Professional. Precise. Point Preserved.
For the 15th year in a row, Arsenal – guided by the taunted Arsene Wenger – has made it into the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a comfortable and convincing victory over German super friends, Borussia Dortmund. Those ‘c’ words have not been used much, if at all, in any description of an Arsenal performance in recent times but the fact that we never looked threatened by a Dortmund side who literarily blew us out 2 months ago must be testament to some restored finesse in Wenger’s side.
We learnt this, and the following five from that crucial victory.
- Alexis is a Cannon
From Tocopilla, through Catalonia and now in Londodn, a certain Chilean has never quelled his insatiable desire to excel as a footballer. Nothing has stopped him and going by last night’s bullish perfromance, the best is yet to come. Alexis, in just his 20th turn out for the Gunners, is fast assuming the image of the reverred cannon on the Arsenal crest. Seemingly swallowed in the first half and not connecting well with Sanogo, it did appear his legs were beginning to wear but a burst of everything we’ve known him for in the second half reminded us that in a season where the roof has caved in at times, we must remain ever thankful for the arrival of this incredibly blessed beast of a footballer.
And speaking of the goal, when you’ve found the perfect adjectvie to aptly glorify it, call me up.
- Mi-legs Ar’TEeTer-ing
Arteta has been putting in a strong captain’s perfromance over the past few games, as fans have also realised that he will never be the Matic or Vidal we so nervily crave. But what he does, he does well and seeing him wobble off for the second successive Champions League game is surely a sign now that even his legs are not going to be fresh enough for the remainder of this campaign, let to say of a major role beyond this season. He will be rememebered as a great Arsenal captain – the first to lift a trophy for us in nearly a decade – but in January, Wenger would have to more than just haggle over a new defensive midfielder, Krychowiak et al.
- A tribute to Monreal
So, beginning from West Brom this weekend, Koscielny would probably return to partner Mertesacker in central defence and as that is surely a welcome development, we would not take it lightly what Nacho Monreal has helped us do in central defence. Yes, it was dumb not to be playing to the whistle, with his back to his own goal, when the opponents had the ball in the defence, but the 8 games in which he has played as center half has not been a total disaster. Chambers would have come into that place, in many’s opinions but who says we couldnt then puncture our tubes by playing an inexperienced Bellerin at right back, speed machine or not?
- The making of Sanogo
He should have had two on the night but you never know how good that early lead was until you are the one chasing the game early at home. Messi has scored 74, Sanogo just scored his first. There’s a 6 year difference between the two. There’s time. Watch this space.
- From Dortmund’s Yellow Wall
Their team had no right to be complacent just because they had already qualified, and coupled with the need to make-up for their abysmal League run, Dortmund fans had every right to demand a usually strong performance from their side.
Did they jeer when they saw their team fail to turn up? Were there ‘Klopp Out’ chants and banners?
They sang till they were hoarse, even dwarfing the Emiratians who were supposed to be in joyous mood.
Maybe we could learn from them, something about patience and sticking with the team, as a family, through thick and thin.
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