Arsenal kept their momentum going with a 3-1 away win against Hull City last night which saw a scintillating first half display that all but ended the game as a contest, but what did we learn from their victory?
1, Alexis Sanchez continues to shine
The Chilean forward scored two on the night to take his league goals tally to 16 which is two more than the PFA player of the year Eden Hazard, there is little doubt that the former Barcelona man is the signing of the season and the £32 million price tag now looks an absolute bargain.
Steve Bruce‘s men couldn’t handle Arsenal‘s bundle of energy as he ran the hosts ragged. First he converted a free kick on 28 minutes from just outside the area, he then grabbed his second and Arsenal’s third on the stroke of halftime converting a sublime Mesut Ozil through ball. The Chilean had chances to complete his hat trick in the second half but it wasn’t to be.
2, Aaron Ramsey continues to improve
After a slow start to Ramsey‘s Arsenal campaign this season he is looking much more like the player from last season, his performances are keeping the eager Theo Walcott on the sidelines as he proves the doubters wrong as to whether he can play wide right.
Ramsey was again in great form for the visit to hull and he grabbed a well earned goal on 33 minutes, Santi Cazorla pinged a pass from all of 25 yards which Ramsey instantly controlled, turned the Hull defender before firing past a helpless Steve Harper in the Hull goal.
That is Ramsey’s 10th goal of the season and he is certainly one of the first names on an Arsene Wenger team sheet.
3, Santi Cazorla wins another Man of the Match award
Despite great performances from Sanchez, Ozil, Coquelin and Ramsey the little Spaniard was a worthy winner of the MOM award, he was at the heart of everything that was good about Arsenal.
There was a return to quick, incisive passing from Arsenal and that was thanks in no small part to the creative midfielder who has been enjoying a deeper and more controlling role alongside Coquelin this season.
Cazorla made his 9th assist of the season and 28th since August 2012 when he created the chance for Ramsey that was expertly finished, it seems that finally Wenger has found a way to accommodate such a creative and influential member of his talented squad.
4, Olivier Giroud’s link up play
Giroud has had his fair share of critics this season despite missing huge parts of this campaign through injury, he gets better and better every season. The French international has 14 league goals this season but he offers so much more than that
Yesterday we saw a different side of Giroud who had a relatively quiet game by his standards, but his runs created space for two of the three goals scored last night and especially the Ramsey goal where he dragged away two defenders allowing Ramsey to attack the space.
It has been leveled at the former Montpellier striker that he doesn’t do enough in the big games but with goals against Manchester City and Manchester United this season he has gone some way to addressing those concerns.
5, Another assist from Mesut Ozil
Much like Giroud, Ozil has had his fair share of criticism and most of it unfounded. Since returning from injury he has been faultless and rightfully voted Arsenal’s player of the month for April, a month that showed real consistency throughout the squad and especially in his own performances.
The so called “lazy Ozil” seems to be one of the past and he has finally got to grips with what is required in the Premier League. He was full of running again last night, it was Ozil who dispossessed the Hull City midfield to set up the opportunity that lead to the Sanchez free kick goal half way through the first half and then set up the Chilean for his second right on half time.
That was his 5th assist in 18 league games, it is easy to see why Jose Mourinho called him the best no.10 in world football and he is started to show why he held him in such high regard at Real Madrid.
Arsenal‘s victory puts them level on points with Manchester City with a game in hand, although the title has officially gone there is still a lot to play for. A second place finish would highlight the progression from within the squad and give them much needed momentum going into next season.
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