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.
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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sanchez and Ramsey score as Arsenal beat Hull

Arsenal were at the free flowing best on Monday night as they overcame relegation threatened Hull 3-1 at the KC Stadium. The Gunners had had to wait quite a long time since their last game, a 0-0 draw with Chelsea while the hosts Hull were coming off the back of a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield. Therefore it was a surprise to see Hull dominated quite so badly if you look at how well they played against Liverpool. However the Gunners football was brilliant and thanks to a double from Alexis Sanchez and a goal from Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal moved level with Manchester City in second place. From the previous game Arsenal were unchanged as Ramsey continued on the right. The only change was on the bench where Welbeck missed out with a supposed knee injury as Rosicky came into the squad.
Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey were at their fluent best
Arsenal's form recently has been nothing short of phenomenal. They're unbeaten in their past ten games with the Gunners only blip coming against Chelsea last week. We came close to beating them but yesterday night we were back to winning ways, and back amongst the goals after a 0-0 draw. In my opinion it was up there with one of our best away displays of the season. Our football was outstanding and Hull couldn't contain our fast attacking football. In attack we looked comfortable all game, especially in a first halves display that saw us score three times. We know Arsenal's link-up play can be exceptional but yesterday just exemplified that.

Despite the opening two goals taking deflections our second and third goals were of extreme quality as Sanchez took his tally to 24 this season. The first goal came from a free-kick which he was able to draw himself. He has scored some excellent goals this season but this one was rather fortuitous as his free-kick took a deflection and wrong footed Harper in the Hull goal. Our other goals were brilliant though. The second was assisted by Spaniard Santi Cazorla who was outstanding in the middle of the park with his array of passing. He ran the game in the midfield and set up Aaron Ramsey with a perfectly waited long ball into the Welshman. Ramsey however still had a lot to do, as his touch was perfect before firing into the corner via a deflection. For the third Ramsey turned provider, playing a great through ball into Sanchez who took it round the keeper before firing into the empty net.

I must admit I criticised Arsene Wenger's decision to start Aaron Ramsey on the right hand side again. It's not that I don't think he shouldn't be in the team, because he's a brilliant player but in recent games he hasn't offered a lot on the right flank and has been getting dragged inside on too many occasions. That did happen a few times against Hull but he proved why he was starting with a brilliant display. He was at the centre of most of the good things we did as he took his goal tally to the season into double figures. I'd like to reiterate a point made my Jamie Carragher on MNF last night on Sky that he is easily becoming one of the best midfielders in the Premier League; down the years the Premier League has had its fair share of goal scoring midfielders from Lampard and Gerrard. However they both took penalties so for Aaron Ramsey to be scoring as many goals as he has in the past two seasons is quite incredible. He really has taken his game to the next level in my opinion this season despite not scoring on as regular a basis.

I meanwhile thought Mesut Ozil had a very good game too. Some of his touches were outstanding and at one point he played a ridiculous flick into Sanchez in the final third of the pitch. He doesn't assist goals as much as he did at Real Madrid but he's had a very positive impact on the way we've played so far in 2015. He looks a lot more confident and assured on the ball than he did when he first joined us and he always looks keen to really show for the ball.

Injuries have plagued our midfield over the past two seasons but we're finally getting those players back and Jack Wilshere's performance after returning from injury exemplified the wealth of luxuries we have in that position. It was Jack's first game for the first team since 22nd November and it was brilliant to see him make such an impressive impression when he came on. His classic drive forward was in operation and his return will be a bonus going into the end of the season.

The only negative aspect of the game was the way we conceded the goal. Koscielny was down and had arguably been fouled by Meyler but nonetheless the referee allowed play go on. That meant that there was a gap in defence which Hull managed to exploit as Quinn popped up to head home. Apart from that the defence had had a relatively untroubled night. On occasion Mertesacker was caught out by the pace of N'Doye but ultimately Hull lacked quality in the final third and they didn't really have a final ball.

The team's line-ups:

Hull: Harper, Elmohamady, McShane, Dawson, Chester, Brady, Livermore(45), Huddlestone, Quinn(81), Aluko(65), N'Doye.
Subs: McGregor, Bruce, Rosenior, Robertson(65), Meyler(45), Hernandez, Jelavic(81).

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey(67), Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud(85).
Subs: Szczesny, Gabriel, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere(67), Rosicky, Walcott(85).

My man of the match: Santi Cazorla.

Referee: Lee Mason.
Attendance: 23,628.

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