This man is Mr Arsenal: Three things we learned about Arsenal in win v Stoke
COMMENT by Russell Edge
Arsenal were back to their very best in their 4-1 win away at Stoke on Saturday.
Goals from Olivier Giroud (two), Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were enough to secure the three points and keep their hopes of a fourth-placed finish alive.
Here, Football Insider analyses three things we learned from their clash with the Potters.
3-4-3 the way forward
Arsene Wenger’s decision to switch to three at the back, a la Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side, has worked a treat for the Gunners. They look so much more assured in possession and are able to dominate sides on the ball.
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The wing-backs of Bellerin and Monreal are key to the new system and their pace and energy up and down the flanks means the Gunners can turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
It worked to superb effect on Saturday as Bellerin set up Olivier Giroud for their opener after a clever run, and they troubled Stoke time and again down the wings.
Having three at the back also means Wenger’s side look much more assured when defending, with Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny all resolute at the back.
Sanchez is Mr Arsenal
There is no doubt as to who Arsenal’s player of the season has been. Alexis Sanchez has been the catalyst for the Gunners time and again over this campaign and he made another pivotal impact on Saturday.
His pass for Mesut Ozil’s strike was sublime, as he waited until the opportune moment to play a perfectly weighted pass to cut apart the Stoke defence.
Waving to the bench to be replaced after appearing to pick up an injury, Sanchez pushed through the pain barrier to strike with a goal of his own just as Stoke were threatening a comeback.
It is not the first time the Chilean forward has put his body on the line for his club and Arsene Wenger, as well as Arsenal fans all around the globe, will be praying the thigh injury which forced him off is nothing serious.
However, he seemed in a jovial mood post match, which will alleviate their concerns.
Where has this Arsenal been all season?
This Arsenal performance was one of the best the fans will have seen all season.
They were a threat time and again and the Gunners faithful will be wondering where these sort of performances have been.
However, they will know that all the pressure is on Liverpool to perform in their fight for fourth place, and the Arsenal players will know they have done all they can to keep their hunt alive.
In other Arsenal transfer news, this European starlet is at the top of Wenger’s summer wishlist.