Five key observations from Arsenal's performance against Liverpool

Ozil Arsenal 1

There were several talking points to emerge from Arsenal's performance against Liverpool yesterday.

Arsenal produced a professional and solid performance as they responded positively against Liverpool, winning 2-1 in the FA Cup yesterday.

It was the perfect way for Wenger’s side to prepare for the Champions League last 16 first leg against Bayern Munich this week, allowing his key players to stay sharp, fit and ready for their biggest challenge of the season.

Here are five key observations we drew from Arsenal’s performance yesterday.

Mesut Ozil

It was a surprise to see him start and no surprise that he seemed to tire in the second half.

He switched from a central to a wide position during the second 45 minutes, with Wenger seemingly keen to protect the German who was lacking a little bit in central areas.

He will start against Bayern Munich but if that fatigue kicks in again, Wenger has to get him off rather than leave him on the pitch.

Pace

Arsenal look a very difficult team to defend against when they have pace in wide areas.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was right up there against Raheem Sterling in terms of being the quickest player on the pitch.

Both the Ox and Lukas Podolski have it in them to really exploit pockets of space on he counter attack and they both need to start on Wednesday night when the Gunners will be taking a lot of pressure during the game.

Yaya Sanogo

Not bad for someone who was thrown in at the deep end by his manager.

He will get better but he showed great touch up front, held the ball up well and carries a real presence in and around the penalty area because of his height.

He did look raw but there’s plenty there for the Gunners to work with and he looks a very shrewd investment by Wenger.

Defensive Change

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny deserve credit for the slight defensive change they made from the 5-1 defeat at Anfield.

They both dropped off earlier, moving a little deeper which gave them more of a chance to cope with the movement and skill of Liverpool’s Suarez and Sturridge combination up front.

SAS still had good chances to score but the heart of Arsenal’s defence looked more solid than it did last weekend.

Mathieu Flamini

Arsenal’s midfield looks so much more confident when he’s in the team.

He sits and protects the back four, getting stuck in with a little bit of aggression before moving the ball on quickly to attacking players.

He looked fresh throughout the game and shouldn’t have any hangover from this 90 minutes against Bayern Munich.

image: © ronmacphotos

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