We have been criticised at times this season for our over reliance on Alexis Sanchez, with some even branding us a one man team. Sunday’s win over Manchester City showed just how far from the truth such a claim is.
The Chilean has unquestionably been sensational since he joined the club from Barcelona this past summer, and has adapted to the pace and aggression of the Premier League in double quick time. He was relatively quiet against City however, with a number of other players taking the spotlight.
Our fantastic win over the domestic champions was all about the team performance, with every player knowing his role and fulfilling it to perfection. We were disciplined in all areas of the pitch, and prevented Manuel Pellegrini’s side from playing their game.
We were defensively solid, and unusually surrendered possession in favour of keeping our shape and electing to hit the opposition on the break. Our defenders were never left exposed, and we doubled up on City to stifle their chances.
The midfield trio of Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, and Santi Cazorla were phenomenal, with the latter pair particularly impressive. The Frenchman showed fantastic awareness and positioning, and made a huge number of vitally important interceptions.
Cazorla was the standout performer however, and his influence was pitch-wide. He converted the penalty, provided an assist, and was involved in everything positive about our play. He tracked back more than anyone, and put his body on the line to secure the win.
Every team needs their talisman, their star player, their superstar; but when it comes down to it, it’s the team performance that is key.
Sanchez is undoubtedly top quality, and will continue to wow us in an Arsenal shirt. The fact that we can perform to that level when he is not at his best however, is not only a fantastic omen for the rest of the season, but also proves that we are far more than a one-man team.