If there’s one way of shutting your critics up, it’s by proving it on the football field during the 90 minutes. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal did just the same, even if it took them a little longer. The Gunners had been the apparent underdogs as they headed to Wembley, requiring more than their A-game to beat Manchester City. Boy did they do so in some style.
The Arsenal we saw the other day wasn’t the average side that we have been unfortunate enough to see, there was something different about it. They were more solid, didn’t wilt under pressure and turned their swagger on for once (finally).
Call it a tactical masterclass or just a very spirited performance, it was special and showed us all what the North Londoners are capable of, so here are our top three picks from Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Manchester City.
1. Arsene Wenger has Still Got It
At a time when the world sat thinking that Wenger was all but done, the Frenchman has shown that he still has something left in him, a reflection of which was the tactical switch to 3-4-2-1 on an occasion as this, and having the guts to even drop Hector Bellerin.
Few managers would have adapted a different formation at such a crucial time, so for the Professor to successfully see such a change through brought back memories of his old self.
2. Alexis Sanchez is a Big Game Player
Alexis Sanchez has been making a lot of headlines lately, and he made sure to make one for the right reason at the right time. A poacher’s goal combined with 130 minutes of incommensurable work-rate and passion proved his value to Arsenal yet again.
It was his fourth goal at Wembley, the most by any Arsenal player ever, which is the one statistic you need to know while impugning his status as a big-game man.
3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the Goods
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is easily the reason why Arsenal are the FA Cup finalists. The England international set the game alight in the second-half, easily outshining Leroy Sane, and causing Manchester City all sorts of trouble.
All through the season, we have seen numerous such flashes from Chamberlain, further making a case for him to be a regular starter. He has a role to play in the side now.