EPL 2016/17: Middlesbrough 1-2 Arsenal, 5 Talking Points
Once again, Arsenal failed to put in a performance worthy of mentioning them in the same breath as the rest of the top six. The Gunners began the first half on the back foot but found a way to head into halftime with the lead thanks to a sumptuous free-kick from Alexis Sanchez.
With Arsene Wenger experimenting with a 3-5-2 formation for the first time in almost 20 years, the North London club were expected to at least surprise Middlesbrough but familiar shades mediocrity shone the brightest under the dull sky by the Tees.
Alvaro Negredo did to Arsenal what Christian Benteke did last week and scored the equaliser minutes into the second half.
And while the Gunners did score the winner thanks to a lovely Mesut Ozil finish, this result leaves Arsenal far from safe in their race to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, here’s looking at five things we learnt from the Riverside stadium:
#5 Frustration flows through the veins
Arsenal are having arguably their worst period under manager Arsene Wenger. They’re at a stage in their season where almost every club in the League can beat them – they’re devoid of confidence, devoid of ideas and possibly devoid of guidance.
Goalscorer Alexis Sanchez was visibly frustrated throughout the game thanks to poor passing, poor positioning and poor decision making. But the fact that the team walk away with three points is a step in the right direction.
Next up for the Gunners is Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals and it could be a pivotal fixture in what is turning out to be a very tense end to the season.