Arsenal avenged their defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in December with an emphatic 3 goal win at the Emirates Stadium, and keeping a clean sheet in the process.
Contrary to the game at Stoke, Arsenal were confident on the ball right from the start and showed why the Potters have had a dismal record whenever they have travelled to the Emirates Stadium, with every move forward resulting in a goal scoring opportunity. Every attack was confident and it was only Begovic who saved Stoke the blushes and kept them in the game.
But that was not for long though, as Koscielny put in an Alexis cross into the back of the post for his second goal of the season, and soon after, a mazy run from Alexis saw him get on the score sheet once again. And right at the beginning of the second half, Alexis scored another one, with a deflected free kick, effectively ending the game. From thereon, Arsenal attacked with caution, going forward often times but concentrating more on keeping the clean sheet.
Arsene Wenger was satisfied with Arsenal’s performance and after the game he said, “We moved well without the ball and moved the ball well, which is the basis of our game. Overall, we created chances, were mobile and the speed of our game created problems for Stoke. We took advantage of that.
“I watched the game against Stoke that we played over there. It’s difficult to say you played well when you concede three goals, but going forward we always looked dangerous. We missed the start of the game there and we paid for it. Today, from the first minute, we played at a good pace, put them on the back foot and that was the difference.”
Arsene was also impressed with Alexis Sanchez’s performance. “The better the team plays, the more he is involved in the game because we attacked a lot. We had a very offensive team today and he’s confident. He’s another – like Giroud – and we can be direct with him, you can run at people a bit more, so there’s a good combination offensively.
When you play at home – our pitch is perfect even in winter – you can move the ball well when you have so many technical players on the pitch. It is an advantage for us. What was important for me is that we kept a good concentration to play the game how we want to play and also that we kept a clean sheet at the back. Overall, I must say that everybody played very well. The only negative today is that we lost another experienced defender with a dislocated shoulder. That gives us a problem because we are already short of experienced players at the back.”
He was also coy about whether Szczesny would get back his place or if Ospina would continue in goal.
Arsene said, “I haven’t made a decision yet. It was a decision for today’s game. Szczesny is our No 1 competing with Ospina and Martinez – that’s our job.
I do not want to talk too much about that because the more I talk, the less I inform you.”