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Arsenal overtakes Man Utd

Wasting the opportunity, but Emile Smith Rowe’s goal helped Arsenal beat Watford 1-0 to get fifth in the Premier League.

This is the 10th consecutive match “Gunners” have not lost, including four recent victories. After being empty-handed in the first four rounds, Arsenal had a strong revival and enjoyed the sweet fruit of Mikel Arteta’s trust in young players. They overcame Man Utd, the team ranked sixth and had 17 points, to equal West Ham (20) but lost the goal difference.

Smith Rowe scored for the third consecutive game in the Premier League.  Photo: Reuters.

Smith Rowe scored for the third consecutive game in the Premier League. Photo: Reuters.

Arsenal’s victory would have been more impressive if they hadn’t missed those tenth chances. In the seventh minute, the home team put the ball into the net of Watford but it was disallowed because Bukayo Saka was offside. But this will not happen if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang controls the ball better than before.

Besides, goalkeeper Ben Foster also played excellently. England beat Aubameyang on a penalty kick at the end of the first half, after Alexandre Lacazette was fouled by Danny Rose in the box. At 38 years and 218 days, Foster is the oldest goalkeeper to save a penalty since Shay Given in August 2016 (40 years and 129 days), when he helped Stoke avoid being conceded by Everton. Before halftime, Foster once again denied Gabriel’s close-range header.

The fourth match under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri, Watford has not shown a positive change in play. They once beat Everton 5-2 but lost the remaining three matches. Before Arsenal, Watford tried to press, but they only caused more aggressive tackles than necessary. The best chance they created was Juraj Kucka’s shot wide at the end of the first half.

Forster saves Aubameyang's penalty kick.  Photo: Reuters.

Forster saves Aubameyang’s penalty kick. Photo: Reuters.

Continuing to pressurize in the second half, Arsenal found the opener. Midfielder Ben White suddenly broke through to the Watford penalty area. Though unsuccessful, his attempt confused his opponent. Seizing the opportunity, Smith Rowe quickly shot into the right corner of the goal.

Four minutes into the match, Martin Odegaard made the Emirates Stadium open again when his shot from a tight angle slipped through Foster’s hand. However, Aubameyang reached out to touch the ball, causing the goal to be canceled because the Gabon striker was offside.

Despite having a bad day, Aubameyang was kept on the field until the match ended. Arteta probably wants the Arsenal captain to score to regain confidence. However, that did not happen. The highlight in the remaining minutes comes from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale – who is in very good form recently. His incorrect kick almost caused Arsenal to equalize. However, because the angle of the shot was too narrow, Joshua King could not hit the goal.

Aubameyang's greed made Odegaard lose a goal.  Photo: PA.

Aubameyang’s greed made Odegaard lose a goal. Photo: PA.

The second half had up to six minutes of injury time but Arsenal did not face any difficulties because Watford lost people. Juraj Kucka received a second yellow card for a foul on Nuno Tavares.

Arsenal will take a two-week break to make room for the national team gathering period. Their next match will take place at Liverpool Stadium on November 21. A day earlier, Watford also faced an equally great challenge when receiving Man Utd.


Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Lokonga, Maitland-Niles, Smith Rowe (Elneny 86′), Saka (Martinelli 90′), Aubameyang, Lacazette (Odegaard 69′).

Watford: Foster, Femenia, Nkoulou, Cathcart (Fletcher 90′), Rose, Sissoko, Tufan (Pedro 62′), Kucka, Sarr, Dennis (Hernandez 74′), King.

Quang Huy

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