often accused of being too soft or too weak mentally to cope up with pressure;
but the victory over Sunderland showed otherwise and will silence their critics to an extent.
began the match very well and looked sharp in the opening changes. The midfield
trio of Arsenal which included the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta were
too good for Sunderland. The ease with which they linked with each other and the
number of chances being created in the early exchanges showed Arsenal’s
superiority in that area of the field. Walcott had two good opportunities to
get Arsenal ahead, but missed them due to unusually erratic finishing, but Cazorla took his chance very well helping Arsenal to a one goal just before the half time.
second half started, things started to change as Sunderland pressed hard for an equalizer but Arsenal stood strong. However an hour in to the match Jenkinson got red carded for a silly challenge
after being on a yellow already. This is when Arsenal’s character and resolve
got severely tested and they came up trumps.
makeshift back four which included the CB pairing of Mertesacker and Sagna
showed resilience and fight. Sagna was probably Arsenal’s best defender of the
day with a gutty defensive display and showing the character Arsenal usually lacks.
Even Mertesacker looked assured and handled Steven Fletcher very well overall. Ramsey
who was made a makeshift right back after Jenkinson’s dismissal also put in a
gutty display and defended admirably for a midfielder. Monreal’s positional
sense was good despite two bad moments; but since the Spanish defenders arrival,
it looks that he has bought luck to Arsenal's team. Since his arrival Arsenal has stopped
conceding goals all of a sudden.
However Wenger will be frustrated with his sides lack of clinical finishing in front of goal as Theo Walcott and Giroud spurned a number of chances. Especially in the first half, Arsenal had so many opportunities that they could have been out-of Sunderland's sight by half time. Even after going down a man, Arsenal still had good chances to score on the counter but could not due to way-ward finishing. Wenger will still be delighted with the number of chances created but will be hoping of some better finishing by his forward players.
was gutsy displays by an Arsenal team who is often accused of lacking
determination and are often labelled as being mentally weak. It looked as if the Arsenal players took it
upon themselves to prove a point today and getting the perfect chance of doing so after the dismissal of
Jenkinson. For the first time this season Arsenal
defended admirably despite their makeshift defense, put their bodies on the
line and were not afraid to mix things up. This performance will without a doubt
in-still confidence among the team as a tie with Bayern await in the Champions League and
with a top4 spot to fight over.
need now is a bit of consistency and considering Chelsea’s and City’s decline,
might even reach second if they keep it up. To their
credit, considering the circumstances, Arsenal proved their top4 credentials much
to the delight of Wenger.