18 Sep, 11:30
There has been so much fear at Arsenal of losing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. This excellent performance at Chelsea without them made everyone wonder what all the fuss was about.
Without these two, Arsenal were much better defensively. They were disciplined, worked together and pressed as a unit to close down Chelsea. This was the first time that Chelsea have failed to score at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte.
When Chelsea were in possession, Arsenal put them under such pressure they made Gary Cahill look like he could not pass. How many times do you see Sanchez flying forward to press and no one coming to join him? Arsene Wenger has not been brave enough to leave out Ozil but how much does he offer the team?
With midfielders working around him, Aaron Ramsey was able to get on the ball more. He ran the show in midfield and it was his best display for years. For this Arsenal team, it was a chance to step up and prove that they did not need Sanchez and Ozil to perform.
I am not saying that these two should be frozen out. Sanchez did well when he came on and both men still have a part to play. But from now on, every player must adopt this level of organisation in tricky away games. This showed the strength of their XI is better than any individual.