Arsenal now face the lot from down the road, a.k.a Sp*rs in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup. In a match that should have been easy, the boys fought to defend for most of the second half.
I watched this game bearing in mind the concerns I had about our defence. But then again, it was Blackpool so I tried to convince myself not to worry too much.
In the first 30 minutes, the game stifled. A lot of sideways passing and the lack of penetration into Blackpool’s final third was evident. Then suddenly, Guendouzi switched on his inner Fabregas and lobbed a through ball which Lichtsteiner latched on to and scored.
The game came alive.
Long balls, run-ins and crosses which, led to the second goal. Jenko (Carl Jenkinson) stepped up to the plate and his cross-rebound met Emile Smith-Rowe to make it 2 nil.
And then, somehow, Guendouzi got a second yellow card.
Let me add that the refereeing in this game was awful. And so were Petr Cech’s passes from the back but, I digress.
Back to the awful refereeing.
The referee called fouls that didn’t even exist. From Guendouzi’s cards to some of the offside calls for Welbeck and Aubameyang. Even the Blackpool red card was sketchy because though the tackle was hard, it wasn’t a cynical foul. The only reason I was happy with it was that it leveled the playing field because, it was obvious Blackpool started to grow some impetus after their first goal.
A player worth mentioning is Julio Pleguezuelo. He was simple, tidy and aware for most of the game. I think he should be given more chances with the likes of Mavropanos injured.
There’s barely any time to rest as we face Liverpool in two days. Let’s hope our defence can withstand Liverpool’s firepower and our forwards crack their defence.