Lucas Torreira's acrobatics helped us extend our unbeaten streak to 21 games with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday - but what did we learn from our Premier League outing?
LUCAS IN THE GOALS
Lucas Torreira’s impact on this team has been considerable, but it has mainly been judged in terms of what he adds with the tenacity and bite he brings to the midfield. But now the little Uruguayan is starting to get among the goals, with two in his last three games. His strike in the north London derby may live with him for longer, but this late winner was worth its weight in gold at the end of frustrating afternoon that had seemed destined for stalemate. Torreira had gone close with a fierce strike in the first half, only to see it tipped wide by the outstretched glove of Jonas Lossl, but he was leaving nothing to chance with his winner, acrobatically crashing the ball home from close range. It was another special moment from a special first season for ourmidfield dynamo.
COUNTING THE COST
What had been a pretty low-key game suddenly sprang to life towards the end of the first half with a spate of six bookings in 10 minutes, but two of those will be more costly than the others. Both Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi came into this game on four yellow cards for the season, and now, having both picked up their fifth, it means they will miss the trip to Southampton next Sunday. Considering Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are only just on their way back, and Rob Holding has been sidelined in the long term, it is a defensive headache Unai Emery could do without.
In terms of timing, Nacho Monreal’s is better than most. A player who has a happy habit of stepping up when we most need him, scoring crucial goals throughout his Arsenal career, is back just in the nick of time. With the aforementioned suspensions, and Holding out for between six to nine months, we need reinforcements – and they don’t come much more consistent that Monreal. The reception he received after returning from two months out, spoke of the regard with which he is held by the fans. It is great to have him back, especially with a hectic festive schedule ahead.
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