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Arsenal v Zürich Live Commentary, 04/11/2022

1 - 0
K. Tierney (17)
Emirates Stadium


That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until the next one, goodbye!
That 1-0 victory sees Arsenal finish their group stage campaign on top of Group A, two points ahead of PSV, who also triumphed against Bodo/Glimt. The Gunners are therefore straight into the round of 16 beginning in 2023, and avoid an extra two games in the round of 32. Zurich finish bottom of the group, being unable to find that crucial point to overtake Bodo/Glimt, and the Swiss side are out of European competition altogether in 2022-23.
As Arsenal's attack gave way to Zurich's during the second half, Rob Holding stood tallest at the back for the Gunners to keep the visitors at bay. He completed more passes than any other Arsenal player, while also contesting the most duels, with seven of his 16 in total coming in the air. Defensively, he won the ball six times, including via four tackles, and also made a clearance and interception apiece to ensure Arteta's men held out for victory.
The full-time whistle goes, and Arsenal hang on to go through as winners of Group A! However, the Gunners were far from convincing in their victory, and were distinctly average for large portions of that second half. Tierney's first-half volley proved to be the winner, but Zurich had numerous chances to at least level the contest. The last 10 or so minutes in particular resembled one-way traffic towards Arsenal's goal, and Mikel Arteta will know his side need to really improve if they're to make any sort of a dent in the knockout stages.
90' + 6' OVER!!! The free-kick is curled into the box, and Katic rises highest, connecting with a free header that rises just over the top of the crossbar!
Gabriel Magalhães
Yellow Card
90' + 6' Following a clash between Nketiah and Kamberi, the Zurich free-kick is pumped forward, but Gabriel catches Santini as the pair climb to win the header, and the Gunners' centre-back is booked.
90' + 4' SAVED!!! Krasniqi glides through before spreading the ball wide to Marchesano, and he crosses low towards the front post. Okita slides in to stab it home, but Ramsdale dives on the ball to save Arsenal once again!
90' + 4' PSV are currently leading Bodo/Glimt 1-0 in their corresponding fixture, meaning if Arsenal concede late on to draw this game, they'll be replaced at the top of the group by the Dutch side.
90' + 3' CHANCE!!! Cedric's cross from the right is met by Nketiah, but he can't direct his glancing header goalwards and the ball flashes wide!
90' + 2' Tierney goes down and requires some treatment, which eventually results in the Arsenal goalscorer trudging back to the sideline as the clock ticks down.
90' + 1' Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in four of their six games so far, no team has done this more in the Europa League this season.
90' We'll play five minutes of added time to see this game out, and will Arsenal be able to hang on?
89' The hosts come forward again as Marchesano whips a teasing cross into the area. Okita attacks the ball, but can't get to it as it flies wide of Vyunnick!
I. Santini
F. Aliti
89' Zurich throw caution to the win late on, as they bring off defender Aliti for a target-man forward in the form of Ivan Santini.
Cédric Soares
T. Tomiyasu
88' Tomiyasu has picked up a knock, and Mikel Arteta doesn't want to risk him further, so the substitute is substituted for another right-back in Cedric Soares.
86' After a Zurich corner is headed clear by Nelson, the hosts come back down the left and Vyunnick floats a cross in from the left. Okita attacks it, but Tierney pulls of a brilliant defensive header to get the ball away for Arsenal!
84' Nelson surges after a loose ball down the left wing and looks to have the beating of Katic, but the Zurich defender slides in brilliantly to knock the ball away and out for a corner!
B. Krasniqi
C. Condé
82' Another change from the visitors sees the booked Conde withdrawn, and he's replaced by Bledian Krasniqi.
80' OVER!!! Vyunnik picks up the ball in space and tries his luck from 20 yards, curling a very good effort beyond Ramsdale's reach and just over the bar!
B. Viunnyk
A. Tosin
78' Tosin also comes off, and is replaced by Bohdan Vyunnik.
M. Hornschuh
O. Selnæs
77' Zurich ring the changes, as Selnaes is replaced in midfield by Marc Hornschuh.
75' Arsenal break and Nelson puts Nketiah in behind down the left. He in turn finds Nelson on the edge of the box, but the offside flag is up against Nketiah before his teammate can let fly.
74' Boranijasevic takes on Tierney before drilling a low cross into the box, but Ramsdale scoops the ball up before any Zurich forwards can latch onto it.
T. Tomiyasu
B. White
73' White is also taken off, and Takehiro Tomiyasu comes on at right-back.
M. Ødegaard
Fábio Vieira
73' Vieira has arguably been Arsenal's brightest attacking spark in this game, but the playmaker comes off now for Gunners captain Martin Odegaard.
71' CHANCE!!! White beats Guerrero in an almighty tussle down the right, before cutting the ball back for Saka. He races onto the ball and looks to squeeze in a shot towards the front post, but pressure from Katic forces him wide and the ball goes behind for a goal kick!
69' That was Zurich's first shot on goal in over half an hour, and that near miss should hopefully inspire them to create more attacking opportunities in the final 20 minutes!
67' BALL IN THE NET!!! Forward come the visitors and Okita cuts the ball back for Marchesano on the edge of the box. His first-time effort is stopped superbly by Ramsdale, but he can only push the ball into the path of Guerrero, who smashes the rebound into the far corner of the net!!! Zurich's jubilation is halted though, as the offside flag is raised to rule their goal out! What an opportunity!
65' Vieira takes on Saka's inside ball and bypasses Katic before shooting. It's a poor effort though, as the Portuguese sends his shot well wide and over the top!
64' CHANCE!!! Saka beats Guerrero before crossing, and a flick away from Aliti sends the ball into Nelson's path. He's not expecting it though, and can only chest the ball into the waiting gloves of Brecher!
B. Saka
Gabriel Jesus
63' Jesus hasn't been at his clinical best in this one, and the stand-in Arsenal captain comes off for Bukayo Saka. Nketiah will likely move into the centre-forward position, with Saka occupying the left flank.
T. Partey
Mohamed Elneny
63' Arsenal make their first changes of the match, the first of which sees Elneny replaced by Thomas Partey at the base of their midfield.
C. Condé
Yellow Card
62' Conde fouls Lokonga twice in as many minutes, with his two late challenges eventually resulting in a yellow card for the Zurich midfielder.
60' Tosin collects a pass and looks to release his teammates with his back to goal, but Holding clips him late and the visitors win a free-kick.
58' Vieira gets away from Conde and whips a cross towards the front post, but it's chested back to Brecher by Aliti before Jesus can get there.
57' After Ramsdale catches Boranijasevic's cross, Arsenal break forward quickly and it comes to Nketiah on the edge of the box. He has options, but the Zurich defence has recovered quickly, and his floated pass to Jesus is headed away.
55' Lokonga races into the box to latch onto Tierney's forward pass, but after beating one defender with a lovely piece of skill, the midfielder can't get to the ball as Brecher gathers it.
53' Tierney heads to the sideline for a change of shirt, after his current shirt was ripped down the chest area during a tussle with Boranijasevic on the near touchline!
51' Jesus looks to turn Conde on halfway, but is shoved to the ground by the Zurich midfielder and wins a free-kick.
N. Katić
Yellow Card
49' Jesus evades Katic on the break for the Gunners, but is taken down by the defender, who is booked.
48' Nketiah heads another Arsenal corner back across the face of goal, but it's half-cleared by Zurich before Okita's cushioned header back to Brecher is collected by the goalkeeper.
47' SAVED!!!! An early second-half chance after Vieira's free-kick into the box bobbles into Jesus' path. The unmarked Arsenal captain looks to slot the ball into the net from just yards out, but somehow Brecher gets in the way to stop the shot!
46' Jesus kicks off for Arsenal, and we're back underway at the Emirates!
A. Marchesano
F. Rohner
46' Zurich make a half-time change, as Rohner comes off for Antonio Marchesano, the man he replaced in the starting XI ahead of the game.
The teams return for the second half, and will Arsenal be able to find more goals to put this result beyond doubt?
Vieira's been busy to say the least in Arsenal's midfield, and arguably should have added to their lead, with his three shots yielding a game-leading xG of 0.35 so far. He's also completed three key passes, as well as two crosses, and has had five touches in the Zurich box. Defensively, he's won the ball three times, once of which came in the final third. Fab.
Arsenal have one foot up on the summit of Group A, as they lead Zurich at half-time in their final group game. Zurich did have early half chances, but Arsenal rallied and went ahead thanks to Tierney's superb volley 17 minutes in. The Gunners had further chances to extend their lead, but a series of last-ditch blocks and wayward finishing mean the lead remains only one going into the second half. Zurich have had spells of bright football though, and so that slender lead could prove to be a precarious one for Arsenal.
45' + 1' We're into two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
45' Nketiah bursts down the left again before crossing low. Selnaes cuts it out well and almost clears the ball away, but a poor last touch sees him concede a corner instead.
44' A well-timed tackle from Nelson breaks up a fledgling Zurich attack, and Holding looks to find Vieira with a ball down the right. It's overhit though, and bounces over the touchline. The game has slowed somewhat with half-time approaching.
42' Katic is down following a head clash with Gabriel after an Arsenal throw-in. The big Croatian defender has already been wearing padding around his head in this first half, so the Zurich medical staff will be wanting to check him over thoroughly before giving the green light for him to continue.
40' BLOCKED!!! Nketiah draws in defenders before releasing Tierney down the left byline. His cut-back is met by the unmarked Vieira, whose goalbound shot is blocked away by Guerrero with Brecher in no-man's land!
39' Zurich have conceded 10 first-half goals in six games, more than any other team in the Europa League this season.
37' Jesus cuts inside from the right and skilfully beats three players as he enters the box. He squares for the arriving Vieira, but a deflection takes the ball back into the gloves of Brecher!
36' SAVED!!! What a stop!!! Vieira's corner is met brilliantly by Nketiah, who unleashes a bullet of a header towards the top corner. Brecher is equal to it though, and reacts well to claw the ball out of the goalmouth and away!
35' SAVED!!! Forward come the visitors, and Okita has space to shoot. He does so, but his 25-yard effort towards goal takes a deflection off Elneny, forcing Ramsdale into a diving save in the corner!!
34' Zurich have lost all five of their away matches against English sides in Europe, conceding three goals per game on average. Their most recent away game against an English club saw them lose 3-0 to Aston Villa in the Intertoto Cup in July 2002.
F. Aliti
Yellow Card
32' Aliti slides into a challenge on Vieira and gets much more of the man than the ball, sending the Arsenal playmaker flying and picking up a yellow card as he protests the referee's decision.
31' BLOCKED!!! What a chance for Arsenal!!! A clever flick from Jesus allows Nketiah to stride into the box before feeding Vieira. His first-time shot hits the backside of Jesus, before Nelson's follow-up shot is blocked away by Aliti!
30' Nketiah's reverse pass gives Tierney space to cross, but his cut-back for Nelson sees the forward take a heavy touch and the ball rolls behind for a goal kick.
28' Aliti rises at the front post to connect with Okita's corner, but sends his header looping over both Ramsdale and the Arsenal crossbar.
27' Whoa!!!! Ramsdale, under pressure from Rohner, looks to pass left to Holding, but his wide pass flies well away from the defender and behind for a Zurich corner!
26' Nelson beats Guerrero on the inside but play is brought back for a foul. The Arsenal winger caught the Zurich man with a stray flick of his arm and the referee penalises him.
24' Tierney beats two before crossing from the left, and Vieira tries to meet it with an acrobatic volley, but he mistimes his shot and it skews away to White!
23' Arsenal are yet to drop a point after taking the lead in this season's Europa League, however the visitors did come back from behind to beat Bodo/Glimt in their last game.
21' SAVED!!! Conde loses out to Elneny in midfield, who feeds Nketiah. He arrives on the edge of the box and hits a sweet shot from 20 yards, which is well parried by Brecher in the Zurich goal!
19' Arsenal have lost just one of their last 19 group stage matches at home in major European competitions, winning each of their last five such games, and they're well on their way to making it six here!
K. Tierney
17' GOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Arsenal lead with a super strike!!!! White's cut-back from the byline to Vieira sees the midfielder have two half-decent efforts at goal blocked, and the ball bobbles out to Tierney. The left-back lashes a thumper of a shot on the half-volley, which beats everyone and flies into the bottom corner!!! 1-0 to the Arsenal, and after quite a cagey start the Gunners click into gear!
16' Zurich have lost both their Europa League games on the road this season, and have only won once in their last 17 away games in major European competitions, losing 13 times in the process.
14' An Arsenal corner is drilled low towards Nelson, who slices a mistimed shot goalwards. Jesus recovers the loose ball, but his shot on the rebound is blocked by Conde!
13' Vieira dribbles down the right and looks for options around him to no avail. He enters the box, but is soon dispossessed thanks to a perfectly-timed challenge from Katic.
11' OVER!!!! Zurich win a corner which is delivered onto the head of Katic, who knocks it down to Okita. He controls the ball on the turn, but can only blaze his close-range effort over the crossbar, before the offside flag is raised!
10' Arsenal’s victory against Zurich on matchday one was the first ever meeting between the two clubs. Arsenal have now won all seven of their matches against Swiss sides, the most games they’ve played against teams from a particular nation while winning each time.
8' Tierney's long pass forward looks to put Nketiah in behind down the left-hand-side, but the Arsenal forward is flagged for offside and the chance dissipates.
6' Okita finds space on the right and crosses into the area. Tosin is at the far post, but the ball flies over his head and away.
4' Arsenal have won each of their two previous European contests at home this season. The Gunners are in the midst of a 12-match home winning streak in all competitions.
2' Tosin bursts down the left into space behind White, and crosses early into the box, but Holding is easily able to cut the pass out and wins possession back for Arsenal.
1' The visitors kick us off, and the game is underway in North London!
The teams are out on the pitch at the Emirates, and kick-off is just moments away!
Antonio Marchesano scored a 94th minute winner for Zurich against Bodo/Glimt, but the midfielder is replaced in the side by Fabian Rohner out wide, in the only change from Zurich’s 1-0 win over Sion in the Swiss League.
Arsenal were kept at bay by PSV last time out, but were 5-0 winners in their most recent Premier League match against Nottingham Forest. Reiss Nelson scored twice in that game, and starts on the right wing for this one, lining up alongside Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the Gunners’ front three.
ZURICH SUBS: Zivko Kostadinovic, Alan Omerovic, Becir Omeragic, Bledian Krasniqi, Ivan Santini, Antonio Marchesano, Marc Hornschuh, Bohdan Vyunnik, Selmin Hodza, Karol Mets, Ilan Sauter.
ZURICH (4-3-3): Yanick Brecher; Nikola Boranijasevic, Lindrit Kamberi, Nikola Katic, Fidan Aliti; Cheick Oumar Conde, Ole Selnaes, Adria Guerrero; Aiyegun Tosin, Jonathan Okita, Fabian Rohner.
ARSENAL SUBS: Karl Hein, James Hillson, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba, Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Marquinhos, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Matt Smith.
ARSENAL (4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Fabio Viera, Mohamed Elneny, Albert Sambi Lokonga; Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah.
Zurich sit at the bottom of the group, but are only a point behind Bodo/Glimt in third. They beat the Norwegian side 2-1 last time out to give themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for the Europa Conference League knockout stages, and will do so if they win in London, and Bodo fail to do so against PSV.
Arsenal have already qualified for the next stage of the competition, and lead the group by two points. They need to better PSV’s result in order to finish top of Group A, after losing 2-0 in Eindhoven last time out.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this fixture in the UEFA Europa League, as Arsenal take on Zurich in Group A.