Match Review - QPR 1 Arsenal 2 - Premier League
No changes of position this week as the top eight teams all won. There is a combination of frustration that we couldn't edge two points clear of Manchester United after Tim Krul and his defenders practically gifted Manchester United a late winner following a catalog of errors. But at the same time it is pleasing to have negotiated our way through another away match and come away with the points.
As for the match, I felt we were still carrying the Monaco result a little with us during the first half, that as well as the home sides direct approach. Chris Ramsey's team were hitting the front players as early as possible in an attempt to win knock downs. A bit on the old fashioned side, a little bit 1980s but each to their own and all that. I thought Per Mertesacker coming back into the team performed really well at competing and winning headers. I was intrigued to see how the Gabriel/Mertesacker partnership would fair, unfortunately I didn't get to watch very much of it as our new Brazilian centre back has settled so well, he has already picked up the Arsenal injury curse.
After the break we looked much better as a team, we passed the ball far more crisply and started to pin them back a lot more compared to the first half. Oliver Giroud swept us ahead on 64 minutes after a good counter attacking move. Then on 69 Alexis Sanchez cut inside his man by the byline and snuck a low shot past Green at his near post. Alexis had a number of attempts before the goal but his shooting was wayward for the most part. So hopefully that goal will get him back to earlier on in the season where scoring seemed so easy.
We really should have buried QPR in the second half but our final pass or final finish let us down. Typically we were made to pay for our profligacy. Charlie Austin turned on the edge of the box without a challenge and he rifled in a consolation goal. QPR tried to put pressure on us but we dealt with pretty much everything and probably looked more dangerous on the break.
Two of our stand out performers on the night were two players who were nowhere near the first team at the start of the season. Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin. I thought both were instrumental throughout the night. It will be interesting to see if both can keep their place in the team next season. In fact you can go through the entire squad and ask the same question really.
So it is a case of as we were for this week; all eyes are now on Monday night's FA Cup clash with Manchester United.
Before I go, I would like to point you in the direction of this weeks Post Match Podcast.