I’m tempted to say something like that was a game of two halves,but I wont because that would be pathetic, so i’ll say it was a game of one third and two thirds. The first half an hour was none too impressive, but after that, we were well on top.
Arteta set the team up, with his selections, to best combat the deep block in a disjointed game, and it worked. With Xhaka and Dani in the midfield it allowed Ozil to do his Ozil thingamabobs, drifting into space, with a good chance the ball would reach him. And it did. Xhaka did what we have seen him do recently, and played in a hybrid CM/CB/wingback/fullback position, which allows Saka to bomb on and gave Dani more time and space. Xhaka will not get many plaudits, but he had a huge effect on the game.
I keep banging the drum that Ozil has not regressed, and he just needs the team to find him in space, i think that was exactly what happened today. He had a great game.
Ceballos also had a fine game, his passing both penetrative and accurate. I hope this is the start of a nice little cameo from him that lasts until the end of the season.
I would be mean to not mention Saka, what a talent he is, but as I mentioned, he should say thanks to Xhaka for allowing him the freedom that he took advantage of.
Another player that had a fine game, was Mustafi. He is an exceptional defensive header of the ball. In fact he has been good consistently under Mikel, it’s a shame that he gets no recognition because……. well because he’s Mustafi.
Oh what joy it is to have our Arsenal back. Ok , I know, but it feels like a corner has been turned.