To be honest, this was certainly not the Borussia Dortmund side that swept us aside in Germany. More importantly it was a much more controlled and precise performance from the Gunners.
We retained possession, gave the Germans no real opportunities to damage us on the counter and took our chances. Credit to Yaya Sanogo too, a superb opener showing great control and movement. He was borderline offside but the flag stayed down and proved what a difference it makes to take our chances. Take note Danny and Jack.
Damian Martinez should also receive some praise for a solid outing between the sticks. The youngster made some crucial saves and acquainted himself quite well on the big stage. He also saved Nacho Monreal some blushes with a fine save late on – hopefully we don’t need to see the Spaniard at centre back again this season.
Aaron Ramsey was noticeably quiet, but as I noted in the player ratings, this was not a bad thing. The Welshman has been under plenty of scrutiny after several under par performances but added solidity to our midfield. He was a lot more disciplined positionally, something we’ve been calling him to be. Go back to basics and all that, avoid making mistakes and the confidence and form will return. Seems he heard our calls and hopefully this is the return of the 2013 Ramsey, not 2012.
Santi Cazorla looked like the player we signed a few summers back, working the ball nicely around, retained possession and took on players successfully. His assist for Sanogo will do his confidence a world of good.
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was superb on his 100th appearance for the club. Shame he couldn’t find the finish to boot after two thumping efforts, but he’s been taking several leaf’s out of Alexis Sanchez’s book recently and it’s been paying off. Speaking of the Chilean…What.A.Goal.
We’ve been waiting for years for a player who works his ass off for this club but can score goals from nothing. He’s like Luis Suarez without the cannibalism. Alexis’ is always chomping at the bit to get involved (figuratively) and tonight was another illustration of how important he is to this side.
The performance may not have been earth shattering but it was just what the doctor ordered. Bring on West Brom.
Injury update – Doesn’t look good for Arteta or Sanogo.
The injury situation is an issue. Arteta looks quite serious and we lost Sanogo too.