Yet another big game came by, and yet another win for Arsenal. Spurs, Liverpool and now Dortmund have all lost to Arsenal this season without even scoring a goal. Last night, most fans will point to Aaron Ramsey as the reason why Arsenal got all three points, but a quick look at the defensive aspect of the Gunners will say otherwise.
The back four (Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gibbs) were superb to keep Lewandowski and Co. at bay. There were a few glaring misses by the home side (Mkhitaryan’s chance for instance). But other than that, it was a 10/10 performance from the defenders. Keiran Gibbs made a number if vital sliding tackles, Mertesacker and Koscielny bullied Lewandowski, and Bacary Sagna made key runs forward in attack.
It almost reminded us of the old back four – the one Arsenal are so commonly known for these years, Martin Keown, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon. The work rate and communication skills between these defenders were immense and there were traces of that in the Dortmund game. Arsenal would have shredded to pieces by the likes of Marco Reus if the defenders didn’t turn up.
Sadly, Bacary Sagna has yet to extend his contract with Arsenal and it doesn’t look like he will do so. His current deal ends at the end of this season. His departure would be a huge loss to us, because his successor (whoever that may be) will need time to adapt to the current style of back four. Wenger usually extends contracts of players aged 30 years and above by only one year, but I hope he makes an exception this time. The Arsenal board need to realize that we are no longer prone to stupid mistakes at the back, and changing one player might put us back to square one. Therefore, Arsenal MUST offer Sagna a lucrative deal to ensure that he stays.