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TALKING REDS By Layth Yousif

Saturday, February 19 Arsenal 2-1 Brentford As the song goes ‘Saka and Emile Smith Rowe’ combine to seal a comfortable three points against the Bees, despite Christian Norgaard’s late consolation. Race off for my best mate’s birthday party in his local boozer which sees us all revert to being kids again. Also managed to belt out a few Arsenal songs at the end of the night, but that’s a different story. A good day all round. Friday, February 25 Arsenal U23 1-4 Liverpool U23 An impudent chip by talented Marcelo Flores gave the Gunners hope, but it wasn’t to be for Kevin Betsy’s talented academy lads. Nevertheless, the young Mexican is one to keep an eye on. I was certainly impressed at Meadow Park. It’s players like him that make me forgo the comforts of a Friday night with the missus and our pals down the pub. Wednesday, March 2 Arsenal Women 4-0 Reading Women Back to Meadow Park to chart Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal power to impressive victory over Reading. As the rain came down prior to kick-off it was good to see both teams showing solidarity with Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, by raising the yellow and blue colours of the flag to loud and sustained applause from the crowd. Sunday, March 6 Watford 2-3 Arsenal A hugely enjoyable day out at Vicarage Road to move into the top four and start dreaming of Champions League qualification. Those were the days. Sunday, March 13 Arsenal 2-0 Leicester City The Gunners edge into fourth place at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon after their fifth straight victory. A first half goal from Thomas Partey put the Gunners in control prior to Alex

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Lacazette’s second half penalty. The result saw Mikel Arteta’s side leapfrog Manchester United into the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot, with Arsenal one point ahead, but with three games in hand. Those were the days. Monday, March 14 Arsenal U23 2-2 Blackburn Rovers An enjoyably open game at Meadow Park. The talented young guns raced into an early lead through Miguel Azeez who fired home with a low right-footed shot to beat Rovers keeper Antonia Stergiakis. Lino Sousa doubled the lead shortly afterwards after George Lewis’ shot well was saved by Stergiakis. However, Rovers offered a spirited response when Joe Ferguson reduced the deficit after an assist by Rovers Sam Durrant before the interval. Despite plenty of attacking intent from the Young Guns which saw Lewis and Joel Ideho rattle the woodwork, the visitors pulled level through Jack Vale who slotted home from close range, to make it 2-2. Wednesday, March 16 Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool Raced up from covering a grassroots rugby schools final at Twickenham to sell the Gooner before kick-off on a rain-lashed night in north London before heading to the press box. Unfortunately, a Diogo Jota goal on 54 minutes, followed by Roberto Firmino’s effort eight minutes later, clinches victory for Jurgen Klopp’s title-chasing Reds. Still a toss up between Mo Sarah and Kevin De Bruyne for my vote in the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Season. It is my dream one day to be able to legitimately vote for an Arsenal player as the best player in the land. Friday, March 18 Arsenal Women 4-0 Coventry Back to Meadow Park again to see a talented team reach the FA Cup semi-finals and a date with Chelsea. Good to see true Gooner Leah WIllliamson power home one of the most emphatic headers you’ll see all season.

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