Arsenal show attacking class as Xhaka nets his first goal

By Daily Sports on September 18, 2016

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Arsene Wenger knows there is a lot more to come from his team, but they showed in spells why they will be title challengers this season. His attack-minded Gunners line-up dismantled Mike Phelan’s plucky Hull side and continued their impressive 25 game unbeaten run against promoted opposition.

There could have been a few more on the scoresheet if Mesut Ozil put away a gilt-edged opportunity which he struck over the bar or Alexis Sanchez converted his first half penalty, but it didn’t matter in the end as Wenger’s men brought back three points to north London with relative ease.

Wenger opted to continue with the midfield partnership of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla for the game despite talking up Granit Xhaka beforehand. The £30 million summer signing has only started two games this season amid Wenger’s preference in playing ‘Coqzorla’ due to the fact they have played ’50 to 60 matches together’.

There were murmurings ahead of kick-off that Xhaka would make an appearance in the starting XI, but the decision to play Wenger’s preferred duo once again paid off - even if Coquelin spent much of his time attacking the Hull end.

Alex Iwobi’s performance in particular was one of note. The 20-year-old continues to show maturity above his years and the direct running coupled with his third assist in two league games provided another example of just how highly-rated the Nigerian international is. Iwobi’s tracking back in the first half of Tuesday’s Champions League opener defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was suspect and perhaps his influence at the KCOM was due to the fact he had been given much more time and space to roam around the left flank.

While Sanchez’s failure to convert a spot kick once again showed that Arsenal need a fixed penalty taker who knows how to finish (the Gunners have missed three of their last six spot kicks in the Premier League), it was the Chilean who made sure of the victory by scoring a minute after Hull’s Robert Snodgrass converted his own penalty. Sanchez recently compared himself to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and while he may be a little way off their record, he now has four goals in as many games.

Arsenal managed the most shots in the first half since the Premier League game against Crystal Palace in 2015 and there was never really any doubt over who would win on Saturday afternoon - something which Xhaka made sure of with a stunning long-range strike late on.

•Photo shows Granit Xhaka

Source Daily Sports

Posted September 18, 2016

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