After a rather nervy first half, we managed to raise our game in the second half and pull another magnificent 3-0 victory, this time against Swansea City. Our fifth consecutive victory means we are still breathing down Manchester City’s neck.
Here are the key points from the game.
1.Petr Čech did it again.
When you have a world-class goalkeeper, you can afford yourself a defensive lapse or two. For 90 minutes Petr Čech did a text book job in his penalty box. He was there to claim balls, he remained calm when Bafetimbi Gomis was marauding towards our goal and made a crucial save to deny Gylfi Sigurdsson at 1:0. It was clean sheet No. 6 for our No. 1 (via squawka.com). Bravo, Petr!
2.Hector Bellerin is already a world class full-back.
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Granted, Bellerin didn’t have the best of first halves in terms of keeping Jefferson Montero at bay. The Ecuadorian winger had managed to pull a few tricks at Bellerin’s expense and forced him to make a foul in a dangerous area. However, that didn’t have any effect on Bellerin’s confidence, he made a crucial defensive intervention to deny Bafetimbi Gomis in the opening half using his incredible pace to protect our goal. His intervention to clear Andre Ayew’s shot from the goal-line was spectacular as well even if Ayew’s goal would have been chalked off due to offside. Brilliant job, Hector!
3.Nacho Monreal kept Ayew quiet.
Monreal had a difficult task to deal with Ayew who has been the most dangerous Swan (doesn’t exactly sound bad-ass does it?) this season. Ayew couldn’t put his stamp on the game while Nacho came close to scoring in the first half. Another tidy display from our experienced Spaniard.
4.Laurent Koscielny has scored again.
Kos exploited Lukasz Fabianski’s mistake to score a goal that effectively won us the game. The Frenchman made an impact at both sides of the pitch – just like one would expect from a world class central defender.
5.Mesut Özil wants to remain The King of Assists.
Two more assists for Özil who raised his game in the second half. Our passing hadn’t been something to write home about in the first half but everything changed with Olivier Giroud’s opener provided by the German No. 10. His pass for Joel Campbell’s first Arsenal goal was his ninth assist this season (via Squawka.com). Well done, Mesut!
6.Olivier Giroud knows where the goal is.
The Frenchman is now the joint top-scorer for Arsenal. He has scored seven goals in all competitions, as many as Alexis Sánchez. He made a terrible miss in the first half after Alexis’ perfect pass but made up for that one in the second half by heading home Özil’s corner. With Giroud in this goal-scoring form, we can win the league. He has been brilliant in 2015.
7.Joel Campbell has grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
The Costa Rican had an excellent outing on his first Premier League start. He looked aggressive and determined throughout 90 minutes like his life had depended on this game. In a way, it did. His Arsenal career would have been under a even more scrutiny if he had failed to perform. Campbell responded magnificently by scoring his first goal for Arsenal and some excellent defensive work to keep Jefferson Montero quiet.
8.Alexis Sánchez wasn’t at his best.
It’s a great thing when Arsenal win without Alexis producing a special performance. It means we have a lot of players capable of winning games for us. Alexis has looked jaded ever since that game against Bayern and hasn’t scored in the last three matches. Still, Alexis is a valuable asset even when he is not performing at the highest level – his pass for Giroud in the first half carved the hosts open and should have been rewarded with an assist to his name.
9.Five victories in a row with a goal difference of 16:3.
It seems that Mike Dean inspired defeat against Chelsea made our players angry and determined to prove they can win the league. We have won five in a row in the league, scored sixteen goals and conceded just three! If that is not a title-winning form, I don’t know what is.
10.It seems it’s going to be a two-horse race for the title.
With all due respect to the excellent Leicester and West Ham sides, the well-known ability of both Louis Van Gaal and Jürgen Klopp to win the league and to the referees who have shown they can win points for Chelsea, it seems that it’s going to be a close race between Arsenal and Manchester City for the major trophy.
Next stop: Munich. Bayern are the best team in the world but we have already beaten them once this season. It’s not going to be easy, especially given that they had an extra day of rest ahead of our game, but this team can produce on their day.