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Like in the last two matches against Chelsea, the game would be decided by the first team that could find that bit of magic first and capitalise on it. At the Emirates last season neither team could find the breakthrough and the game at Stamford Bridge was won as soon as Hazard weaved his way through the Arsenal defence before being halted by a trailing Koscielny leg. Apparently the same player was on the pitch at Wembley, although there isn't a great deal of proof of that.

The atmosphere at the Emirates was far better than I would have imagined before we got there. It was better than plenty of actual home matches. Maybe that was down to the occasion, perhaps the vibes around the game were all positive, who knows. Whatever it was, it made the occasion so much more enjoyable. I don't know how viable it is but I'd be up for watching more games on the big screen at the Emirates, perhaps the big televised away matches but I don't

First Alexis Sanchez made a similar run to the one he made at Wembley against Reading but then checked his run when he saw Özil shift to his left a bit more instead of playing the pass, now Theo Walcott thought he could be in and made a similar dart into the same area that Alexis went into just ahead of him, it was Alexis moving back into his left position that fooled the West Brom players and left Theo on his own on the right edge of the box. Özil gave it to Wilshere who knocked it on to Cazorla and the Spaniard slipped Walcott in who had been screaming for the ball. Walcott took a touch to get it out of his feet and whipped a shot across the keeper into the top corner of the goal.

With the benefit of hindsight I would have liked to have seen Alexis move centrally as a partner to Giroud, moving someone else on the left and Walcott on the right late on in the game. Chances were not coming frequently enough with our passing alone and it felt like we needed someone to create his own shot in the penalty area, unfortunately Alexis could not do that on the left flank and nobody else in the team has those gifts in tight areas. In the end we were restricted to long range shots from Özil and Cazorla (I really hate wasted long range shots killing moves) as well as half chances from Gibbs, Özil and Giroud

I wasn't too worried about our lack of shots in the first half, we are not a team that take speculative shots, instead preferring to carve out 1 or 2 high percentage chances instead of 8-10 shots straight down the middle into the keepers arms. As bad as we played in that first half we were very close to having a couple of those clear cut chances. Phil Jones producing one amazing bits of improvisation as he fell to the ground heading the ball against Giroud's boot and into the grateful arms of David de Gea, without that intervention, Giroud was clean through against the keeper

Aaron Ramsey made yet another considerable contribution to a wonderful first half performance. As did Alexis Sanchez who has found a second wind of form after a mid-season dip. It was the Chilean's freekick which deflected in for our opener before Santi Cazorla spotted a Ramsey dart into a centre forward position and pinged a magnificent long pass with his 'weak' foot into Ramsey's body. Ramsey acting like an experienced centre forward turned his man and got his shot off and his effort flew in via yet another deflection. But I bet the third goal was the one that pleased Arsene the most

I would like to state categorically that Alexis Sanchez along with Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla is one of our stars. His contribution on and off the ball has been a joy to behold and we will need him if we are to take the next step in the league BUT and you know the but was coming, at times he feels like a Gervinho upgrade in almost every way. He has the ability to make something happen from nothing yet also has a terrible habit of poor execution with his final pass. I've noticed Özil fling his arms up several times with frustration when a move has broken down at the feet of our electric Chilean. The hope is that he improves that side of his game but given his age, I think it's a case of taking the rough with the smooth and there is a bucketful of smooth to immerse ourselves in. I also wish he wouldn't attempt the impossible pass through a crowded box every time he gets the ball outside of the area because we end up giving the opposition a goal kick when others

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more