Once again the questions before the Huddersfield game were all about Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, who didn’t even make it to the bench.
Emery may well have a problem with the German in one respect or another but paying him £350,000-per-week(as per Guardian) and not playing him is becoming a scandalous waste of resources, at a time when the North London club are struggling with finances as much as form.
The issue comes and goes but for all concerned, it needs to be sorted out to someone’s satisfaction, anyone’s will do. It’s said that the German midfielder had a virus, the seventh time this season that he has been missing for reasons other than injury.
He joined other absentees Aubameyang (virus) Xhaka (groin) and Ramsey (knee). On a more positive note, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was back.
Sead Kolasinac was again thrust into midfield and despite his recent fluctuating form, Iwobi was again pulling a shift out wide. The final midfield slot went to Maitland Niles who finally got a chance to star in his preferred position in the middle.
Emery had Arsenal pushing high against their hosts but it left huge pockets of space to run in behind, something that Huddersfield couldn’t exploit and this is the main reason they are on their way to the championship next season.
It’s not like Huddersfield didn’t have chances, they had more than they should have and the North London club almost teased them to score by standing off and being slow to close down.
Laurent Depoitre came close on more than one occasion, providing Leno with opportunities to stretch and flex within the realms of his kingdom. The youngster continues to impress despite being hindered by the worst defence in Arsenal history.
Arsenal’s first goal was the type they like to concede, Mkhitaryan fed the ball to Kolasinac on the left, who popped a hopeful ball into the Huddersfield box. Iwobi was in acres of space and his strike wasn’t totally clean, taking a deflection on its way into the net.
The second Arsenal goal was more Arsenal like and it seemed that Huddersfield stood back to admire Arsenal’s work. Mkhitaryan was involved again. After appearing to run himself into trouble, he passed to Maitland Niles who raced forward and gave Lacazette a cross of devastating quality that would be harder to miss than score.
Huddersfield huffed and puffed and Arsenal held them off but with better opposition, this could easily have been a draw or worse. At times, the space Arsenal left was the size of two transit vans against an opponent who just didn’t know what to do with it.
In the end, Huddersfield were more than worth their goal, god knows they are as rare as tax rebates. Arsenal were opened up by Mooy with a threaded ball to Diakhaby. Leno got a hand to it but it continued on to Kolasinac who prodded it home in his own net.
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