Top performance and result from the boys this afternoon. We are in the next round of the FA Cup, some legs have been rested and rotated so it is a pleasing night for the Gunners. Here are some more question and answers from some top Gooners on Twitter.
Excellent game today at the Emirates. Did you feel there was more intensity about our game and our attacking?
@AFCfreddie8 - Absolutely, from the 1st whistle the team seemed focused & have more bite in the tackle, yes, there was a period where we seemed nervous on the ball & a little timid in throwing men forward for the worry of leaving the back door open, but the intensity was there from the off.
@EducatedGooner - ‘Twas an excellent game. Yes, I felt that the intensity was partially instigated by having Flamini, a player who hasn’t been involved of late, in the side. He not only seemed to galvinise the side, but also his pairing with Arteta both helped us in midfield defensively and gave our attackers freedom. The crowd also played a big part in the intensity of the game and especially in willing the players forward. Urgency was something we lacked in the past two games, but we had it today.
@LA1886 - I'd say so. Going forward we were more fluent - the use of Podolski, Ox, and Sanogo meant we were able to break quicker and perhaps utilise the strengths of Özil more than in recent weeks. Defensively I felt we were intense in terms of the forwards pressing the ball, but we were also calm and happy to maintain our shape and defend from the edge of our own box.
@WengerBoy1 - Our game, yes, but I didn't necessarily feel our attacking was any more intense. I feel more that we set up better defensively, and were more focussed, which gave us a better platform to go forward. It helped a lot that we were fairly clinical up front. Liverpool had by far the greater number of chances, but the difference today was that we took ours.
Given all the pre match fuss, what did you make of Yaya Sanogo's performance today in his first ever Arsenal start?
@AFCfreddie8 - Impressive! Not quite the new Anelka yet, but showed real signs of promise, looks strong on the ball, good in the air, a real target man. Thrashed at a few shots here & there but given its his 1st start & 1st game in 5 months I was very impressed.
@EducatedGooner - I thought that for a player who has hardly kicked a ball (competitively) this season and made his first start against a good Liverpool side, Yaya looked very promising. Although occasionally making a mistake, for the most part he looked assured and ready to work hard for the team. Yaya, who played an excellent part in the goal, was quite the handful for the Liverpool defence (who may not have expected him to be).
Overall, Sanogo showed why we signed him up in summer and looks to have some crucial raw attributes that suit a strong, athletic striker.
@LA1886 - Really promising! The least you can ask of a player is to give everything, he certainly did that. Working hard the Liverpool back 4 were rarely given any time on the ball. He also showed he can hold the ball up with a decent first touch, playing a role in the opening goal too. He'll only get better!
@WengerBoy1 - Impressive. Nothing was expected of him and he delivered a lot more than nothing. His closing down was particularly impressive, as was his aerial duelling, particularly in the first half.
He's clearly very raw, but I was pleased he didn't let the few mistakes he made get to him. His biggest issue today was composure, and that's exactly the sort of quality that comes with time and training.
I thought the Ox gave us something very important today, a direct option that opened up spaces. How do you think he played?
@AFCfreddie8 - Superb! His drive & energy are a huge part of how this team will play going forwards, having both strength & pace is a rare gift, Alex has both in spades & shwos clearly he can play the big games in central midfield if & when required.
@EducatedGooner - Oxlade-Chamberlain had a stormer. He looked hungry from the outset, constantly looking to receive the ball and use his pace to outrun Liverpool’s defenders with it. In terms of his importance regarding his movement for others such as Özil, he was invaluable. We cried out for that option when we played Manchester United midweek and today, he provided us with it. A strong performance from the Englishman.
@LA1886 - I think that going forward he always looked our most dangerous player. He's strong, fast, and able to beat a man, which is invaluable. It was his driving run that brought Gerrard's booking in the first half, scored the opening goal, and another burst down the right brought the second.
@WengerBoy1 - He was, one definite penalty-giving-that-wasn't-actually-given foul for Liverpool aside, outstanding. When running at Liverpool was not only positive but controlled, and his movement in behind the Liverpool defence was exactly what we'd missed from that flank. He's starting to show signs of a new found maturity which is helping to hone his raw talent into something a lot more effective. You can never judge wholly after one performance, but if today was anything to go by that right-sided spot is his to lose now.
There were many upset Gooners before the kick off about the starting 11, how do you feel they coped?
@AFCfreddie8 - I really thought the pre-match negativity was totally unfair on the team that played today, we all knew Arsene would keep some players fresh for the Bayern game & this result shows he got the balance just right, the uproar if we had lost this game with a full strength side & the mid week game would've been insane! The team he chose today were a fine mix of experience & reserve, I for one am delighted with how we played.
@EducatedGooner - The starting eleven or the upset Gooners?!
I thought the players did themselves proud. We knew we had to rotate with Bayern coming up in midweek, so for me it was no surprise that we’d made a few changes. I think what made up for a slightly weakened side was the effort that those players (brought in today) put in and the surprisingly good performance of Sanogo, for example.
@LA1886 - Brilliantly, to be honest. Nerves were evident early on but we quickly grew into the game. The inclusion of Monreal and Jenkinson is always a little concerning for me. The much maligned Flamini-Arteta partnership easily had it's best game since Napoli at home. Going forward the selection was strong.
@WengerBoy1 - The Gooners or the starting 11?! I think our first team coped pretty well, beyond the first few scares. The squad was littered with previous and potential scapegoats - Fabianksi, Jenkinson, Monreal, the Flamini-Arteta axis, Podolski, Sanogo - and the fact that not one of those was a negative talking point come the end was a really good sign that, overall, the team did well.
Having said that, I think we were lucky, especially early on, and on another day we could easily have drawn or lost that game. That we didn't is, of course, a measure of our resolve - our record at home is no accident - but also I think in part down to Liverpool's wastefulness, and we won't beat every top team playing like that. It was a result to be proud of and a performance to take heart from, but it wasn't necessarily a performance to be proud of.
Who was your man of the match?
@AFCfreddie8 - Lukas Fabianski, may not be a flying winger, or a goal scorer, but what he had to do he was superb, handling impeccable, decision making 99% was spot on & organised his defence superbly, commanding performance, we will go a long way to finding a better back up to Szcz next season.
@EducatedGooner - My man of the match was Fabianski. Despite Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring and assisting and being generally amazing, the game was won by our defending and goalkeeping. You also have to take into account that Fabianski isn’t our first choice and he again showed today that he is well capable of stepping in when we need him. Shame he’s off in the summer, but you can understand why.
@LA1886 - It's hard to look past Lukasz Fabianski, making 3 or 4 superb saves to deny Suarez in particular. If today's result was down to one man it is him. Ox has already been mentioned, for me the outstanding outfield player was Laurent Koscielny - back to his best, he was simply excellent today.
@WengerBoy1 -The two contenders for me were Chamberlain and Fabianski, and oddly enough both made potentially match-losing errors of judgement. Take those moments out, however, and I think you can hardly find a fault with either.
It has to go to Fabianski for me though. Hardly a fan favourite, rarely called upon and yet he came in today and dealt with basically everything Liverpool threw at him like he was Gianluigi Buffon. Shots he should have saved, he caught, shots he shouldn't have saved, he saved, and that tackle on Sturridge with one hand felt like a goal to me, and could actually be worth a whole lot more to this Arsenal team.
Do you think this result can get us back to winning ways?
@AFCfreddie8 - Yes, absolutely, I am one of few that really think we can defeat Bayern on Wednesday, this game will do that chance the power of good.
@EducatedGooner - Absolutely. Not only was it a great result in the FA Cup, but it’s also a great result for our confidence and rebuilding of momentum. Bayern will be an unforgiving challenge and we have given ourselves a lift just before the big occasion which is fantastic. We came into the Bayern game last year having lost to poor teams recently, this year we can approach the game with at least some confidence.
@LA1886 - Fingers crossed! After the last 2 games I think it was huge to end the week with a win and a good performance. Hopefully that will galvanise the side ahead of a huge game against Bayern. We're playing an excellent team on Wednesday night, probably the best around. Win, draw, or lose in midweek I think today's game will be prove to be a big boost when we return to domestic action against Sunderland next week.
@WengerBoy1 - When your next game is Bayern Munich I think you have to provide a little context to that question, but yes I think it could easily get us back on track across the board. I still don't think we'll beat Bayern over two legs, but if we can get a draw or sneak a win midweek I think we'll be absolutely flying by the time the Premier League recommences next weekend.
Hopefully we'll have Ramsey back in the not too distant future and I'm not sure the impact his return will have can be much overstated.
So we face Everton in the next round at home. Thoughts? And I can hardly let you go without asking you, can we win the cup?
@AFCfreddie8 - It's a tough draw, no doubt about it, other than City it couldnt have been tougher, but, its a home tie, a winnable tie & a real opportunity to make it through. Martinez will set his team out well & we know from the League game Everton are strong, but given our home record & desire to win this trophy I think we'll make it through the tie. The FA Cup is certainly a trophy we can win, City are the biggest obstacle in our way, but in a one off game I think we can beat them. UP THE ARSENAL!
@EducatedGooner - Everton have retained their reputation as a tough side to play under Martinez this season and looking back at the league fixture, they will be exactly that. I think we have enough about us to beat them, of course. Another factor that could play into our hands is how passionate the fans are about this competition. You only have to look at the atmosphere today to see how much the fans want this trophy and I definitely think the team have a chance to give us some joy in this competition this year. Yes, we can win it.
@LA1886 - Of course! We are solid at the back and have players who can produce great moments against any defence. Big game against Everton but it is at home. I'm wary of underestimating anyone but if we can beat Everton you would say the only 'big' side left in the cup is City - we stand every chance of glory at Wembley this year!
@WengerBoy1 - We've beaten Spurs and Liverpool at home in the cup already and given our home record I see absolutely no reason to fear Everton here either. All three teams are fighting for 4th this season and we've knocked out what are almost certainly the better two. And once you beat Everton you're at Wembley and anything can happen.
Would I back us to go all the way? I think City will have a major say in that at some stage. But will we get to Wembley and a semi-final? I'm going for a mathematically impossible 110% yes.
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