Five things we learned about Arsenal against Cardiff

Dominant 3-0 win provided plenty of talking points, with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil impressing

Arsenal threw down another gauntlet to Premier League rivals by winning at a ground both Manchester City and Manchester United struggled at. Below are five observations from the victory:

As good a season as he's having, Olivier Giroud certainly isn't infallible

The Frenchman had one of his tougher games in recent times, struggling to really influence the match despite Arsenal having plenty of the ball. His performance will be remembered after he failed to play to the whistle when through on goal. Seeing Mesut Ozil touch a ball when he was in an offside position Giroud presumed the flag would go up. It didn't, and the striker failed to find the target as he was challenged once he woke up. In some sense he should be applauded after spotting an infringement the officials didn't and refusing to take advantage - but in reality, he just wasn't alert enough to know the officials had messed up. 

The midfield is full of great movement

During the first half, Arsenal's midfield movement was excellent despite the wall of red in front of them. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil in particular were finding excellent positions in the limited space and threading dangerous passes to their teammates. Cardiff somewhat naively sat off them in the middle of the pitch in the first period, and after the break, when the game became more competitive, the Arsenal midfield still managed to hold onto the ball. Funny when you consider that pretty much all five players would prefer to play a central attacking midfield position.

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Getting in Arsenal's faces may still be the best way to unsettle them

Cardiff looked woefully short of Arsenal early on, paying them far too much respect as the Gunners seized control of the game. With Szczesny's save just before the hour, Cardiff sensed that while the score stayed at 1-0 they still had a chance to get back in the game. The second half was much more even and Wenger responded by bringing on more defensive players such as Mathieu Flamini and Nacho Monreal, who initially struggled to make much of an impact. In the end though, it provided the buffer (and the bluff) for Arsenal to score two more.

For someone not in top form, Mesut Ozil is still a frighteningly good player

The German looked great in the first half, with a wonderful cross for Aaron Ramsey's header and a huge 96% successful pass rate. But in the second half, as the team dropped off a little, so did he, and it's becoming a little too easy in those situations for fickle and short minded fans to declare that "Ozil isn't playing so well." Well, he finished the match with two assists after playing in Flamini, and most teams wouldn't say no to a couple of those off-form Ozils.

Ramsey is looking like a worldbeater

It was almost a watershed moment, one in a long list of achievements for Aaron Ramsey this season. As the Welshman refused to celebrate (either times) after scoring against the club he was with for nine years, the home fans stood up and applauded their former hero. Late on in the match all corners of the stadium were singing "there's only one Aaron Ramsey" and it seems like he is getting closer and closer to the form fellow Welshman Gareth Bale displayed last year. The two goals today took Ramsey to 8 in 13 Premier League games this season, and who's to bet he would of added to that by the time he turns 23 (yes, he's still only 22!) on Boxing Day. Would Arsene Wenger accept €100 million for him right now? Somehow, I doubt it.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © joncandy

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