Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside. It was the Gunners’ first win in 5 away matches and it moved them back to 6th on the table.
The chase for a top four spot is on and Wenger opted for a different formation to get the victory. A rare 3-4-3 was used with Holding drafted back into the starting lineup after Mustafi was left out due to injury. Gabriel and Koscielny made up the back three.
It was an unusual setup. Chamberlain and Monreal were the wide men with Ramsey and Xhaka in the middle. Giroud was the main man upfront with Ozil and Sanchez rotating the formation from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2. There were no rooms for Bellerin, Iwobi and Walcott who had to make do with the bench.
The opening goal came from a free kick after a foul on Xhaka at the edge of the box few minutes from the break. Sanchez scored a great free kick that had Guzan rooted on the spot. His wall of China blocked his view, eagerly assisted by Giroud and Ramsey.
Boro drew level 5 minutes into the second half but Ozil restored Arsenal’s lead after a head down from Ramsey to make it 2-1. Boro had chances to equalize but Cech was equal to the task. Chamberlain, who had a great game, failed to register his name on the score sheet after missing a couple of chances before the final whistle.
The final whistle was a relief to the players who were already tired. A win finally, can we get to fourth? We are 7 points behind.
Chelsea’s lead at the top is down to 4 points after they lost 2-0 to Manchester United. Tottenham will be hoping for more slips.
Welcome Brighton to the Premier League.