2-0 to the Arsenal. Two fine goals from Alsexis and a clean sheet, and a bit of breathing space between us and the clubs from Manchester. Will it lead to great Gooner happiness? Possibly not, but who cares? If you love football what is not to like about seeing Arsenal play their fine football at THOF?
I saw a strong Arsenal playing at a high tempo, controlling the game and playing some beautiful football. When Alexis got the ball from Rambo about ten yards away from the D, it did not look there could be a goal just a couple of seconds later. The fiery Chilean received the ball with his back towards the goal, with both Ozil and Giroud waiting in the box; he quickly turned around his axis and freed himself from a West Brom midfielder, and rather than pass the ball to his attacking colleagues in the box, he decided to shoot a vicious, yet placed, daisy cutter of a shot past the goalkeeper. 1-0 to the Arsenal and the home of football started to become a bit warmer and supportive.
Arsenal kept attacking the WB box with a variety of attacking play. Our players were keen and energetic but just lacked a bit of composure to deliver a quality pass or take a chance properly. This is fine with me. The boys were trying hard and played with joy and pride for the shirt, and that is all I can ask for. Rambo was fouled inside the D and both Alexis and Ozil were keen to take the free-kick; left footer Ozil seemed the most likely taker but it was Sanchez who aimed the ball between the BFG and Giroud who were positioned in a rather liberal looking WB wall. The keeper had no answer to this and Sanchez got his 12th PL goal – just as many as Ollie.
There were a couple of West Brom chances but in general we controlled the game for 90+ minutes. We had a strong spine in Cech-BFG-Elneny and Giroud, who all worked hard to give structure and organisation to our play. Around the spine we had seven energetic and talented individuals pushing forward and all playing very well. The full backs pushed forward at every occasion and especially Bellerina – no doubt buoyed by his inclusion in the PFA team of the season -was lively and driven. Both full backs lacked some composure when it came to the final ball, although Bellerina delivered a brilliant pullback to the edge of the box for Ozil.
Rambo drove this forward from the middle whilst helping out the simply phenomenal Elneny regularly. On top of that Sanchez and Iwobi moved continuously and drove the game forward with Ozil, Rambo and the full backs. I loved the way we kept driving forward and not gave WB much time on the ball.
Giroud worked hard to create space but had a disappointing first half; and he got a lot better in the second half. His presence in the middle of our attack meant space for others and I thought the team played well to benefit from this. We are still missing composure when good chances are being created but a lot of this is down to a lack of confidence/ disappointment in the way the season has developed over recent weeks.
But I enjoyed watching the boys play good football and winning is always sweet. Next up are Sammi Allerdici’s struggling Sunderland and that will be another proper game to watch.