We have won seven in a row and we sit in second place at least until Monday night when Manchester City play their tricky match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. We have shown what sort of an attacking arsenal the Gunners have and brushed aside a rather lackluster Liverpool side. Here are key points from the game.
1.Hector Bellerin is a real gem.
The Spanish full-back scored the opener with another delightful finish. His first goal for Arsenal against Aston Villa (Anthony Taylor was in charge of that game too) was a preposterously well placed side footed shot, and his left-footed finish today proved that Bellerin’s final touch is almost too good for a full-back. You can’t find many full-backs in the world capable of scoring a goal with their wrong foot but Bellerin seems to be a special player. And he has only just turned 20!
That said, Bellerin was lucky not to be sent off after he fouled Sterling in the box. It would have been his second yellow card but fortunately for us Taylor just pointed to the spot.
2.Mesut Özil scored another mouth-shutting free-kick but it wasn’t his sole contribution.
Despite the German being in brilliant form lately some people continue to harp on about how Özil is an expensive flop. His free-kick was a cherry on top of another excellent performance – the German kept the ball well and his dribbling under the pressure of two Liverpool players in the first half was a real beauty to behold.
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3.Alexis Sánchez ended his goal-drought at the Emirates.
The Chilean hadn’t scored at home since our 3:0 victory over Stoke in January when he netted our third of the game. He did so again today – his finish was top-drawer stuff. The way he escaped Kolo Toure’s tackle before rubbing more salt in Liverpool fans’ wounds with a “look what you don’t have” moment. If he keeps his shooting boots on, we might be in the game for the title.
4.Olivier Giroud bangs them in for fun.
Giroud had an average game by his recent standards until the last minute of the game. It looked like he had whipped out his mobile phone hidden in his pants, checked his social media, read the haters who were gloating he hadn’t scored, got mad and scored with a perfect finish to equal Alexis’ record. Now each of them have scored fourteen goals in the league.
5.Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny should…MUST be OK.
Just after we thought injuries had left us alone, Koscielny and Ramsey had to be substituted due to their respective knocks. It remains to be seen how serious those injuries are but hopefully it won’t prevent them from participating in the forthcoming match against Burnley next week.
6.Giroud can score when he wants but it’s Santi Cazorla who can perform where he wants.
The Spaniard has taken his more defensive role professionally but when he was asked to take over in the creative department in the second half, he didn’t disappoint. He was unlucky not to score his third goal against Liverpool – Kolo Toure cleared the ball just before Santi nailed the opener and the Spaniard’s side-footed shot hit the post.
7.Francis Coquelin is a real beast.
“We were looking for the beast but it’s beauty that will save us!” Aside from the symbolic factor that “Beauty and the Beast” is a French fairy-tale, it seems that the French midfielder – who is hardly a physical doppelganger of Patrick Vieira – is our new midfield general. The way he breaks up the opponents’ attacks is incredible and we look like the best team in England at the moment as a result.
8.Arsenal are the best team in England at the moment…but we have been for a while. Our tenth league victory in the last eleven matches speaks for itself. We are the best Premier League outfit in 2015 with just two defeats in twelve games. In domestic competitions, we have won fourteen out of fifteen and fifteen out of seventeen in all competitions. During this sequence we have also beaten Manchester City away (2:0), Manchester United away (2:1) and Liverpool at home (4:1).
9.Danny Welbeck’s game lacks just a final touch.
The English striker has shown many times this season that he can beat any defender in the league with either pace or dribbling. However, his final touch, the cherry on top is regularly missing. He has scored just once in 2015 for Arsenal which, even if that one goal was a huge goal at Old Trafford, is not good enough. The next league match against Burnley provide be a real test for Welbeck to prove how wrong Louis Van Gaal was to sell him to a direct rival.
10.Nacho Monreal and Per Mertesacker did their job quietly and efficiently.
The Spaniard didn’t allow anyone to beat him – the way how he kept Sturridge at bay when the Englishman tried to test him proved how different this game was to the defeat last February. The German, on the other hand, was well-timed in his anticipation.
Bonus-point: Raheem Sterling might want to be on our pay-roll next year but Kolo Toure certainly plays like he is still one of us.
The English youngster coped with the heavy pressure and his team-mates who are not in the same league. He still put up a fine performance and earned a penalty. Still, if he wants £180,000 pounds per week, than Bellerin should ask for £200,000! At the other end, the Ivorian central defender gave another hilarious performance and was a regular threat for Simon Mignolet with his back-passes. He did the same last season in this fixture when Olivier Giroud had a one-on-one after Toure’s sloppy lay-off. Maybe one of The Invincibles wants to see out his career at the Emirates.
So, now we have a nine point advantage over Liverpool and that should be enough for one place in the Champions League next season. If Manchester United fail to keep their decent form in the big matches against City and Chelsea, we might secure direct qualification in the forthcoming weeks.