The pressure was piled onto Arsene Wenger and the team ahead of our trip to Selhurst Park, with our opening day defeat to West Ham bringing us crashing back down to earth after a fantastic pre-season had us floating in the stratosphere.
We needed a response against Crystal Palace, and while the win wasn’t as convincing as we may have liked, we got all three points and answered some of our critics.
Here’s five things we learnt from our 2-1 win over Crystal Palace:
5) We need width
There was outrage when the teamsheets were first released, with fans furious that Arsene Wenger had opted to keep Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, and Mesut Özil in the side. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sacrificed to make way for Alexis Sanchez, and our width and counter attacking threat looked to evaporate.
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In the end we got the width we needed from the full-backs, but can we rely on that every game?
If there was one noticeable thing about both goals, it’s that they came from crosses. Özil fired one in for Olivier Giroud to volley home, while Hector Bellerin’s lofted ball to the far post was powered in by Alexis – via Damien Delaney.
Wenger may be keen to continue playing our tikki-takka through the middle style, and we can still do that. But we have to balance that with width, and we can’t look to our full-backs to create it every game, especially when the opposition has dangerous wingers of their own.
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