Arsene Wenger oversaw a strong display of possession football against Ligue 1 representatives Olympique Marseille.
Arsenal may have been subject to censure for not finishing their Champions League encounter with Olympique Marseille sooner, but their overall performance in the 2-0 Group F game demonstrated a number of the assets that Arsene Wenger holds most dear.
Intricate one-touch football was on display, Jack Wilshere's first goal epitomised the club culture and, something that is perhaps going under-reported, Marseille's possession play was no match for Arsenal's.
While one of the keys to the Gunners' strong performances is a domination of possession (against OM they had 64% of the possession against 36%), this cannot be accomplished with an appreciation of the pass and, on Tuesday evening, Arsenal as a team were accurate with a combined 90% of their overall passes.
Individually, there were six stand-out players in this department as Bacary Sagna (91%), Mathieu Flamini (92%), Mesut Ozil (92%), Nacho Monreal (93%), Laurent Koscielny (95%) and Per Mertesacker (99%) all enjoyed a pass completion rate higher than the average aforementioned 90%.
Every member of Wenger's four-man defence is on that list, which therefore limited the amount of attacking interception chances Marseille could have pounced on. Arsenal could then move the ball forward and force their opponents, in the words of Marseille manager Elie Baup, onto the back-foot from the beginning.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald