With the second half of the season in full throttle, Arsenal fans have grown accustomed of following the results of our rivals and this season is no exception.
The three points amassed at the Emirates by the Gunners against Hull City courtesy of Alexis Sanchez’s brace just became massive as fellow table-toppers Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur dropped valuable points in their respective fixtures over the weekend.
Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at The Turfmoor stadium by Burnley whilst Tottenham lost 2-0 at Anfield to a Sadio Mane-inspired Liverpool side. This invariably dovetailed to us being level on points (50) with Spurs and only 10 points behind Chelsea with a two goal difference keeping us in 3rd behind Spurs.
Considering the reality of possibly going 15 points behind league leaders Chelsea going into this weekend, this can only provide a huge boost in title pursuit, however, bleak.
There were lots of reactions from Arsenal players after the match against Hull, however, only a few caught my attention really. Below are some of them, starting with Bellerin:
We had to defend well because we knew they were very good on the counter-attack," he told Arsenal Player. “But we also knew they were slow at the back, so it was about playing balls in behind.
After many chances we got the goals we deserved. We played very well on the counter-attack, we knew how to choose our options and it paid off as well
Petr Cech wasn’t left out of the action either and this is what he had to say:
We need to be consistent, that’s the first thing," he said. “We have periods when we are doing really well, then we had a week when we lost both games and didn’t play well, so we need to make sure that after a performance like today we carry on and improve where we can.
“We need to make sure we are ready for every game because each game will be like a final.
“We really needed this win," Cech added. “We fell 12 points behind and there are not many games to be played now. They have a big advantage, Chelsea, so we need to make sure we keep winning our game
Alexis has a striker’s mentality which means he never gives up and fights until the end," the manager told Arsenal Player. “That’s why I believe he is at that level.
“We started quite well against Hull and created many chances, but once we went one goal up, we became protective," he added. “In the second half we played with just one worry: security
You can catch the full reactions from everyone on Arsenal’s Official Website.
The Champions league tournament returns for Arsenal this Wednesday against Bayern Munich. …..again! and this time, the Gunners faithful with myself included are quite hopeful for a successful outing this time around.
Having finished top of the table standings ahead of PSG, Arsenal would have hoped for an easier match up but hey, this is the Champions league and there are no real easy matchups at this stage.
Furthermore, we get to go to the Allianz Arena first with the aim of ensuring we leave a marker in Germany to make progression easier when the reverse fixture is played at the Emirates.
The return of both Granit Xhaka and Arsene Wenger from suspension and fully into the side for the competition is another source of consolation and morale boost for the boys. In all sincerity, though, the return of the former would have a more glaring impact when compared to the former.
Manchester City are yet to play Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium as at the time of writing this piece so we still remain third pending the outcome of the game as a win will lift City to 2nd on the table with 52 points leaving them just 7 points away from Chelsea at the Summit whilst pushing us down to 4th.
Our next 5 matches: Bayern Munich, Sutton United, Southampton, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Chew on that till the next thought people. COYG!