Five things we learned about Arsenal against Marseille
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side are on the cusp of the Champions League knockout rounds after a 2-0 win over Marseille on Tuesday night.
The north London side know that a point away to Napoli will ensure they top the group, with a place in the next stage guaranteed as long as they are not beaten 3-0 or more.
Here are five things that were evident in Arsenal’s one-sided victory over the French visitors.
Sagna a tough act to follow
The French right-back played a perfect pass in the first minute to allow Jack Wilshere to open the scoring, while he looked steady throughout when defending.
Although still guilty of wastefulness at times when in good attacking positions, the Arsenal right-back is as good as anyone in his position in the Premier League and would be a tough act to follow should he leave the Emirates Stadium.
With the defender an important player for the Gunners this term, a new contract needs to be sorted out for Sagna, as he would be a tough player to replace.
Wilshere hitting form just in time
The Arsenal home-grown midfielder netted both goals in the victory, and looked like the Gunners’ most dangerous player cutting in from the right flank.
With Theo Walcott returning to fitness, the England international is hitting form just in the nick of time to ensure that he continues in the starting XI.
Wilshere can be a driving force in Arsenal’s midfield in their quest for honours this term, and his improved performances of late is great news for England also.
Ozil looks fatigued
The Germany international played a superb pass for the decisive second goal, but apart from this looked decidedly off the boil.
Despite a scintillating start to life in north London, Ozil has had a couple of quiet games of late and looked slightly fatigued against Marseille.
Obviously immensely talented, Arsene Wenger needs to ensure he uses the playmaker correctly to get the most of his abilities.
Flamini’s return welcome
Although Marseille offered little attacking threat, the return of Mathieu Flamini in the boiler room solidified the hosts’ defensive unit.
The Frenchman gets on with his business behind the scenes, and allows the remaining midfield unit to get forward and support Olivier Giroud.
With more taxing games on the horizon, Flamini’s availability is a key boost for the Gunners.
Florian Thauvin lives up to reputation
Arsenal manager Wenger admitted this week that he has been interested in signing the youthful midfielder in the past, and the substitute here showed why.
Thauvin gave the French visitors more energy and quality after coming off the bench, and Wenger’s praise certainly seems warranted. In the future, the Arsenal manager may look to the talented and versatile attacking star.
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