A late goal from Mikel Arteta saw Arsenal see off Queens Park Rangers at Emirates Stadium today.
After a very sour week for Arsenal a win was much needed for the Gunners today and after a shaky performance, they finally saw off QPR with an 84th minute strike from Spaniard, Mikel Arteta.
Before the game, Arsenal fans were bouyed by the return of Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere who both made the first team for the first time this season. These changes saw in-form Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho drop to the bench.
After two consecutive defeats at the hands of Norwich and Schalke, three points were needed from the home side and after a very sloppy performance, they finally saw off the bottom club.
The first 45-minutes was not what the Arsenal fans wanted to see as their side could never get going and never really looked dangerous despite having all the possession. In the best chance of the half, Aaron Ramsey, saw his header loop over Julio Cesar and bounce off the bar.
Queens Park Rangers never really posed a threat in the first half, but they did look dangerous on the break and they did cause Arsenal left back, Andre Santos a lot of problems with Shaun Wright-Phillipps and Jose Bosingwa posing the threat.
The second half was very similar to the first half. A lot of Arsenal possession, but very minimum chances being created.
Despite having one injury scare, Jack Wilshere completed his comeback and got substituted in the 67th minute. His departure was met with a standing ovation from the home fans, who will be very happy to see the young Englishman back and in the first team.
With the score at 0-0 and neither team really looking like scoring, Santi Cazorla, wasted a glorious Arsenal chance when Theo Walcott’s cross rebounded into the Spaniard’s path, but his shot went miles off target. The summer signing was 12-yards out with no QPR defender around him, yet he still couldn’t hit the target much to the disbelief of the home fans.
The main turning point in the game must be when Stephen M’bia saw a red card for Queens Park Rangers when he lashed out at Thomas Vermaelen. A needless red card from the defender and a red card that eventually saw them lose the game.
Then came the moment that lifted the Emirates Stadium. After a cross from forgotten man, Andrey Arshavin, Olivier Giroud saw his header saved brilliantly from Julio Cesar. Aaron Ramsey then stabbed the ball forward to Mikel Arteta, who then saw his header rebound off Cesar and onto the bar, but then Arteta finally tapped the ball into the empty net. Relief all around Emirates Stadium from the manager, the players and the fans.
After taking the lead, it was Queen Park Rangers turn to dominate and put pressure on Arsenal and they will still be wondering how they didn’t leave the stadium with a point. After a fantastic mazy run by Jamie Mackie which saw him beat three Arsenal defenders, he then stupidly hit the ball straight at Vito Mannone and saw the ball bounce away. A late free-kick from Esteban Granero hit the side netting and that was the last chance QPR got before the referee blew the final whistle.
Mark Hughes was left fuming at the full time whistle after seeing his team fail to win again which leaves them bottom of the table with three points from nine games. Arsenal’s win sees them climb into the top four with 15 points from nine games.
Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper, Julio Cesar will be left feeling hard done by after he made several world class saves to keep the score at 1-0, but the stupidity of Stephen M’bia has cost his side a valuable point.
With the three points, also comes a fit again, Jack Wilshere and he was speaking after the game:
“It was amazing to be back – words cannot describe it. I was just running around smiling. It’s great to be back.
“Last time I played it was with Fabregas and Nasri – now it’s with Artata and Cazorla who are great players too. It’s like a new team and I’m like a new player.”
Queens Park Rangers boss, Mark Hughes, spoke of his disappointment after the game:
“The referee has absolutely killed it to allow their winning goal because Arteta was clearly offside on two occasions,” Hughes said.
“I’ve been to see the referee in his dressing room and he has created some cock and bull story about Ryan Nelsen being off the pitch. I’ve no idea what he is going on about because Ryan Nelsen, at no stage, went off the field of play. It has cost us the point.”
As for Arsene Wenger, he was just happy to end the week on a positive note:
“It was a good game overall. We played against a QPR side which has quality,” Wenger said. “We played quite well but lacked a little bit of the confidence you miss when you have lost two games. We had chances before the sending off but it made it easier and more difficult for Rangers.
“A draw would have been a big disappointment, but if we had lost today it would have been a crisis.”
Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger also spoke about fit-again, Jack Wilshere:
Alex William Batt