Ox - We defended from the front


Ox - We defended from the front

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Arsenal’s determination to defend from the front was the key to Sunday’s victory at Manchester City.

The Gunners secured their first league win against a top-four rival in 17 attempts thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud at Etihad Stadium.

But it was the way Arsenal limited the champions to so few clear-cut chances that most pleased Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“You’re never going to come to a place like City and dominate completely,” he told Arsenal Player. “You’ve got to defend really well, and they have quality players so there are going to be periods where they’ll dominate possession - which there were.

“We defended solidly right from the front, all the way to the boys at the back, who were tremendous. I think Francis Coquelin in midfield really gave the back four good protection and we countered well and caused them problems.

“Ultimately they didn’t have too many chances from open play, which is as good as we can do. We defended really well from set-pieces. They did pile on the pressure at times, but they will do because they’re a great side.

“We scored some good goals at important times, but ultimately we defended the way we needed to to come away with a win.”

Sunday’s game was the first time Manchester City have failed to score in 16 matches, and Oxlade-Chamberlain says it has given the squad a big boost.

“It gives you confidence to come to a place like City and take three points,” he said. “We haven’t done it for a little while now, so it was good that we were able to change that and come away with three points.

“In previous games, not just here but especially at home against some of the top sides, we’ve been close to coming away with three points. But close in this game isn’t good enough - you’ve got to go the whole distance and actually win it. Today that’s what we were able to do, so we’re delighted with that.”

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