Arsenal managed to win their 4th consecutive win in the Premier League, ensuring they maintained their 3rd place, but not before they suffered a scare from QPR.
The gunners had to contend with a very tough first half as Queens Park Rangers pressed hard and had a lot of shots on target and had Ospina to thank for not conceding a goal. The second half was more dominant for Arsenal, with 2 goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, and a late goal from Charlie Austin was not enough for QPR to get back into the game. Here are a few talking points from the game.
Arsenala s love story with injuries
Arsenal have had a long history of injuries and the running joke is that any player that signs up for them will suffer the same fate despite how robust he may have been throughout his career. The same was once again in evidence as their latest signing, Gabriel Paulista, suffered a hamstring injury in the first half, keeping him out of the team for at least 3 weeks. This is the same Gabriel that had not been injured in his career until now, but 3 games for the gunners and the injury gods have blessed him with a good rest time from all the intense games.
Going into a punishing schedule that sees them play Manchester United in the FA Cup and a desperate attempt to qualify for the quarterfinals in the Champions League, this latest injury would be a major blow for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, especially as Gabriel was proving to be a very astute signing, and he could have rotated his centre backs more effectively. But now, they will have to fall back on the pairing of Koscielny and Mertesacker for the foreseeable future, and hope neither gets injured considering they have only Calum Chambers to fall back on.
High pressing game making Arsenal uncomfortable
Ever since their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur this year, teams playing against Arsenal have employed a high pressing game against them and almost found success even though the gunners have managed to sneak past with a win. The games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City were no walk in the park, with both teams giving Arsenal a tough time with their high pressing game right from the word go. Both Palace and Leicester tested Arsenala s resilience with late goals but were unable to convert them into valuable points.
QPR did the same last night in the first half, and for the first half an hour at least they were very successful in pinning down Arsenal. They peppered David Ospinaa s goal with numerous shots and can count themselves unlucky that none of the efforts went in. It was only in the second half that Arsenal were able to exert their influence on the game and score the goals that gave them the 3 points.
QPR must find secret of winning
Queens Park Rangers have been on a bad sequence of games, losing most of them and fighting for survival in the relegation battle. While their home form is relatively better, their away form has been a disaster, with only 3 points coming from 13 games. While they do have a game in hand over the rest of their rivals, they need to make it count if they want to get out of the bottom 3 in the league table.
For that to happen, they need a game plan that would make full use of the team that they have at their disposal. They played really well against Arsenal for the first half an hour, but were unable to keep it going for the entire 90 minutes. More importantly, they need to take their chances that they create early in the game or else they will continue to suffer as they did against the gunners. Ramsey needs to figure out a way to get the necessary points for the team to stay up and he needs to do it fast, with only 9 games left to play for QPR.