The difference in quality on the wings
It was a very even, well-contested game of football. Even if it did not have the traditional heat that is usually observed between these rivals, both teams looked very solid from the first minute to the last. But ultimately, the game was won and lost on the wings. Arsenal’s quality on the wings shone brighter as compared to that to Tottenham.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain had a wonderful game. He was on the forefront of every Arsenal attack and he led every counter. Before the game, Wenger had backed him to be more open and believe in himself and his quality. He himself had said that he needs to contribute more goals to the team. And little did he disappoint. As he received the ball from Olivier Giroud outside the penalty area, it was his stinging shot that Flamini directed into the open net for the first Arsenal goal. He was always on the prowl and Kieran Trippier was having a hard time dealing with the Ox.
Chadli and Townsend for Spurs, on the other hand just weren’t that effective. It’s not that they had a bad game; they were just lacking a cutting edge that would get them over the line. Even the big money deadline day signing Heung Son Min was unable to provide a breakthrough when he came on as a substitute.
Whereas, for Arsenal, it was the mighty Alexis Sanchez who came on. Spurs had enjoyed a pretty good spell before his introduction. They had scored a goal and had the momentum to go on and get another. But, with Alexis on, the game suddenly tilted on its head. It took around two minutes after his introduction, for a sweeping Arsenal move in midfield and a piercing ball from Aaron Ramsey, for Alexis to get behind the Spurs defence, cut inside and have a shot on target, from which he probably should have scored. Even after that, he posed a constant threat, and the difference in class showed on the wings between the two sides.