Last gasp Torreira stunner sinks plucky Huddersfield.

 

 

Sometimes it takes one exquisite moment of brilliance to change a game. 

One superb bit of skill to wipe away the memory of a bitty, scrappy affair and to claim a the valuable three points. 

That moment arrived in the 83rd minute when Aubameyang was thwarted an assault on goal but he still managed to retrieve the ball and had the presence of mind to lob it over the scrambling and dismantled Huddersfield defence for the excellent  Lucas Torreira to add an acrobatic finish.

 

 

There were sighs of relief, and a tidal wave of praise for the diminutive midfielder as Arsenal sailed into 3rd spot in the premiership.

 

Huddersfield were determined to get something but the fact was that this new cult hero did a job when all looked lost.

It was a incredibly sloppy affair and it seemed that the North Londoners footballing telepathy was in need of urgent repair but in a match, featuring injury, simulation and a series of yellow cards, any chance of momentum was remote. The disrupted nature of this encounter resulted in 6 minutes of added time.

 

 

Arsenal were so out of salts that they resorted to long ball tactics, which goes against the very nature of their football philosophy and the chances that fell to their two hot shots were wasted.

Aubameyang seemed slightly at odds with himself and could easily have added to his tally of 10 goals and Lacazette blazed one over from 12 yards after an untimely slip.

 

 

 

Huddersfield for all their endeavour were toothless in front of goal and unless that is swiftly resolved in January, the inevitable drop will follow.

Like Arsenal they had chances but even if the goalkeeper had taken an early bath and the goal had been twice the size, they seemed unlikely to score.

 

 

The main offender for the gunners was Granit Xhaka, who seemed incapable of finding a red and white shirt, so much so, that some joker in the crowd recommended an urgent visit to Specsavers . 

Lacazette had a goal disallowed for offside and from where I was, the decision looked dubious to say the least. Technicalities will be the death of football, yet there is still a firm reluctance to use VAR regularly.

 

 

Huddersfield’s best chances fell to Pritchard who scuffed and fluffed each one that came his way, the worst example was scoping the ball over a grateful Arsenal crossbar.

He was also denied a penalty shout, which would have been a travesty had it been given, for trying to turn past Bellerin but it was viewed by the referee as no more than a innocent 50/50 incident.

 

 

 

 

Such was the impasse, that it  was inevitable that Emery would make a change and on cane Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi replacing Lacazette and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

The two subs added a new impetus, never far apart as they pressed forward in search of the elusive goal. 

 

 

David Wagner must be very concerned about his sides premier league status and it’s well known that few of those in the bottom three in December escape the drop. 

For Emery, it’s a defensive jigsaw that is becoming something of a crisis. 

The casualty list grows by the day and his options are limited, making it ever more likely that Arsenal will have to reinforce despite indications of a genuine reluctance at board level.

 

 

If Arsenal manage to continue their current run and emerge from December in reasonably good shape, new additions are crucial to make the final push in the new year.

Either that or fringe players may need to be pushed into the spotlight as a matter of necessity. 

Koscielny made a return to the subs bench but Emery will have to tread very carefully to avoid further damage to the player after such a serious injury and lengthy lay off.

 

 

For those about to rip into Arsenal for their fluctuating form, perhaps they should take into account that they have played 4 games in 10 days. The games against Spurs and United must have drained the intensity tanks during a spell where the squad has become smaller through injuries.

 

Emery has rinsed every ounce of effort from every player thus far but it’s a lot more difficult when there are less of them available.

Gary Neville thinks Arsenal will have to provide the Spaniard with funds

 

 

“The job that Unai Emery is doing, he’s getting the absolute maximum out of this squad,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ MNF.

“But actually to pick up and transition so quickly from a long-time serving manager like Arsene Wenger, who set a culture for everybody at that football club. It was an old-fashioned style of management really where everybody at the football club would’ve hung off Wenger’s every single word.

“So he’s had to come in and pick that up, not just with the players by the way but also with the actual staff in the club. The chefs, the people who are in the general office, everybody has got to get used to this new guy. So he’s got to pick that up and he’s been made to work hard.

 

“It’s not as if he’s having it easy in matches. In every single game he’s got big decisions to make, he’s having to work hard in terms of making substitutions. I think he’ll be thinking that in two or three transfer windows or two or three years’ time he won’t want to be being as influential or as disruptive to the game as he’s having to.”

 

 

 

It may be a very patched up defence for the game against Southampton and Arsenal will now have to limp towards the transfer window, whilst considering a hefty spending programme to maintain their push for a champions league slot.

 

 

 

 

 

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