Goals from Alexis Sanchez and super-sub – Olivier Giroud, gave Arsenal a 4 – 1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Arsenal took the lead through a Sanchez header after a brilliant cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain. Defoe equalized from the spot for Sunderland before Arsenal made the result beyond doubt with 3 goals in 7 minutes.
The result kept Arsenal levelled on point with Manchester City at the top of the table and here are the 5 things we learnt from the game:
Alexis Sanchez might be a striker after all
When Arsene Wenger first played Alexis Sanchez in the striker position, only a few Arsenal fans believe he will be a success. Fast forward 10 games later, most of us have started changing our position on the matter. The way he harried defenders is a joy to watch and is something we’ve not seen Arsenal players do in recent times. His header for the first goal would make the likes of Ronaldo (the real Ronaldo now) proud. How he beat Kone to head in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross was amazing. His second goal was also a moment of sheer class. We might have a new Henry on our hands if this continues!
Monreal should watch out, Gibbs is not here to play
Kieran Gibbs is not a bad player. As a matter of fact, he is one of the best LB in the Premier League (Quote this anywhere). What did him was his consistent injury and Nacho Monreal’s upsurge in form. However, judging by the way he played on Saturday, he might not be on the substitutes’ bench for much longer. With Nacho Monreal recently not displaying the kind of form that made him a standout performer for us last season, Gibbs might take back his rightful position for good. He was pretty good defensively and offensively and what about his cross for Giroud’s goal? Delicious!
Olivier Giroud is a solid Plan B
Olivier Giroud can go down as one of the most underrated players in the Premier League. He has the 16th best games to goal ratio in the history of the Premier League and yet, he is still no good. His presence when he was brought on gave us something different to what we had before. One could argue we might not have won the game if he wasn’t brought and still be right. The way he took his first goal was a delight to watch and his second was a Giroud-esque goal. I wouldn’t start him now that he’s fit but he is a solid back up when things are not going the team’s way. Having a back-up like him could win you the league.
Competition for space is bringing out the best in our players
Gone are the days when players would have a poor game and still make the next team. The competition in the team now is helping and players now know they can’t be complacent. Injured players are not even guaranteed a place in the starting line up. A look at Aaron Ramsey would confirm that. Elneny did well in the absence of Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played probably his best game in the league this season, Gibbs’ performance was great to see. The list is endless. You can tell everyone wants to play and no one is taking their space in the team for granted.
Atkinson is still…Atkinson
Can we ever talk about the English Premier League and not talk about referees? Week in, week out, we see them make shcoking decisions and they seem to get away with it. Two weeks ago, we were at the receiving end of a harsh decision from Jonathan Moss and against Sunderland too, a clear penalty was disallowed. This is absurd! What was Atkinson thinking not to award Arsenal a penalty after Sanchez was fouled? We would still be talking about that decision if the game had not gone in our favour. I’m not a fan of video technology in football, but it’s about time the Premier League did something about their incompetent officials.