4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 4-1 Win Over Sunderland

By on February 23, 2014

Arsenal beat Sunderland 4-1 on Saturday afternoon to move to within a single point of the league leaders. Here, Gunner333 gives us some thoughts on the game.

Olivier_Giroud Arsenal

In the aftermath of Arsenal’s mid-week destruction by Bayern, the Gunners looked to re-group and turn their attention to Premier League football, with a home clash against Sunderland. Wenger made five changes from the Champions League loss, as Olivier Giroud and Mikel Arteta were recalled, whilst Mesut Özil was left out all together with an apparent thigh injury.

The home side began on the front foot and struck within the first five minutes. Sunderland’s vulnerable back-line cut open by a neat final ball from Wilshere, allowing Giroud to slot home past former Gunner, Vito Mannone.

The Black Cats would find it difficult to respond against a Gunners team which had conceded the least Premier League home goals [6] to this point, and a moment of madness lead to Arsenal’s second, Bardsley’s pathetic back-pass clinically buried by Giroud past the on-coming Mannone. The Frenchman’s brace signalling his rest paid dividends.

It was Dennis Bergkamp Day at the Emirates, with the former Arsenal forward having his statue unveiled before kick-off and the Dutchman himself would have been inspired by Arsenal’s third. Silky one-touch football from the Gunners with Wilshere slipping it through to Rosicky, who played a delicate one-two with Giroud, before dispatching a divine chip past his former colleague.

Truly a wondrous first-half display by the home side, who looked like continuing their pursuit of the Premier League title. With Sunderland failing to to threaten, Arsenal took full advantage. Vergini had performed abominably and his misplaced clearance from a cross just made his day worse, with the resultant corner powered home by the head of Koscielny. The scoreline now read 4-0  to the home side.

Despite Arsenal accumulating the most home clean sheets in England’s top flight, Sunderland did snatch a consolation. Szczesny’s punch from Larsson’s cross amounting in a world-class distance strike from Emmanuel Giaccherini.

The final ten minutes provided no further excitement but the overall performance was a wonderful tribute to one of our greatest players of all-time. Here I will now analyse 4 talking points from the game:

1) Bounce-Back

Amid the morose atmosphere from the Bayern display, we showed a great change in our play yesterday. Of course we faced a far less dangerous opposition, but in recent years a loss like the one against Bayern may have lead to further disappointments, but that wasn’t the case on this occasion.

Wenger’s decision to leave Giroud out on Wednesday was a debatable on. However, the Frenchman looked sharp yesterday and grabbed a brace, whilst Rosicky was also looking refreshed, so the boss is rotating his squad reasonably well so far this season.

2) Letting Us Play

Gus Poyet set-up Sunderland today in a 4-4-1-1 formation, compared to our usual 4-2-3-1 line-up, which resulted in far more ball possession. This because, the two Sunderland centre-midfielders played higher up the pitch, isolating Bridcutt who worked against three Arsenal attackers, with our wide players cutting in for support.

More possession, means a more positive result for ourselves and Sunderland failed to hit us hard early on, allowing us time to settle in to the game. The Black Cats may have been holding back ahead of their Capital One Cup final on Sunday and rarely looked to penetrate, but we were still clinical in making them pay.

3) Efficient Rotation- Resting Özil

As mentioned, Wenger made five changes ahead of this clash, resting a few first-choice players. The impact of rest had never been so clearly exhibited than by Giroud’s fine performance, in which he secured a brace. Resting can change form and it looks set to help out Özil, who’s struggled of late.

The German will now have another week off ahead of the Stoke game so should be refreshed and hopefully he’ll rebuild his confidence and get back to his best form ahead of our clashes with Spurs, Chelsea and Man City.

4) Transferring 

With a great shift put in against Sunderland, it is clear we have the potential to see off the ‘lower’ teams with relative ease, but it’s time we transfer that sort of form in to the bigger games. We’ve been unable to beat the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City this season and we’re going to have to change this if we want to become champions.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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One Comment

  1. Velma Cox

    March 3, 2014 at 4:58 am

    I watched it and I am fortunate that I could come on to this page. Arsenal beat Sunderland 4-1 is not at all shocking. Sunderland deserves it.

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