MoTD Recap: Arsenal Showed Mental Strength In Bulgaria

It’s always best to give it a few hours to properly recap a match, so I did just that. Had I jumped right into it at the sound of the final whistle, there would have been an incredible amount of exclamation marks and capital letters. Can you blame me? How the hell did Arsenal pull that off?

As I had mentioned in the match preview, I was fairly confident Arsenal would be able to score three goals. Does that mean I’m some sort of prediction wizard, of course not, but things also didn’t play out the way Arsenal supporters would have expected.

With some changes in the squad, the Gunners had more than enough firepower to grab all three points. Yet, even given their current form, you couldn’t help but to wonder if this would be that banana peel match that every non-Arsenal supporter was waiting for.

It sure as hell looked like a banana peel the size of the Emirates Stadium after about 15 minutes.

The set piece goal was typical Arsenal. No one attacking the ball, and there you have it folks, prepare for implosion.

Three minutes later, Kieran Gibbs got turned inside out, setting up an easy second for the hosts. Implosion is now in progress.

These guys were on cloud 10. Words can’t describe how shocked, yet beyond excited the Ludogorets players were, as well as their manager and supporters. They completely jumped over cloud nine and went straight to 10. A two goal lead after 15 minutes against a Premier League side that just put half-dozen by them a few weeks earlier. That is what banana peels are made of!

Most of their attacks were coming from Kieran Gibbs’ side. It made me miss Nacho Monreal, not gonna lie.

Ludogorets - Arsenal: Granit Xhaka's Goal

As I continuously refreshed my Twitter feed, the #WengerOut boys were in their glory. They pulled out those banners from the closet, dusted them off, and raised them up the flagpole.

Everything from Arsene Wenger is to blame, Arsene Wenger picked the wrong side, to Same old Arsenal.

This is what they’ve been waiting for.

It almost happened against Sunderland, so you know every anti-Arsenal and anti-Wenger fanboy was itching for it to happen.

Fifteen minutes into the match, I could only hope they’d limit the damage. Weather the storm, and get into a rhythm.

Xhaka’s goal allowed them to calm the nerves, while the Ludogorets manager now had some thinking to do. Do I call all the boys back to the triple decker bus in an attempt to avoid conceding a second?

They tried to see it out until the break, but Ramsey’s cross found a beautifully bearded Frenchman. And to be fair, I had been calling for Rambo to come off prior to that assist, as were many others. I’m not his biggest fan when he features on the right. He doesn’t have the pace, and you waste his vision out wide.

All level at the break, the haters started to quietly put away their anti-Arsenal article preparations. Are they really going to pull this off?!

Tell you what, it didn’t look like they would, although deep down, we were all hopeful.

PSG was level on one goal in Switzerland, which was rubbing salt in the wound. This was the chance to grab hold of first place, something that’s eluded Arsenal for years. How the hell were they going to bottle this opportunity?!

Reporters were already putting together their stories about how Arsenal is mentally weak, when out of nowhere… Mesut Ozil pulled off a play that even Lionel Messi would be proud of.

Elneny with a pass over the top, yet I’m thinking dammit, he’s offsides. Wait, he’s not off!? He chips the goalie with nerves of steel, and at this point, everyone is likely yelling SHOOT!

Shooting in that situation clearly is too boring for Mesut. Instead, he proceeded to make two defenders look like Stevie G slipping against Chelsea, gave the keeper enough time to feel like maybe he had a chance to get back in position, and then slotted it home.

The comeback was complete, as the Arsenal players celebrated in front of the traveling fans, who were FANTASTIC!

Arsene Wenger was in his glory, Twitter was on the verge of a system overload, and the anti-supporters crawled back into their holes. It didn’t happen without a few grey hairs, but in the end, it was well worth it.

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