Arsenal came through a real test
of strength and character on Sunday evening to salvage a point from a game in
which they were second best for large periods.
The North London derby was always
going to be a very difficult game for the Gunners given the mauling suffered at
the hands of Bayern Munich in mid week and the number of injuries reducing
Arsene Wenger to a threadbare squad, therefore leading to only one change from
the side that lost to Bayern.
Bayern Munich had a point to
prove having lost at the Emirates Stadium in their last Champions League
outing, and they did just that with an excellent display that put the Gunners
firmly back in their place.
Much was made of the wonderful, flowing
attacking football displayed by the Germans on Wednesday night. There can be no
doubt that Munich are a far better side than Arsenal, but Arsene Wenger’s side
didn’t help themselves at the Allianz Arena.
Arsenal saw their Premier
League run extended to five straight wins on Saturday with a very impressive
victory away to Swansea, a side who beat the Gunners both home and away last
The performance from Arsenal
was one that had the hallmark of a side that feels comfortable and confident in
itself as Arsene Wenger’s team had to weather a first half storm. The Gunners
were far from their best during the first period and even struggled to get out
of their own half at times with Swansea comfortably keeping possession and putting
their opponents under pressure.
A week, as they say, is a long
time in football. Arsenal would have certainly had this famous phrase ringing
in their ears on Tuesday night as they went from beating the mighty Bayern
Munich to being dumped out of the League Cup 3-0 away to Sheffield Wednesday
exactly seven days later.
This night had a disastrous
feeling about it as early as the fourth minute when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
reported a tightening of his hamstring and had to be replaced