|Arsenal's goal scorers celebrate|
However Sanchez was to avenge his penalty miss by scoring and assisting. It was a typical determined display from the Chilean who found the net through a well directed header from close range after a ball in from Gibbs. He managed to drag us out of tight situations a few times and that led to the second goal. He broke away brilliantly, dragging three defenders with him before sliding the ball into the path of Rosicky to fire home. It was an overall display from Arsenal that typified them this season but the three points were absolutely vital in what is such a busy festive period.
Tomas Rosicky has been out in the wilderness rather this season, through injury and being stuck on the bench but he certainly made his mark with his goal. He linked up well with Cazorla and drove us forward going well, adding massively to our play. I know I've said this numerous times, and so have many others but it is remarkable how he is 34 years of age. Despite just returning he already looks as though he could play a vital part in the second half of this season, just as he did in 2013/14.
The defence didn't have a lot to do and therefore Nacho Monreal's inclusion at centre half didn't really worry me. The penalty decision on Debuchy was a little controversial but thankfully it didn't cost us. We were a lot more resolute in defence from last time out which was encouraging. That's not to say that Laurent Koscielny's return can't come quick enough!
Between the two Arsenal goals a moment of madness ensued. Olivier Giroud reacted badly to what looked like a push from Onuoha into the goalkeeper and he was consequently sent off for a slight headbut. Although it didn't cause any damage it was violent conduct and there were no excuses for such a moment of stupidity. What's especially annoying is that he was starting to find some form and will now miss our next three games. Three vitally important games against West Ham and Southampton who are both ahead of us, and also Hull City in the Cup.
With such a busy period it is important we rotate a little. I agree that will be a difficult task considering our injury situation, and the importance of the games but we can't afford some of the players to burn out. Giroud's suspension will probably allow Podolski some game time, and judging by his record against West Ham we don't have anything to worry about in that sense. It'll be a tough, yet very interesting end to 2014 and start to 2015.
The team's line-ups:
Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Rosicky(83), Sanchez, Welbeck(87), Giroud.
Subs: Ospina, Chambers(83), Bellerin, Coquelin(87), Campbell, Walcott, Podolski.
QPR: Green, Isla, Caulker, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Traore(62), Henry(72), Kranjcar, Mutch(71), Vargas, Austin.
Subs: McCarthy, Hill, Fer(62), Wright-Phillips, Phillips, Hoilett(62), Zamora(71).
My man of the match: Alexis Sanchez.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.