Arsenal Produce Their Best Half of Football This Season
This is why the previous point leaves a simmering pit in the stomach: Arsenal were, up until that point, excellent.
Not even just that, the best half of football from the side this season. Each player, each movement and each phase was harmonious in its simplicity, elevated by the individual flair.
Those on the pitch have their own fortes, some have more than one, yet Tuesday saw for the first time this campaign all the players singing from the same hymn sheet.
Partey was spraying one and two touch passes in every direction; Saka had Max Kilman wanting to act out his surname; Alexandre Lacazette dropped deep with intelligence to link play; Emile Smith Rowe formed fluid triangles on either flank; Granit Xhaka pressed high and recovered possession, while Pepe has finally appeared to turn the longest corner in human history.
The interchangeability all across the pitch was a delight to behold. Words not uttered all too frequently in regards to Arsenal, they should have been three goals up.
What criticisms there are to be made are the same ones that have lingered throughout the season: Arsenal don’t take advantage of their dominance. On this occasion a lick of paint and Rui Patricio’s quick reflexes saw to that deficiency being extended.
Killing games, or at least leaving them gasping for air, has not been mastered. Three points should have been wrapped up way before the VAR debacle. This ruthlessness, or lack thereof, remains.