For a team bidding to stake a claim on the top of European football, something desperate had to happen to change “one win in twenty-one previous visits to Manchester” and boy it did!
- Wenger can be friends with Mourinho
Anyone who keenly observed the first 15 minutes of this game would have seen outright the game plan was not to indulge City’s expectation that we’d play an open game. It was almost 11 players sitting behind the ball at all times and that was not a coincidentally arranged tactic; it was the way to go and thumbs up to the players for playing to it. That was how Mourinho beat City last season and save Lampard’s last laugh, it would have also happened this season. It was a no brainer not to embrace that same tactic.
- Set Pieces can be used… And Dismissed
With that tight set up that wouldn’t let City play through the ground, only set-pieces would have been Arsenal’s undoing but with Jesus Navas playing loops, Mertesacker and Koscielny saw out the endless stream of 16 corner kicks which all came to nothing. Scoring then with two set pieces should prove that the team has learnt from its weaknesses, and should continue doing so.
- Coquelin Can!
Since his return to the team in December, Coquelin has only been involved in one defeat and considering that was in a game where he still made a good show of his strength and interceptive abilities, it hasn’t been booked on him as a dent. City was going to be his biggest test, if he was selected, and Wenger has to take credit for standing by him. What he’s done is repay the manager’s faith with an assured display and he looks to be comfortable playing alongside an equally energetic player like Ramsey. Who would imagine Flamini running around and hitting neat cross field balls like he did today? Schneiderlin will still be the attraction of many but on the basis of what the young Frenchman has done until now, especially at the Etihad, Arsenal can more than manage with him till July. And beyond.
- Bellerin’s better
Many argued Chambers was a better defender and maybe that is right but Bellerin is every inch an typical Arsenal right back. his pace maybe his main asset as a defender but the fact it helps him get on the attack too, much more than Chambers, should make him Debuchy’s first choice deputy.
- Where does Ozil fit?
More due to his form than ability, Cazorla had to start and he was absolutely irresistible. Thirty but tireless, diminutive but devastating. Not only does his feet beat endlessly, he has put in the hard work regularly while delivering the end products with goals and assists. You wouldn’t imagine Ozil doing all of that at once and that is a problem for Wenger.
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