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Daniel Sturridge had come on at half time which meant Sterling moving to the left of the pitch and a battle against Hector Bellerin. It was a very intriguing contest as both players are roughly the same age and both have blistering pace. Bellerin mistimed one tackle in the box on 76 which gave Liverpool a glimmer of hope. Henderson took the kick and scored. You can feel that the team have matured though, in years past everyone would have felt panicked by this. Nervous energy being passed between fans and players alike, yet yesterday we went about our work professionally and did not give Liverpool another way back into the game

We were quickly the better team and created chances, trouble was our final pass or finish did not always match up with our approach play. It was great to see Alexis Sanchez looking sharper than he had been in recent weeks. Sometimes he has reminded me of Arshavin, attempting difficult final passes almost every time that do not come off but at St James' Park he found his range. He created chances for Ramsey, Cazorla and two for Welbeck. His flick over the defenders head with not much room to maneuver was fantastic. Welbeck really should have done better with his finish and that remains an area where he needs work. Danny Welbeck is a player I like a lot and I'm always happy to see him in the starting 11 but bite is

I thought we had lacked quality from wide areas throughout the game, apart from the occasions when Mesut Özil pulled into those parts of the pitch to sweep passes into players around the box. We missed the Oxlade-Chamberlain of Old Trafford and we certainly missed the Alexis Sanchez from the first half of the season. In fact, I would go as far as to say that he was the only player who could have won the game for us last night at that point in the game. The problem is this Alexis is off the boil completely. Perhaps all his chasing defenders all season has burnt him out during this second half of the campaign but last night he became a hindrance at times rather than the player we needed to turn to. On another day he might have won us

His finishing was not what we expect of him but that is not the issue. He has not been playing regularly and is not in the same groove as the other players. The way I see it, the issue that Walcott has, is that he does not contribute in other ways. Whether that be keeping possession, winning tackles or defending set pieces, Theo becomes less important to the team. Having said all that, I hope we can come to some agreement and extend his contract. A sharp and confident Theo will take those chances and he will score and make important goals if given a chance in the team

Welbeck celebration

So onto Welbeck, his ability to force chances is incredible. He did so recently at Crystal Palace when he won Arsenal a penalty. Yesterday his closing pressured Valencia into a poor back pass. But it wasn't even that short. Most strikers would not have scored from that position but Welbeck sniffed a chance and sprinted after the ball before de Gea, poked the ball around him and scored into an empty net

As for Arsenal, I felt we were still carrying the Monaco result a little with us during the first half, that as well as the home sides direct approach. Chris Ramsey's team were hitting the front players as early as possible in an attempt to win knock downs. A bit on the old fashioned side, a little be 1980 but each to their own and all that. I thought Per Mertesacker coming back into the team performed really well at competing and winning headers. I was intrigued to see how the Gabriel/Mertesacker partnership would fair, unfortunately I didn't get to watch very much of it as our new Brazilian centre back has settled so well, he has already picked up the Arsenal injury curse

The two biggest calls were Gabriel coming in for Mertesacker and the second was the non selection of Theo Walcott. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has been out for a while with injury returned ahead of our speedster. Arsène had noted pre match that his offensive players had to be strong at both ends of the pitch and if you can't then you don't play. I couldn't help but feel that was directed at Theo when I saw him sat on the bench. I took a bit of stick on Twitter when I mentioned Theo's lack of desire to close the ball down during the Hull City match

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more