Arsenal travelled to the Deepdale Stadium for their third round FA Cup tie against Preston. David Ospina started in goal, Lucas Perez, who was declared fit after doubts over his ankle, partnered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles featured as a right back for Arsenal.
After a dreary first half (1-0 Preston at HT), Arsenal responded with a goal just a minute into the second-half; Alex Iwobi found his way onto Ramsey, who smashed it home with class. Arsenal’s second goal came when some wonderful link-up between Lucas and Giroud paid off with a cracking 89th minute goal…yet again.
Preston gave Arsenal a tough time today but Arsenal seemed to have found a way on to the fourth round with great teamwork and determination. Not many impressed today, but let’s have a look at ocontendersors for Arsenal’s ‘Man of the Match’.
A) Nacho Monreal
The first choice left back for Arsenal did face some criticism regarding his lack of form in previous few fixtures but he has eventually managed to put in some good performances of late. Against Preston, he was ever ready to overlap when the opportunity arose and tried to feed the Arsenal attack with his cut backs and crosses. He also did well defensively, clearing just off the goal line when Arsenal were 1-0 down at that time and it proved to be a vital clearance in Arsenal’s cause.
B) Lucas Perez
Lucas Perez, just as the rest of the Arsenal team, got through the first half without having much of an effect on the game. In the second-half, though he began to link up well with Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud, which ultimately led to Arsenal’s winner: the Spaniard, managed a wonderful back heel for Giroud to knock it in and win the game for the Gunners. Lucas’ effort and hard work is a positive sign for the fans and the fact that he can produce decent displays provides Arsene Wenger with a nice headache.
C) Aaron Ramsey
An amazing second-half display. Ramsey smashed a vicious strike just a minute into the second-half to mark his first goal for Arsenal this season. He looked composed in midfield and always made the right decisions. He also had a part in the second goal as he initially played Giroud who moved it to Lucas to backheel the ball for the Frenchman. The win will be proving as a huge confidence booster for him and he will look to make the midfield his own as Arsenal have Ramsey and Xhaka the only fit central midfielders in their squad.
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