against Southampton in a thrilling game, which saw both teams reduced to ten men.
Southampton offered the first threat on goal on seven minutes. Dusan Tadic got in behind the Gunners defence and pulled the ball back to James Ward-Prowse, who hit a rather tame effort towards goal that Hector Bellerin cleared near the goal line.
The Saints took the lead on 17 minutes. Wing-back Cedric dug out a cross and striker Shane Long poked home at the near post. The home side struggled to create anything until the equaliser arrived on 28 minutes.
On Thursday night, Arsenal host CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium in the quarter-final first leg of the Europa League.
Arsenal have been enduring a difficult campaign. However, the Europa League has been the highlight of the season so far. Last time out in the competition, the Gunners saw-off Italian giants AC Milan 5-1 on aggregate after a 2-0 win at the San Siro and a 3-1 victory at the Emirates.
The wins against the Rossoneri mean that Arsene Wenger’s side has now won four of their last five games in the Europa League. A key to that good run in Europe’s secondary competition is the home sides attacking prowess, as they have scored at least two goals in four of their last five European outings.
Most Arsenal fans would not describe this season as a successful one. However, there is still a chance that the Gunners may win the Europa League this season, something they are odds of 3/1 to achieve.
Arsene Wenger’s side eventually saw off a stubborn Stoke resistance on Sunday to record a 3-0 win. I would argue that the return from injury of French striker Alexandre Lacazette from the bench played a crucial role.
Endured a mixed Arsenal career so far
Lacazette has endured mixed fortunes at Arsenal this season. The French international joined the north London outfit last summer from Lyon and much was expected of him. He was the top-class striker Arsenal had been lacking for years.