Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
Latest News: Arsenal draw 3-3 with Liverpool, goals came from Ramsey and Giroud (x2) - match thoughts to come!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Arsenal up to second with win over Liverpool

Arsenal put in a brilliant display against Liverpool to earn themselves a 4-1 victory on Saturday afternoon. It was a magnificent attacking display as the Gunners got revenge for their crushing defeat at Anfield last season. Bellerin opened the scoring before goals from Ozil, Alexis and Giroud sealed the win as we moved up to second in the table with Man City still to play this weekend. It was pleasing to see us do so well after returning from the international break, as we'd been in such good form before hand and I was worried that it would ruin our momentum. However that was far from what happened as we thrashed Liverpool. From the win over Newcastle two weeks previous, Wenger made three changes as Bellerin, Mertesacker and Ozil came in for Chambers, Gabriel and Welbeck.
Mesut Ozil scored the second goal from a free-kick
At first it had seemed as though it was going to be one of those days where it doesn't quite happen. We started the game incredibly brightly and after Ramsey failed to score a one-on-one with Mignolet I thought we had spurned it in a similar way to the game against Man United earlier in the season. It was inevitable that after a dominant spell at the beginning of the game and after a wasted chance that Liverpool would come back fighting. We were lucky not to actually fall behind after Markovic just over played the ball for Sterling who would've had an open net. Instead we managed to fire on all cylinders thanks to an explosive end to the first half.

It was from an unlikely source that we did break the deadlock though as Bellerin curled the ball home after finding space inside the area. The Spaniard has been fantastic of late and is proving his worth to the side with some ever improving displays. Apart from bringing down Sterling for Liverpool's consolation penalty late on he had a very good game which was shown with the quality of his goal. He managed to cut inside Moreno before bending the ball into the far corner for his second Gunners goal.

The second goal of the game was to come from Mesut Ozil who I thought was Arsenal's best player on the day. I've said numerous times since his return from injury near the beginning of the year that he has been very good. He's sometimes been a little inconsistent but he was at his fluid best against Liverpool and lead the majority of the attacks. He played a lovely ball out wide into Ramsey which lead to the first, and then scored a beautiful second. He lined up a free-kick before placing it brilliantly in to the same corner as Hector Bellerin did. It was sumptuous strike from a man that is finding real form in 2015. Much of the creative spark this season has come from Santi Cazorla but today it was Ozil and everything seemed to come through the German. At times he was unplayable, jinking and feinting past players in order to find space to lead away an attack.

The third came from one of Arsenal's outstanding contributors this season; Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been a little off the boil in recent months but after the international break showed no signs of fatigues as he blasted home the third goal moments before the break. Alexis has scored a host of fantastic goals this season but today's strike has to be up there with one of his best in an Arsenal shirt. Bellerin played an incisive pass to Ramsey before the Welshman found Sanchez. Toure slid in which then allowed Sanchez to find space and then hit a lovely effort into the roof of the net.

A heavy lead going into the second half usually means that games peter off, and that indeed did happen at the Emirates. Daniel Sturridge came on for Liverpool at the break and made a positive impact. One has to ask why he didn't start the game in the first place. Sterling did well running into the channels but he didn't offer a focal point and as a result, their attacking play was limited in the first half. They were much better when it came to their attacks in the second though. That goes to say that they didn't still actually create a lot barring their goal from the penalty spot. Despite the quality of Arsenal's goals Liverpool were painstakingly bad at the back. Skrtel was missing through suspension and the sending off of Emre Can late on summed up the visitors day. Kolo Toure had a particularly poor afternoon and it was no surprise that Arsenal dished out a thrashing.

The win was to be brilliantly finished off in injury time. Sanchez found Olivier Giroud and instead of playing in Cazorla, he cut inside and curled the ball past Mignolet for another exceptional Arsenal goal. Giroud is in fantastic form, and the March player of the month celebrated in perfect style with three points and another goal. He now has seven in his last six Premier League games. The Frenchman hadn't had the best of matches until his goal and his usual link-up play wasn't required due to the brilliance of the Gunners' strikes. However he took matters into his own hands with a lovely finish to round things off with the fourth goal.

The only downers from the match were the fact that Koscielny and Ramsey had to be taken off with injuries. However after the game, Wenger claimed that they weren't serious so hopefully they'll be fine for the Burnley game next weekend. In the week it was the first time for a considerable amount of months or even years that we had everyone fit and in training. Diaby, Debuchy, Arteta and Wilshere had all played in an Arsenal XI game in the week and a few of them will all be vying for places after long spells out in the not too distant future. I don't want to put a curse on things but Arsenal Football Club are in a very good place as it stands.

The team's line-ups:

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny(49), Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey(62), Cazorla, Ozil(73), Sanchez, Giroud.
Subs: Macey, Gabriel(49), Gibbs, Flamini(62), Rosicky, Walcott, Welbeck(73).

Liverpool: Mignolet, Henderson, Can, Toure, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Coutinho, Markovic(45), Sterling.
Subs: Jones, Lovren, Johnson, Manquillo, Brannagan, Borini, Sturridge(45).

My man of the match: Mesut Ozil.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Attendance: 60,081.

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