By Matt Bullin
Former Everton defender Phil Neville has heaped praise on Arsenal’s Kieron Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after their performances against Man United.
Arsenal beat Man United 2-0 at the Emirates on Sunday thanks to second-half goals from Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck.
Xhaka’s goal came via a massive deflection off Ander Hererra, and Welbeck’s goal against his former club was a fierce bullet header from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.
Arsene Wenger employed his 3-4-3 formation again, which has brought him mixed success in recent weeks, employing Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the wing-back roles.
Speaking on Match of the Day 2 (Sunday 10.30pm), Neville lavished praise on the wing-backs and the new system.
“This system suits them [Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain] down to the ground,” he said.
However he reserved special praise for Oxlade-Chamberlain, saying: “[Before we did not know] his best position – is he a winger, is he a midfield player? Now he’s got one job, to get up and down that line and use his athleticism. It’s freed him up from his defensive responsibilities.”
The 26-year-old has been used in a variety of roles by Wenger this term, which has seen him operate on both wings, in central midfield and now as a right wing-back.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 43 appearances in all competitions this term, scoring six goals and supplying 11 assists.
The 25-time England international provided two assists in the win at the Emirates which leaves Arsenal in sixth, two points behind United with a game in hand.
Next up for the Gunners is a Wednesday night trip to St. Mary’s to take on 10th-placed Southampton.
In other Arsenal news, John Hartson delivers a damning verdict on the Gunners after win versus United.