Arsenal have taken control of the Champions League race.
Mikel Arteta’s side beat Leicester 2-0 on Sunday to move back up to fourth. They’re ahead of Manchester United, West Ham and Wolves despite having three matches in hand. They’re also six points above Spurs having played one match fewer.
In other words, a top-four finish is now theirs to lose.
The Gunners are in fantastic form having won five matches in a row.
Their latest – the 2-0 victory over Leicester – was just so comfortable.
Thomas Partey gave them an 11th-minute lead with a header from Gabriel Martinelli’s corner. And the match was effectively wrapped up with Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty with half an hour remaining.
And in that remaining half an hour, Arsenal were in total control. They passed the ball around with ease and gave Leicester absolutely no hope of a late fightback.
In contrast, last week, Arsenal tried their best to throw away all three points against Watford. Having taken an early lead, they allowed Watford to equalise minutes later. Then when 3-1 up with a few minutes remaining, there was a nervy finish another letting Moussa Sissoko pull a goal back.
After the match, Arteta wasn’t impressed with how his side controlled the game at Vicarage Road.
“We have to show that maturity, understanding and capacity to control the game how we wanted to,” he said.
“At 3-1, after, we had to make 300,000 passes in the opposition half and when they have the right moment to come at us, then we can attack them. We didn’t do that. The game was open and you had the feeling that the game was open right until the end.”
But Arsenal clearly listened to their manager against Leicester.
After going 2-0 ahead, they passed the ball around to ‘Ole’s’ from the Emirates crowd. And now, a video of Arsenal playing the ball around is going viral. It shows the north London side making pass after pass after pass as Leicester chase the ball.
VIDEO: Arsenal’s sequence of passes vs Leicester
Arteta after Watford last week: “The key is the capacity to control the game. With a two-goal lead, we have to make 300,000 passes to kill the game”.
The very next game:pic.twitter.com/wo6Tlmvuax
— Mo (@MoArsenal86) March 14, 2022
Now that’s how you control the game.
And Arteta admitted he was pleased with his side’s management of the match after the win.
“I was pleased with the understanding of what we had to do. When they started to overload in certain areas, we understood how we had to resolve that,” he said.