Welcome back to my Arsenal journey! In my previous post, I told you a bit about my recent trip to London, where I attended five matches in less than two weeks. I first saw Arsenal defeat Bate Borisov at Emirates Stadium on Thursday, February 21st and then got to see West Ham beat Fulham at the London Stadium the very next night. That match also included West Ham’s “World Famous” bubbles. Here’s what came next in my football odyssey.
Match number three was on Sunday, February 24th versus Southampton. This is the match that gave birth to this entire adventure. (I won a trip to London through the Arsenal NYC supporters club including roundtrip airfare and a ticket to this match).
The weather was very un-London like, with bright blue skies and temperatures in the 60’s, as I head out for the 2PM kickoff. I wanted to take in the full pre-match experience, so my first stop was Piebury Corner, where I ordered the Dennis Bergkamp pie.
Then it was off to the Emirates where it was buzzing with anticipation.
This one looked like it was going to be a blowout as Arsenal led 2-0 within just 17 minutes. Lacazette got the first on a rebound off a Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot. Mkhitaryan scored the second just 11 minutes later.
Arsenal continued to dominate the game and had the bulk of the possession. There was no additional scoring, but it was great to see Arsenal keep a clean sheet in a league match for a change.
Interestingly, the two people sitting next to me were from Brooklyn. It turns out they are also Arsenal NYC members and were able to purchase tickets through the supporter’s club. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter where you go in the world, you’ll always run in to someone from NYC.
Three days later, the sun was still shining as I prepared to take in Arsenal’s third match in six days. Bournemouth were in town for a Wednesday 7:45PM kick off.
This was the best match of them all as Arsenal ran riot. Once again Mesut Ozil was given a start and he proved his doubters wrong quickly. He had the ball in the back of the Bournemouth net in the 4th minute. Goal number two was scored by Mkhitaryan in the 27th minute.
The only glaring error in this one was made by young Matteo Guendouzi who was caught in possession by Bournemouth’s Lys Mousset, who easily pulled one back for the Cherries. In the end it didn’t matter, but hopefully the 19-year-old will learn from his mistakes.
Koscielny, Aubameyang and Lacazette each scored in the second half to give Arsenal a comfortable 5-1 victory.
Four matches were now in the books, after just one week in London. There was one more fixture on my wish list, and that was the North London derby scheduled at Wembley just three days later. The problem now was how to get tickets. Did I make it to Wembley? Stay tuned for part three.