A quarter final played on a Saturday against a very resolute and good team, always wets the appetite and the main talking point before the game was would Wenger put out his strongest team in a competition that in reality we have a good chance of winning or would he have one eye on the Bayern game to follow just three days later.
There were doubts about Koscielny who has been outstanding all season and his partnership with Mertesacker has usually a telepathic understanding that has been vital to us for most of the season
He wasn’t risked and Vermaelen stepped in and the biggest surprise, and not for the first time in such an important game, Sanogo was asked to lead the line.
We weren’t to be disappointed and the failure at The Britannia the week before was quickly forgotten. Cazorla and Ozil combined perfectly for Ozil with pin point accuracy gave us an early lead. It was an open game and then a rather messy goal by Lukaku nearing half time put Everton right back in the game.
The second half began and there was more resilience and fight by our boys and eventually the persistence payed off with Barry bringing down the excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain in the penalty box and Arteta had the dubious task of having to twice take the penalty awarded.
To me that was the pivotal moment in the game and after some astute substitutions, Giroud came on for Sanogo and scored a brace. The game was done and dusted…..
I make no excuse in naming three players as Man of the Match in fact everyone who played made a significant contribution.
Ozil for the vital first goal and the way he reads the game and put more effort in than lately, especially as he has been under the microscope.
The Ox, as he caused problems all over the pitch, his enthusiasm, directness, and general play improves all the time, a real contender for the England squad but more importantly for us,hopefully for years to come.
Arteta under immense pressure having to take the penalty twice and restoring the lead gave us that extra impudence.
Others also played their part and I am sure you will add to my considerations.
Santi who with Ozil ran a good part of the game and was much better than recently and though he didn’t score he is always looking for an opportunity to shoot or play a decisive pass.
Vermaelen, hardly played all season, made one slip but generally had a very good game against stiff opposition.
Ollie had a rest, a couple of affairs :) and looked sharp.
Flamini, though prone to get carded always urges the players on.When Ozil scored and a few congratulated him he urged others to join in..
Sagna one assist and one assist to an assist, we would dearly miss him.
Everyone went home happy, not a day to be judgemental about those who didn’t play or who we should buy in the Summer, so may the momentum continue. Wembley here we come.
Written by kelsey