Following their midweek defeat (which no longer needs to be talked about), Arsene Wenger’s side knew they had a statement to make, which they did with a resounding victory over non-league side Lincoln City.
The first half saw Arsenal create chances for themselves with the first falling to Aaron Ramsey from a pass by Hector Bellerin but Ramsey saw his effort miss the target. Theo Walcott was the next to go close as he went for power and accuracy but couldn’t hit the mark as his opportunity was foiled by Paul Farman who saw Walcott’s next chance, managing to tip it onto the post before it the ball was hoofed clear.
Part of Lincoln City’s game was making it as difficult as possible for Arsenal, which is what I liked. Arsenal continued to press in the first half, but couldn’t find a way through, especially when Walcott attempted to cross to Olivier Giroud after a pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but his effort was blocked by Sean Raggett. The link-up play was typical Arsenal but the block made by Raggett was a reminder that they were up for a fight.
The Imps showed that fighting spirit when Nathan Arnold forced Petr Cech to make a save. A great save it was too as if that had gone in, we’d be talking about an entirely different game.
Wenger’s side missed yet another opportunity to break the deadlock when Walcott saw his effort saved by Farman. It was clear that Danny Cowley’s side weren’t going to lie low that easily.
Aaron Ramsey had a “half-chance” (if I can call it that) with a minute to go of the first half, but his effort came to nothing. The Gunners eventually found a way through late on in the first half when Walcott struck to put his side in the lead. Going into half-time at 0-0 would’ve given Cowley’s side extra confidence, something that Arsenal wouldn’t have wanted, but 1-0 it ended.
This stage of the game saw Ramsey spurn another opportunity over the bar early on as his side were pushing for a second. Kieran Gibbs was the next player to miss a golden opportunity as he headed just over. He didn’t quite get the direction right.
Giroud then doubled his sides lead after miss-kicking the ball a little earlier. A pass from Bellerin played a part in the goal, as did Alexis Sanchez. A third goal was insight, but just couldn’t be put away when Bellerin missed an opportunity to do just that.
It took an unfortunate own goal from Luke Waterfall for Arsenal to eventually get a third and put the game beyond the reach of the plucky Imps. You could feel sorry for Waterfall as a fan. To add insult to injury, Sanchez added a fourth by slotting in to leave Farman with no chance of getting to the ball.
Ramsey completed the rout with fifth in what is probably the easiest goal he’ll ever score in his career. Sanchez starred with some fancy footwork (he could afford to) set Arsenal on the way to a fifth goal. The Gunners could’ve had a sixth with five minutes to go, but 5-0 it finished.
Thoughts on the game
Ahead of the game, I knew that anything but a win would probably see Arsene Wenger “sacked in the morning”, so a win was must. 5-0 is a comprehensive score line. I couldn’t have asked for anymore.
I liked Danny Cowley’s words ahead of the game. He said that this match was not just going to be a “day out”, and if thought otherwise, you could as well go to a zoo. That was a reminder that he wouldn’t be caught up in the fanfare.
Lincoln City weren’t a bad side, but Arsenal were just too good. I hope other Non-league sides take note as see sides with same calibre of Lincoln City at this round is not something you see every season.
Anyway, with that being said, Arsenal now look forward to an away match at The Hawthorns, to get their league season back on track (or what’s left of it).
The draw takes place following the conclusion of Chelsea v Manchester United. I’ll be happy to get any side.
So, I’ll be back for the Manchester City game (not West Brom as Marissa will be previewing that one.)
Catch you later.