Arsenal 3-0 Stoke: Front-To-Back Analysis Of Arsenal’s Display
Arsenal eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Stoke City at the Emirates on Sunday. Here, Gunner333 analyses the performance from back to front…
Arsenal eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Stoke City at the Emirates on Sunday. Here, Gunner333 analyses the performances….
Arsenal’s last Premier League outing was certainly one to forget, with a 2-0 defeat away to Southampton grounding the Gunners’ push for Champions League football next season so we had to get back on track against Stoke on Sunday.
The Gunners were victorious in their previous 12 home meetings with the Potters and, after Begovic turned away Sanchez’ sublime curling effort, the Chilean made a neat one-two with Koscielny to open the scoring. The goal arose through the resultant corner from a Rosicky denial, as Sanchez was dealt the ball back by Koscielny, sending in a fine cross for the centre-half to head home.
Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled Begovic’s cage with a lashed strike, before Olivier Giroud got in on the action, testing the Bosnian before seeing his one-on-one effort sent way over the bar.
A second was added on the half-hour mark, when Sanchez took full advantage of an N’Zonzi error to combine with Rosicky, before firing home a low, hard shot from out of nowhere to supply a two-goal cushion to the home side.
Mark Hughes’ men failed to learn their lessons early in the second half, as Alexis Samchez put the Potters to bed with a well-placed, yet slightly fortuitous, free-kick. Sidwell joined the field of play only to chop down Chamberlain on the edge of the area, with Sanchez wrong-footing Begovic via a deflected effort, which snuck in at the near post.
Theo Walcott fluffed a great chance to add a late fourth so it remained 3-0 in what was a terrific result for the Arsenal, which I shall now analyse:
At The Back: 8/10
While it’s always nice to pick up a clean sheet, Arsenal’s back-line needed little strength to keep out a truly wayward Stoke City attack which, when given an opportunity, sent the effort wide or well over the bar.
That’s not to say the Arsenal players didn’t defend well as I feel all the lads contributed to what was a solid display at the back. Full-backs Bellerin and notably Monreal receive special mentions, the two both eager to get involved with some pin-point crosses going forward, but at the same time not afraid to get into a tussle with the big boys, as shown by Monreal’s unpleasant collision with Crouch’s elbow.
So to sum up, solid and brave but really this kind of determination at the back could have been reserved by a team heralding some form if attacking threat.
Wenger favoured Coquelin over options such as Flamini or Ramsey – who were both named on the bench after overcoming injuries. The Frenchman put in another energetic display in front of the back four and has really blossomed in recent weeks.
The acceleration from back-to-front was all about the direct philosophy of the passing, paired with the re-couped pace and movement that has eluded this side in more recent years. Rosicky remains a key fixture in the team on merit, never failing to involve himself in a goal and ruffle a few feathers with the odd, zippy, trademark run.
Width was especially utilised well, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez causing all sorts of problems while Cazorla was once again excellent in a more central role.
The ‘one-man-team’ premise is sickeningly hard to ignore given Alexis’ killer form, as the Chilean once again lead from the front to propel the team into a winning position. Having chipped in with two goals and an assist, Sanchez has now been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season and was once again unplayable at times on Sunday.
He may not have got on the scoresheet himself, but Giroud’s hold-up play complimented Sanchez well and gave new dynamics to the attack, as Olivier broke the line of Stoke defence on occasion, to ruffle their defence’s feathers.
Overall, three goals against a normally defensively-sound opposition made great viewing for our front-men who broke down the resistance of a top-class keeper and ran riot after an early breakthrough, courtesy of some great movement across the front-line and eye-catching 79% pass completion in the final third. Very impressive indeed.
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