Arsenal prove solidity with best defensive display of the weekend

Few would have predicted today’s result at The Etihad as Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-0 in a game that saw them put in the best defensive display of the weekend.

Santi Cazorla’s penalty and Olivier Giroud’s header from a Cazorla free-kick led to the win that moved the Gunners to within a point of the top four in the Premier League.

The victory saw the Gunners beat the reigning champions away from home for the first time since they were title-holders, so this was a huge win for Arsene Wenger’s side.

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“I am very pleased because our defence have been questioned a lot,” Wenger told the BBC after the game.

“The target was to put it right, and to win a big game away in the league which we’ve not done this season.

“To come out of a game like that without conceding a goal is important.”

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Manchester City missed Yaya Toure in the heart of midfield and did not look as threatening as usual, with Sergio Aguero lacking fitness and match practice, but take nothing away from Arsenal as they were terrific throughout.

City had more touches of the ball than any other side this weekend (956), and made the most in the oppositions half too (560) but could not find the net against a resilient Gunners backline.

Francis Coquelin was incredible in midfield and was the most effective midfielder from a defensive standpoint this week, as he made more clearances, blocks and interceptions combined (18) than any other midfield player in the Premier League.

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He was at the heart of Arsenal’s defensive masterclass as Wenger’s side made more a total of 97 clearances, blocks and interceptions combined – more than any other side this week.

The result means Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last three games and they are now just one point behind Manchester United in fourth place.

The Gunners may have finally solved any defensive issues they had, and they will look to make it four clean sheets on the bounce when they travel to Brighton in the FA Cup next Sunday.

How good were Arsenal from a defensive standpoint at Manchester City on Sunday?

About Louis East (1300 Articles)
Editor of Premier League and MLS reporter.

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