Despite a dominant performance and a fine goal from Aaron Ramsey, we were forced to settle for a share of the spoils against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
But what did learn from our Premiere League outing? Read on to find out.
RAMBO’S WEMBLEY WAY
Aaron Ramsey almost certainly won’t play in another north London derby but he signed off in style. This was his 15th clash with Tottenham and he’s been directly involved in three of our last four Premier League goals against our local rivals. He sniffed out this goal opportunity with a perfectly-timed run from his own half and then kept his cool with a defender and goalkeeper converging. The celebration was one to savour too - in pretty much the same spot where he enjoyed his FA Cup final winner against Hull City five years ago.
MICKI’S HARD GRAFT
There was some anger on social media when we announced our team but Unai Emery’s selection was vindicated by a robust defensive performance and industry all over the pitch. Henrikh Mkhitaryan started the game a bit slowly - he was caught on his heels by Jan Vertonghen early on - but the Armenian was soon up to speed. He ran his socks off, putting in a defensive shift as Spurs tried to create overloads on the flanks, and had enough energy left to drive us forward deep in the second half. It was Micki’s through-ball that helped us get that late penalty, so we’d be lauding Micki for his contribution in the winning goal if Auba had done what he usually does.
KEEPING OUR SHAPE
The headlines will focus on the two penalties - the one Auba missed and the one that wouldn’t have been given if the offside flag had gone up. But one of the undoubted positives for us was our defensive performance at Wembley. We kept our shape well, conceding space on the flanks where Trippier and Rose regularly hugged the touchline, but dealing with everything they threw into the box. Apart from a brief onslaught late in the first half, we kept Spurs at arm’s length. Koscielny and Sokratis were immense but credit also goes to the protective shield in front of the back four, where Xhaka sat deep and Guendouzi, then Torreira, scrapped for midfield superiority.
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.